I want to query a DateTime Field in a table in a file-geodatabase and I keep on getting the error "invalid sql statement" (Error Code: -2147220985) while that sql statement does not give me an error on an empty table with the same configuration on an sde (even though there is no data in that table I think if the sql statement was wrong it should produce the same error there).

I use ArcObjects .Net SDK 10. I construct my whereclause like this, passing in two DateTime Objects as arguments. I've tried various ways of formating them.

string whereClause = string.Format("dat >= '{0}' AND dat <= '{1}'", fromDate.ToShortDateString(), toDate.ToShortDateString());

I then create an IQueryDef on a file-geodatabase workspace and set the previous whereclause. I then call the Evaluate() method of the IQueryDef and that is where it crashes. I was able to successfully launch other where-clauses on that same table in that same workspace but without taking the Date-Field into account. At the moment I don't see where the problem is. Is there a difference between accessing Date columns on a file-geodatabase vs a SDE with SQL out of ArcObjects? Or is something wrong with the way I use SQL here?

1 Answer 1


There is a differences between ArcSDE and File GDB SQL query syntax for Date fields:

SQL reference for query expressions used in ArcGIS (10.2)(Dates and time section)


It appears you need to encapsulate your column names in double quotes and precede your values with date. I believe the File GDB workspace is case-sensitive as well:

This is the File GDB SQL syntax:

"Datefield" = date 'yyyy-mm-dd'

So yours might look something like:

string whereClause = string.Format(""dat" >= date '{0}' AND "dat" <= date '{1}'", fromDate.ToShortDateString(), toDate.ToShortDateString());

You can check if this is correct using the ISQLSyntax interface:

ISQLSyntax Interface


I was also referring to this page for reference:

IQueryDef.WhereClause Property


  • Thank you very much. Your example works. One can ommit the double quotes around the field name. I guess one would need to use an escape sequence when using your exact example since the double quotes around dat would not compile in c#.
    – Chris P
    Commented Sep 3, 2014 at 7:01

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