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Setting Timezone based on user

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HarrinG
Advisor

Setting Timezone based on user

I have an OpenVMS 7.3-2 on an Alpha ES47 server and I have a problem. The server is in the U.S. Central timezone, but I am bringing users on in the U.S. Eastern and U.S. Mountain timezones. Is there a way in OpenVMS to designate the timezone or the time a person sees based on where they are either within their login script of within AUTHORIZE.

This is something brand new for me since I have never supported a server where the users were in another timezone. Thanks
4 REPLIES
John Gillings
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Setting Timezone based on user

Unfortunately no.

Time handling on OpenVMS isn't well enough abstracted to support multiple time zones in a cluster. All nodes, and therefore all users must be in the same zone, and be synchronized.

Simple example, time stamps on objects are stored in local time. This is an architectural limitation. To support multiple time zones, the stamps should be stored in UTC, but displayed according to a zone, which could be defined at system, group, user or process level. Unfortunately it's not possible to change the architecture without breaking lots of things (back when OpenVMS was being designed, the idea of a system being "large enough" to span timezones wasn't really on the horizon).

That said, there are time zone routines which allow an application to manipulate times in other zones (but it requires translating input times and timestamps into UTC using the system timezone, then translate to the target zone, very ugly!).
Depending on your requirements, you could define your own process time zone, code applications to honour it, and maybe modify a few system commands (like SHOW TIME).

Back in 1999 there were a number of software offerings that claimed to be able to shift time on a per process basis (target market was Y2K testing). Some worked reasonably well, others didn't. No matter how they did it, there were always examples of code for which it wouldn't work correctly.

Some customers with clusters that cross timezone boundaries run their systems in UTC, and expect their users to just live with it.
A crucible of informative mistakes
HarrinG
Advisor

Re: Setting Timezone based on user

Thanks for the information even though it was not the answer I was looking for. :)
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Setting Timezone based on user

If your code is written in C and using C APIs, you can get what you want here; the C implementation does live in its "own little happy place", and can deal with TZ and DST displays and conversions on a per-process basis.
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Setting Timezone based on user

I tested this one in 2004 and found it rather good.

http://www.softwarepartners.com/service/datesim/

But as John said, their are some potential problems. E.g. show queue to a file and parse that file will not give the local time.

Wim
Wim