Which Data Type Is Used to Store Date and Time?


Larry Thompson

When working with date and time values in programming, it is essential to choose the right data type to store this information accurately. In most programming languages, a specific data type is available specifically for storing date and time values. In this article, we will explore the various data types used to store date and time and discuss their characteristics and use cases.

Date Data Type

The date data type is commonly used to store only the date portion without any time information. It typically represents a calendar date in the format of year, month, and day. The specific syntax for representing dates may vary depending on the programming language or database system being used.


Date today = new Date();

Time Data Type

The time data type is used to store only the time portion without any date information. It represents a specific time of day in hours, minutes, seconds, and sometimes even milliseconds. Like the date data type, the exact syntax for representing time values may differ across programming languages.


Time currentTime = new Time();

Datetime Data Type

The datetime (or timestamp) data type combines both the date and time components into a single value. It represents a specific moment in time with precision down to milliseconds or even smaller units. This data type is particularly useful when dealing with events or when it’s necessary to track both the date and time together.


Datetime now = new Datetime();

Timestamptz Data Type

Some programming languages or database systems provide a timestamptz (timestamp with time zone) data type. This data type is similar to the datetime data type but also includes information about the time zone in which the timestamp is recorded. It’s especially handy when working with applications that span multiple time zones or when accurate timezone conversions are required.


Timestamptz currentTimestamp = new Timestamptz();


In summary, several data types are dedicated to storing date and time values in programming. The choice of which data type to use depends on the specific requirements of your application.

Whether you need to store only the date, only the time, or both, there is a suitable data type available. Additionally, if time zone information is crucial, consider using a timestamptz data type if available. By selecting the appropriate data type for your date and time values, you can ensure accurate storage and manipulation of this critical information.

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