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SQL 2005 importing text field data into a date field

Hello Everyone,

We use a sql as a backend for our reports and every night I have a ssis package which imports the data from our main system into the sql database.  The main system for some unknown reason has a date field set as a text field (there is no way to change this)  so I have to import the date as a text field which makes running reports more complicated.  Also in the text field there are null values and also a vew records have "/ /" in that field, so it is not easy to change it to a date field after it is imported.

Is there a way I can modify the import to say something like "if textdate = null then  "01-01-1900"  or if textdate = "//" then "01/01/1900"

Thanks,

Bill
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bjennings
Asked:
bjennings
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2 Solutions
 
MNelson831Commented:
Use a query when you import and then use IsDate,  Case, and Convert

select Case
    When IsDate(MyTextField) Then Convert(DateTime,MyTextField,101)
    Else '01-01-1900'
End as MyDateField,
MyOtherField1,
MyOtherField2,
MyOtherField3,
Etc
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Chris LuttrellSenior Database ArchitectCommented:
Good idea NMelson831,
one syntax problems though, the case will complain about non-boolean type for the condition so change the case to :
select Case
    When IsDate(MyTextField)=1 Then Convert(DateTime,MyTextField,101)
    Else '01-01-1900'
End as MyDateField
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bjenningsAuthor Commented:
I am not sure if I follow..in the ssis I have a query

select field1, field2, textdate, field4 from mydatabase

Where do I enter the Case statement?  

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Chris LuttrellSenior Database ArchitectCommented:
Put it in place of your textdate field like this
select field1, field2, Case
    When IsDate(textdate)=1 Then Convert(DateTime,textdate,101)
    Else '01/01/1900'
End as realdate, field4 from mydatabase
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bjenningsAuthor Commented:
I am importing the data from a progress database, so I am using a odbc connection import and I enter the
query like this

select "Field1", "Field2", Case  When IsDate("textdate")=1 Then Convert(DateTime,"textdate",101)   Else '01/01/1900'
End as realdate, "field4" from "mytable"

When I parse it, I get an error message saying the statement could not be parsed.  

The field realdate...Can I name that anything I want?

Thanks,

Bill
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Chris LuttrellSenior Database ArchitectCommented:
Yes, realdate was just a name I made up to give the value a column alias.
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bjenningsAuthor Commented:
So I am thinking I can't use that import query with a progress database import, but that is okay I am trying to use this query as an update query after the import and I am running into a problem.  I get the following error:

Conversion failed when converting datetime from character string

Now I tried to troubleshoot this by querying all the null values and updating them to 01/01/1900 and then ran a straight set textfield = convert(datetime,textfield,101) and still got that error
THen I modified the column type to a datetime and and I was successful, but I can't do that everyday.  
Why can I convert it to a date in a query???  

Thanks,

Bill
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Chris LuttrellSenior Database ArchitectCommented:
try this query to see what values are causing the problem.
Select textfield from yourTable where IsDate(textfield) = 0
then you will know what strings can't be converted to dates and do something with them like you did the null values.
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bjenningsAuthor Commented:
That is the weird part...I did that and it gave me all nulls and / / so I then ran an update query to set the textdate = '01-01-1900' then I ran isdate(textfield) = 0 again and no records came back.  That is when I thought I could convert it and it gave me the error.

Conversion failed when converting datetime from character string
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bjenningsAuthor Commented:
I am finding some dates in the textdate filed with 4 character year and some with 2 character year...Could this be the reason that it can not convert the date field?
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Chris LuttrellSenior Database ArchitectCommented:
yes it would be the reason.  I just tried
SELECT CONVERT(DATETIME, '10-12-09',101)
and got the same error.  Can you make those 4 digit years?
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Chris LuttrellSenior Database ArchitectCommented:
Bill,
what are the ranges of those 2 digit years?  If they are 1950-2049 then you can just remove the " ,101" from the convert like this and it will work turning those years into 1950-2049.
SELECT CONVERT(DATETIME, '10-12-09')
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bjenningsAuthor Commented:
Thanks Guys!!  I ended up updating all the null values to '01/01/1900' and then altered the column to a date type and it worked!!...Thanks for all your help!!
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