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Oracle® Database SQL Language Reference
11g Release 2 (11.2)

E41084-03
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TO_CHAR (datetime)

Syntax

to_char_date::=

Description of to_char_date.gif follows
Description of the illustration to_char_date.gif

Purpose

TO_CHAR (datetime) converts a datetime or interval value of DATE, TIMESTAMP, TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE, TIMESTAMP WITH LOCAL TIME ZONE, INTERVAL DAY TO SECOND, or INTERVAL YEAR TO MONTH data type to a value of VARCHAR2 data type in the format specified by the date format fmt. If you omit fmt, then date is converted to a VARCHAR2 value as follows:

Refer to "Format Models" for information on datetime formats.

The 'nlsparam' argument specifies the language in which month and day names and abbreviations are returned. This argument can have this form:

'NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE = language' 

If you omit 'nlsparam', then this function uses the default date language for your session.

Examples

The following example uses this table:

CREATE TABLE date_tab (
   ts_col      TIMESTAMP,
   tsltz_col   TIMESTAMP WITH LOCAL TIME ZONE,
   tstz_col    TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE);

The example shows the results of applying TO_CHAR to different TIMESTAMP data types. The result for a TIMESTAMP WITH LOCAL TIME ZONE column is sensitive to session time zone, whereas the results for the TIMESTAMP and TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE columns are not sensitive to session time zone:

ALTER SESSION SET TIME_ZONE = '-8:00';
INSERT INTO date_tab VALUES (  
   TIMESTAMP'1999-12-01 10:00:00',
   TIMESTAMP'1999-12-01 10:00:00',
   TIMESTAMP'1999-12-01 10:00:00');
INSERT INTO date_tab VALUES (
   TIMESTAMP'1999-12-02 10:00:00 -8:00', 
   TIMESTAMP'1999-12-02 10:00:00 -8:00',
   TIMESTAMP'1999-12-02 10:00:00 -8:00');

SELECT TO_CHAR(ts_col, 'DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI:SSxFF') AS ts_date,
   TO_CHAR(tstz_col, 'DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI:SSxFF TZH:TZM') AS tstz_date
   FROM date_tab
   ORDER BY ts_date, tstz_date;
 
TS_DATE                        TSTZ_DATE
------------------------------ -------------------------------------
01-DEC-1999 10:00:00.000000    01-DEC-1999 10:00:00.000000 -08:00
02-DEC-1999 10:00:00.000000    02-DEC-1999 10:00:00.000000 -08:00

SELECT SESSIONTIMEZONE, 
   TO_CHAR(tsltz_col, 'DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI:SSxFF') AS tsltz
   FROM date_tab
   ORDER BY sessiontimezone, tsltz;

SESSIONTIM TSLTZ
---------- ------------------------------
-08:00     01-DEC-1999 10:00:00.000000
-08:00     02-DEC-1999 10:00:00.000000

ALTER SESSION SET TIME_ZONE = '-5:00';
SELECT TO_CHAR(ts_col, 'DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI:SSxFF') AS ts_col,
   TO_CHAR(tstz_col, 'DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI:SSxFF TZH:TZM') AS tstz_col
   FROM date_tab
   ORDER BY ts_col, tstz_col;
 
TS_COL                         TSTZ_COL
------------------------------ -------------------------------------
01-DEC-1999 10:00:00.000000    01-DEC-1999 10:00:00.000000 -08:00
02-DEC-1999 10:00:00.000000    02-DEC-1999 10:00:00.000000 -08:00

SELECT SESSIONTIMEZONE,
TO_CHAR(tsltz_col, 'DD-MON-YYYY HH24:MI:SSxFF') AS tsltz_col
   FROM date_tab
   ORDER BY sessiontimezone, tsltz_col;
  2    3    4
SESSIONTIM TSLTZ_COL
---------- ------------------------------
-05:00     01-DEC-1999 13:00:00.000000
-05:00     02-DEC-1999 13:00:00.000000

The following example converts an interval literal into a text literal:

SELECT TO_CHAR(INTERVAL '123-2' YEAR(3) TO MONTH) FROM DUAL;

TO_CHAR
-------
+123-02