What is the proper size for a sequence-generated primary key?

By : JasonB
Source: Stackoverflow.com
Question!

Currently, primary keys in our system are 10 digits longs, just over the limit for Java Integers. I want to avoid any maintenance problems down the road caused by numeric overflow in these keys, but at the same time I do not want to sacrifice much system performance to store infinitely large numbers that I will never need.

How do you handle managing the size of a primary key? Am I better off sticking with Java integers, for the performance benefit over the larger Long, and increasing the size when needed, or should I bite the bullet, go with Java Long for most of my PKs, and never have to worry about overflowing the sequence size?

By : JasonB


Answers

32 bit integers in java are signed integers, so only 2 billion. If for some reason, your SEQUENCE keeps jumping now and then, then there will be some gaps between your PKs.

It does NOT hurt to have a long (Remember that the Y2K problem happened because some COBOL developers thought that they will save some bytes in dates ??) :-)

Therefore, I always use Long.

By : anjanb




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