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search records based on string name of month compared to data format

Posted on 2014-07-22
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Last Modified: 2014-07-23
I have a database table in sql where I have attendance records.  The ActivityDate column has a datatype of date.

In my vb6 form I have a dropdown box that the user selects which month they are looking to query. ie. "January, February, March, etc..."

Once they select a month, how can I use the month name "January" to select all records that contain a January ActivityDate?

Would this be correct?

select * from tblOrgHours where ActivityDate = DATENAME(January, GETDATE())
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Question by:al4629740
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by:chaau
ID: 40213249
No, this will not be correct. The correct answer will be:
select * from tblOrgHours where DATENAME(month, ActivityDate) = 'January'

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However, do not rush and use this code. I will explain you why. When you are using the functions against the columns the database engine is unable to use indexes unless you have an index defined to that function. It is very bad practice which even has a technical term (which I forgot how is called). The better syntax would be to use:
select * from tblOrgHours where ActivityDate => '20140101' and ActivityDate < '20140201' 
-- i.e. all dates from January 1, 2014 to January 31, 2014

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First of all, let's find out what do you want to select as a "January". Do you want to select all records for every January of every year? Do you want to select records for January-2014 (or a user selected year)? I bet you will answer yes to the latter. In this case you need to construct your query accordingly. I recommend that in your application you define a list of values for your dropdown box, so that each of the months has an index, i.e. January=1, February=2, etc. Then you need to provide a dropdown for the year. When you have defined this you can use
Select  * from tblOrgHours where ActivityDate => DateAdd(yy, @Year-1900, DateAdd(m,  @Month - 1, 0))  And ActivityDate < DateAdd(yy, @Year-1900, DateAdd(m,  @Month, 0)) 

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The DateAdd part looks complicated, but believe me this is much faster then using  DATENAME(month, ActivityDate) = 'January'
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Author Comment

by:al4629740
ID: 40213270
What if I just simply use  January=1, February=2 and break off the string 1, 2 and then search by that?

How can I search by 1, 2, 3...12?
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Expert Comment

by:chaau
ID: 40213283
What about the year? Don't you need it?
If you really do need to search records for the month regardless of the year, then use:
select * from tblOrgHours where DATEPART(month, ActivityDate) = 1

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Expert Comment

by:Jim Horn
ID: 40213334
The way I've regularly pull this off in SSRS, Excel VBA/PowerQuery, and Access is that the combo box is a set that has two columns, the int 1..12 of the month which is not visible to the users, and the January..December text that is visible.  User selects October, the value that the combo box passes is 10.

Then it's a matter of..
select * from tblOrgHours where Month(ActivityDate) = {the combo box value}
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Author Comment

by:al4629740
ID: 40213336
Yes I will need the year also....thanks
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chaau earned 500 total points
ID: 40213349
So, then use the query I have provided
Select  * from tblOrgHours where ActivityDate => DateAdd(yy, @Year-1900, DateAdd(m,  @Month - 1, 0))  And ActivityDate < DateAdd(yy, @Year-1900, DateAdd(m,  @Month, 0))

Replace the @month and @year parameters with those from your form and you are good to go
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Expert Comment

by:PortletPaul
ID: 40213601
>>very bad practice which even has a technical term (which I forgot how is called)

the term SARGABLE is relevant here.

Rules of thumb

Avoid functions using table values in a sql condition.
Avoid non-sargable predicates and replace them with sargable equivalents.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargable

As chaau rightly pointed out the method in the question isn't "sargable"
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