What Is To Date In Sql

SQL Programming

What is “TO DATE” in SQL? Let me break it down for you. In SQL, the “TO DATE” function is used to convert a string or an expression into a date data type. It allows you to manipulate and work with dates in your SQL queries effectively.

Personally, I find the “TO DATE” function incredibly handy when dealing with date-related operations in SQL. It helps me streamline my queries and perform complex calculations effortlessly.

Working with “TO DATE”

When using the “TO DATE” function, you need to specify the format of the date string you are converting. This format is known as the date format model and follows a specific syntax. For example, if your date string is in the format “YYYY-MM-DD,” you would use the format model “YYYY-MM-DD” in the “TO DATE” function to convert it into a date data type.

Here’s an example of how to use the “TO DATE” function to convert a string into a date:

SELECT TO_DATE('2021-10-01', 'YYYY-MM-DD') AS converted_date
FROM your_table;

In this example, the “TO DATE” function converts the string ‘2021-10-01’ into a date format, using the ‘YYYY-MM-DD’ format model. The result is stored in the column alias ‘converted_date’.

Commonly Used Format Models

Now that we understand the basics of the “TO DATE” function, let’s explore some commonly used format models:

  • YYYY: Four-digit year
  • MM: Two-digit month
  • DD: Two-digit day
  • HH24: Two-digit hour in 24-hour format
  • MI: Two-digit minute
  • SS: Two-digit second

These are just a few examples of the format models available. Depending on your database system, there may be additional format models you can use.


The “TO DATE” function in SQL is a powerful tool for manipulating and converting date strings into date data types. It provides flexibility and ease of use when dealing with dates in your queries. Personally, I rely on it heavily to handle date-related operations effectively. So, the next time you find yourself working with dates in SQL, give the “TO DATE” function a try!