Handling of Time Aspects across Different Time Zones in SAP FSM



Definitions

UTC

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the basis for civil time today, and is the time standard commonly used across the world. The world’s timing centers have agreed to keep their time scales closely synchronized - or coordinated - hence the name Coordinated Universal Time.

Note: UTC is a standard, not a time zone.

Time Zone

A time zone is a region of the globe that observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. Time zones are generally offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) by a whole number of hour/s (UTC−12 to UTC+14)


Recording of Date & Time - Basic Principles

All the date/time fields stored in the Cloud are stored in UTC, following the ISO 8601 format. An example of a date/time recorded in our cloud would be: 2019-10-10T01:15:00Z.

Note: Z is the zone designator for the zero UTC offset

The clients applications (with “clients applications” we understand here all SAP FSM software application connected to the cloud, no matter if web-based FSM Apps, or native iOS, Android and Windows apps) are displaying the local time using the time zone set on the device running the client application.

For example, if your activity starts at 2019-10-10 02:00:00 UTC:

  • It will be stored in the cloud as 2019-10-10T02:00:00Z
  • It will be displayed in the client application as starting on the 2019-10-10 03:00:00 for a user signed-in on a device running in the time zone for Switzerland (UTC+1)
  • It will be displayed in the client application as starting on the 2019-10-10 06:00:00 for a user singed in on a device running in the time zone for Dubai (UTC+4)

All three time expressions listed above represent the same moment in time.


Recording of Time Zone Information in Relevant Objects

There are several places where time zone information may be relevant and is recorded in a separate field. This is the case for Mileage, WorkTime, TimeEffort, and ServiceAssignementStatus.

For these objects, the time zone provides information regarding what time of day or night the technician worked, which may influence the applicable rates.

This time zone information can be found in the following object/field:

Object : Field Data Type
Mileage : travelStartDateTimeTimeZoneId String
Mileage : travelEndDateTimeTimeZoneId String
WorkTime : startDateTimeTimeZoneId String
WorkTime : endDateTimeTimeZoneId String
WorkTime : breakStartDateTimeTimeZoneId String
TimeEffort : startDateTimeTimeZoneId String
TimeEffort : endDateTimeTimeZoneId String
TimeEffort : breakStartDateTimeTimeZoneId String
ServiceAssignmentStatus: createDateTimeTimeZoneId String

The time zone information is stored as per ‘TZ database name’ column.

Example: ‘Asia/Dubai’


Planning across Time Zone

If, as a dispatcher, you want to plan activities in another time zone than the one of the device on which you are signed in, you need to consider this time zone difference and apply the relevant offset when assigning to your planning board.

If you are frequently planning in another time zone, you may also consider setting your client device temporarly to the time zone of the targeted planning time zone, as shown in the image below:



For Mac OS X users, the following image illustrates where time zone settings can be changed (System Preferences > Date & Time > Time Zone):



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