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How to change default date format in SQL Developer

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If you are anything like me, everytime you get a new computer or need to do a fresh install of your work computer you immediatly go and re-install SQL Developer on your machine.  You get all your connections setup and you think you are good to go.  Then you try to write your first query. 
 
Select * from my_table where date_column > '2010-05-05'. 

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You run the query and you get an error message that the date is in the wrong format.   SQL Developer comes preset with a date format that it wants to use, and it is never the one I want.

Now to fix this you can always use the to_date function provided in pl/sql, but if you are writing a lot of queries that use dates this can become annoying.  It is nice to be able to just plugin what ever date format you always use and have SQL Developer remember this syntax.  The good news is you can do this in SQL Developer.  I always have a hard time finding the exact setting, so here is exactly how you would do it.

In the top menu go to the Tools -> Preferences -> Database -> NLS

SQL-Developer-Date-Step-1.jpg
SQL-Developer-Date-Step-2.jpg
Within the NL set the Date Format, Timestamp Format and the Timestamp TZ Format.  Being from the United States, below are the values I like to use.

Date Format: YYYY-MM-DD HH24:MI:SS
Timestamp Format: YYYY-MM-DD HH24:MI:SSXFF
Timestamp TZ Format: YYYY-MM-DD HH24:MI:SSXFF TZR

Once you hit 'OK', your settings will now be updated.  Now you will be able to write queries with specified dates in the format you wanted to use.  Now you run your query from above again.
 
Select * from my_table where date_column > '2010-05-05'.  

Open in new window


With the above settings you get the results you want and you are back to work.
 
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2 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:santosh shetye
hey,
     but how to do this using query (manually) in sql developer...
1
 

Expert Comment

by:ajinkya kaspale
hi,
same doubt like #santoshshetye336
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