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Date/Time Functions In MySQL
Get a crash course in MySQL's date and time functions.

| The Time Is NOW() |

A basic requirement for many SQL queries is the ability to retrieve the current date and time. MySQL provides a simple, no-nonsense function for this requirement, aptly called NOW(), that returns the relevant information. By  default, this function will return the date in the "YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS" format.


mysql> SELECT NOW();
+---------------------+
| NOW()               |
+---------------------+
| 2004-01-19 12:14:59 |
+---------------------+
1 row in set (0.01 sec)


While the above format is human-friendly, it is ill-suited to *NIX boxes used to dealing with date and time value in the YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format. But hey, MySQL is no ordinary database - the RDBMS is smart enough to automatically use this second format when the function is invoked in a mathematical context, as shown below.


mysql> SELECT NOW(), NOW() + 5;
+---------------------+----------------+
| NOW()               | NOW() + 5      |
+---------------------+----------------+
| 2004-01-18 12:26:30 | 20040119122635 |
+---------------------+----------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)


The only drawback of the NOW() function is that it returns both date and time components in a single value. If you need either one of the two values, you could resort to the CURRENT_DATE() or CURDATE() functions for the current date,


mysql> SELECT CURRENT_DATE();
+----------------+
| CURRENT_DATE() |
+----------------+
| 2004-01-18     |
+----------------+
1 row in set (0.02 sec)


and the CURRENT_TIME() or CURTIME() functions for the current time.


mysql> SELECT CURRENT_TIME();
+----------------+
| CURRENT_TIME() |
+----------------+
| 12:32:33       |
+----------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)


Just like the NOW() function, the above functions will also return the values in machine-friendly YYYYMMDD format (for dates) or HHMMSS format (for times) if used in a numerical context.


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Read more, or grab your copy now!


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