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One Qlik function that occasionally causes confusion is the Date function. I have often seen errors caused by an incorrect usage of it, so today I will try to explain what the function does – and what it does not.

Interpretation vs Formatting

The first thing you should be aware of is that there are two different functions: Date#() and Date(). The first is an Interpretation function and the second is a Formatting function.

 

  • Interpretation functions use the textual value of the input, and convert this to a number.
  • Formatting functions use the numeric value of the input, and convert this to a text.

 

In both cases, the output is a dual, i.e. it has both a textual value and a numeric value. The textual value is displayed, whereas the numeric value is used for all numerical calculations and sorting.

 

The table below shows how to use the interpretation function Date#(). Note that the format code must match the input parameter.

 

Interpretation.png

 

This is very different from the formatting function Date(). Next table shows how to use this function. Note that the format code matches the format of the output text.

 

Formatting1.png

 

In real life, it is often useful to nest an interpretation function inside a formatting function:

 

Nested.png

 

Formatting vs Rounding

The second thing you should be aware of is that the Date() function and other formatting functions never change the numeric value of the input value.

 

This means that you can format a timestamp as a date only, without the time information. This can sometimes be confusing since there is a “hidden” value. In the table below, you can see that the input value corresponds to 12:00 in the middle of the day, but the Date() function effectively hides this from the textual output - but it remains in the the numeric value.

 

Formatting2.png

 

So what should you do if you want to remove the time part of the field, and just keep the date part? Well, obviously you must use a function that changes the numeric value: You need a Rounding function, e.g. DayStart() or Floor().

 

In the table below, you can compare the output of the Date() function with a couple of different rounding and formatting options.

 

Rounding.png

 

Summary

The above discussion is not relevant to dates only. It is just as relevant for Years, Weeks, hours, seconds and any other time interval. Further, it is relevant to a number of other functions:

 

Interpretation functions: Date#(), TimeStamp#(), Time#(), Interval#(), etc.

Formatting functions: Date(), TimeStamp(), Time(), Interval(), etc.

Rounding functions: Round(), Floor(), Ceil(), DayStart(), WeekStart(), MonthStart(), etc.

 

Combine these functions sensibly, and you will be able to round or format any way you want.

 

HIC

 

Further reading related to this topic:

Get the Dates Right

Why don’t my dates work?

34 Comments
Creator II
Creator II

Only if you use QVD input data without any Date Conversion / Transformation.

AC

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Not applicable

Henric, thank you for the post. I find them very educational.  Please keep it up.

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Master
Master

Hi Henric

Are you the one who develop those function ?

I just wonder why you know so much ?

Paul

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Employee
Employee

Henric thank you - i don't think i'm exagerrating when i say that this topic and solutions come up a dozen times every day on the community blog.  QlikView AND now Qlik Sense.

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Not applicable

Henric,

Nice Post..

Mohan

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Specialist III
Specialist III

Thanks Henric

Dates completely confused me when I first started using QV. I eventually found solutions but by trial and error. Now I finally understand (and I read all your previous blog posts on dates).

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