Data type questio :How to use a data type other than a variant

Hi,
In my application, I deal with dates which I pull from a database. For some of the records, the date field is blank in the database. When I pull the dates from the database and assign it to a variable (say x), i assign x the value -1 if the date field is blank. In order to do this I need to declare x as a variant(since it has to store a dae variabl or -1). I do not want to store it as a variant. Please let me know of a better way. I am assigning -1 to do some basic error checking. For eg i might do a simple check like this:
if x <> -1 then
     'Do nothing or report date is empty
else
    'use the date fields
end if

hope i have made myself clear.
thanks.
Yegnaram Iyer
YegnaramIyerAsked:
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fozyletCommented:
If checking for an empty string or a date available is the only intention,
i would rather use IsDate(x), rather than complicating things.

If IsDate(x) Then
'use the date
Else
'do nothing
End If

If your requirement is not that simple, and you don't want to use Variant, you can use String or Long
Since you can't store -1 in a string ("-1" you can store), you could go for Long.

myLong = CInt(Year(myDate))*10000 + CInt(Month(myDate))*100 + CInt(Day(myDate))

this will give you myLong = yyyymmdd

Then you may extract the date back from it with a reverse process, or by assigning it to a string and doing string manipulation.
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Bob LearnedCommented:
I use 1/1/1900 as an empty date, and translate the blank date to this.  This way you can use a Date data type, instead of a variant.

Dim CurrentDate As Date

If IsNull(DateField) Then
   CurrentDate = CDate("1/1/1900")
Else
   CurrentDate = DateField
EndIf
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