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varchar to datetime mysql

Posted on 2011-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
hi,

i have huge db in which unknowingly i kept the column as varchar which actually has to be datetime. The data stored in it is in '16/September/2011' format.
Now i want to convert the data type to datetime without losing the data.
ie 2011-09-11 rest part can be ignored
is it possible?

db : mysql
programing language : php
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Question by:Insoftservice
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Expert Comment

by:johanntagle
ID: 36566984
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/date-and-time-functions.html#function_str-to-date

in your case it should be STR_TO_DATE('16/September/2011','%d/%M/%Y')

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Expert Comment

by:Hugh McCurdy
ID: 36566992
Here's what I'd do.

1. Insert a new column.
2. Modify any software you have that uses the old field and change it to use the new field.  Hopefully you'll find everything.
3. Write a PHP program to read from the old column and write to the new column.  
3a. If the new column has data, I wouldn't overwrite it unless you are interested in the most recent date in which case, I'd overwrite it if not the most recent.  Why?  In case you don't find all instances that use the old field in step #2.

4. If you are absolutely certain that you don't have any software remaining that uses the old column (and you are absolutely certain you'll never need to revert to a prior version) then you can delete the old column.  Me, I'd keep the old column around for quite some time.
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Accepted Solution

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johanntagle earned 500 total points
ID: 36566998
To complete the procedure:

1.  create a new date column
2.  run: update table_name set date_column= STR_TO_DATE(original_column,'%d/%M/%Y');
3.  drop the old column
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Expert Comment

by:johanntagle
ID: 36567014
Agree with hmccurdy's steps, except you don't need a PHP program for step 3.  To not overwrite on existing data, just do:

update table_name set date_column= STR_TO_DATE(original_column,'%d/%M/%Y') where data_column IS NULL;
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Expert Comment

by:johanntagle
ID: 36567047
data_column --> date_column
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Expert Comment

by:Hugh McCurdy
ID: 36567061
johan, you are correct.  I just like writing PHP programs.  
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Author Closing Comment

by:Insoftservice
ID: 36567413
hi,

i had that code but with different format and thats the reason why it was not working i did not dropped so as to be in safe hand.
Thanx it worked
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