New conversion functions in sql server 2012

SQL Server introduced three new conversion functions to convert an expression to another data type, in this post we will see those functions and their usage

Conversion Functions


PARSE: This function parse the value and return then result, relies on CLR. It will take some performance overhead. Syntax

PARSE (string_value AS data_type [ USING culture ] )

Parse function takes three parameter

  1. string_value - The expression which needs to be parsed.
  2. Data_type - Output data type, e.g. numeric, datetime etc.
  3. CULTURE - A language (English, Japanese, Spanish, Danish, French etc.)


SELECT CAST(’05/02/2013' AS datetime) AS [By-CAST-Function]
SELECT CONVERT(datetime, ’05/02/2013') AS [Bu-CONVERT-Function]
SELECT PARSE(’05/02/2013' AS datetime USING ‘en-US’) AS [By-PARSE-Function]

Result from all will be same, so why we need a new function PARSE which will give the same result as CAST and Convert? Yes, there is reason, suppose you are using a culture which stores date time in DD/MM/YYYY format then it will quite handy to get result in any other culture format say MM/DD/YYYY.

TRY_PARSE: is similar to PARSE() with only difference is that it returns NULL if the conversion is not possible.


 TRY_PARSE (string_value AS data_type [ USING culture ] )

It also accept three parameters same as Parse function


SELECT PARSE(’100.50' AS datetime2 USING ‘en-US’) AS [By-PARSE-Function]
SELECT TRY_PARSE(’100.50' AS datetime2 USING ‘en-US’) AS [By-PARSE-Function]

Msg 9819, Level 16, State 1, Line 1
Error converting string value ’100.50' into data type int using culture 'en-us'.

TRY_CONVERT: it is similar to to CONVERT function but it first check if conversion is possible or not, if possible then convert to desired data type otherwise return null.


TRY_CONVERT (data_type [ ( length ) ], expression [, style ])

It takes three parameter

  1. data_type – The data type into which to cast expression.
  2. expression – The value to be cast.
  3. style – Optional integer expression that specifies how the TRY_CONVERT function is to translate expression.

Example: Try to convert 30 February 2013 to 103 date format

 CONVERT(datetime, '02/30/2013', 103) AS [By-Convert]  -- return empty string
TRY_CONVERT(datetime, '02/30/2013', 103) AS [By-Try-Convert]  -- return NULL

Hamden Process manager with a reputed organization, Fond of learning new features and technology related to C#, ASP.Net, SQL Server, MVC etc.I like to help others, if I can
  • sql server
By Hamden On 15 May, 13  Viewed: 455

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