In every database project, there would always be requirements for the implementation of its data model. For it to work well and test its functionality, a data value might be needed. This data value will assume a value that is unknown. In relational databases, SQL server uses a placeholder called NULL that resembles unknowns. NULL sets parameters so some data modelers can avoid using it. However, just like any other technology, complications would always arise. One of these is an argument whether it’s good to use NULL or not.
NULL is a condition, apart from being unknown (Poolet, 2006). However, along with its many uses are issues supported by some books that suggest minimization of using NULL. There are also a few authors who came to a point of telling to never declare a column NULL. According to them, declaring a column null would mean minor additional overhead on SQL server. Also, you must see to it that you have accounted for the NULL condition in any program that will gain access to the database most especially to those programming languages that would flag null as an error condition.
The issues, however, do not necessarily suggest to avoid the use of NULL. In the first place, NULL values are created for purpose. It expresses an unknown condition that is valid. The American National Standards Institute, the provider of standardization system in USA, is supporting the use of NULL instead of empty strings. Thus, the use of NULL is just a matter of choice. References Poolet, M. A. (2006, May) Designing for Performance: Null or Not Null? SQL Server Magazine, pg. 31
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