Is Datetime a Data Type in Oracle?


Angela Bailey

Is Datetime a Data Type in Oracle?

In Oracle, the datetime data type does not exist. However, Oracle provides several other data types that can be used to represent dates and times in a database.

Date Data Types

Oracle offers two main data types for storing dates:

  • DATE: The DATE data type is used to store both date and time information. It can store values ranging from January 1, 4712 BC to December 31, 9999 AD.

    The format for displaying the date is determined by the NLS_DATE_FORMAT parameter.

  • TIMESTAMP: The TIMESTAMP data type extends the functionality of the DATE data type by including fractional seconds. It can store values ranging from January 1, 4712 BC to December 31, 9999 AD with a precision of up to nine decimal places.

To create a column with a DATE or TIMESTAMP data type in Oracle, you can use the following syntax:

CREATE TABLE table_name (
    column_name DATE,
    column_name TIMESTAMP

Date Functions and Operations

Oracle provides various functions and operators that allow you to manipulate and perform calculations on dates and timestamps:

  • SYSDATE(): This function returns the current system date and time as per the database server’s operating system clock.
  • TO_CHAR(): This function allows you to convert a DATE or TIMESTAMP value into a specific string format.
  • TRUNC(): This function truncates a date or timestamp to a specified unit, such as day, month, or year.
  • ADD_MONTHS(): This function adds a specified number of months to a given date or timestamp.
  • INTERVAL: The INTERVAL data type allows you to perform arithmetic operations on dates and timestamps. It can be used with the addition (+) and subtraction (-) operators.

Date Formatting

When working with date and timestamp data types in Oracle, it’s important to understand how to format the output for readability. You can use the TO_CHAR() function along with formatting codes to achieve this:


This query will return the current system date and time in the format YYYY-MM-DD HH24:MI:SS.


In summary, while Oracle does not have a specific datetime data type, it offers the DATE and TIMESTAMP data types that allow you to store and manipulate date and time information effectively. Understanding these data types and their associated functions will enable you to work with dates and times efficiently in Oracle databases.

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