Robert Davis gives us the formula for the max and min decimal values given a scale and precision:

Unfortunately, the mathematical approach has flaws. First of all, Power(10, 38) exceeds the range of any numerical data type in SQL Server. There is no way to store or work with this value in calculations. Secondly, once you try to raise 10 to a power greater than 30, you start seeing floating point calculations (the values are approximate). For example, select Power(Cast(10 as decimal(38, 0)), 31) — casting as decimal(38, 0) because it exceeds int or bigint — yields 9999999999999999600000000000000. That’s clearly an approximated value and is not going to work for calculations where we’re expecting a precise value. So, that leaves the hacky version I didn’t want to do because I just cannot count on the mathematical approach working. Here is the base query using the hacky calculation

Read on for the hacky version.

Kevin Feasel

2016-06-01

Data Types