Solved: server get timezone

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In the modern web era, finding a server’s timezone is an essential task for developers especially when dealing with internationalization in web applications, database accuracy, timed events, and more. Inaccuracies in time zones can lead to erroneous data representation and significant complications in data interpretation. Thus, it’s imperative to know how the server’s time zone can be determined and used for smooth running programs. One such language widely used in task accomplishment is SQL — a standard language for managing data held in a relational database management system.


The SQL code shown returns the current date and time of the server in UTC timezone. This information is crucial when dealing with real-time data, especially in global applications where users are located in different time zones.

Understanding Time Zones in SQL

Time zones in SQL refer to the time set for your server where your SQL instance is running. When dealing with international users, the versatility of catching respective time zones becomes inevitable. Hence, SQL facilitates us with its robust features to retrieve the server time zone.

The SQL code snippet (‘CURRENT_TIMESTAMP AT TIME ZONE ‘UTC’;’) is a straight forward statement where CURRENT_TIMESTAMP returns the current date and time where the SQL server is running. The ‘AT TIME ZONE’ clause converts the time to the specified timezone, in this case, it’s UTC.

SQL comes with a function, namely ‘AT TIME ZONE’, which helps fetch time converted to the specified time zone. Furthermore, to cater to the globally scattered users of the application, SQL comes with another method – ‘GETUTCDATE()’, which implies getting the Universal Time Coordinated (UTC).

The SQL Library Associated with Timezone Functions

SQL’s library of built-in functions includes many date and time functions that allow for the manipulation and display of date/time data. Two essential functions for dealing with time zones are ‘AT TIME ZONE’ and ‘GETUTCDATE()’.

‘AT TIME ZONE’ is straightforward, converting the current date and time to the specified timezone, as seen previously. However, ‘GETUTCDATE()’ returns the current UTC date and time, handy when dealing with international users where their local time zone is not necessarily the same as the server’s.

It is noteworthy to mention that the SQL also facilitates us with the capability of altering server time. This aspect helps developers to set the time according to their requirements.

Usage of ‘AT TIME ZONE’ in SQL

The ‘AT TIME ZONE’ function works by converting a datetime value from one time zone to another. Here’s an example on how exactly it can be used:

  GETDATE() AS 'CurrentServerTime',
  GETDATE() AT TIME ZONE 'Pacific Standard Time' AS 'PST',
  GETDATE() AT TIME ZONE 'Eastern Standard Time' AS 'EST'

In the code above, the current date/time is converted and presented in both Pacific Standard Time (PST) and Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Final Thoughts

Managing time zones effectively on the server-side can improve the user experience on the client-side. The success of an application, particularly an international one, depends heavily on how well the backend deals with date/time data. Hence, understanding time zones in SQL becomes one of the vital skills in a developer’s toolkit.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so make sure to play around with these time zone functionalities and see what results you get before applying them into your main code.

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