Default PHP Data Types

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When retrieving data from the server, the Microsoft Drivers for PHP for SQL Server converts data to a default PHP data type if no PHP data type has been specified by the user.

When data is returned using the PDO_SQLSRV driver, the data type will either be int or string.

The remainder of this topic discusses default data types using the SQLSRV driver.

The following table lists the SQL Server data type (the data type being retrieved from the server), the default PHP data type (the data type to which data is converted), and the default encoding for streams and strings. For details about how to specify data types when retrieving data from the server, see How to: Specify PHP Data Types.

SQL Server Type Default PHP Type Default Encoding
bigint String 8-bit character1
binary Stream2 Binary3
bit Integer 8-bit character1
char String 8-bit character1
date4 Datetime Not applicable
datetime4 Datetime Not applicable
datetime24 Datetime Not applicable
datetimeoffset4 Datetime Not applicable
decimal String 8-bit character1
float Float 8-bit character1
geography STREAM Binary3
geometry STREAM Binary3
image5 Stream2 Binary3
int Integer 8-bit character1
money String 8-bit character1
nchar String 8-bit character1
numeric String 8-bit character1
nvarchar String 8-bit character1
nvarchar(MAX) Stream2 8-bit character1
ntext6 Stream2 8-bit character1
real Float 8-bit character1
smalldatetime Datetime 8-bit character1
smallint Integer 8-bit character1
smallmoney String 8-bit character1
sql_variant7 String 8-bit character1
text8 Stream2 8-bit character1
time4 Datetime Not applicable
timestamp String 8-bit character1
tinyint Integer 8-bit character1
UDT Stream2 Binary3
uniqueidentifier String9 8-bit character1
varbinary Stream2 Binary3
varbinary(MAX) Stream2 Binary3
varchar String 8-bit character1
varchar(MAX) Stream2 8-bit character1
xml Stream2 8-bit character1
  1. Data is returned in 8-bit characters as specified in the code page of the Windows locale set on the system. Any multi-byte characters or characters that do not map into this code page are substituted with a single byte question mark (?) character.

  2. If sqlsrv_fetch_array or sqlsrv_fetch_object is used to retrieve data that has a default PHP type of Stream, the data will be returned as a string with the same encoding as the stream. For example, if a SQL Server binary type is retrieved by using sqlsrv_fetch_array, the default return type will be a binary string.

  3. Data is returned as a raw byte stream from the server without performing encoding or translation.

  4. Date and time types can be retrieved as strings. For more information, see How to: Retrieve Date and Time Type as Strings Using the SQLSRV Driver.

  5. This is a legacy type that maps to the varbinary(max) type.

  6. This is a legacy type that maps to the nvarchar(max) type.

  7. sql_variant is not supported in bidirectional or output parameters.

  8. This is a legacy type that maps to the varchar(max) type.

  9. UNIQUEIDENTIFIERs are GUIDs represented by the following regular expression:


Other New SQL Server 2008 Data Types and Features

Data types that are new in SQL Server 2008 and that exist outside of columns (such as table-valued parameters) are not supported in the Microsoft Drivers for PHP for SQL Server. The table below summarizes the PHP support for new SQL Server 2008 features.

Feature PHP Support
Table-valued parameter No
Sparse columns Partial
Null-bit compression Yes
Large CLR user-defined types (UDTs) Yes
Service principal name No

Partial type support means that you cannot programmatically query for the type of the column.

See Also

Constants (Microsoft Drivers for PHP for SQL Server)
Converting Data Types
PHP Types
Data Types (Transact-SQL)