Forgive me if I'm not using the appropriate vocabulary.
I'm planning on implementing a MySQL database with a PHP front end so I can enter work order details and files (screengrabs, ZIPs, etc.) into said database. As it is now, my previous work orders are saved in email PSTs and it's inconvenient to mount them one at a time to review and search for previous work orders.
The description on a work order can be a short sentence up to many thousands of characters. If I have columns as VARCHAR(i) or TEXT/MEDIUMTEXT data types, will the maximum space be allocated to each field or will the database grow the fields up to the capacity allowed by the data type?
I suppose a visual way to ask this question would be, is my text field a cup having an immutable volume with a variable amount of water or is it a balloon having an expanding volume of air?