An alias is required when using TO_CHAR to 'pretty up' the output : TO_CHAR « Date Timestamp Functions « Oracle PL/SQL Tutorial

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Oracle PL/SQL Tutorial » Date Timestamp Functions » TO_CHAR 
13.20.2.An alias is required when using TO_CHAR to 'pretty up' the output
SQL>
SQL>
SQL>
SQL> -- create demo table
SQL> create table Employee(
  2    ID                 VARCHAR2(BYTE)         NOT NULL,
  3    First_Name         VARCHAR2(10 BYTE),
  4    Last_Name          VARCHAR2(10 BYTE),
  5    Start_Date         DATE,
  6    End_Date           DATE,
  7    Salary             Number(8,2),
  8    City               VARCHAR2(10 BYTE),
  9    Description        VARCHAR2(15 BYTE)
 10  )
 11  /

Table created.

SQL>
SQL> -- prepare data
SQL> insert into Employee(ID,  First_Name, Last_Name, Start_Date,                     End_Date,
                  Salary,  City,       Description)
  2               values ('01','Jason',    'Martin',  to_date('19960725','YYYYMMDD'), to_date('20060
725','YYYYMMDD'), 1234.56'Toronto',  'Programmer')
  3  /

row created.

SQL> insert into Employee(ID,  First_Name, Last_Name, Start_Date,                     End_Date,
                  Salary,  City,       Description)
  2                values('02','Alison',   'Mathews', to_date('19760321','YYYYMMDD'), to_date('19860
221','YYYYMMDD'), 6661.78'Vancouver','Tester')
  3  /

row created.

SQL> insert into Employee(ID,  First_Name, Last_Name, Start_Date,                     End_Date,
                  Salary,  City,       Description)
  2                values('03','James',    'Smith',   to_date('19781212','YYYYMMDD'), to_date('19900
315','YYYYMMDD'), 6544.78'Vancouver','Tester')
  3  /

row created.

SQL> insert into Employee(ID,  First_Name, Last_Name, Start_Date,                     End_Date,
                  Salary,  City,       Description)
  2                values('04','Celia',    'Rice',    to_date('19821024','YYYYMMDD'), to_date('19990
421','YYYYMMDD'), 2344.78'Vancouver','Manager')
  3  /

row created.

SQL> insert into Employee(ID,  First_Name, Last_Name, Start_Date,                     End_Date,
                  Salary,  City,       Description)
  2                values('05','Robert',   'Black',   to_date('19840115','YYYYMMDD'), to_date('19980
808','YYYYMMDD'), 2334.78'Vancouver','Tester')
  3  /

row created.

SQL> insert into Employee(ID,  First_Name, Last_Name, Start_Date,                     End_Date,
                  Salary, City,        Description)
  2                values('06','Linda',    'Green',   to_date('19870730','YYYYMMDD'), to_date('19960
104','YYYYMMDD'), 4322.78,'New York',  'Tester')
  3  /

row created.

SQL> insert into Employee(ID,  First_Name, Last_Name, Start_Date,                     End_Date,
                  Salary, City,        Description)
  2                values('07','David',    'Larry',   to_date('19901231','YYYYMMDD'), to_date('19980
212','YYYYMMDD'), 7897.78,'New York',  'Manager')
  3  /

row created.

SQL> insert into Employee(ID,  First_Name, Last_Name, Start_Date,                     End_Date,
                  Salary, City,        Description)
  2                values('08','James',    'Cat',     to_date('19960917','YYYYMMDD'), to_date('20020
415','YYYYMMDD'), 1232.78,'Vancouver', 'Tester')
  3  /

row created.

SQL>
SQL>
SQL>
SQL> -- display data in the table
SQL> select from Employee
  2  /

ID   FIRST_NAME LAST_NAME  START_DAT END_DATE      SALARY CITY       DESCRIPTION
---- ---------- ---------- --------- --------- ---------- ---------- ---------------
01   Jason      Martin     25-JUL-96 25-JUL-06    1234.56 Toronto    Programmer
02   Alison     Mathews    21-MAR-76 21-FEB-86    6661.78 Vancouver  Tester
03   James      Smith      12-DEC-78 15-MAR-90    6544.78 Vancouver  Tester
04   Celia      Rice       24-OCT-82 21-APR-99    2344.78 Vancouver  Manager
05   Robert     Black      15-JAN-84 08-AUG-98    2334.78 Vancouver  Tester
06   Linda      Green      30-JUL-87 04-JAN-96    4322.78 New York   Tester
07   David      Larry      31-DEC-90 12-FEB-98    7897.78 New York   Manager
08   James      Cat        17-SEP-96 15-APR-02    1232.78 Vancouver  Tester

SQL>
SQL> SELECT id, TO_CHAR(Start_Date, 'dd Month yyyy') "Start_Date" FROM employee
  2  /

ID   Start_Date
---- -----------------
01   25 July      1996
02   21 March     1976
03   12 December  1978
04   24 October   1982
05   15 January   1984
06   30 July      1987
07   31 December  1990
08   17 September 1996

SQL>
SQL>
SQL>
SQL> -- clean the table
SQL> drop table Employee
  2  /

Table dropped.

SQL>
SQL>
13.20.TO_CHAR
13.20.1.Formatting Dates with TO_CHAR
13.20.2.An alias is required when using TO_CHAR to 'pretty up' the output
13.20.3.TO_CHAR(Start_Date, 'dd Month yyyy')
13.20.4.TO_CHAR(Start_Date, 'dd month YY')
13.20.5.TO_CHAR(Start_Date, 'dd Mon')
13.20.6.TO_CHAR(Start_Date, 'dd RM yyyy')
13.20.7.TO_CHAR(Start_Date, 'Day Mon yyyy')
13.20.8.TO_CHAR(Start_Date, 'Day fmMonth dd, yyyy')
13.20.9.TO_CHAR(Start_Date, 'Mon ddsp yyyy')
13.20.10.TO_CHAR(Start_Date, 'ddMon yy hh24:mi:ss')
13.20.11.TO_CHAR(sysdate,'HH24:MI:SS')
13.20.12.select TO_CHAR(sysdate,'HH.MI.SS AM') from dual;
13.20.13.to_char(gather_date, 'mm/dd/yyyy hh:mi')
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