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SQL Anywhere 11.0.1 (Français) » SQL Anywhere Server - Database Administration » Configuring Your Database » Database options » Introduction to database options » Alphabetical list of options


timestamp_format option [compatibility]

Sets the format for timestamps that are retrieved from the database.

Allowed values

String (composed of the symbols listed below)




Can be set for an individual connection or for the PUBLIC group. Takes effect immediately.


The format is a string using the following symbols:

Symbol Description
YY Two digit year
YYYY Four digit year
MM Two digit month, or two digit minutes if following a colon (as in 'HH:MM')
MMM[m...] Character short form for months—as many characters as there are "m"s
DD Two digit day of month
DDD[d...] Character short form for day of the week
HH Two digit hours
NN Two digit minutes
SS.ssssss Seconds and fractions of a second, up to six decimal places. Not all platforms support timestamps to a precision of six places.
AA A.M. or P.M. (12 hour clock)—omit AA and PP for 24 hour time
PP PM if needed (12 hour clock)—omit AA and PP for 24 hour time

Each symbol is substituted with the appropriate data for the date that is being formatted.

For symbols that represent character data (such as MMM), you can control the case of the output as follows:

  • Type the symbol in all uppercase to have the format appear in all uppercase. For example, MMM produces JAN.

  • Type the symbol in all lowercase to have the format appear in all lowercase. For example, mmm produces jan.

  • Type the symbol in mixed case to have SQL Anywhere choose the appropriate case for the language that is being used. For example, in English, typing Mmm produces May, while in French it produces mai.

If the character data is multibyte, the length of each symbol reflects the number of characters, not the number of bytes. For example, the 'mmm' symbol specifies a length of three characters for the month.

For symbols that represent numeric data, you can control zero-padding with the case of the symbols:

  • Type the symbol in same-case (such as MM or mm) to allow zero padding. For example, yyyy/mm/dd could produce 2002/01/01.

  • Type the symbol in mixed case (such as Mm) to suppress zero padding. For example, yyyy/Mm/Dd could produce 2002/1/1.


If you change the setting for timestamp_format in a way that re-orders the date format, be sure to change the date_order option to reflect the same change, and vice versa. See date_order option [database].

See also