The VARCHAR data type has a binary count field followed by character data. The value in the binary count field is either the number of bytes in the field or the number of characters. See "STRING SIZES ARE IN" for information about how to specify whether the count is interpreted as a count of characters or count of bytes.

The VARRAW data type has a binary count field followed by binary data. The value in the binary count field is the number of bytes of binary data. The data in the VARRAW field is not affected by the DATA ISENDIAN clause.

The VARIABLE 2 clause in the ACCESS PARAMETERS clause specifies the size of the binary field that contains the length.

The optional length_of_length field in the specification is the number of bytes in the count field. Valid values for length_of_length for VARCHAR are 1, 2, 4, and 8. If length_of_length is not specified, then a value of 2 is used. The count field has the same endianness as specified by the DATA ISENDIAN clause.

The max_len field is used to indicate the largest size of any instance of the field in the data file. For VARRAW fields, max_len is number of bytes. For VARCHAR fields, max_len is either number of characters or number of bytes depending on the STRING SIZES ARE IN clause.

The following example shows various uses of VARCHAR and VARRAW. The content of the data file, info.dat, is shown following the example.

             (first_name CHAR(15),
              last_name CHAR(20),
              resume CHAR(2000),
              picture RAW(2000))
   DEFAULT DIRECTORY ext_tab_dir
        VARIABLE 2
      FIELDS (first_name VARCHAR(2,12),
              last_name VARCHAR(2,20),
              resume VARCHAR(4,10000),
              picture VARRAW(4,100000)))
    LOCATION ('info.dat'));

Contents of info.dat Data File

The contents of the data file used in the example are as follows:.

0005Alvin0008Tolliver0000001DAlvin Tolliver's Resume etc. 0000001013f4690a30bc29d7e40023ab4599ffff

It is important to understand that, for the purposes of readable documentation, the binary values for the count bytes and the values for the raw data are shown in the data file in italics, with 2 characters per binary byte. The values in an actual data file would be in binary format, not ASCII. Therefore, if you attempt to use this example by cutting and pasting, then you will receive an error.