# How to Use DIGITS function to get Digits from Decimal Column Value

In SQL, the DIGITS function extracts digits from a decimal value, which ignores sign, periods. It gives pure numeric digits. The shared example gives you a clear idea of how it works.

## The syntax for DIGITS Function.

``DIGITS ( expression )``

The schema is SYSIBM. The DIGITS function returns a character string representation of a number.

The argument must be an expression that returns a value of type SMALLINT, INTEGER, BIGINT or DECIMAL.

“If the argument can be null, the result can be null; if the argument is null, the result is the null value.”

The result of the function is a fixed-length character string representing the absolute value of the argument without regard to its scale.

The result does not include a sign or a decimal character. Instead, it consists exclusively of digits, including, if necessary, leading zeros to fill out the string. The length of the
string is:

• 5 if the argument is a small integer
• 10 if the argument is a large integer
• 19 if the argument is a big integer
• p if the argument is a decimal number with a precision of p.

### Examples:

Assume that a table called TABLEX contains an INTEGER column called INTCOL containing 10-digit numbers. List all distinct four-digit combinations of the first four digits contained in column INTCOL.

``````SELECT DISTINCT SUBSTR(DIGITS(INTCOL),1,4)
FROM TABLEX;``````

Assume that COLUMNX has the DECIMAL(6,2) data type and that one of its values is -6.28. Then, for this value:

``DIGITS(COLUMNX) ``

Returns the value ‘000628’.

#### Result:

The result is a string of length six (the precision of the column) with leading zeros padding the string out to this length. Neither sign nor decimal point appears in the result. 