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Best way to store telephone numbers in database


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Is there a recommended BEST PRACTICE for storing (and retrieving) telephone numbers from a database table?

Is it best to store (in the USA) the area code separate from the rest of the number?  Remove parenthesis and/or dashes? 

Or is there no reason to concern myself with performance or hacking issues regarding the storage of phone numbers as 323-555-1212 or (323)555-1212 inside my table?

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After reading thru the e164 post and still not understanding what it is saying I would suggest that the format that I have always used is close.  Do not format the number with any parens or dashes or dots.  Just the digits and save any formatting for when you need to output it.


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1. Don't put them in there in the first place.



$phone = "(123) 456-7890" ;
$justdigits = '';

for ($i=0, $k=strlen($phone); $i<$k; $i++) {
    $justdigits .= (ctype_digit($phone[$i])) ? $phone[$i] : ''; 
echo $justdigits ;     //--> 1234567890


When it comes to formatting the output I find  a custom formatting function of use;

$phone = '1234567890234'
$format = '(###) ###-#### ext ###';

echo formatIt ($format, $phone);                      // -> (123) 456-7890 ext 234

function formatIt($format,$str)
    $i = $j = 0;
    $res = '';
    $kf = strlen($format);
    $str = str_replace(' ','',$str);
    $ks = strlen($str);
    while ($i < $kf  && $j < $ks) {
        $res .= $format[$i]=='#' ? $str[$j++] : $format[$i];
    if ($j<$ks) $res .= substr($str,$j);
    return $res;


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