DBDATE environment variable

Use the DBDATE environment variable to specify the end-user formats of DATE values.

On UNIX™ systems that use the C shell, set DBDATE with this syntax.

1  setenv DBDATE 
2.1! MD
2.1 DM
2.1 Y4
2.1 Y2
2.1! Y4
2.1 Y2
2.1 MD
2.1 DM
2.1! /
2.1 -
2.1 .
2.1 .
2.1 0

The following formatting symbols are valid in the DBDATE setting:

- . /
are characters that can exist as separators in a date format.
indicates that no separator is displayed between time units.
D, M
are characters that represent the day and the month.
Y2, Y4
are characters that represent the year and the precision of the year.

Some East Asian locales support additional syntax for era-based dates.

DBDATE can specify the following attributes of the display format:
  • The order of time units (the month, day, and year) in a date
  • Whether the year is shown as two digits (Y2) or four digits (Y4)
  • The separator between the month, day, and year time units

For the U.S. English locale, the default for DBDATE is MDY4/, where M represents the month, D represents the day, Y4 represents a four-digit year, and slash ( / ) is the time-units separator (for example, 01/08/2011). Other valid characters for the separator are a hyphen ( - ), a period ( . ), or a zero (0). To indicate no separator, use the zero. The slash ( / ) is used by default if you attempt to specify a character other than a hyphen, period, or zero as a separator, or if you do not include any separator in the DBDATE specification.

If DBDATE is not set on the client, any DBDATE setting on the database server overrides the MDY4/ default on the client. If DBDATE is set on the client, that value (rather than the setting on the database server) is used by the client.

The following table shows some examples of valid DBDATE settings and their corresponding displays for the date 8 January, 2011:
DBDATE Setting Representation of January 8, 2011: DBDATE Setting Representation of January 8, 2011:
MDY4/ 01/08/2011 Y2DM. 11.08.01
DMY2- 08-01-11 MDY20 010811
MDY4 01/08/2011 Y4MD* 2011/01/08
Formats Y4MD* (because asterisk is not a valid separator) and MDY4 (with no separator defined) both display the default symbol (slash) as the separator.
Important: If you use the Y2 format, the setting of the DBCENTURY environment variable can also affect how literal DATE values are evaluated in data entry.

Also, certain routines that calls can use the DBTIME variable, rather than DBDATE, to set DATETIME formats to international specifications. For more information, see the discussion of the DBTIME environment variable in DBTIME environment variable and in the HCL OneDB™ ESQL/C Programmer's Manual.

The setting of the DBDATE variable takes precedence over that of the GL_DATE environment variable, and over any default DATE format that CLIENT_LOCALE specifies. For information about GL_DATE and CLIENT_LOCALE, see the HCL OneDB GLS User's Guide.

End-user formats affect the following contexts:
  • When you display DATE values, HCL OneDB products use the DBDATE environment variable to format the output.
  • During data entry of DATE values, HCL OneDB products use the DBDATE environment variable to interpret the input.

For example, if you specify a literal DATE value in an INSERT statement, the database server expects this literal value to be compatible with the format that DBDATE specifies. Similarly, the database server interprets the date that you specify as the argument to the DATE( ) function to be in DBDATE format.