How to Get the Current Date in T-SQL: A Guide Minus the Time Factor

By Cristian G. Guasch • Updated: 09/22/23 • 8 min read

Working with dates and times in SQL can sometimes become a bit of a challenge, especially when you’re trying to extract specific details, like the current date without including the time. But it’s not as complex as it appears – T-SQL provides some pretty neat functions that allow us to do just that.

Now if you’re new to SQL or just need a quick refresher on how to get the current date sans time in T-SQL, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to share my knowledge about this topic, walking you through step by step so that by the end of this article, you’ll be able to retrieve the current date from your SQL database like a pro!

Remember, practice is key when it comes to mastering anything related to coding. So don’t forget after reading this piece, try out what you learn here on your own database setup. And now let’s dive into our main subject – extracting current date without time using T-SQL commands!

Understanding T-SQL and Its Importance

I’ve always been intrigued by the power of structured query languages, specifically T-SQL. If you’re new to SQL Server, it’s crucial to grasp why this language is so essential.

T-SQL stands for Transact-Structured Query Language. It’s a staple in the world of database management, designed to communicate with relational databases like Microsoft SQL Server. It’s not just about fetching data; T-Sql allows us to insert, update, delete and manipulate information stored in databases too.

But what really sets T-SQL apart? Why should we even care about it? The answer lies in its extended functionality compared to standard SQL. With unique features such as error handling, transaction control or procedural programming capabilities (just to name a few), T-SQL allows us more flexibility and robustness when working with complex datasets.

Let me give you an example:

DECLARE @CurrentDate DATE;
SET @CurrentDate = GETDATE();
SELECT @CurrentDate AS 'Current Date';

This simple code snippet retrieves only the current date from your system without including the time portion.

You see, understanding how T-SQL works isn’t just beneficial—it’s vital if you’re dealing with SQL Server. And trust me on this one: mastering it will open up a whole new world of possibilities for your database operations!

Common blunders that beginners often make include ignoring case sensitivity in their queries or trying to run MySQL syntax on a SQL server—both are surefire ways of running into roadblocks! Remember: while they share some commonalities, each variation of SQL has its own idiosyncrasies and quirks that need respect.

Ultimately, proficiency in T-SQL can be one powerful tool under your belt when navigating the sea of data management. So buckle up and let’s dive deeper into making sense out of our data using Transact-Structured Query Language.

Working with Dates in T-SQL: An Overview

In the world of database management, dates often play a crucial role. Whether you’re tracking events, logging data changes, or setting deadlines, you’ll likely find yourself needing to work with dates in SQL Server. One tool at your disposal is Transact-SQL (T-SQL), Microsoft’s extension of the SQL language that adds several features to help manage databases more efficiently.

Now let’s dive right into how we can manipulate date data using T-SQL. The GETDATE() function returns the current timestamp (date and time). But what if you need just the date part without any time details? Here’s where things get interesting. You could use the CAST function like this:


This command will return only the date portion of the current timestamp.

But I’ve noticed a common mistake when working with dates in T-SQL. Some folks try to extract the date by converting it to a VARCHAR type first:


While this does give us a string representation of the date without time, it’s not ideal because we’ve lost our original DATE data type! This could lead to issues later on when performing operations that specifically require a DATE type.

The beauty of T-SQL lies in its flexibility and ability for variation. For example, instead of CAST, we could also use CONVERT function while preserving our DATE data type:


Just remember – there are many ways to skin a cat but some methods are certainly better than others!

When manipulating dates in T-SQL always strive for efficiency and accuracy. Ensure operations maintain their proper data types and consider all possible variations before finalizing your approach.

Stripping Time from Date Data Type in T-SQL

When I’m tackling date and time data in T-SQL, it’s not uncommon to need just the date portion of a datetime or smalldatetime value. It might sound simple, but it can be tricky to get the current date without time in T-SQL. Let’s delve into how we can strip off that pesky timestamp.

If you’re working with SQL Server 2008 or newer, consider yourself lucky! You can leverage the built-in CONVERT function with style 101 to return just the date:


This command will output today’s date in ‘YYYY-MM-DD’ format without any time attached. Neat and easy!

For those stuck on older versions of SQL Server, don’t fret – I’ve got you covered too. Even though there isn’t a direct DATE datatype available, there’s a workaround using a combination of CONVERT and FLOOR functions:


Here we’re first converting the datetime value to float (which gives us the number of days since 1900), then rounding down to nearest whole number using FLOOR, effectively stripping off time information. After all this math gymnastics we convert it back into DATETIME format.

However, watch out! A common mistake I see is people trying to use CAST instead of CONVERT for this operation. While CAST usually works fine for most conversions between types:


It’ll fail here because older SQL servers do not support casting to DATE datatype directly. It seems like an easy pitfall but a quick search online reveals many falling prey!

So remember: when dealing with dates and times in T-SQL, it’s all about knowing the right functions to use and how to apply them. Whether you’re blessed with a newer server version or grappling with an older one, there are ways to get that stubborn timestamp off your date data. Consider these examples as your roadmap – they’ll keep you on track while handling date data in T-SQL.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Get Current Date (Without Time) in T-SQL

I’m sure you’ve stumbled upon a situation where you needed to fetch the current date, but without the time aspect. In T-SQL, it’s not as tricky as it seems at first glance. Let me guide you through a step-by-step process on how to make this happen.

First off, let’s dive into GETDATE(). This function returns the current database system timestamp as a datetime value. But, there’s one catch – it includes both date and time components. Look at an example here:

SELECT GETDATE() AS CurrentDateTime;

This will return something along these lines:

2022-05-06 15:45:30.123

But what if we don’t want that pesky time part? That’s where CAST and CONVERT functions enter the stage!

In T-SQL, we can use these two functions to manipulate our data types. Here are examples of using both:

Using CAST:




Both queries will give us just the date component:


It’s important not to confuse GETDATE() with CURRENT_TIMESTAMP. They’re practically twins! Both serve up the current date AND time from your SQL Server instance.

One common mistake I see is folks trying to use TRUNCATE in T-SQL like in other SQL dialects. Unfortunately, this won’t work out since TRUNCATE doesn’t exist in T-SQL.

And that wraps up our quick guide on getting just the date using T-SQL. It’s as simple as applying a CAST or CONVERT to your GETDATE() function!

Conclusion: Harnessing the Power of T-SQL for Date Manipulation

Let’s take a moment to reflect on what we’ve learned. T-SQL is a powerful tool, especially when it comes to date manipulation. We’ve seen how simple it can be to extract the current date, without time, using this robust coding language.

Here’s a quick recap:

SELECT CONVERT(date, GETDATE()) AS 'CurrentDate'

Remember this snippet of code? It’s your go-to formula for calling up today’s date in T-SQL. By converting the GETDATE() function into a date type, I’m able to exclude any timestamp information that usually accompanies it.

One common pitfall I see is forgetting the importance of proper syntax. Writing SELECT CONVERT(date, GETDATE() AS 'CurrentDate' instead of SELECT CONVERT(date, GETDATE()) AS 'CurrentDate' will result in an error message. Take note: parentheses placement matters!

I hope you’ll find many instances where this command becomes handy. Whether you’re tracking user activity or generating daily reports – understanding how to manipulate dates with precision is vital in database management.

As we wrap up our discussion on harnessing the power of T-SQL for date manipulation, remember that practice makes perfect! The more you work with these commands and understand their functionality within SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), the more confident and efficient you’ll become at data manipulation.

So keep querying and happy coding!

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