Datalogging timestamp suggestion


Thread Starter

Bill Townsley

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I should address the issues around timestamping and daylight savings/standard time. Is there any industry standard in place? Typically, I've seen the systems using standard time only...

Greg Goodman

In general, timestamps should be stored and transmitted as UTC (Coordinated Universal Time, aka GMT). Time zones and DST should be an issue only for presentation (HMI, reports, etc).

The advantage of using UTC is that timestamps are portable and comparable, whenever and wherever they are generated.

For HMI/reports, the presentation of timestamps can be left to user preference. If you have to hard-code it, ask the users how they want to see timestamps. (This applies not only to local/UCT and DST, but also to format and granularity.) If possible, give the users control via configuration file or preferences dialog.


Greg Goodman
Chiron Consulting

Michael R. Batchelor

What's wrong with UTC. It's a little difficult to explain to some of the operators at first, but I've not run into anyone what was so dense they couldn't get it after a few expalnations.

Michael R. Batchelor - Industrial Informatics, Inc.
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Bob Peterson

A possible solution is to use zulu time (GMT). This is not affected by daylight savings time, but requires people to think a little.

OTOH-whats wrong with just using whatever the local time is?

Bob Peterson