What Is Time Data Type in SQL Server?


Heather Bennett

In SQL Server, the TIME data type is used to store time values without a date component. It represents a specific point in time within a 24-hour clock.

Why Use the TIME Data Type?

The TIME data type is useful in scenarios where you need to store and manipulate time values, such as tracking events or scheduling tasks. It allows you to perform various operations on time values, such as calculating durations, comparing times, and extracting parts of a time value.


The syntax for defining a column with the TIME data type is:

column_name TIME [ (fractional_seconds_precision) ]

The fractional_seconds_precision parameter specifies the number of digits for the fractional seconds precision, ranging from 0 to 7. If not specified, it defaults to 7.


Let’s look at some examples to understand how the TIME data type works:

    event_id INT,
    event_time TIME

INSERT INTO events (event_id, event_time)
VALUES (1, '10:30:00.0000000');

SELECT * FROM events;

This example creates a table called “events” with two columns: “event_id” of type INT and “event_time” of type TIME. We insert a record with an event ID of 1 and an event time of 10:30 AM. Finally, we select all records from the “events” table.

Manipulating Time Values

You can perform various operations on time values using built-in functions and operators in SQL Server:

  • GETDATE(): Returns the current system date and time.
  • DATEADD(): Adds or subtracts a specified time interval to a given time value.
  • DATEDIFF(): Calculates the difference between two time values.

Here’s an example that demonstrates the usage of these functions:

DECLARE @current_time TIME = GETDATE();

SELECT DATEADD(HOUR, 2, @current_time) AS [New Time];
SELECT DATEDIFF(MINUTE, @current_time, '12:00:00') AS [Minutes Difference];

In this example, we declare a variable called “@current_time” and assign it the current system time using the GETDATE() function. Using the DATEADD() function, we add 2 hours to the current time and display the result as “New Time”.

The DATEDIFF() function calculates the difference in minutes between “@current_time” and a specific time value (’12:00:00′). The result is displayed as “Minutes Difference”.


The TIME data type in SQL Server allows you to store and manipulate time values efficiently. By incorporating built-in functions and operators, you can perform various operations on time values to meet your specific requirements. Understanding how to work with the TIME data type will enhance your ability to handle temporal data effectively in SQL Server.

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy