When encountering a “Timestamp out of range” error, how to correct it?

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When encountering a “Timestamp out of range” error, what steps can be taken to identify the problematic timestamp values and correct them?

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 16, 2023

Encountering a “Timestamp out of range” error in Snowflake typically means that you are trying to insert or manipulate a timestamp value that is not within the valid range supported by Snowflake. To identify and correct the problematic timestamp values, follow these steps:

1. **Review the Error Message**:
– Carefully read the error message provided by Snowflake. It might give you information about the specific timestamp value that caused the error.
2. **Identify the Affected Columns**:
– Determine which columns or expressions in your query involve timestamp values that are causing the error.
3. **Check Timestamp Ranges**:
– Refer to Snowflake’s documentation to understand the valid range for timestamp data types. For TIMESTAMP data, Snowflake supports values from ‘1400-01-01 00:00:00.000’ to ‘9999-12-31 23:59:59.999’.
4. **Analyze Data Sources**:
– If you’re loading data from external sources, check the original data to identify any timestamp values that fall outside the valid range.
5. **Review Data Transformation Logic**:
– Examine any data transformation or manipulation steps in your ETL process that involve timestamps. Ensure that the logic is correctly handling and formatting timestamp values.
6. **Check Time Zones**:
– If time zones are involved, ensure that your timestamp values are correctly converted and adjusted based on the intended time zone.
7. **Use TO_TIMESTAMP() Function**:
– If you’re constructing timestamp values using string literals, make sure to use the **`TO_TIMESTAMP()`** function to ensure proper conversion. For example: **`TO_TIMESTAMP(‘2023-08-14 15:30:00’, ‘YYYY-MM-DD HH24:MI:SS’)`**.
8. **Check Timestamp Data Formats**:
– Verify that the timestamp values you’re working with match the expected format. Any deviations from the expected format could lead to errors.
9. **Use DATEADD() Function for Adjustments**:
– If you need to add or subtract time from a timestamp, use the **`DATEADD()`** function to ensure the result remains within the valid range.
10. **Error Handling and Data Validation**:
– Implement error handling and data validation mechanisms in your ETL process to catch and correct timestamp values that are out of range before they cause issues.
11. **Use CURRENT_TIMESTAMP Function**:
– If you’re inserting current timestamps into a table, consider using the **`CURRENT_TIMESTAMP`** function to ensure that the generated timestamp falls within the valid range.
12. **Data Cleanup and Correction**:
– Identify and correct timestamp values that fall outside the valid range. You may need to update or adjust these values in your source data before loading them into Snowflake.
13. **Testing and Validation**:
– Test your ETL process with sample data and validate that timestamp values are correctly handled and within the valid range.

By following these steps, you can identify the problematic timestamp values causing the “Timestamp out of range” error and take the necessary actions to correct them, ensuring that your data conforms to Snowflake’s supported timestamp range.

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 16, 2023
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