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Oracle time display mismatch tips

Expert Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonConsulting

August 20, 2015


Question:  When I select sysdate from dual it shows me the time in EST. But when I try to fetch the time from a table column which is being updated with sysdate, it shows me the time in UTC.  The table column is a DATE datatype.  The value shows as EST from the application, but it displays as UTC when fetched through a SQL select in SQL*Plus.  Why this difference in time display?

Answer: The difference is obviously the way that the date is displayed in SQL*Plus.  Some time display anomalies are the result of your local setting for the time_zone or the tz_offset variables.  Try this test:

alter session set time_zone= '-6:00';

select
   sysdate,
   current_timestamp,
   systimestamp,
   localtimestamp
from
   dual;


This does not apply to you (because your table column is a DATE datatype, but the Oracle Globalization manual notes:

"The database time zone is relevant only for TIMESTAMP WITH LOCAL TIME ZONE columns.

Oracle normalizes all TIMESTAMP WITH LOCAL TIME ZONE data to the time zone of the database when the data is stored on disk.

If you do not specify the SET TIME_ZONE clause, then Oracle uses the time zone of the operating system of the server.

If the operating system's time zone is not a valid Oracle time zone, then the database time zone defaults to UTC."


 
 
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