Important Time Zone Gotcha For Users In The Southern Hemisphere


Users in Southern Hemisphere time zones that observe Daylight Savings Time (DST) with Datetimes that fall in the Standard Time part of the year are not converted correctly to/from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

The issue is twofold

1. datetimes are not converted to UTC when inserted into the CRM database

2. datetimes are not converted from UTC when retrieved from the CRM database

Because this issue affects both insertion and retrieval from the database, users may not observe any symptoms.  From the user perspective, the two issues cancel each other out, and datetimes appear correctly.   However, if an affected user switches to another time zone, or shares data with someone in another time zone, datetimes may appear incorrectly.

Let's consider a user in affected time zone “(GMT +10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney”, who creates two appointments:

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If the user switches to affected time zone “(GMT + 12:00) Auckland, Wellington”

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If the user switches to unaffected time zone “(GMT +12:00) Fiji, Kamchatka, Marshall Is.”

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To address this issue:

  • If you have not yet installed Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, choose the “Update installation files (strongly recommended)” option when installing CRM 4.0.
  • If you have already installed Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, please refer to “Hotfix information for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0” in the following KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948155.

Cheers,

Leslie Zavisca

Comments (4)

  1. Hi Leslie,

    I’m affraid that’s not the only problem related with Time Zone. Let me tell you a story about the Contact’s birthdate attribute.

    My Time Zone settings are the following: MS CRM Dynamics 4.0 server, SQL Server 2005 and my desktop time zone are all three GMT (… Lisbon).

    When I create/update a contact’s birthdate such as 24-07-1980 using the calendar everything looks fine but it isn’t! If one takes a pick to the database one will find that the birhdate was saved like 23-07-1980 23:00:00. One day less! To be true is just one hour less (it should be 24-07-1980 00:00:00) that easily changes the birthdate to one day less. However if you check your contact file everything looks ok (but it’s not at the DB level!). Tricky isn’t it?

    The same happens using CrmService create or update methods. But that I can manage with a workaround: I send 24-07-1980 21:00:00 and CrmService writes 24-07-1980 20:00:00 to the database and that doesn’t change the birthdate.

    But I also have a workaroud for the contact’s file birthdate. One should enable the OnSave event for the contact form and force the birthdate time to something like 21:00:00. The CRM will save it as 24-07-1980 20:00:00 and that doesn’t change the birthdate.

    When your dealing with customers birthdates are really important and this should be fixes ASAP don’t you think?

    This issue also affected MS CRM 3.0 contact’s birthdate.

    Regards,

    Sergio

  2. Christian says:

    Hi,

    we have got the same problem. How did you solve it? How did anybody solve it.

    Thanks

    Christian

  3. Kiavash says:

    In addition to the above, we also have an issue when working with the SDK. We’re in the timezone GMT+10:00. The webservice seems to receive dates from CRM as +10:00, by when saving dates to CRM from the webservice, they save as +11:00. So then eventually we have some dates returning in +10:00 and some in +11:00 format.

    When I explicitly save the date as +10:00 from the SDK, it actually saves the date minus 1 hour in the database. ie, 24-Jul-07 is saved as 24-Jul-07 23:00:00. So when the SDK reads the data back, its still in +11:00, which converted to +10:00 will become 24-Jul-07 00:00:00.

    This is dealing with my immediate problem, but who knows what will happen when daylight savings kicks in again!

    The hotfix seems to have dealt with some of the problems in CRM, but not the SDK related issues.

  4. Steven says:

    Exactly the same problem as Sergio – is there a solution to dates being saved one hour early.

    If I save a date as 02/08/2009 – it is saved in SQL as 01/08/2009 23:00.  I have made sure that my client, CRM server and SQL server are all set to GMT… Lisbon.

    Please help….

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