Getting the current UTC date and time is a common requirement in programming, especially when dealing with international databases, server checks, and time-specific queries. This concept is related to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), an atomic realization of Universal Time, a time standard based on International Atomic Time (TAI) with leap seconds added at irregular intervals to compensate for Earth’s slowing rotation. In this article, we will explore how to get the server’s UTC date in SQL server.
SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language, is a programming language that is used to communicate with and manipulate databases. The majority of the world’s relational database management systems (RDBMS) use SQL, including MySQL, MS Access, Oracle, Sybase, MS SQL Server, and DB2.
Often, in database operations, there is a need to obtain and operate on the current date and time in UTC format. The challenge is to extract the current UTC date from the SQL server. This is because SQL servers, like many other servers, are usually configured to the local time of the server. Therefore, generating queries or extracting data based on UTC time can be a bit tricky, especially if the server is situated in a different timezone.
To get the current date and time in UTC format in SQL server, we will use the built-in function GETUTCDATE(). This function returns the current database system timestamp as a datetime value, without the database time zone offset. This date and time is obtained from the operating system of the computer on which the instance of SQL Server is running.
SELECT GETUTCDATE() AS CurrentUTCdate
When you execute this SQL query, it returns the current UTC date and time.
Step by Step Explanation of the Code
Let’s break down the code for easier understanding.
- SELECT: This command is used to select data from a database. The data returned is stored in a result table, called the result-set.
- GETUTCDATE(): It is a built-in function of SQL server that returns the current database system timestamp as a datetime value without the database time zone offset.
- AS CurrentUTCdate: “AS” is a keyword in SQL that allows you to rename a column or table using an alias. We used it here to name the result set as CurrentUTCdate.
Related Functions and Libraries
Understanding and utilizing UTC date and time can truly globalize the way we process data by keeping time consistent across all servers regardless of their geographic location. By grasping the use of functions like GETUTCDATE() in SQL, we can take a step towards creating universal, efficient, and versatile programs.