# What Is an Interval Data Type?

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Scott Campbell

An interval data type is a data type in computer programming that represents a range or interval of values. It is often used to store information about time, duration, or other continuous quantities. In this article, we will explore what an interval data type is and how it can be used in various programming languages.

## Defining an Interval Data Type

An interval data type typically consists of two values: a start value and an end value. These values define the lower and upper bounds of the interval. The start value represents the beginning of the interval, while the end value represents the end of the interval.

Example: If we have an interval data type to represent time durations, we could define an interval from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Here, 10:00 AM would be the start value and 12:00 PM would be the end value.

## Using Interval Data Types

Interval data types can be used in various ways in programming languages. Some common use cases include:

• Data Storage: Interval data types can be used to store information about time durations, scheduling events, or any other continuous quantity.
• Data Manipulation: Interval data types allow for easy manipulation of intervals using mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, and comparison.
• Querying: Interval data types can be used in database queries to search for records that fall within a specific range.

### Example:

In SQL, you can use the INTERVAL keyword to create an interval data type. Here’s an example:

``````CREATE TABLE events (
event_name VARCHAR(50),
event_duration INTERVAL
);
``````

This example creates a table called “events” with two columns: “event_name” to store the name of the event and “event_duration” to store the duration of the event as an interval data type.

## Benefits of Interval Data Types

Interval data types offer several benefits:

• Flexibility: Interval data types can represent a wide range of values, allowing for more precise and accurate data storage.
• Convenience: Interval data types provide built-in functions and operators that make it easy to work with intervals, such as calculating the duration between two intervals.
• Readability: Using interval data types in your code can make it more readable and intuitive by clearly indicating that a particular variable represents a range or interval.

## Conclusion

An interval data type is a useful tool for representing ranges or intervals in programming. It provides a convenient way to store and manipulate information about time durations, scheduling events, or any other continuous quantities. By utilizing interval data types, you can improve the accuracy, flexibility, and readability of your code.