Teradata Interval Field Overflow

Interval is the datatype in Teradata which represents duration between 2 time components. We can add INTERVAL to DATE/TIMESTAMP column values to get to new DATE/TIMESTAMP. Also whenever we subtract two timestamp in Teradata, output is of INTERVAL type. Just like any other data type INTERVAL too has permissible range and if the value exceeds it we get “Interval Field Overflow” error.

Now you know the real reason of Interval Field Overflow error , let us see few examples which explains it.
Create a dummy table with some data:

create volatile table dummy_ts
(
start_ts timestamp ,
end_ts timestamp
)
on commit preserve rows;

insert into dummy_ts select ‘2016-08-10 22:12:11′,’2016-08-12 20:17:21’;
insert into dummy_ts select ‘2015-01-14 20:17:21′,’2017-05-14 12:16:54’;
insert into dummy_ts select ‘2016-08-17 20:17:21′,’2019-01-16 18:17:21’;
insert into dummy_ts select ‘2015-01-22 20:17:21′,’2015-07-22 22:45:11’;

select * from dummy_ts;

start_ts end_ts
2015-01-14 20:17:21.000000 2017-05-14 12:16:54.000000
2016-08-17 20:17:21.000000 2019-01-16 18:17:21.000000
2016-08-10 22:12:11.000000 2016-08-12 20:17:21.000000
2015-01-22 20:17:21.000000 2015-07-22 22:45:11.000000

Whenever we subtract 2 timestamp columns we must specify the INTERVAL type format of the output else we will get “Invalid operation for DateTime or Interval” error.

select start_ts,end_ts, end_ts – start_ts from dummy_ts;

Error: “Invalid operation for DateTime or Interval”

Let’s specify the DAY difference between 2 timestamp values

select start_ts,end_ts, end_ts – start_ts DAY as Day_Diff from dummy_ts;

Error: “Interval Field Overflow”

Since DAY means DAY(1) by default, we have to specify the precision to which we are expecting result. We can maximum have difference of 9999 DAYS between 2 timestamp in INTERVAL data type. In very exceptional case, you may need INTERVAL more than 9999 days. You can specify DAY(4) to specify DAY difference in the output with precision upto 4 digits. Hence 9999 is max value.

So now let’s subtract 2 timestamp column and get the difference:

select start_ts,end_ts, end_ts – start_ts DAY(4) as Day_Diff, type(Day_Diff) from dummy_ts;

start_ts end_ts Day_Diff Type(Day_Diff)
2015-01-14 20:17:21 2017-05-14 12:16:54 851 INTERVAL DAY(4)
2016-08-17 20:17:21 2019-01-16 18:17:21 882 INTERVAL DAY(4)
2016-08-10 22:12:11 2016-08-12 20:17:21 2 INTERVAL DAY(4)
2015-01-22 20:17:21 2015-07-22 22:45:11 181 INTERVAL DAY(4)

To get output from DAY to HOUR
select start_ts,end_ts, end_ts – start_ts DAY(4) to HOUR as Day_Diff, type(Day_Diff) from dummy_ts;


start_ts end_ts Day_Diff Type(Day_Diff)

1 2015-01-14 20:17:21 2017-05-14 12:16:54 850 16 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO HOUR
2 2016-08-17 20:17:21 2019-01-16 18:17:21 881 22 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO HOUR
3 2016-08-10 22:12:11 2016-08-12 20:17:21 1 22 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO HOUR
4 2015-01-22 20:17:21 2015-07-22 22:45:11 181 02 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO HOUR

To get output from DAY to MINUTE
select start_ts,end_ts, end_ts – start_ts DAY(4) to MINUTE as Day_Diff, type(Day_Diff) from dummy_ts;

1 2015-01-14 20:17:21 2017-05-14 12:16:54 850 15:59 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO MINUTE
2 2016-08-17 20:17:21 2019-01-16 18:17:21 881 22:00 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO MINUTE
3 2016-08-10 22:12:11 2016-08-12 20:17:21 1 22:05 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO MINUTE
4 2015-01-22 20:17:21 2015-07-22 22:45:11 181 02:28 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO MINUTE

