The SQL ABS function is a built-in mathematical function that is used to return the absolute (positive) value of a numeric expression. The ABS function is commonly used in SQL queries to perform calculations that involve positive numbers or to retrieve the absolute value of a negative number.
The syntax of the ABS function in SQL is quite simple. The ABS function takes a single argument, which can be any numeric value or expression. Here’s the syntax:
The argument numeric_expression represents the value or expression for which you want to retrieve the absolute value.
Here’s an example of using the ABS function in a SQL query:
SELECT ABS(-10) as absolute_value;
This query will return the absolute value of -10, which is 10. The as keyword is used to give a name to the column returned by the query.
The ABS function can also be used in more complex SQL queries that involve calculations with multiple columns or conditions. For example, you could use the ABS function to calculate the absolute difference between two columns in a table:
SELECT ABS(column1 - column2) as absolute_difference FROM my_table;
In this query, column1 and column2 are columns in the my_table table. The ABS function is used to calculate the absolute difference between the two columns and return the result in a new column called absolute_difference.
In conclusion, the SQL ABS function is a useful tool for performing mathematical calculations in SQL queries. It is easy to use and can be used in a variety of scenarios where the absolute value of a numeric expression is required.