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This adds support to Sequelize for MySQL’s TIMESTAMP data type. Specifically, it allows you to use TIMESTAMP for basic storage of an absolute date/time.

It works with Sequelize 3.x and pre-release version 4.x.

Why use it

MySQL has two data types for dates and times: TIMESTAMP and DATETIME. There are tradeoffs with either type; see below. Sequelize has built-in support for DATETIME but limited support for TIMESTAMP.

Currently the main reason to use TIMESTAMP is to support legacy DB schemas.


Install: npm install sequelize-mysql-timestamp

const Sequelize = require('sequelize');
// create your connection
const sequelize = new Sequelize();
// now add the TIMESTAMP type
const TIMESTAMP = require('sequelize-mysql-timestamp')(sequelize);
const User = sequelize.define('User', {
  username: Sequelize.STRING,
  hire_date: TIMESTAMP

Use a Date or an epoch integer

When setting a date value, it’s recommended that you pass a Date object, or a plain integer (an epoch timestamp—what you get when you call You can also pass any object whose numeric value resolves to an epoch timestamp, including Moment.js objects.

Although you can pass a string, this is not recommended, as string values don’t inherently have timezone information. Without a timezone your string may be interpreted as a local date, unless it’s a date-only ISO 8601 string (see the note regarding dateString on MDN). Some date strings do have timezone information but even then, to avoid inconsistent parsing, it’s strongly recommended that you pass a timezone-aware value, either a Date(), or an epoch timestamp (which is by definition UTC), or a Moment.js object.

If you pass a string value, a warning will be printed to the console. To suppress this warning, pass { warnings: false } to the constructor:

const TIMESTAMP = require('sequelize-mysql-timestamp')(sequelize, { warnings: false });

The $between keyword in Sequelize

When using the Sequelize $between keyword, Sequelize will not properly pass the value through this data type. Instead, it’s best to pass string values. The strings should represent the desired times in UTC:

  SomeModel.findAll({ where: { hire_date: { $between: [ '2016-01-01 00:00:00', '2016-01-31 23:59:59' ] }}})…

Differences between TIMESTAMP and DATETIME

The MySQL TIMESTAMP data type stores a Unix epoch timestamp. This represents an absolute instant in time, regardless of timezones, which is great for data consistency. On the other hand, a TIMESTAMP can only represent values between January 1970 and January 2038, which is a serious limitation for some apps.

By contrast, DATETIME is stored without any timezone. It can represent any date/time from 1000-9999 AD, but without a timezone, there is no way to know what moment a DATETIME represents. For a DATETIME column to be meaningful you must decide in advance what timezone to use (hopefully UTC unless your DB designers are nuts). This isn’t stored in the database, it’s just a convention. Make sure all your programmers are aware of this, and that data is always converted to/from the desired timezone. Sequelize does this with its timezone option.


You can choose TIMESTAMP, which represents a specific time regardless of local timezone settings, but only a limited range of dates. Or you can choose DATETIME, which represents a wide range of dates, but requires all your programmers and applications to consistently convert to/from an agreed-upon timezone.

The SQL standard defines a data type, TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE, that supports a wide range of dates, and because it has an explicit timezone, represents a non-ambiguous moment in time. This is widely supported in other database engines: PostgreSQL and Oracle support TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE; Microsoft SQL Server has a similar DATETIMEOFFSET. Unfortunately MySQL doesn’t have anything like it. TIMESTAMP and DATETIME, with their respective limitations, are your only options.


To run the unit tests, copy test/config.js to test/config.local.js and enter credentials for a test database. Then run npm test.

During the tests, several tables are created. These have names starting with _test_timestamp_ followed by a UUID, so they will not conflict with existing tables. These tables are DROPped after the tests.

The tests use Sequelize 5.x, the latest supported version. To test against other versions, do npm rm sequelize && npm i -D sequelize@4 before running the test. Replace @4 with the version you want to test against. Tests should work back to Sequelize v3.




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