Posted By: Beat
Since MySQL doesn’t seem to have any ‘boolean’ data type, which data type do you ‘abuse’ for storing true/false information in MySQL?
Especially in the context of writing and reading from/to a PHP script.
Over time I have used and seen several approaches:
- tinyint, varchar fields containing the values 0/1,
- varchar fields containing the strings ‘0’/’1′ or ‘true’/’false’
- and finally enum Fields containing the two options ‘true’/’false’.
None of the above seems optimal. I tend to prefer the tinyint 0/1 variant, since automatic type conversion in PHP gives me boolean values rather simply.
So which data type do you use? Is there a type designed for boolean values which I have overlooked? Do you see any advantages/disadvantages by using one type or another?
For MySQL 5.0.3 and higher, you can use
BIT. The manual says:
As of MySQL 5.0.3, the BIT data type is used to store bit-field
values. A type of BIT(M) enables storage of M-bit values. M can range
from 1 to 64.
Otherwise, according to the MySQL manual you can use
BOOLEAN, which are at the moment aliases of tinyint(1):
Bool, Boolean: These types are synonyms for TINYINT(1). A value of
zero is considered false. Non-zero
values are considered true.
MySQL also states that:
We intend to implement full boolean
type handling, in accordance with
standard SQL, in a future MySQL