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Unlock the Magic of SQL Server’s Date and Time Functions

The Magic of SQL Server GETDATE() Function

Have you ever wondered how to bring the current date and time into your SQL Server management studio without manually typing it in? This task can be accomplished using the GETDATE() function in SQL Server management studio.

In today’s digital age, where time is of the essence, it has become important to be able to generate accurate data and timestamps quickly and consistently.

In this article, we will provide an overview of the GETDATE() function along with its practical uses.

We will also discuss another type of SQL Server function called “nondeterministic,” which can be helpful when querying large amounts of data.

Overview of GETDATE() Function

SQL Server’s GETDATE() function is a special function that does not require any input parameters to be invoked but instead returns the current date and time of the system it’s running on. The system timestamp, returned by the function, is of type DATETIME for SQL Server 2008.

For SQL Server 2012 and beyond, the TIMESTAMP value was changed to DATETIME2. The GETDATE() function is used primarily as part of SQL queries to create reports or populate tables with the current date and time.

When a new record is inserted into a log or audit table, it can be useful to capture the timestamp of that record. GETDATE() allows this to occur seamlessly, allowing you to maintain accurate records without having to record the timestamp manually.

Examples of GETDATE() Function

To understand how GETDATE() works, consider the following examples:

1. Returning current date and time


The query will return the current date and time.

2. Returning current date


This query returns a string value of the current date in the format mm/dd/yyyy.

3. Returning current time


This query returns the current time in the format hh:mm:ss.

Explanation of Nondeterministic Function

The nondeterministic function is an SQL Server function that is inherently unpredictable, i.e., the function can generate multiple outputs for the same input. The system architecture and configuration of the SQL Server determines the behavior of the nondeterministic function.

One of the downsides to the nondeterministic function is that it cannot be used directly in the WHERE clause of indexed views or indexed computed columns. This is due to the unpredictability of the output values, and thus prevents any advantages of the use of an index.

Examples of Nondeterministic Function

Consider the following examples:

1. NEWID() Function

The NEWID() function returns a unique identifier value.

The function is nondeterministic because the system creates a new value each time the function is called. 2.

RAND() Function

The RAND() function returns a random float value between 0 and 1. Since the output of the function is random, it is nondeterministic.

In conclusion, SQL Server’s GETDATE() function is an essential tool in database management. It saves time and ensures accuracy in records with the use of timestamps.

The nondeterministic function, while not predictable, can have useful applications. It is important to be aware of these SQL Server functions and their uses to improve the effectiveness of database management.

DATE and TIME Conversion in SQL Server

In SQL Server, dates and times are important elements in managing data. You may need to convert them from one data format to another to suit your business requirements, reporting needs, or regulatory compliance.

SQL Server provides various date and time functions that can help convert data types, including the CONVERT(), TRY_CONVERT(), and CAST() functions. In this article, we will discuss these conversion functions in detail, along with some practical examples that illustrate how they can be used to manage date and time data in SQL Server.

CONVERT() Function for DATE and TIME Conversion

SQL Server’s CONVERT() function is a powerful tool that allows you to convert data types from one to another, including changing date and time formats. The CONVERT function takes two arguments: the data type you want to convert to, and the expression you want to convert.

The CONVERT function works with datetime, date, and time data types to convert date and time values to other formats. Here is an example of how to use the CONVERT function to convert a date value to a different format:

SELECT CONVERT(VARCHAR(10), ‘2021-01-01’, 101)

The result of this query is ’01/01/2021′, which represents the date value ‘2021-01-01’ converted to the mm/dd/yyyy format.

You can also use the CONVERT function to convert a time value to a different format. For example:

SELECT CONVERT(VARCHAR(8), ’10:30:00′, 108)

The result of this query is ’10:30:00′, which represents the time value ’10:30:00′ in the hh:mm:ss format.

Additional Functions for DATE and TIME Conversion

In addition to the CONVERT() function, SQL Server provides two other functions – TRY_CONVERT() and CAST() – that you can use to manage date and time data types. The TRY_CONVERT() function works in a similar way to the CONVERT() function.

The difference is that it returns a NULL value if the conversion fails, instead of generating an error. Here is an example of how to use the TRY_CONVERT() function:


The result of this query is ‘2021-01-01 00:00:00.000’, which represents the date in the datetime data type format.

The CAST() function is similar to the CONVERT() function, but it requires a more specific syntax. Here is an example of how to use the CAST() function to convert time values:


The result of this query is ’10:30:00.0000000′, which represents the time value ’10:30:00′ in the time data type format.


In conclusion, managing date and time data types in SQL Server requires the use of conversion functions, including CONVERT(), TRY_CONVERT(), and CAST(). By understanding the syntax and purpose of these functions, you can ensure that your data is accurate and can be easily managed to meet business requirements.

Utilizing these functions can help to streamline your SQL queries and maintain best practices in database management. In managing SQL Server’s databases, proper conversion of date and time data types is crucial.

SQL Server provides various functions such as CONVERT, TRY_CONVERT, and CAST to ensure accurate and efficient data conversion. CONVERT is a mighty tool that can change data types, while TRY_CONVERT and CAST have unique functionalities.

Understanding the syntax and purpose of these functions can help streamline SQL queries and maintain best practices in database management. Maintaining accurate data records with these functions will increase the effectiveness of database management and ensure timely reporting and compliance with regulatory requirements.

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