How to write date queries against gravity form longtext gf_entry_meta

I have a form which takes a date time entry. I now need to write a SQL query to check for overlap as a validation but have just discovered that the data type is longtext. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to do a date query in this context?

We are dealing with less than 1000 entries.

We don’t recommend querying the tables directly as your code will break if there are changes made to how the data is stored in future releases.

Have you tried using the GFAPI methods for getting or counting entries that match your search criteria?

Thats a great suggestion and I’m trying it now but will it treat the data as a date or string? In other words can I search for dates as of a specific date and time up to a specific date and time?

It looks like you created a new topic after getting a little further, so we will continue here: