Difference between DATEDIFF and DATEDIFF_BIG functions in Sql Server

This article gives an introduction to the DATEDIFF and DATEDIFF_BIG functions by listing out the differences and similarities between them.

[ALSO READ]: How to get difference between two dates in Years, Months and days in Sql Server

DATEDIFF Function DATEDIFF_BIG Function
This function is available from very old versions of Sql Server. This function is introduced in Sql Server 2016
This function returns the number of the specified datepart boundaries crossed between the specified startdate and enddate This function returns the number of the specified datepart boundaries crossed between the specified startdate and enddate
Syntax:
DATEDIFF( datepart, startdate, enddate)

Where datepart can be one of the following values: year, quarter, month, dayofyear, day, week, hour, minute, second, millisecond, microsecond and
nanosecond

Syntax:
DATEDIFF_BIG(datepart,startdate,enddate)

Where datepart can be one of the following values: year, quarter, month, dayofyear, day, week, hour, minute, second, millisecond, microsecond and
nanosecond

This functions return value data type is INT This functions return value data type is BigINT
Example: Below is an example getting difference between two dates in days using DATEDIFF function:

SELECT DATEDIFF(DAY,
 '12/01/2015','12/02/2015')
 AS 'Difference in days'

RESULT:
Difference in days
——————
1

Example: Below is an example getting difference between two dates in days using DATEDIFF_BIG function:

SELECT DATEDIFF_BIG(DAY,
 '12/01/2015','12/02/2015')
  AS 'Difference in days'

RESULT:
Difference in days
——————–
1

Example: This example demonstrates the behavior of the DATEDIFF function when the milliseconds difference between two dates is greater than the INT max (i.e. 2,147,483,647) value.

SELECT DATEDIFF(MILLISECOND,
 '12/01/2015','12/30/2015')
 AS 'Difference in MILLISECOND'

RESULT:

Msg 535, Level 16, State 0, Line 1
The datediff function resulted in an overflow. The number of dateparts separating two date/time instances is too large. Try to use datediff with a less precise datepart.

Example: This example demonstrates the behavior of the DATEDIFF_BIG function when the milliseconds difference between two dates is greater than the INT max (i.e. 2,147,483,647) value.

SELECT DATEDIFF_BIG(MILLISECOND,
 '12/01/2015','12/30/2015') 
AS 'Difference in MILLISECOND'

RESULT:
Difference in MILLISECOND
————————-
2505600000

The minimum and maximum value that this function can return is: -2,147,483,648 and +2,147,483,647 The minimum and maximum value that this function can return is: -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 and 9,223,372,036,854,775,807

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