Sunday, January 21, 2007

Are you prepared for Daylight Savings Time changes?

Recent communications from our friend Tom Hoffmann (Systems Manager at the Orange County, Florida Clerk of Courts) reminded us of the possible impact of Daylight Savings Time changes on IT systems. In August of 2005, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This Act extends Daylight Savings Time by four weeks beginning in 2007, with the intended benefit being reduced energy consumption. DST will now begin on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November.

This change could affect computers and applications that incorporate date and time processing functions or time stamps. Most applications and databases rely on the operating system clock for date and time functions. There is likely a patch for most operating systems that you’ve hopefully already applied. There is apparently also a problem with Java applications running under an older runtime environment (JRE). Most of our Court IT friends have probably already assessed the impact on their systems. For those who haven’t, now would be a good time. Many vendors have made available updates and/or recommended approaches to dealing with the change. Several links are provided below for articles on the subject and to pages from a few of the larger systems providers, but you should contact your system and application vendors for additional information.