Larry McGhaw wrote:

I'm really frustrated by this process I'm not trying to attack anyone
here.  I'm just surprised that no one will even entertain the idea that
this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Instead nearly all of the responses have been attacking the applications
that rely on the metadata.
Having been following this debate, I think what people have really been attacking is the idea that the metadata for:

SELECT '1' AS varchar_column;

should be different from the metadata for:

SELECT varchar_column FROM really_big_table;

or for:

SELECT varchar_column FROM really_small_table;

Or at least that's what I've taken away from the dicussion- it's not so much that the metadata shouldn't be relied on, it's that the metadata may be more generic than theoretically necessary. And that the metadata may not contain the length of a variable length field even when that length is known.


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