The Curious Case of… the 8060-byte row size limit

(The Curious Case of… used to be part of our bi-weekly newsletter but we decided to make it a regular blog post instead so it can sometimes be more frequent. It covers something interesting one of us encountered when working with a client, doing some testing, or were asked in a random question from the community.)

Last week I had a question from someone who wondered about the 8060-byte row size limit and why data file pages sometimes show more than 8,060 bytes free when looked at using DBCC PAGE.

Before I explain, let me make it clear that the 8,060-byte limit is