Variable Length

Variable length refers to anything whose length can vary. For example, in databases, a variable-length field is a field that does not have a fixed length. Instead, the field length varies depending on what data is stored in it.

Variable-Length Saves Space

Variable-length fields are useful because they save space. Suppose, for example, that you want to define a NAME field. The length of each NAME field will vary according to the data placed in it. For example, John Smith is 10 characters long, but Thomas Horatio Jefferson is 24 characters long. With fixed-length fields, you would need to define each field to be long enough to hold the longest name. This would be a waste of space for records that had short names. With variable-length fields, the NAME field in each record would be just long enough to hold its data.

The opposite of variable length is fixed length.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

Related Articles

AutoIt Scripting Language

AutoIt is a popular and easy-to-learn scripting language used by developers since 1999 for quick software development. Here’s more about AutoIt scripting language, its...

Sales CRM

A sales CRM, or customer relationship management (CRM) tool for sales, is frequently the centerpiece of sales operations for a variety of business use...

HighLevel CRM

HighLevel is a sales and marketing customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed by the company HighLevel. Because it's uniquely designed for marketing agencies, HighLevel...

CRM Manager

A customer relationship management (CRM) manager is a person that oversees all customer and client relations within a business. They specialize in customer interactions...

AutoIt Scripting Language

AutoIt is a popular and easy-to-learn scripting language used by developers since 1999...

HighLevel CRM

HighLevel is a sales and marketing customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed by...

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)

As enterprise networks become increasingly distributed with growing numbers of remote workers, unified...