Available with the spring update of CRM Online 2015 are new date and time properties. The new data types of User Local and Time Zone Independent were added to provide more flexibility in creating and using date fields. In this blog, we'll help you understand the new data types, how to access them, and also explain how Update 1 solves the issue of time zone dependent dates and times.
Understanding the Date/Time Issue
Before the 2015 Spring Update, CRM stored all date and time values with the user's local time zone information. This included the Date Only format. The system converted the users' local time zone to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) for backend storage and then converted the date and time back to the local time zone for display on forms.
Pretty straightforward, but there were instances where this caused some confusion. For example, birthdays and anniversaries are Date Only values that don't contain time information, and hotel check-in times don't contain time zone information either. Users would sometimes see a different day displayed depending on their local time zone. Imagine receiving happy birthday wishes across multiple days! However, there are some workarounds that allow you to Prevent CRM from displaying incorrect dates between Time Zones.
The New Date and Time Data Types
With Spring Update 1, CRM now provides the option to store date and time values with or without time-zone conversion in the backend. This Time-Zone Independent option is new to this update and solves the problem. Here are some additional details:
Spring 2015 Update:
- Support for Date and Time and Date Only display formats still exist
- Date Only format always sets time to 12:00 am
- Time-Zone Independent format saves in UTC on the backend without converting the time-zone
- There is a new SDK property, DatetimeAttributeMetadataDateTimeBehavior, to specify Date Only and Time Zone Independent values
Accessing the New Data Types
The new time and date properties are available within the front-end as new Behavior options:
These new properties are not yet available for on-premises installations, but don't worry, readers! Microsoft is always working to enhance the features and platform capabilities of Dynamics CRM. Until then, make sure to check out our ever-so-popular Spring Wave Top 10 list for even more on Update 1. You may also be interested in new theming features and the plug-in trace log.
Thank you for stopping by our blog today! Until next time, happy CRM'ing!