Thursday, January 4, 2007

USA/Canada Daylight Saving Time is 4 weeks longer this year. Are you ready?

You may have heard that the Daylight Saving Time (DST) start and end dates are changing in the USA and Canada in 2007. They are a result of the USA Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Have you considered the changes you will need to make to your Smallworld installation to account for these changes?

Thanks to Bill's post at sw-gis, we have learned that you should contact your local authorized Smallworld Support team for the new timezone fixes. The switch to DST for this year occurs on March 11 so it is a good idea to have the fixes in place before then.

[Updated 05Jan07: I contacted GE Smallworld help and they confirmed that TSB111 addresses this Daylight Saving Time change.
Note: when updating to TSB111, please also read the document title "Issue with TSB 111 - Update". It provides important information that supersedes the original TSB111 document.]

National Resource Council Canada has an article that describes how the USA Daylight Saving Time has now become a "North American" standard to include Canada as well. (it is not clear to me whether Mexico has implemented these changes)

Items to consider:
  • contact your Smallworld Support team for the new timezone fixes before March 11, 2007
  • If you are a Canadian customer, confirm that Smallworld has changed the timezone information for Canadian zones as well. When the USA Energy Policy Act of 2005 was first introduced, it apparently caught the Canadian government by surprise and there was some confusion about whether Canada would follow suit.
  • The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has a stipulation in it that Congress should at the end of 2007 review the energy savings realized by the DST shift. The implication is that the DST changes could be rolled back to what they used to be. You might consider keeping a copy of your old product\data\zoneinfo data handy in case this grand experiment proves ineffective.
Related to all this, David posts some helpful links describing how Windows, Outlook and Java will address these DST changes.

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