Categories:

Conversion functions , Date & Time Functions

TO_DATE , DATE

Converts an input expression to a date:

  • For a VARCHAR expression, the result of converting the string to a date.

  • For a TIMESTAMP expression, the date from the timestamp.

  • For a VARIANT expression:

    • If the VARIANT contains a string, a string conversion is performed.

    • If the VARIANT contains a date, the date value is preserved as is.

    • If the VARIANT contains a JSON null value, the output is NULL.

  • For NULL input, the output is NULL.

For all other values, a conversion error is generated.

See also:

TRY_TO_DATE

Syntax

TO_DATE( <string_expr> [, <format> ] )
TO_DATE( <timestamp_expr> )
TO_DATE( '<integer>' )
TO_DATE( <variant_expr> )

DATE( <string_expr> [, <format> ] )
DATE( <timestamp_expr> )
DATE( '<integer>' )
DATE( <variant_expr> )
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Arguments

Required:

One of:

string_expr

String from which to extract a date. For example: '2024-01-31'.

timestamp_expr

A TIMESTAMP expression. The DATE portion of the TIMESTAMP value is extracted.

'integer'

An expression that evaluates to a string containing an integer. For example: '15000000'. Depending on the magnitude of the string, it can be interpreted as seconds, milliseconds, microseconds, or nanoseconds. For details, see the Usage notes for this function.

variant_expr

An expression of type VARIANT.

The VARIANT must contain one of the following:

  • A string from which to extract a date.

  • A date.

  • A string containing an integer that represents the number of seconds or milliseconds.

Although TO_DATE accepts a TIMESTAMP value, it does not accept a TIMESTAMP value inside a VARIANT.

Optional:

format

Date format specifier for string_expr or AUTO, which specifies that Snowflake automatically detects the format to use. For more information, see Date and time formats in conversion functions.

The default is the current value of the DATE_INPUT_FORMAT session parameter (default AUTO).

Returns

The data type of the returned value is DATE. If the input is NULL, returns NULL.

Usage notes

  • The display format for dates in the output is determined by the DATE_OUTPUT_FORMAT session parameter (default YYYY-MM-DD).

  • If the format of the input parameter is a string that contains an integer:

    • After the string is converted to an integer, the integer is treated as a number of seconds, milliseconds, microseconds, or nanoseconds after the start of the Unix epoch (1970-01-01 00:00:00.000000000 UTC).

      • If the integer is less than 31536000000 (the number of milliseconds in a year), then the value is treated as a number of seconds.

      • If the value is greater than or equal to 31536000000 and less than 31536000000000, then the value is treated as milliseconds.

      • If the value is greater than or equal to 31536000000000 and less than 31536000000000000, then the value is treated as microseconds.

      • If the value is greater than or equal to 31536000000000000, then the value is treated as nanoseconds.

    • If more than one row is evaluated (for example, if the input is the column name of a table that contains more than one row), each value is examined independently to determine if the value represents seconds, milliseconds, microseconds, or nanoseconds.

Examples

The following example uses the TO_DATE and DATE functions.

SELECT TO_DATE('2024-05-10'), DATE('2024-05-10');
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+-----------------------+--------------------+
| TO_DATE('2024-05-10') | DATE('2024-05-10') |
|-----------------------+--------------------|
| 2024-05-10            | 2024-05-10         |
+-----------------------+--------------------+

The following examples use the TO_DATE and DATE functions with different input format specifications. The date format in the returned output is determined by the setting of the DATE_OUTPUT_FORMAT session parameter.

SELECT TO_DATE('2024.05.10', 'YYYY.MM.DD'), DATE('2024.05.10', 'YYYY.MM.DD');
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+-------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| TO_DATE('2024.05.10', 'YYYY.MM.DD') | DATE('2024.05.10', 'YYYY.MM.DD') |
|-------------------------------------+----------------------------------|
| 2024-05-10                          | 2024-05-10                       |
+-------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
SELECT TO_DATE('2024-05-10', 'AUTO'), DATE('2024-05-10', 'AUTO');
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+-------------------------------+----------------------------+
| TO_DATE('2024-05-10', 'AUTO') | DATE('2024-05-10', 'AUTO') |
|-------------------------------+----------------------------|
| 2024-05-10                    | 2024-05-10                 |
+-------------------------------+----------------------------+
SELECT TO_DATE('05/10/2024', 'MM/DD/YYYY'), DATE('05/10/2024', 'MM/DD/YYYY');
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+-------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| TO_DATE('05/10/2024', 'MM/DD/YYYY') | DATE('05/20/2024', 'MM/DD/YYYY') |
|-------------------------------------+----------------------------------|
| 2024-05-10                          | 2024-05-20                       |
+-------------------------------------+----------------------------------+

The following examples show the results of queries when the DATE_OUTPUT_FORMAT session parameter is set to DD-MON-YYYY:

ALTER SESSION SET DATE_OUTPUT_FORMAT = 'DD-MON-YYYY';
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SELECT TO_DATE('2024-05-10', 'YYYY-MM-DD'), DATE('2024-05-10', 'YYYY-MM-DD');
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+-------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| TO_DATE('2024-05-10', 'YYYY-MM-DD') | DATE('2024-05-10', 'YYYY-MM-DD') |
|-------------------------------------+----------------------------------|
| 10-May-2024                         | 10-May-2024                      |
+-------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
SELECT TO_DATE('05/10/2024', 'MM/DD/YYYY'), DATE('05/10/2024', 'MM/DD/YYYY');
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+-------------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| TO_DATE('05/10/2024', 'MM/DD/YYYY') | DATE('05/10/2024', 'MM/DD/YYYY') |
|-------------------------------------+----------------------------------|
| 10-May-2024                         | 10-May-2024                      |
+-------------------------------------+----------------------------------+

When the input is a string that contains an integer, the magnitude of that integer affects whether it is interpreted as seconds, milliseconds, etc. The following example shows how the function chooses the units to use (seconds, milliseconds, microseconds, or nanoseconds), based on the magnitude of the value.

Create and load the table:

CREATE OR REPLACE TABLE demo1 (
  description VARCHAR,
  value VARCHAR -- string rather than bigint
);

INSERT INTO demo1 (description, value) VALUES
  ('Seconds',      '31536000'),
  ('Milliseconds', '31536000000'),
  ('Microseconds', '31536000000000'),
  ('Nanoseconds',  '31536000000000000');
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Pass the strings to the function:

SELECT description,
       value,
       TO_TIMESTAMP(value),
       TO_DATE(value)
  FROM demo1
  ORDER BY value;
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+--------------+-------------------+-------------------------+----------------+
| DESCRIPTION  | VALUE             | TO_TIMESTAMP(VALUE)     | TO_DATE(VALUE) |
|--------------+-------------------+-------------------------+----------------|
| Seconds      | 31536000          | 1971-01-01 00:00:00.000 | 1971-01-01     |
| Milliseconds | 31536000000       | 1971-01-01 00:00:00.000 | 1971-01-01     |
| Microseconds | 31536000000000    | 1971-01-01 00:00:00.000 | 1971-01-01     |
| Nanoseconds  | 31536000000000000 | 1971-01-01 00:00:00.000 | 1971-01-01     |
+--------------+-------------------+-------------------------+----------------+