As it turns out, database performance issues can easily be created by overdoing the forms. As such, I was just reviewing the SQL Server recommendations, and I found the following interesting fact: with CRM you have roughly 8060 bytes available to store custom fields before theoretically degrading performance.
The following list of data types and size should help in determining if you go over or not. As a note, usually SQL will handle gracefully the overflow.
|Data Type||Size (bytes)|
|Single Line Text (x length)||2x bytes|
|Multi Line Text (x length)||2x bytes|
|Date and Time||8 bytes|
|Decimal Number||13 bytes|
|Floating Point Number||8 bytes|
|Option Set||4 bytes|
|Whole Number||4 bytes|
|Two Options (T/F)||1 byte|
As you can see from the table above, the most taxing fields are indeed the Single Line Text and Multi Line Text.
There was an issue with field lengths over 4000 characters sync-ing to Outlook (due to SQL Express limitations, as described in the KB938065), but it’s supposed to be fixed now.