Does Oracle Have TIMESTAMP Data Type?


Heather Bennett

Oracle is a powerful relational database management system that offers a wide range of data types to store and manipulate data. One common requirement in many applications is to store and handle timestamps, which represent dates and times with precision. In this tutorial, we will explore whether Oracle has a TIMESTAMP data type and how it can be used.

What is a TIMESTAMP?

A TIMESTAMP is a data type that represents a specific point in time. It stores both date and time information, including year, month, day, hour, minute, second, and fractional seconds. This level of precision makes it ideal for applications that require accurate tracking of events or time-sensitive operations.

Does Oracle Have a TIMESTAMP Data Type?

Yes, Oracle does have a TIMESTAMP data type. It provides various options to store timestamps based on your specific needs:

  • TIMESTAMP: The basic TIMESTAMP data type stores year to fractional seconds precision. It can represent dates between January 1, 4712 BC, and December 31, 9999 AD.
  • TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE: This variant of the TIMESTAMP data type includes time zone information along with the date and time components.

    It allows you to store timestamps in different time zones accurately.

  • TIMESTAMP WITH LOCAL TIME ZONE: Similar to the previous option, this variant also includes time zone information but automatically adjusts the stored timestamp to the session’s local time zone. It simplifies handling timestamps across different time zones.
  • TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE INTERVAL: This data type represents an interval between two timestamps with time zone information. It allows calculations involving durations or differences between timestamps.

Using TIMESTAMP Data Type in Oracle

To use the TIMESTAMP data type in Oracle, you can define a column with the desired precision or use it within expressions and functions. Here is an example of creating a table with a TIMESTAMP column:

    event_id NUMBER,
    event_name VARCHAR2(100),
    event_timestamp TIMESTAMP

You can insert data into this table using various methods, such as:

INSERT INTO events (event_id, event_name, event_timestamp)
VALUES (1, 'Event 1', TIMESTAMP '2022-01-01 10:00:00');

Once the data is stored, you can query and manipulate it using SQL statements or PL/SQL code. Oracle provides a range of built-in functions to perform common operations on timestamps, such as extracting specific components, adding or subtracting intervals, and comparing timestamps.


In conclusion, Oracle offers multiple TIMESTAMP data types to handle timestamps accurately and precisely. Whether you need to store basic timestamps or include time zone information, Oracle has options to suit your requirements. By leveraging these data types and utilizing the available functions, you can efficiently work with timestamps in your Oracle database applications.

Remember to choose the appropriate TIMESTAMP data type based on the level of precision and time zone considerations for your application.

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