Displaying TIMESTAMP Values in Readable Form

5.36.1 Problem

You don't like the way that MySQL displays TIMESTAMP values.

5.36.2 Solution

Reformat them with the DATE_FORMAT( ) function.

5.36.3 Discussion

TIMESTAMP columns have certain desirable properties, but one that sometimes isn't so desirable is the display format (CCYYMMDDhhmmss). As a long unbroken string of digits, this is inconsistent with DATETIME format (CCYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss) and is also more difficult to read. To rewrite TIMESTAMP values into DATETIME format, use the DATE_FORMAT( ) function. The following example uses the tsdemo2 table from Recipe 5.34:

mysql> SELECT t_create, DATE_FORMAT(t_create,'%Y-%m-%d %T') FROM tsdemo2;
+----------------+-------------------------------------+
| t_create | DATE_FORMAT(t_create,'%Y-%m-%d %T') |
+----------------+-------------------------------------+
| 20020715120003 | 2002-07-15 12:00:03 |
+----------------+-------------------------------------+

You can go in the other direction, too (to display DATETIME values in TIMESTAMP format), though this is much less common. One way is to use DATE_FORMAT( ); another that's simpler is to add zero:

mysql> SELECT dt,
 -> DATE_FORMAT(dt,'%Y%m%d%H%i%s'),
 -> dt+0
 -> FROM datetime_val;
+---------------------+--------------------------------+----------------+
| dt | DATE_FORMAT(dt,'%Y%m%d%H%i%s') | dt+0 |
+---------------------+--------------------------------+----------------+
| 1970-01-01 00:00:00 | 19700101000000 | 19700101000000 |
| 1987-03-05 12:30:15 | 19870305123015 | 19870305123015 |
| 1999-12-31 09:00:00 | 19991231090000 | 19991231090000 |
| 2000-06-04 15:45:30 | 20000604154530 | 20000604154530 |
+---------------------+--------------------------------+----------------+

See Recipe 5.3 for more information about rewriting temporal values in whatever format you like.

Using the mysql Client Program

Writing MySQL-Based Programs

Record Selection Techniques

Working with Strings

Working with Dates and Times

Sorting Query Results

Generating Summaries

Modifying Tables with ALTER TABLE

Obtaining and Using Metadata

Importing and Exporting Data

Generating and Using Sequences

Using Multiple Tables

Statistical Techniques

Handling Duplicates

Performing Transactions

Introduction to MySQL on the Web

Incorporating Query Resultsinto Web Pages

Processing Web Input with MySQL

Using MySQL-Based Web Session Management

Appendix A. Obtaining MySQL Software

Appendix B. JSP and Tomcat Primer

Appendix C. References



MySQL Cookbook
MySQL Cookbook
ISBN: 059652708X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 412
Authors: Paul DuBois

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