System and Time Data Types
Keeping track of date and time data points has always been a critical part of online transactional databases. For example, each sales invoice record needs a date-time stamp, as do systems which track quotes and customer contacts regarding sales opportunities.
Think of how many times during your workday that you rely on a date-time stamp as helpful metadata to sort or locate the latest information in a report or data source. Global organizations, in particular, have a need for their in-house communication, reporting, and collaboration tools to appropriately convey accurate date and time information in order to keep every part of the organization in sync.
Recap of DateTime Functions
GETDATE( ) and SELECT SYSDATETIME( ) both return the current date and time in your time zone. However, GETDATE( ) shows fractional seconds expressed in milliseconds (.333 second), and SYSDATETIME( ) shows fractional seconds expressed in nanoseconds (.3333333 second). SYSDATETIME( ) return similar results but their precisions differ.
What time is it right now in the UK? UTC is Coordinated Universal Time, formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). (UTC is also known by the terms zulu time, world time, and universal time.)
SELECT GETUTCDATE( ) will show the current time expressed in terms of UTC. GETUTCDATE( ) is less precise than SYSUTCDATETIME ( ). However there is a UTC function that gets down to the nanoseconds, SYSUTCDATETIME( ). When we run all 4 of these functions together We see the two top times in my local time zone (in my case the Pacific time zone) and the two bottom times in UTC.
Which one of the following functions will return the date and time in the current time zone to a precision of milliseconds?
- GETDATE( )
- SYSDATETIME( )
- GETUTCDATE( )
- SYSUTCDATETIME( )
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Reference: Pinal Dave (