Difference of two date time in sql server


Is there any way to take the difference between two datetime in sql server?

For example, my dates are

  1. 2010-01-22 15:29:55.090
  2. 2010-01-22 15:30:09.153

So, the result should be 14.063 seconds.

7/24/2014 2:43:48 PM

SELECT DATEDIFF (MyUnits, '2010-01-22 15:29:55.090', '2010-01-22 15:30:09.153')

Substitute "MyUnits" based on DATEDIFF on MSDN


SELECT  DATEDIFF(day, '2010-01-22 15:29:55.090', '2010-01-22 15:30:09.153')

Replace day with other units you want to get the difference in, like second, minute etc.


I can mention four important functions of MS SQL Server that can be very useful:

1) The function DATEDIFF() is responsible to calculate differences between two dates, the result could be "year quarter month dayofyear day week hour minute second millisecond microsecond nanosecond", specified on the first parameter (datepart):

select datediff(day,'1997-10-07','2011-09-11')

2) You can use the function GETDATE() to get the actual time and calculate differences of some date and actual date:

select datediff(day,'1997-10-07', getdate() )

3) Another important function is DATEADD(), used to convert some value in datetime using the same datepart of the datediff, that you can add (with positive values) or substract (with negative values) to one base date:

select DATEADD(day,  45, getdate()) -- actual datetime adding 45 days
select DATEADD(  s,-638, getdate()) -- actual datetime subtracting 10 minutes and 38 seconds

4) The function CONVERT() was made to format the date like you need, it is not parametric function, but you can use part of the result to format the result like you need:

select convert(  char(8), getdate() ,   8) -- part hh:mm:ss of actual datetime
select convert(  varchar, getdate() , 112) -- yyyymmdd
select convert( char(10), getdate() ,  20) -- yyyy-mm-dd limited by 10 characters

DATETIME cold be calculated in seconds and one interesting result mixing these four function is to show a formated difference um hours, minutes and seconds (hh:mm:ss) between two dates:

declare  @date1 datetime, @date2 datetime
set @date1=DATEADD(s,-638,getdate())
set @date2=GETDATE()

select convert(char(8),dateadd(s,datediff(s,@date1,@date2),'1900-1-1'),8)

... the result is 00:10:38 (638s = 600s + 38s = 10 minutes and 38 seconds)

Another example:

select distinct convert(char(8),dateadd(s,datediff(s, CRDATE , GETDATE() ),'1900-1-1'),8) from sysobjects order by 1

I tried this way and it worked. I used SQL Server version 2016

SELECT DATEDIFF(MILLISECOND,'2010-01-22 15:29:55.090', '2010-01-22 15:30:09.153')/1000.00;

Different DATEDIFF Functions are:

SELECT DATEDIFF(year,        '2005-12-31 23:59:59.9999999', '2006-01-01 00:00:00.0000000');
SELECT DATEDIFF(quarter,     '2005-12-31 23:59:59.9999999', '2006-01-01 00:00:00.0000000');
SELECT DATEDIFF(month,       '2005-12-31 23:59:59.9999999', '2006-01-01 00:00:00.0000000');
SELECT DATEDIFF(dayofyear,   '2005-12-31 23:59:59.9999999', '2006-01-01 00:00:00.0000000');
SELECT DATEDIFF(day,         '2005-12-31 23:59:59.9999999', '2006-01-01 00:00:00.0000000');
SELECT DATEDIFF(week,        '2005-12-31 23:59:59.9999999', '2006-01-01 00:00:00.0000000');
SELECT DATEDIFF(hour,        '2005-12-31 23:59:59.9999999', '2006-01-01 00:00:00.0000000');
SELECT DATEDIFF(minute,      '2005-12-31 23:59:59.9999999', '2006-01-01 00:00:00.0000000');
SELECT DATEDIFF(second,      '2005-12-31 23:59:59.9999999', '2006-01-01 00:00:00.0000000');
SELECT DATEDIFF(millisecond, '2005-12-31 23:59:59.9999999', '2006-01-01 00:00:00.0000000');



Ok we all know the answer involves DATEDIFF(). But that gives you only half the result you may be after. What if you want to get the results in human-readable format, in terms of Minutes and Seconds between two DATETIME values?

The CONVERT(), DATEADD() and of course DATEDIFF() functions are perfect for a more easily readable result that your clients can use, instead of a number.


CONVERT(varchar(5), DATEADD(minute, DATEDIFF(MINUTE, date1, date2), 0), 114) 

This will give you something like:


If you want more precision, just increase the VARCHAR().

CONVERT(varchar(12), DATEADD(minute, DATEDIFF(MINUTE, date1, date2), 0), 114) 



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