float storage and usage


I need to convert some columns of type numeric(12, 0) to hold floating point
information scale and precision I can't determine in advance (customer data
can vary wildly) so I wanted to use the datatype that offers the maximum scale
and precision..

I'm targeting sql server 2005 systems (not 2000).

It seems my choices are real and float, and the docs seem to indicate that
float offers with widest ranges.

I'm trying out using the 'float' for the new data type as the default
precision is said to be 53.. Does this mean the total number of digits is up
to 53?

I don't know if there is anything else I need to take into account since these
two columns are part of a primary key, and I supposed, therefore, are indexed.

Jeff Kish