Oracle / PLSQL: TO_TIMESTAMP Function

This article is written about how to use the Oracle/PLSQL TO_TIMESTAMP characteristic with syntax and examples.


The Oracle/PLSQL TO_TIMESTAMP characteristic converts a string to a timestamp.


The syntax for the TO_TIMESTAMP characteristic in Oracle/PLSQL is:

TO_TIMESTAMP( string1 [, format_mask] ['nlsparam'] )

Parameters or Arguments

string1 The string that will be transformed to a timestamp. format_mask Optional. This is the structure that will be used to convert string1 to a timestamp. It can be one or a combination of the following values Parameter Explanation YYYY 4-digit year MM Month (01-12; JAN = 01). MON Abbreviated title of month. MONTH Name of month, padded with blanks to length of 9 characters. DD Day of month (1-31). HH Hour of day (1-12). HH12 Hour of day (1-12). HH24 Hour of day (0-23). MI Minute (0-59). SS Second (0-59).


The TO_TIMESTAMP feature returns a timestamp value.

Applies To

The TO_TIMESTAMP characteristic can be used in the following versions of Oracle/PLSQL:

Oracle 12c, Oracle 11g, Oracle 10g, Oracle 9i


Let’s look at some Oracle TO_TIMESTAMP function examples and discover how to use the TO_TIMESTAMP characteristic in Oracle/PLSQL.

For example:

TO_TIMESTAMP('2003/12/13 10:13:18', 'YYYY/MM/DD HH:MI:SS')

would return ’13-DEC-03 AM’ as a timestamp value.

TO_TIMESTAMP('2003/DEC/13 10:13:18', 'YYYY/MON/DD HH:MI:SS')

would also return ’13-DEC-03 AM’ as a timestamp value.