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converting varchar column to time column - trying not to lose data or be incompatible with future data

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have two columns in a table: datestamp and timestamp. Both were varchar columns. I changed datestamp to a "date" column type to improve efficiency. Attached is what my existing data for timestamp looks like. Can I just change the column type and keep this data? What is the best column datatype to change to? Essentially what I am doing when I return data from this table is combine the two columns to create a datetime column. I am used to using datetime columns, I have never stored dates and times separately before, so would appreciate any advice.

A second question would be, after I change the varchar to a time column, would something like this be valid?

order by datestamp+' '+timestamp

...in other words, can I combine those two columns in a query to create a datetime value?

Thank you!
timestamp
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Question by:bbdesign
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5 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:zvytas
Comment Utility
I assume you're using MS SQL 2008 - if that's the case you can use Time as a column type. Ordering should be done as such:

order by datestamp, timestamp
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Author Comment

by:bbdesign
Comment Utility
Do I want time(7) then? Looking at my sample data, you believe it will convert over OK? Just trying to be as sure as I can. Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:bbdesign
Comment Utility
I tried changing the column and saving, and it says:

'tbl_userdata' table
- Unable to modify table.  
Conversion failed when converting date and/or time from character string.

So I guess something about my sample data isn't fitting the format?
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Accepted Solution

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zvytas earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
It fails because you have times where hour is set to 24. SQL expects hours to be from 0 to 23, not 1 to 24.

Before changing type just run the following update statetment:

UPDATE Table
SET Time = '00:' + SUBSTRING(Time, 4, 20)
WHERE Time like '24:%'

This will change 24:.. to 00:...

P.S. Time(7) is correct.
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Author Comment

by:bbdesign
Comment Utility
Great, thanks for the info!
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