Is Datetime a Data Type in SQL?


Larry Thompson

Is Datetime a Data Type in SQL?

In SQL, datetime is indeed a data type that represents a specific point in time. It is used to store dates and times in various database systems, allowing for efficient manipulation and comparison of temporal data.

Working with Datetime Data Type

When working with datetime values in SQL, it is important to understand the various functions and operators available for manipulating and querying this type of data. These can be used to perform calculations, extract specific parts of a datetime value, or format the output in a desired way.

Datetime Functions

SQL provides several functions specifically designed for working with datetime values:

  • NOW(): Returns the current date and time.
  • DATE(): Extracts the date part from a datetime value.
  • TIME(): Extracts the time part from a datetime value.
  • YEAR(): Extracts the year from a datetime value.
  • MONTH(): Extracts the month from a datetime value.
  • DAY(): Extracts the day from a datetime value.

Datetime Operators

In addition to functions, SQL also provides operators that can be used with datetime values:

  • =: Checks if two datetime values are equal.
  • <, <=, >, >=: Perform comparisons between two datetime values.
  • +: Adds a specified number of days to a datetime value.
  • : Subtracts a specified number of days from a datetime value.

Datetime Formats

Datetime values can be represented and manipulated using various formats. The most common format is YYYY-MM-DD HH:MI:SS, which represents the date and time in a 24-hour format. However, different database systems may support additional formats or have their own variations.


Let’s consider some examples to better understand how datetime data type works in SQL:

  • To retrieve the current date and time:
    • SELECT NOW();
  • To extract the year from a datetime value:
    • SELECT YEAR('2022-01-01');
    • This will return 2022.
  • To add three days to a datetime value:
    • SELECT '2022-01-01' + INTERVAL 3 DAY;
    • This will return ‘2022-01-04’.

The possibilities with datetime data type are vast, allowing for powerful manipulation and analysis of temporal data within SQL databases. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the specific functions and operators supported by your chosen database system in order to make the most out of datetime values.

In conclusion, yes, datetime is indeed a data type in SQL. It provides the ability to store dates and times accurately, and with the help of functions and operators, it allows for efficient manipulation and querying of temporal data.

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