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Does your SharePoint alerts have the wrong time…?

19 May, 2008 (08:30) | SharePoint | By: Liebrand

Over the past few months I have seen numerous reports stating the SharePoint is reporting the inaccurate time in the alerts received by end-users. Reports of this issue are sporadic and nobody seems to have a solid solution for it. I received some of the reports on one of my own blog postings (Getting SharePoint Calendar Reminders in Outlook) regarding this issue.

I think the best way to start attempting to solve this problem is to gather information about the problem. I wrote a little utility that will spit out some information about your regional settings as defined in Windows, SharePoint, and on the alerts themselves. The SharePoint build information is also included in the output.

To run the utility, simply type:

RegionInfo -url <the url of the site with bad alert information>

And the output will look something like this:

Gathering Region Information (5/19/2008 9:23:10 AM) …

System Information
==================
Daylight Savings Time Zone: Pacific Daylight Time
Standard Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time
Universal Time: 5/19/2008 4:23:10 PM
Local Time: 5/19/2008 9:23:10 AM
Offset: -07:00:00

SharePoint Information
======================
Farm Build #: 12.0.0.6300
Web Application Time Zone ID: 13

Root Web
========
Zone ID: 13
Zone Description: (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Universal Time: 5/19/2008 4:23:10 PM

Web
===
Zone ID: 13
Zone Description: (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Universal Time: 5/19/2008 4:23:10 PM

Alert Information
=================
Type    Frequency    Title
—-    ———    —–
All    Immediate    Calendar  
All    Immediate    System   

The follow is a count of all alerts in the
specified web grouped by timezone ID.

Zone    Count
—-    —–
13    2

You can download the RegionInfo program by using the SkyDrive link below.

http://cid-06457d244696ab3c.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/WSS/RegionInfo

I recommend that you post the output of this program to the comments of this blog post so we can start to gather the information in a central place. Maybe we can find a pattern here.

Update – 5/19/2008

I originally built the application with .NET Framework 3.5.  I recompiled for .NET Framework 3.0 for those who have not yet gone to .NET Framework 3.5.  Thank you to Jereon for bringing it to my attention.


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  • GregoryH

    Another problem, probably somehow connected, and, at least for my company – serious business impact…

    Try to create a custom Date or Date/Time column in wss3.0 built-in calendar list. Create new event, set start date, end date, Your custom date and check the all-day event checkbox. Edit Your event few times. Every time You edit the event, Your custom date field decreases or increases a day off if it’s a Date field, or an hour off, if it’s Date/Time field. Looks quite messy and i’m not going to believe it’s a feature.

    The problem exists only for wss3.0 time zone setting other than Greenwich time. If You are in time zone GMT+ Your custom fields entries decreses, GMT- -> increases.

    My configuration:
    Windows server 2003 r2
    WSS 3.0
    WindowsIntDatabase

    Tried clean WSS3.0, WSS3.0 +sp1 and WSS3.0+sp1+december update -> same things happen.

  • Andrew

    I seem to be having the same problem. It only happens on alerts and calendar items can be viewed properly on Outlook 2007. Here are the rusults from my RegionInfo:

    Gathering Region Information (3/2/2009 8:53:41 AM) …

    System Information
    ==================
    Daylight Savings Time Zone: Central Daylight Time
    Standard Time Zone: Central Standard Time
    Universal Time: 3/2/2009 2:53:41 PM
    Local Time: 3/2/2009 8:53:41 AM
    Offset: -06:00:00

    SharePoint Information
    ======================
    Farm Build #: 12.0.0.6219
    Web Application Time Zone ID: -1

    Root Web
    ========
    Zone ID: 11
    Zone Description: (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US and Canada)
    Universal Time: 3/2/2009 2:53:41 PM

    Web
    ===
    Zone ID: 11
    Zone Description: (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US and Canada)
    Universal Time: 3/2/2009 2:53:41 PM

    Alert Information
    =================
    Type Frequency Title
    —- ——— —–
    All Immediate Migration Calendar
    All Immediate Calendar: OCDD Region 6 – Leesville Residential and Empl
    oyee Services (130 users)
    All Immediate Calendar: Region 3 CART (6 Users)
    All Immediate Calendar: Assumption MHC Region 3 (2 Users)
    All Immediate Calendar: OMF Contracts Section – Bienville Bldg

    All Immediate Team Discussion: Generic users
    All Immediate Team Discussion

    The follow is a count of all alerts in the
    specified web grouped by timezone ID.

