Data Type Conversions In 4 Database Systems

Kevin Feasel



Eleni Markou has samples for converting strings to dates, numerals, or currency in SQL Server, Postgres, Redshift, and BigQuery:

The TO_DATE function in PostgreSQL is used to converting strings into dates. Its syntax is TO_DATE(text, text) and the return type is a date.

In contrast with MS SQL Server which has strictly specified date formats, in Redshift, any format constructed using the patterns of the table found in the corresponding documentation can be correctly interpreted.

When using the TO_DATE() one has to pay attention as even if an invalid date is passed, it will convert it into a nominally valid date without raising any error.

There are a few other tricks in SQL Server for some of these (for example, on 2012 or newer, I’d use TRY_CONVERT rather than CONVERT).  That said, it’s a good overview of how to translate skills in one relational system to another.

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November 2017
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