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Managing & Using MySQL, 2nd Edition by Hugh E. Williams, Randy Yarger, George Reese, Tim King

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Binary Data Types

MySQL provides a set of binary data types that closely mirror their character counterparts. The MySQL binary types are CHAR BINARY, VARCHAR BINARY , TINYBLOB , BLOB , MEDIUMBLOB , and LONGBLOB . The practical distinction between character types and their binary counterparts is the concept of encoding. Binary data is basically a chunk of data that MySQL makes no effort to interpret. Character data, on the other hand, is assumed to represent textual data from human alphabets. It is thus encoded and sorted based on rules appropriate to the character set in question. On an ASCII system, MySQL sorts binary data in a case-sensitive, ASCII order.

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