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Reference : Designing ODBC Applications for Performance Optimization : Retrieving Data : Choosing the Right Data Type

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Choosing the Right Data Type
Retrieving and sending certain data types can be expensive. When you are working with data on a large scale, select the data type that can be processed most efficiently. For example, integer data is processed faster than floating-point data. Floating-point data is defined according to internal database-specific formats, usually in a compressed format. The data must be decompressed and converted into a different format so that it can be processed by the wire protocol.