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convert character string to date in dbase

Posted on 2009-04-22
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
In a DBASEIII DBFI have a field that has date info in it (ex. 03112010) and I need to convert field to a date field and keeping the data intact (so 3112010 would then show as 03/11/2010).

So let's say the existing field is called DATE (but it's a character field), I need to be able to make DATE a date field and the data in it convert to date data or move the data to a properly formatted field and convert it.
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Question by:revo1059
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by:pcelba
ID: 24206370
What dBase engine version do you use? Hope it is not dBase III but something new.
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by:revo1059
ID: 24206444
It is dBASEIII. It's an old application that I need to convert some data for.

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pcelba earned 2000 total points
ID: 24206471
To convert character field to date use the CTOD() function. If your date format is fixed "mmddyyyy" (always 8 characters) then you may use following conversion:

*-- The NewDate is a new column of Date data type
SET DATE AMERICAN
REPLACE ALL NewDate WITH CTOD(LEFT(date,2)+'/'+SUBSTR(date,3,2)+'/'+RIGHT(date,4))

If the character date format is different you have to use different settings or formula.
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by:pcelba
ID: 24206549
After the conversion you may remove the old date column and then rename the NewDate column. Some application changes will be probably necessary if you change the column type.

If the original date column is longer than 8 characters then above formula needs some updates.
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by:Rincewindwizz
ID: 24207024
I can add little more, pcelba is exactly right.
The stuff inside the CTOD() can obviously be adjusted to cope with dates in any format you like

I presume the application works just fine without the new field so rather than risk an upset, you should consider keeping the two date fields (you will obviously need to add some code wherever the date is entered/edited to maintain the new field).

Depending on the size of the application this may well be a less time consuming approach than tracking down all the occurrences of the character date field and changing the usage to reflect the new data type

Good luck




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