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FORMAT (Transact-SQL)

SQL Server 2012

Returns a value formatted with the specified format and optional culture in SQL Server 2012. Use the FORMAT function for locale-aware formatting of date/time and number values as strings. For general data type conversions, use CAST or CONVERT.

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions

FORMAT ( value, format [, culture ] )
value

Expression of a supported data type to format. For a list of valid types, see the table in the following Remarks section.

format

nvarchar format pattern.

The format argument must contain a valid .NET Framework format string, either as a standard format string (for example, "C" or "D"), or as a pattern of custom characters for dates and numeric values (for example, "MMMM DD, yyyy (dddd)"). Composite formatting is not supported. For a full explanation of these formatting patterns, please consult the .NET Framework documentation on string formatting in general, custom date and time formats, and custom number formats. A good starting point is the topic, "Formatting Types."

culture

Optional nvarchar argument specifying a culture.

If the culture argument is not provided, the language of the current session is used. This language is set either implicitly, or explicitly by using the SET LANGUAGE statement. culture accepts any culture supported by the .NET Framework as an argument; it is not limited to the languages explicitly supported by SQL Server . If the culture argument is not valid, FORMAT raises an error.

nvarchar or null

The length of the return value is determined by the format.

FORMAT returns NULL for errors other than a culture that is not valid. For example, NULL is returned if the value specified in format is not valid.

FORMAT relies on the presence of .the .NET Framework Common Language Runtime (CLR).

This function will not be remoted since it depends on the presence of the CLR. Remoting a function that requires the CLR would cause an error on the remote server.

The following table lists the acceptable data types for the value argument together with their .NET Framework mapping equivalent types.

Category

Type

.NET type

Numeric

bigint

Int64

Numeric

int

Int32

Numeric

smallint

Int16

Numeric

tinyint

Byte

Numeric

decimal

SqlDecimal

Numeric

numeric

SqlDecimal

Numeric

float

Double

Numeric

real

Single

Numeric

smallmoney

Decimal

Numeric

money

Decimal

Date and Time

date

DateTime

Date and Time

time

TimeSpan

Date and Time

datetime

DateTime

Date and Time

smalldatetime

DateTime

Date and Time

datetime2

DateTime

Date and Time

datetimeoffset

DateTimeOffset

A. Simple FORMAT example

The following example returns a simple date formatted for different cultures.

DECLARE @d DATETIME = '10/01/2011';
SELECT FORMAT ( @d, 'd', 'en-US' ) AS 'US English Result'
      ,FORMAT ( @d, 'd', 'en-gb' ) AS 'Great Britain English Result'
      ,FORMAT ( @d, 'd', 'de-de' ) AS 'German Result'
      ,FORMAT ( @d, 'd', 'zh-cn' ) AS 'Simplified Chinese (PRC) Result'; 
  
SELECT FORMAT ( @d, 'D', 'en-US' ) AS 'US English Result'
      ,FORMAT ( @d, 'D', 'en-gb' ) AS 'Great Britain English Result'
      ,FORMAT ( @d, 'D', 'de-de' ) AS 'German Result'
      ,FORMAT ( @d, 'D', 'zh-cn' ) AS 'Chinese (Simplified PRC) Result'; 

Here is the result set.

US English Result Great Britain English Result  German Result Simplified Chinese (PRC) Result
----------------  ----------------------------- ------------- -------------------------------------
10/1/2011         01/10/2011                    01.10.2011    2011/10/1

(1 row(s) affected)

US English Result            Great Britain English Result  German Result                    Chinese (Simplified PRC) Result
---------------------------- ----------------------------- -----------------------------  ---------------------------------------
Saturday, October 01, 2011   01 October 2011               Samstag, 1. Oktober 2011        2011年10月1日

(1 row(s) affected)

B. FORMAT with custom formatting strings

The following example shows formatting numeric values by specifying a custom format. For more information about these and other custom formats, see Custom Numeric Format Strings.

-- Current date is September 27 2012.
DECLARE @d DATETIME = GETDATE();
SELECT FORMAT( @d, 'dd/MM/yyyy', 'en-US' ) AS 'DateTime Result'
       ,FORMAT(123456789,'###-##-####') AS 'Custom Number Result';

Here is the result set.

DateTime Result  Custom Number Result
--------------   --------------------
27/09/2012       123-45-6789

(1 row(s) affected)

C. FORMAT with numeric types

The following example returns 5 rows from the Sales.CurrencyRate table. The column EndOfDateRate is stored as type money in the table. In this example, the column is returned unformatted and then formatted by specifying the .NET Number format, General format, and Currency format types. For more information about these and other numeric formats, see Standard Numeric Format Strings.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SELECT TOP(5)CurrencyRateID, EndOfDayRate
            ,FORMAT(EndOfDayRate, 'N', 'en-us') AS 'Number Format'
            ,FORMAT(EndOfDayRate, 'G', 'en-us') AS 'General Format'
            ,FORMAT(EndOfDayRate, 'C', 'en-us') AS 'Currency Format'
FROM Sales.CurrencyRate
ORDER BY CurrencyRateID;

Here is the result set.

CurrencyRateID EndOfDayRate  Numeric Format  General Format  Currency Format
-------------- ------------  --------------  --------------  ---------------
1              1.0002        1.00            1.0002          $1.00
2              1.55          1.55            1.5500          $1.55
3              1.9419        1.94            1.9419          $1.94
4              1.4683        1.47            1.4683          $1.47
5              8.2784        8.28            8.2784          $8.28

(5 row(s) affected)

This example specifies the German culture (de-de).

SELECT TOP(5)CurrencyRateID, EndOfDayRate
            ,FORMAT(EndOfDayRate, 'N', 'de-de') AS 'Numeric Format'
,FORMAT(EndOfDayRate, 'G', 'de-de') AS 'General Format'
,FORMAT(EndOfDayRate, 'C', 'de-de') AS 'Currency Format'
FROM Sales.CurrencyRate
ORDER BY CurrencyRateID;
CurrencyRateID EndOfDayRate  Numeric Format  General Format  Currency Format
-------------- ------------  --------------  --------------  ---------------
1              1.0002        1,00            1,0002          1,00 €
2              1.55          1,55            1,5500          1,55 €
3              1.9419        1,94            1,9419          1,94 €
4              1.4683        1,47            1,4683          1,47 €
5              8.2784        8,28            8,2784          8,28 €

 (5 row(s) affected)

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