How to: Retrieve Date and Time Types as Strings Using the SQLSRV Driver

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When using the SQLSRV driver for the Microsoft Drivers for PHP for SQL Server, you can retrieve date and time types (smalldatetime, datetime, date, time, datetime2, and datetimeoffset) as strings by specifying the following option in the connection string or at the statement level:

'ReturnDatesAsStrings'=>true

The default is false, which means that smalldatetime, datetime, date, time, datetime2, and datetimeoffset types will be returned as PHP DateTime objects. If this option is set at the statement level, it overrides the connection level setting.

The PDO_SQLSRV driver returns date and time types as strings by default. To retrieve them as PHP DateTime objects, see How to: Retrieve Date and Time Types as PHP Datetime Objects Using the PDO_SQLSRV

Example

The following example shows the syntax specifying to retrieve date and time types as strings.

<?php
$serverName = "MyServer";
$connectionInfo = array("Database"=>"AdventureWorks", 'ReturnDatesAsStrings '=> true);
$conn = sqlsrv_connect($serverName, $connectionInfo);
if ($conn === false) {
   echo "Could not connect.\n";
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}

sqlsrv_close($conn);
?>

Example

The following example shows that you can retrieve dates as strings by specifying UTF-8 when you retrieve the string, even when the connection was made with "ReturnDatesAsStrings" => false.

<?php
$serverName = "MyServer";
$connectionInfo = array("Database"=>"AdventureWorks", "ReturnDatesAsStrings" => false);
$conn = sqlsrv_connect($serverName, $connectionInfo);
if ($conn === false) {
   echo "Could not connect.\n";
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}

$tsql = "SELECT VersionDate FROM AWBuildVersion";

$stmt = sqlsrv_query($conn, $tsql);

if ($stmt === false) {
   echo "Error in statement preparation/execution.\n";
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}

sqlsrv_fetch($stmt);

// retrieve date as string
$date = sqlsrv_get_field($stmt, 0, SQLSRV_PHPTYPE_STRING("UTF-8"));

if ($date === false) {
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}

echo $date;

sqlsrv_close($conn);
?>

Example

The following example shows how to retrieve dates as strings by specifying UTF-8 and "ReturnDatesAsStrings" => true in the connection string.

<?php
$serverName = "MyServer";
$connectionInfo = array("Database"=>"AdventureWorks", 'ReturnDatesAsStrings'=> true, "CharacterSet" => 'utf-8');
$conn = sqlsrv_connect($serverName, $connectionInfo);
if ($conn === false) {
   echo "Could not connect.\n";
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}

$tsql = "SELECT VersionDate FROM AWBuildVersion";

$stmt = sqlsrv_query($conn, $tsql);

if ($stmt === false) {
   echo "Error in statement preparation/execution.\n";
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}

sqlsrv_fetch($stmt);

// retrieve date as string
$date = sqlsrv_get_field($stmt, 0);

if ($date === false) {
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}

echo $date;
sqlsrv_close($conn);
?>

Example

The following example shows how to retrieve the date as a PHP type. 'ReturnDatesAsStrings'=> false is on by default.

<?php
$serverName = "MyServer";
$connectionInfo = array("Database"=>"AdventureWorks");
$conn = sqlsrv_connect($serverName, $connectionInfo);
if ($conn === false) {
   echo "Could not connect.\n";
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}

$tsql = "SELECT VersionDate FROM AWBuildVersion";

$stmt = sqlsrv_query($conn, $tsql);

if ($stmt === false) {
   echo "Error in statement preparation/execution.\n";
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}

sqlsrv_fetch($stmt);

// retrieve date as a DateTime object, then convert to string using PHP's date_format function
$date = sqlsrv_get_field($stmt, 0);

if ($date === false) {
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}

$date_string = date_format($date, 'jS, F Y');
echo "Date = $date_string\n";

sqlsrv_close($conn);
?>

Example

The ReturnDatesAsStrings option at the statement level overrides the corresponding connection option.

<?php
$serverName = 'MyServer';
$connectionInfo = array('Database' => 'MyDatabase', 'ReturnDatesAsStrings' => false);
$conn = sqlsrv_connect($serverName, $connectionInfo);
if ($conn === false) {
   echo "Could not connect.\n";
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}

$tableName = 'MyTable';
$options = array('ReturnDatesAsStrings' => true);
$query = "SELECT DateTimeCol FROM $tableName";
$stmt = sqlsrv_prepare($conn, $query, array(), $options);
if ($stmt === false) {
   echo "Error in statement preparation/execution.\n";
   die(print_r(sqlsrv_errors(), true));
}
sqlsrv_execute($stmt);

// Expect the fetched value to be a string
$field = sqlsrv_get_field($stmt, 0);
echo $field . PHP_EOL;

sqlsrv_close($conn);
?>

See Also

Retrieving Data

How to: Retrieve Date and Time Types as PHP Datetime Objects Using the PDO_SQLSRV