Join the DZone community and get the full member experience. This post looks at a curious data type that isn't really a data type. Instead, sql_variant tries to be all things to all people.
The official documentation for this data type - available from Microsoft Docs - tells us that: Another aspect of this data type is that it is not fully supported by ODBC, so depending on the driver you use to connect to the database the underlying column will be returned in binary.
Also keep in mind that some internal SQL Server system tables and system stored procedures use this data type to mix strings and numbers.