How to specify that DateTime objects retrieved from EntityFramework should be DateTimeKind.UTC

c# datetime entity-framework-6 utc

Question

I have C# program where all DateTime objects are DateTimeKind.UTC. When saving the objects to the database it stores UTC as expected. However, when retrieving them, they are DateTimeKind.Unspecified. Is there a way to tell Entity Framework (Code First) when creating DateTime objects in C# to always use DateTimeKind.UTC?

1
29
4/14/2020 8:53:09 PM

Accepted Answer

No, there's not. And it's actually DateTimeKind.Unspecified.

However, if you are concerned about supporting multiple timezones, you should consider using DateTimeOffset. It's like a regular DateTime, except that it does not represent a "perspective" of time, it represents an absolute view, in which 3PM (UTC - 3) equals 4PM (UTC - 2). DateTimeOffset contains both the DateTime and the time zone and it's supported by both EntityFramework and SQL Server.

20
4/7/2015 4:35:51 PM

Popular Answer

You can have your datacontext fix up all the relevant values as it goes. The following does so with a cache of properties for entity types, so as to avoid having to examine the type each time:

public class YourContext : DbContext
{
  private static readonly List<PropertyInfo> EmptyPropsList = new List<PropertyInfo>();
  private static readonly Hashtable PropsCache = new Hashtable(); // Spec promises safe for single-reader, multiple writer.
                                                                  // Spec for Dictionary makes no such promise, and while
                                                                  // it should be okay in this case, play it safe.
  private static List<PropertyInfo> GetDateProperties(Type type)
  {
    List<PropertyInfo> list = new List<PropertyInfo>();
    foreach(PropertyInfo prop in type.GetProperties())
    {
      Type valType = prop.PropertyType;
      if(valType == typeof(DateTime) || valType == typeof(DateTime?))
        list.Add(prop);
    }
    if(list.Count == 0)
      return EmptyPropsList; // Don't waste memory on lots of empty lists.
    list.TrimExcess();
    return list;
  }
  private static void FixDates(object sender, ObjectMaterializedEventArgs evArg)
  {
    object entity = evArg.Entity;
    if(entity != null)
    {
      Type eType = entity.GetType();
      List<PropertyInfo> rules = (List<PropertyInfo>)PropsCache[eType];
      if(rules == null)
        lock(PropsCache)
          PropsCache[eType] = rules = GetPropertyRules(eType); // Don't bother double-checking. Over-write is safe.
      foreach(var rule in rules)
      {
        var info = rule.PropertyInfo;
        object curVal = info.GetValue(entity);
        if(curVal != null)
          info.SetValue(entity, DateTime.SpecifyKind((DateTime)curVal, rule.Kind));
      }
    }
  }
  public YourContext()
  {
    ((IObjectContextAdapter)this).ObjectContext.ObjectMaterialized += FixDates;
    /* rest of constructor logic here */
  }
  /* rest of context class here */
}

This can also be combined with attributes so as to allow one to set the DateTimeKind each property should have, by storing a set of rules about each property, rather than just the PropertyInfo, and looking for the attribute in GetDateProperties.



Related Questions





Related

Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with Stack Overflow
Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with Stack Overflow