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Timezones In Enterprise Software Development. How To Handle DateTime Operations image

Timezones In Enterprise Software Development. How To Handle DateTime Operations

Enterprise software development usually implies that you have users all around the globe. And we can hardly imagine the enterprise software that doesn't use DateTime values for its operations. Therefore, people from different timezones will interact with the same time-related data. This is where the DateTime operations issue arises.


Here's the deal: the problem with handling timezones is far more common than you might think. "We are not that careless to mess up the DateTime calculation", - the one may suppose. However, the evidence often demonstrates quite the opposite.

The consequences of timezone handling issues can be far beyond plain financial losses. Consider this: a healthcare app tells the patient to take his or her pills 6 hours late because you've made a mistake in medication time calculation. This is why even human lives may be at stake, as far as DateTime operations are concerned.

With that said, let's come up with a comprehensive solution for the issue and discover the pitfalls you may find on your way to making things right.

A Robust Solution To Your Timezone Issues: Standardize Your DateTime Format

One of the simplest yet effective approaches to avoid incorrect DateTime values is to standardize the format you store them in. For instance, engineer your enterprise app to store all DateTime values in Universal Time (UTC) format.

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As you may have guessed, the only relevant place for showing human-readable local DateTime values is the user interface. Implement the logic to convert database data to local date and time on the front-end, as well as the reverse process.

Why Integer DateTime Values Are Not As Reliable

Representing DateTime values as integers is one more way to store a precise timestamp, regardless of the timezone. However, there are some critical problems associated with this approach:

On the whole, a holistic DateTime handling approach is pretty much the only way to avoid timezone issues.

Anatomy Of Incorrect DateTime Handling: What Causes The Issue

This timezone problem is like a virus: you may not be able to identify it until it's spread through the solution. From small startups and SMEs to enormous companies - businesses of every scale are vulnerable to it.

Now, there are several primary causes of the DateTime problem. These include but are not limited to the following:

Here at TekkSoft, we have experience in eliminating incorrect DateTime calculation. Our experts find poor documentation the primary reason for miscommunication in the developer team. This eventually leads to questionable decisions concerning timezones handling.

How To Address DateTime Issues: Tips On Solving

There is no one-step solution to this, and here’s why:

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As you might have guessed, the comprehensive investigation into your DateTime handling approaches is the only way to make things right. As long as you have multiple app modules working with DateTime values, any of them might cause the problem.

Here's how we do it in TekkSoft:

  1. Discover and list functionality that can insert and update DateTime values in your database;
  2. Scan the found modules for DateTime operations and study the way they handle this data type;
  3. Once discovered all malfunctioning features, we come up with an integrated approach to prevent impacting other services and systems.

The Bottom Line

Whether you are a small business or an enormous enterprise, failing to process DateTime values correctly may result in devastating consequences. Make sure to study your case before getting down to fixing the problem.

Remember: hiding consequences does not mean resolving the issue. With that said, take the timezones handling seriously to avoid ending up with a silly and costly-to-fix bug. Check out our blog for more software development and project management content.

If you seek professional assistance in project management and software development, contact TekkSoft experts. We deliver quality solutions and always strive to bring your business to a new level.

Chief Executive Officer
05 Mar 2020
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