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Introduce yourself to the standard SQL functions used in data processing. This course shows you how to use SQL to work with the following data types:

  • Text
  • Numeric
  • Date and time
  • And more

You’ll also learn about:

  • Dealing with NULLs in SQL functions
  • SQL aggregate functions

You’ll also examine the CASE WHEN expression – a powerful SQL construction that facilitates conditional computations. Finally, the SQL reporting exercises explain how to work with computing ratios and percentages.

Note: This course uses examples written in standard SQL, but not all databases comply with the SQL standard. Some minor modifications may be needed. If that’s the case, we’ll let you know in the exercise instructions. Also, many databases offer non-standard functions that do the same thing as these standard functions. We don’t cover non-standard syntax in this course; your database documentation is a good place to learn about any non-standard syntax.

What Do You Need to Take This Course?

  • A web browser and an Internet connection
  • Some understanding of SQL, such as the concepts presented in our SQL Basics course

This Course Will Teach You How To:

  • Utilize common SQL text functions
  • Identify and use standard SQL numeric functions
  • Select and implement SQL date and time functions
  • Work with NULLs in standard SQL functions
  • Understand SQL aggregate functions

Plus, you’ll get to practice your skills on 211 interactive exercises.

Who Should Take This Course?

  • Anyone who wants to learn about standard SQL functions
  • Beginning database analysts
  • Beginning developers
  • Students taking classes in relational databases
  • Business database users who want to improve their skills


The material in Standard SQL Functions is intended for intermediate users. To complete this course, you’ll need to know:

  • How to select from a single table, including writing complex WHERE conditions
  • How to JOIN tables
  • How GROUP BY and HAVING work


This course is not about user-defined functions. If you're looking for a course about user-defined functions, see the Writing User-Defined Functions in PostgreSQL course.

    Table of contents

    Progress: 0% completed 0 of 211 exercises done

    1. Intro Quiz

    In this course we assume that you know the basics of SQL: you know how to select information from a single table, you know how to join queries and group by query results. Take the test to find out if you know SQL well enough to follow the course.

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    2. Pretty Printing

    Learn the basic SQL text functions to transform text values and make your reports look pretty.

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    3. Numeric functions

    Master numeric functions in SQL. Learn about the caveats of mathematical operators in SQL, various rounding functions in SQL and computing proportions in SQL.

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    4. Date and time functions

    Study date and time functions and learn how to select events from a period of time.

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    5. Nulls

    NULLs are tricky. Learn how to avoid common mistakes with NULL and what SQL functions there are to deal with NULL.

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    6. Aggregate functions

    Deepen your understanding of SQL aggregate functions: COUNT, AVG and SUM. Practise which variant of COUNT or AVG to choose in typical use cases.

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    7. CASE WHEN

    Learn how to include conditions in your SQL queries. Practise computing simple summary reports.

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    8. Final Quiz

    Check the knowledge of SQL functions in the quiz.

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