Handling of Time Aspects across Different Time Zones in SAP FSM

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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 in Multiple Time Zones

It is possible to plan in multiple time zones by completing the following:

1.) For an activity occuring in another time zone, change the computer date/time settings to match those of the time zone in which the activity is scheduled to occur (for the example below: Asia/Dubai UTC +4:00 is used).

2.) Refresh the Planning and Dispatching application.

3.) Create a new service call and enter the planned start and end information.

4.) In the computer date/time settings, revert back to the previous date/time settings (for our example, Europe/Zurich UTC +1:00 is used).

5.) Refresh the Planning and Dispatching application.

6.) In the Activity list below the Planning Board, ensure that the Act. Timezone column has been added.

7.) Now, when you click on the activity, the application will display Earliest Start Date, Due Date, Planned Start Date, and Planned End Date information in both the Planner’s time zone (Europe/Zurich) as well as in the time zone of the planned activity (Asia/Dubai).

8.) Additionally, if changes are made to the activity schedule in the Activity Details sidebar, these changes will reflect in the Original time zone section.

Display Aditional Time Zone in Planning Board

Additionally, planning in multiple time zones can be displayed in the Planning Board by completing the following:

1.) Click on the Planning Board settings icon ()

2.) Select the additional time zone you wish to display on the Planning Board from the Additional Time Zone drodpown located below.

3.) The application will display a second line in above the Planning Board, with the UTC information displayed beside it.

4.) Now, when you plan activities, you will be able to view both the Planner time zone and the activity time zone.

Note: An additional time zone can be displayed for up to two weeks.