how to get yesterday date in sql with code examples

In SQL, getting yesterday’s date can require a bit of work, but it’s not impossible. Simply put, yesterday’s date can be obtained by subtracting one day from today’s date. There are many approaches to accomplish this task, and we’ll explore some of the most popular ones along with code examples.

  1. Using the DATEADD function:

One of the simplest methods to get yesterday’s date is to use the DATEADD function in SQL Server. Here’s how you can use it:

SELECT DATEADD(day,-1,GETDATE()) AS Yesterday_Date;

In the above query, the DATEADD function subtracts one day from the current date, which is retrieved by the GETDATE() function.

  1. Using the DATEDIFF function:

Another method to get yesterday’s date in SQL is to use the DATEDIFF function in conjunction with the GETDATE() function. The DATEDIFF function calculates the number of days between two dates. In this case, we want to subtract one day from the current date, so we will get the current date and then subtract one day using the DATEDIFF function, like this:

SELECT DATEADD(day,-DATEDIFF(day,0,GETDATE())-1,0) AS Yesterday_Date;

In the above query, the DATEDIFF function returns the number of days since the beginning of the SQL Server epoch (January 1, 1900). By subtracting one day from this value, we get yesterday’s date.

  1. Using the CONVERT function:

Lastly, we can use the CONVERT function to get yesterday’s date. Here’s how it can be done:

SELECT CONVERT(VARCHAR(10),DATEADD(day,-1,GETDATE()),101) AS Yesterday_Date;

In this query, we use the TEXT format code 101 to format the date into the desired output format. The output format will be in MM/DD/YYYY format.


Here are the three ways to get yesterday's date in SQL. All of them are efficient and will get the job done. You can choose any method that works best for you. If you are using a different SQL database, the function names and syntax may vary slightly, so make sure to consult the documentation for your specific database.

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Popular questions

Sure, here are five common questions related to getting yesterday's date in SQL along with their answers:

  1. What is the DATEADD function in SQL, and how does it work?

The DATEADD function is a built-in function in SQL that adds or subtracts a specified interval (such as days, months, or years) to a given date. In the context of getting yesterday's date, we can use the DATEADD function to subtract one day from the current date. For example:

SELECT DATEADD(day,-1,GETDATE()) AS Yesterday_Date;

This query would return yesterday's date as a datetime value.

  1. Can I use the DATEDIFF function to get yesterday's date in SQL?

Yes, the DATEDIFF function can be used to get yesterday's date by calculating the number of days between a specified date (such as the current date) and an earlier date (such as January 1, 1900). We can then subtract one day from this value to get yesterday's date. For example:

SELECT DATEADD(day,-DATEDIFF(day,0,GETDATE())-1,0) AS Yesterday_Date;

This query uses the DATEDIFF function to calculate the number of days since January 1, 1900, and subtracts one day from this value to get yesterday's date.

  1. What is the CONVERT function in SQL, and how can it be used to get yesterday's date?

The CONVERT function in SQL is used to convert a value of one data type to another data type. In the context of getting yesterday's date, we can use the CONVERT function to format the date value returned by the DATEADD function as a string that displays yesterday's date in a particular format. For example:

SELECT CONVERT(VARCHAR(10),DATEADD(day,-1,GETDATE()),101) AS Yesterday_Date;

This query uses the CONVERT function with the VARCHA data type to format yesterday's date as a string in the MM/DD/YYYY format.

  1. Can I use the same techniques to get tomorrow's date in SQL?

Yes, you can use similar techniques to get tomorrow's date in SQL. To get tomorrow's date using the DATEADD function, you can replace the -1 value with 1. Alternatively, you can use the same approach as above with the DATEDIFF function, but adding one day instead of subtracting one day. For example:

SELECT DATEADD(day,1,GETDATE()) AS Tomorrow_Date;

SELECT DATEADD(day,DATEDIFF(day,-1,GETDATE())+1,0) AS Tomorrow_Date;

  1. Is it possible to get yesterday's date in a specific time zone in SQL?

Yes, it is possible to get yesterday's date in a specific time zone in SQL by using the CONVERT function with the AT TIME ZONE statement. This statement allows us to convert a datetime value from one time zone to another time zone. For example:

SELECT CONVERT(datetimeoffset,'2022-08-16 00:00:00',120) AT TIME ZONE 'Australia/Sydney' AS Yesterday_Date_In_Sydney_Time;

This query converts the datetime value '2022-08-16 00:00:00' to the time zone of Australia/Sydney and returns yesterday's date for that time zone. Note that the value 120 in the CONVERT function is the code for the datetime format yyyy-mm-dd hh:mi:ss.

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