MySQL 5.6 Reference Manual Including MySQL NDB Cluster 7.3-7.4 Reference Guide

11.3.1 String Data Type Syntax

The string data types are CHAR, VARCHAR, BINARY, VARBINARY, BLOB, TEXT, ENUM, and SET.

In some cases, MySQL may change a string column to a type different from that given in a CREATE TABLE or ALTER TABLE statement. See Section 13.1.17.6, “Silent Column Specification Changes”.

For definitions of character string columns (CHAR, VARCHAR, and the TEXT types), MySQL interprets length specifications in character units. For definitions of binary string columns (BINARY, VARBINARY, and the BLOB types), MySQL interprets length specifications in byte units.

Column definitions for character string data types CHAR, VARCHAR, the TEXT types, ENUM, SET, and any synonyms) can specify the column character set and collation:

Character column comparison and sorting are based on the collation assigned to the column. For the CHAR, VARCHAR, TEXT, ENUM, and SET data types, you can declare a column with a binary (_bin) collation or the BINARY attribute to cause comparison and sorting to use the underlying character code values rather than a lexical ordering.

For additional information about use of character sets in MySQL, see Chapter 10, Character Sets, Collations, Unicode.