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The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1A - SQL Language Reference
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 454 pages
ISBN 9781906966041
RRP £14.95 ($19.95)

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6.5.5 Interval Output

The output format of the interval type can be set to one of the four styles sql_standard, postgres, postgres_verbose, or iso_8601, using the command SET intervalstyle. The default is the postgres format. Table 6-18 shows examples of each output style.

The sql_standard style produces output that conforms to the SQL standard's specification for interval literal strings, if the interval value meets the standard's restrictions (either year-month only or day-time only, with no mixing of positive and negative components). Otherwise the output looks like a standard year-month literal string followed by a day-time literal string, with explicit signs added to disambiguate mixed-sign intervals.

The output of the postgres style matches the output of PostgreSQL releases prior to 8.4 when the DateStyle parameter was set to ISO.

The output of the postgres_verbose style matches the output of PostgreSQL releases prior to 8.4 when the DateStyle parameter was set to non-ISO output.

The output of the iso_8601 style matches the “format with designators” described in section 4.4.3.2 of the ISO 8601 standard.

Table 6-18: Interval Output Style Examples
Style Specification Year-Month Interval Day-Time Interval Mixed Interval
sql_standard 1-2 3 4:05:06 -1-2 +3 -4:05:06
postgres 1 year 2 mons 3 days 04:05:06 -1 year -2 mons +3 days -04:05:06
postgres_verbose @ 1 year 2 mons @ 3 days 4 hours 5 mins 6 secs @ 1 year 2 mons -3 days 4 hours 5 mins 6 secs ago
iso_8601 P1Y2M P3DT4H5M6S P-1Y-2M3DT-4H-5M-6S
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