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ABS (Transact-SQL)

A mathematical function that returns the absolute (positive) value of the specified numeric expression.

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions

ABS ( numeric_expression )

numeric_expression

Is an expression of the exact numeric or approximate numeric data type category.

Returns the same type as numeric_expression.

The following example shows the results of using the ABS function on three different numbers.

SELECT ABS(-1.0), ABS(0.0), ABS(1.0);

Here is the result set.

---- ---- ----
1.0  .0   1.0

The ABS function can produce an overflow error when the absolute value of a number is greater than the largest number that can be represented by the specified data type. For example, the int data type can hold only values that range from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647. Computing the absolute value for the signed integer -2,147,483,648 causes an overflow error because its absolute value is greater than the positive range for the int data type.

DECLARE @i int;
SET @i = -2147483648;
SELECT ABS(@i);
GO

Here is the error message:

"Msg 8115, Level 16, State 2, Line 3"

"Arithmetic overflow error converting expression to data type int."

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