Dates, Times and Universal Coordinated Time (UTC)

In Field Squared there are several places where we handle dates, times and datetimes (both date and time together).

Times and datetimes can either be in absolute time or in UTC time.

Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) for Times and DateTimes

UTC is the world standard for agreeing on what a times and datetimes means across given time zones (see Almost all times and datetimes shown in Field Squared are UTC time.

Every person viewing that date on their devices will see the times converted into their local timezone automatically. Emailed documents, PDF's and SMS messages are sent in the timezone of your company's Workspace, not in the time zone of the recipient.

Example: if a document is created in California on May 12, 2016 at 11:15AM (in PST), someone viewing that document on an iPad in Florida will see the document created at May 12, 2016 at 2:15PM (in EST).

Internally all datetimes in field squared are stored using the ISO-8901 format for UTC dates & times:


All times are stored in ISO-8901 format for UTC times:


The "Z" in these times represents that the time is in UTC time.

Absolute Times

If you have a DateTime control in a document set to Absolute Time mode, then the system will store the times without timezone information attached.

Absolute Times are never adjusted for time zones.

Example: if you set a time to 11:00 AM on an iPad in the Eastern Standard Time (EST) timezone, and you viewed that document in the Pacific Standard Time (PST) timezone, the time would still say 11:00 AM.

Times are stored internally in Field Squared using the following format:


Absolute Dates

All dates in Field Squared are absolute dates (but only where there is no time component). We do not have the concept of a UTC date.

For all dates in Field Squared, time zone is not taken into account.

Example: May 12th 2016 will be the same date in Australia and the United States.

Dates are stored internally in Field Squared using the following format:


Using Times in Expressions

Field Squared does not currently support using dates and times in expressions to pre-populate datetime controls.

If you need to copy date created or date modified into a Smart Text control in a document from a Task record, we do have some "helper" string variants to use in expressions:

{task.dateCreated} – this returns the date and time the task was created in "friendly time"


{task.dateLastUpdated} – this returns the date the task was last updated, using the formatting rules above.

Friendly Times

Friendly times are used for display within our apps. Friendly datetimes will convert the current date and time into local time as a string in the format "MMM d, yyyy HH:MMA". Certain portions of the datetime values are omitted to make the dates easier to read.

Assuming the current date is May 12th, 2016 at 11:15am in pacific time (PST), and we are looking at how various times would be displayed in relation to the current date:

  • The time portion of the date time is displayed in "friendly time" format, so that:
    • "A" indicates am or pm. For example: "May 5, 2016 11:15A"
    • If the minute is exactly on the hour, then we'll leave off the minute portion of the time: "May 5, 11A".
    • Seconds are not displayed, stored or used.
  • Dates are displayed in "friendly" date format, so that:
    • If the date displayed is the current date, then we'll display "Today" instead of the actual date. For example, "Today 11:15A".
    • If the year is the current year, then yyyy will be left out. Example: "May 5 11:15 A".
    • Previous or future years will display as "May 12, 2017 11:15A".

When using friendly times as an expression, the datetime is always converted to local time on the device, and then converted to friendly time as a text string, which can then be viewed on all devices as plain text from then on without time zone conversions (so the time would display as 11:15A in PST and EST).

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles