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What is TO_DATE in Oracle?
In Oracle, the “TO_DATE” function is a common function utilized to convert string values with CHAR, VARCHAR2, NCHAR, or NVARCHAR2 data types into date values. It is possible through the numerous supported date formats, such as numeric, alphanumeric, and date literals. Let us see some data formats and their explanation:
|YYYY||Four digits of the year|
|YY||Last two digits of the year|
|MM||Month (01 equals January)|
|MON||Three characters abbreviation of the month name|
|DD||Number of the day of the month|
This function aids developers in situations where the date is stored as a string in a database or file, and they want to convert it to a date value for their applications. It is supported by many versions of Oracle databases such as Oracle 12c and Oracle 9i.
How to Use TO_DATE in Oracle?
Login to your database using SQL PLUS or SQL Developer and use this syntax provided below to use the “TO_DATE” function in Oracle:
Here, the “string” is the string that users want to convert to a date, and the “format_elements” is a string that specifies the format of the date.
Let us see some examples of using the Oracle TO_DATE function.
Example 1: Convert String to Date
Here, converts a simple string in the data value using this command:
The above command converts the “1999-12-25” string to the date value in the provided format.
The output depicted the converted date value after executing the command successfully.
Note: The format parameter in the “TO_DATE” function should match the format of the string being converted, otherwise an error can prompt.
Example 2: Convert String to Date Using the Default Format
The TO_DATE function can also be used to convert the string to the date value using the default format of the system. Let us run the command given below to do this:
The command converts the “19-APRIL-2023” string to the date value in the provided format.
The output depicted the converted date value in a column named “Default_Format_Date“.
The “TO_DATE” function in Oracle converts string values with CHAR, VARCHAR2, NCHAR, or NVARCHAR2 data types into date values using a variety of supported date formats. It aids developers that are working with date values stored as strings in databases or files. It is essential to ensure that the format parameter used in the function matches the format of the string. This post discussed the TO_DATE function in Oracle and its use.