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Best Default "Value" for DateTime column

Posted on 2014-01-06
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Last Modified: 2014-01-07
Curious which is better, NULL or 1/1/1900
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Question by:cat4larry
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Accepted Solution

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Scott Pletcher earned 1000 total points
ID: 39760179
It depends.

Do you want to automatically ignore missing dates or not?

If you do, NULL is better; if not, 1/1/1900 might be better.
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Expert Comment

by:Surendra Nath
ID: 39760199
As per the design perspective,
it should always be NULL, no default value should be put in that place...

As you see if NULL is the default value, then the application can be programmed to ask the user or prompt the use to enter that date.
but if a default value is put in that place, then it may not, not only that NULL's are specifically designed for this purpose in the database.
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Author Comment

by:cat4larry
ID: 39760200
What becomes difficult is that the table (and its data) will be used in all sorts of ways.  So I'm just looking for a general "start with this" kind of advice.  I can always modify the nature of the data later if I find it isn't working.  Understand?  So back to my original question is it better in general to leave it NULL or 1/1/1900

Hope I'm making sense.
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Assisted Solution

by:Surendra Nath
Surendra Nath earned 1000 total points
ID: 39760209
if that is the case, then use 1/1/1900 as this will not throw any error in the application code, where the sloppy application developers have not handled errors.
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Author Comment

by:cat4larry
ID: 39760229
My thoughts as well.  Just wanted to verify with someone else.

Thanks
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Surendra Nath
ID: 39760502
if that answers your question, please close this by awarding the points
thanks Surendra
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