To get output from DAY to SECOND
select start_ts,end_ts, end_ts – start_ts DAY(4) to SECOND as Day_Diff, type(Day_Diff) from dummy_ts;

1 2015-01-14 20:17:21 2017-05-14 12:16:54 850 15:59:33.000000 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO SECOND(6)
2 2016-08-17 20:17:21 2019-01-16 18:17:21 881 22:00:00.000000 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO SECOND(6)
3 2016-08-10 22:12:11 2016-08-12 20:17:21 1 22:05:10.000000 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO SECOND(6)
4 2015-01-22 20:17:21 2015-07-22 22:45:11 181 02:27:50.000000 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO SECOND(6)

Important point to note here is the milliseconds component of interval. It has taken SECOND(6) as default as the timestamp format defined in the table. If you don’t want milliseconds then you have to try other alternative. You cannot truncate seconds in INTERVAL datatype.

select start_ts,end_ts, end_ts – start_ts DAY(4) to SECOND(0) as Day_Diff, type(Day_Diff) from dummy_ts;

Error: “Interval Field Overflow”

You can explicitly convert TIMESTAMP(6) to TIMESTAMP(0) and then apply INTERVAL SECOND to get desired output. To get rid of milliseconds portion or to want just the SECOND you can try something like:

select start_ts,end_ts, cast(cast(end_ts as char(19)) as timestamp(0))- cast(cast(start_ts as char(19)) as timestamp(0)) DAY(4) to SECOND(0) as Day_Diff, type(Day_Diff) from dummy_ts;

1 2015-01-14 20:17:21 2017-05-14 12:16:54 850 15:59:33 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO SECOND(0)
2 2016-08-17 20:17:21 2019-01-16 18:17:21 881 22:00:00 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO SECOND(0)
3 2016-08-10 22:12:11 2016-08-12 20:17:21 1 22:05:10 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO SECOND(0)
4 2015-01-22 20:17:21 2015-07-22 22:45:11 181 02:27:50 INTERVAL DAY(4) TO SECOND(0)

Also before applying any other function on INTERVAL datatype you may want to convert it into compatible datatype first. Since most of the functions are not applicable on INTERVAL you may get INVALID OPERATION error. Like I tried to apply TRIM function to INTERVAL output in the query.

select start_ts,end_ts, trim(cast(cast(end_ts as char(19)) as timestamp(0))- cast(cast(start_ts as char(19)) as timestamp(0)) DAY(4) to SECOND(0)) as Day_Diff, type(Day_Diff) from dummy_ts;

Error: “Invalid operation for DateTime or Interval”

I can convert INTERVAL to VARCHAR and then may apply String functions on it. Like below:

select start_ts,end_ts, trim(cast((end_ts – start_ts DAY(4) to SECOND(6)) as varchar(30))) as Day_Diff,type(Day_Diff) from dummy_ts;
start_ts end_ts Day_Diff Type(Day_Diff)
1 2015-01-14 20:17:21.000000 2017-05-14 12:16:54.000000 850 15:59:33.000000 VARCHAR(30)
2 2016-08-17 20:17:21.000000 2019-01-16 18:17:21.000000 881 22:00:00.000000 VARCHAR(30)
3 2016-08-10 22:12:11.000000 2016-08-12 20:17:21.000000 1 22:05:10.000000 VARCHAR(30)
4 2015-01-22 20:17:21.000000 2015-07-22 22:45:11.000000 181 02:27:50.000000 VARCHAR(30)

So you can see in above example, INTERVAL is converted to VARCHAR and then we can apply string functions like TRIM or SUBSTRING etc on it.
Now you know why do we get “Interval Field Overflow” or “Invalid operation for DateTime or Interval” error.
Hope this helps.

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