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  1. Preface
  2. The Transformation Language
  3. Constants
  4. Operators
  5. Variables
  6. Dates
  7. Functions
  8. Creating Custom Functions
  9. Custom Function API Reference

Transformation Language Reference

Transformation Language Reference

TO_CHAR (Dates)

TO_CHAR (Dates)

Converts dates to character strings. TO_CHAR also converts numeric values to strings. You can convert the date into any format using the TO_CHAR format strings.
TO_CHAR (date [,format]) converts a data type or internal value of date, Timestamp, Timestamp with Time Zone, or Timestamp with Local Time Zone data type to a value of string data type specified by the format string.

Syntax

TO_CHAR(
date
[,
format
] )
The following table describes the arguments for this command:
Argument
Required/
Optional
Description
date
Required
Date/Time datatype. Passes the date values you want to convert to character strings. You can enter any valid transformation expression.
format
Optional
Enter a valid TO_CHAR format string. The format string defines the format of the return value, not the format for the values in the date argument. If you omit the format string, the function returns a string based on the date format specified in the session.

Return Value

String.
NULL if a value passed to the function is NULL.

Examples

The following expression converts the dates in the DATE_PROMISED port to text in the format MON DD YYYY:
TO_CHAR( DATE_PROMISED, 'MON DD YYYY' )
DATE_PROMISED
RETURN VALUE
Apr 1 1998 12:00:10AM
'Apr 01 1998'
Feb 22 1998 01:31:10PM
'Feb 22 1998'
Oct 24 1998 02:12:30PM
'Oct 24 1998'
NULL
NULL
If you omit the
format
argument, TO_CHAR returns a string in the date format specified in the session, by default, MM/DD/YYYY HH24:MI:SS.US:
TO_CHAR( DATE_PROMISED )
DATE_PROMISED
RETURN VALUE
Apr 1 1998 12:00:10AM
'04/01/1998 00:00:10.000000'
Feb 22 1998 01:31:10PM
'02/22/1998 13:31:10.000000'
Oct 24 1998 02:12:30PM
'10/24/1998 14:12:30.000000'
NULL
NULL
The following expressions return the day of the week for each date in a port:
TO_CHAR( DATE_PROMISED, 'D' )
DATE_PROMISED
RETURN VALUE
04-01-1997 12:00:10AM
'3'
02-22-1997 01:31:10PM
'7'
10-24-1997 02:12:30PM
'6'
NULL
NULL
TO_CHAR( DATE_PROMISED, 'DAY' )
DATE_PROMISED
RETURN VALUE
04-01-1997 12:00:10AM
'Tuesday'
02-22-1997 01:31:10PM
'Saturday'
10-24-1997 02:12:30PM
'Friday'
NULL
NULL
The following expression returns the day of the month for each date in a port:
TO_CHAR( DATE_PROMISED, 'DD' )
DATE_PROMISED
RETURN VALUE
04-01-1997 12:00:10AM
'01'
02-22-1997 01:31:10PM
'22'
10-24-1997 02:12:30PM
'24'
NULL
NULL
The following expression returns the day of the year for each date in a port:
TO_CHAR( DATE_PROMISED, 'DDD' )
DATE_PROMISED
RETURN VALUE
04-01-1997 12:00:10AM
'091'
02-22-1997 01:31:10PM
'053'
10-24-1997 02:12:30PM
'297'
NULL
NULL
The following expressions return the hour of the day for each date in a port:
TO_CHAR( DATE_PROMISED, 'HH' ) TO_CHAR( DATE_PROMISED, 'HH12' )
DATE_PROMISED
RETURN VALUE
04-01-1997 12:00:10AM
'12'
02-22-1997 01:31:10PM
'01'
10-24-1997 02:12:30PM
'02'
NULL
NULL
TO_CHAR( DATE_PROMISED, 'HH24' )
DATE_PROMISED
RETURN VALUE
04-01-1997 12:00:10AM
'00'
02-22-1997 01:31:10PM
'13'
10-24-1997 11:12:30PM
'23'
NULL
NULL
The following expression converts date values to MJD values expressed as strings:
TO_CHAR( SHIP_DATE, 'J')
SHIP_DATE
RETURN_VALUE
Dec 31 1999 03:59:59PM
2451544
Jan 1 1900 01:02:03AM
2415021
The following expression converts dates to strings in the format MM/DD/YY:
TO_CHAR( SHIP_DATE, 'MM/DD/RR')
SHIP_DATE
RETURN_VALUE
12/31/1999 01:02:03AM
12/31/99
09/15/1996 03:59:59PM
09/15/96
05/17/2003 12:13:14AM
05/17/03
You can also use the format string SSSSS in a TO_CHAR expression. For example, the following expression converts the dates in the SHIP_DATE port to strings representing the total seconds since midnight:
TO_CHAR( SHIP_DATE, 'SSSSS')
SHIP_DATE
RETURN_VALUE
12/31/1999 01:02:03AM
3783
09/15/1996 03:59:59PM
86399
In TO_CHAR expressions, the YY format string produces the same results as the RR format string.
The following expression converts dates to strings in the format MM/DD/YY:
TO_CHAR( SHIP_DATE, 'MM/DD/YY')
SHIP_DATE
RETURN_VALUE
12/31/1999 01:02:03AM
12/31/99
09/15/1996 03:59:59PM
09/15/96
05/17/2003 12:13:14AM
05/17/03
The following expression returns the week of the month for each date in a port:
TO_CHAR( DATE_PROMISED, 'W' )
DATE_PROMISED
RETURN VALUE
04-01-1997 12:00:10AM
'01'
02-22-1997 01:31:10AM
'04'
10-24-1997 02:12:30PM
'04'
NULL
NULL
The following expression returns the week of the year for each date in a port:
TO_CHAR( DATE_PROMISED, 'WW' )
DATE_PROMISED
RETURN VALUE
04-01-1997 12:00:10PM
'18'
02-22-1997 01:31:10AM
'08'
10-24-1997 02:12:30AM
'43'
NULL
NULL

Tip

You can combine TO_CHAR and TO_DATE to convert a numeric value for a month into the text value for a month using a function such as:
TO_CHAR( TO_DATE( numeric_month, 'MM' ), 'MONTH' )