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  SQL Server Tips by Burleson

Decimal and numeric

Both names mean the same. The statement decimal (p, s) with p as precision and s as scale represents a decimal number with up to p digits and s of them will be on the right of the decimal point.

DECLARE @d decimal(8, 3)
SET @d=12345.67
SELECT CAST(@d as binary(8))

12345.670 5

Internally, the variable needs three more bytes to store extra data plus the five for the data:

4-sign, 00 for negative and 01 for positive numbers.
5 to 8-value 4661BC00

4661BC00 reversed is 00BC6146, that is, 12345670 in decimal. With a scale three, it becomes 12345.670, this is how decimals are stored.
The maximum precision goes from -10^38 +1 through 10^38 –1.

The above book excerpt is from:

Super SQL Server Systems
Turbocharge Database Performance with C++ External Procedures

ISBN: 0-9761573-2-2
Joseph Gama, P. J. Naughter  

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