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Migrating DATETIME Columns to DATETIMEOFFSET

Josh Darnell makes a change:

We have an application that uses datetime columns in a number of places. All of the users have always been in Eastern Time, but now we have a request to introduce users from a different time zone (Central Time) into the system. The lack of time zone information in our dates and times now presents a problem.

The system needs to communicate to users how long ago something occurred, or a time in the future that something needs to be done. If an Eastern Time user enters in a “follow up time” of today at 2:00 pm, a Central Time user could log in, see that, and end up being an hour late following up with their customer.

Click through for the process and several bugaboos you might run into. What we’ve done was to force all application times in UTC in DATETIME or DATETIME2 format and then store user preferences on time zone in the application, translating from UTC to the relevant time zone at that level.

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