TO_TIMESTAMP converts char to a value of TIMESTAMP data type.

For char, you can specify any expression that evaluates to a character string of CHAR, VARCHAR2, NCHAR, or NVARCHAR2 data type.

The optional DEFAULT return_value ON CONVERSION ERROR clause allows you to specify the value this function returns if an error occurs while converting char to TIMESTAMP. This clause has no effect if an error occurs while evaluating char. The return_value can be an expression or a bind variable, and it must evaluate to a character string of CHAR, VARCHAR2, NCHAR, or NVARCHAR2 data type, or null. The function converts return_value to TIMESTAMP using the same method it uses to convert char to TIMESTAMP. If return_value cannot be converted to TIMESTAMP, then the function returns an error.

The optional fmt specifies the format of char. If you omit fmt, then char must be in the default format of the TIMESTAMP data type, which is determined by the NLS_TIMESTAMP_FORMAT initialization parameter. The optional 'nlsparam' argument has the same purpose in this function as in the TO_CHAR function for date conversion.

This function does not support CLOB data directly. However, CLOBs can be passed in as arguments through implicit data conversion.

See Also:

"Data Type Comparison Rules" for more information.


The following example converts a character string to a timestamp. The character string is not in the default TIMESTAMP format, so the format mask must be specified:

SELECT TO_TIMESTAMP ('10-Sep-02 14:10:10.123000', 'DD-Mon-RR HH24:MI:SS.FF')

10-SEP-02 PM

The following example returns the default value of NULL because the specified expression cannot be converted to a TIMESTAMP value, due to an invalid month specification:

SELECT TO_TIMESTAMP ('10-Sept-02 14:10:10.123000'
       'DD-Mon-RR HH24:MI:SS.FF',
       'NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE = American') "Value"

See Also:

NLS_TIMESTAMP_FORMAT initialization parameter for information on the default TIMESTAMP format and "Datetime Format Models" for information on specifying the format mask