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SQL - Calculate time difference in Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, Years for Posts / Notification

In this post I will show you how you can easily calculate time difference between two dates in seconds, minutes, hours, days, and even weeks, months and years in SQL.

This functionality can be used in notifications, emails, blog post etc

The key of this calculation is in Modulo operator, %. It returns the remainder (NOT the result!) of one number divided by another!

CREATE FUNCTION [dbo].[FN_GetTimeDifference] (@FromDate DATETIME, @ToDate DATETIME)      

DECLARE @Result NVARCHAR(50)       

SELECT  @Result = CASE WHEN DATEDIFF(second, @FromDate, @ToDate) / 60 / 60 / 24 / 7 > 0 THEN CAST(DATEDIFF(second, @FromDate, @ToDate) / 60 / 60 / 24 / 7 AS NVARCHAR(50)) + ' weeks ago' 
   WHEN DATEDIFF(second, @FromDate, @ToDate) / 60 / 60 / 24 % 7 > 0 THEN CAST(DATEDIFF(second, @FromDate, @ToDate) / 60 / 60 / 24 % 7 AS NVARCHAR(50)) + ' days ago'
   WHEN DATEDIFF(second, @FromDate, @ToDate) / 60 / 60 % 24 > 0 THEN CAST(DATEDIFF(second, @FromDate, @ToDate) / 60 / 60 % 24  AS NVARCHAR(50)) + ' hrs ago'
   WHEN DATEDIFF(second, @FromDate, @ToDate) / 60 % 60 > 0 THEN CAST(DATEDIFF(second, @FromDate, @ToDate) / 60 % 60 AS NVARCHAR(50)) + ' min ago'
   WHEN DATEDIFF(second, @FromDate, @ToDate) % 60 > 0 THEN CAST(DATEDIFF(second, @FromDate, @ToDate) % 60 AS NVARCHAR(50)) + ' sec ago' 

RETURN  @Result     


Following is the usage and the expected output of the above function. In most of the cases we need to use GETDATE() as @ToDate parameter.

SELECT dbo.FN_GetTimeDifference('2017-05-01 11:58:00', '2017-05-01 11:58:08')  
8 sec ago 
SELECT dbo.FN_GetTimeDifference('2017-05-01 11:30:00', '2017-05-01 11:58:08')  
28 min ago
SELECT dbo.FN_GetTimeDifference('2017-05-01 02:58:00', '2017-05-01 11:58:08')  
9 hrs ago
SELECT dbo.FN_GetTimeDifference('2017-04-30 11:58:00', '2017-05-01 11:58:08')  
1 days ago
SELECT dbo.FN_GetTimeDifference('2017-04-15 11:58:00', '2017-05-01 11:58:08')  
2 weeks ago


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