I have a query that declares and sets a datetime variable at the very beginning:

declare @_NextAppt as datetime
set @_NextAppt = dateadd(dd,3,getdate())     

when I check it and execute a select @_NextAppt it returns three days from today which is what I want.

The problem occurs in my next select statement when I use

where table.apptdate = @_NextAppt 

The query returns no rows.

Here's the sample query:

select distinct PatID, StaffID  
from dbo.Appointments    
where PatID is not null and ApptDate = @_NextAppt

I can get everything to work if I replace getdate() with an exact date like '11/09/2016'. But that doesn't work long term for my report.

What am I missing? I'm relatively new to SQL and self taught so I'm sure there is some SQL quirk that I don't know about.


The problem is that GETDATE() returns a DATETIME. So the WHERE condition checks if any of the values in that column is equal to that exact date and time (+3 days).

You need to strip the time part, either by casting or by using a date variable:

declare @_NextAppt as datetime ;        -- use same type as the column

set @_NextAppt = dateadd(day, 3, cast(getdate() as date)) ;
      -- strips the time from getdate(),
      -- adds 3 days and
      -- does an implicit conversion to the variable's type (datetime)

We also don't know the type of the column. It would be good to use inclusive-exclusive conditions when comparing datetime values. The query below will work independent of whether your column is DATE or DATETIME or DATETIME2:

select distinct PatID, StaffID  
from dbo.Appointments    
where PatID is not null 
  and ApptDate >= @_NextAppt
  and ApptDate  < dateadd(day, 1, @_NextAppt) ;

If the column is DATE, you could of course use an equality condition:

where PatID is not null 
  and ApptDate = @_NextAppt ;

Necessary links to blog posts about good (and bad) practices with dates (note how I replaced the shorthand dd to the full day datepart when using the DATEADD() function above):

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  • Thanks for the explanation. I appreciate it and will read the Bad Habits articles. – SueC Dec 20 '16 at 16:43

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