    Zone Count
    —- —–
    11 8

    END

  • Andrew

    I seem to be having the same problem. It only happens on alerts and calendar items can be viewed properly on Outlook 2007. Here are the rusults from my RegionInfo:

    Gathering Region Information (3/2/2009 8:53:41 AM) …

    System Information
    ==================
    Daylight Savings Time Zone: Central Daylight Time
    Standard Time Zone: Central Standard Time
    Universal Time: 3/2/2009 2:53:41 PM
    Local Time: 3/2/2009 8:53:41 AM
    Offset: -06:00:00

    SharePoint Information
    ======================
    Farm Build #: 12.0.0.6219
    Web Application Time Zone ID: -1

    Root Web
    ========
    Zone ID: 11
    Zone Description: (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US and Canada)
    Universal Time: 3/2/2009 2:53:41 PM

    Web
    ===
    Zone ID: 11
    Zone Description: (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US and Canada)
    Universal Time: 3/2/2009 2:53:41 PM

    Alert Information
    =================
    Type Frequency Title
    —- ——— —–
    All Immediate Migration Calendar
    All Immediate Calendar: OCDD Region 6 – Leesville Residential and Empl
    oyee Services (130 users)
    All Immediate Calendar: Region 3 CART (6 Users)
    All Immediate Calendar: Assumption MHC Region 3 (2 Users)
    All Immediate Calendar: OMF Contracts Section – Bienville Bldg

    All Immediate Team Discussion: Generic users
    All Immediate Team Discussion

    The follow is a count of all alerts in the
    specified web grouped by timezone ID.

    Zone Count
    —- —–
    11 8

    END

  • Andrew

    I seem to be having the same problem. It only happens on alerts and calendar items can be viewed properly on Outlook 2007. Here are the rusults from my RegionInfo:

    Gathering Region Information (3/2/2009 8:53:41 AM) …

    System Information
    ==================
    Daylight Savings Time Zone: Central Daylight Time
    Standard Time Zone: Central Standard Time
    Universal Time: 3/2/2009 2:53:41 PM
    Local Time: 3/2/2009 8:53:41 AM
    Offset: -06:00:00

    SharePoint Information
    ======================
    Farm Build #: 12.0.0.6219
    Web Application Time Zone ID: -1

    Root Web
    ========
    Zone ID: 11
    Zone Description: (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US and Canada)
    Universal Time: 3/2/2009 2:53:41 PM

    Web
    ===
    Zone ID: 11
    Zone Description: (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US and Canada)
    Universal Time: 3/2/2009 2:53:41 PM

    Alert Information
    =================
    Type Frequency Title
    —- ——— —–
    All Immediate Migration Calendar
    All Immediate Calendar: OCDD Region 6 – Leesville Residential and Empl
    oyee Services (130 users)
    All Immediate Calendar: Region 3 CART (6 Users)
    All Immediate Calendar: Assumption MHC Region 3 (2 Users)
    All Immediate Calendar: OMF Contracts Section – Bienville Bldg

    All Immediate Team Discussion: Generic users
    All Immediate Team Discussion

    The follow is a count of all alerts in the
    specified web grouped by timezone ID.

    Zone Count
    —- —–
    11 8

    END

  • Adam

    See this link.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/919042

    Microsoft will not fix this, but instead recommends upgrading to Outlook 2007.

  • Adam

    See this link.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/919042

    Microsoft will not fix this, but instead recommends upgrading to Outlook 2007.

  • Adam

    See this link.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/919042

    Microsoft will not fix this, but instead recommends upgrading to Outlook 2007.

  • Adam,

    Although that is a good KB article to have around — the problem we are specifically talking about is the “alerts” being generated by SharePoint and being delivered via email. The information within the email itself is off. This post does not refer to calendar items that are sync’d to Outlook calendars.

    Thanks,

    Paul Liebrand

  • Adam,

    Although that is a good KB article to have around — the problem we are specifically talking about is the “alerts” being generated by SharePoint and being delivered via email. The information within the email itself is off. This post does not refer to calendar items that are sync’d to Outlook calendars.

    Thanks,

    Paul Liebrand

  • Adam,

    Although that is a good KB article to have around — the problem we are specifically talking about is the “alerts” being generated by SharePoint and being delivered via email. The information within the email itself is off. This post does not refer to calendar items that are sync’d to Outlook calendars.

    Thanks,

    Paul Liebrand

  • Peter

    I think I am experiencing the same bug in a different way. I have a calendar that shows out of office days for telecommuting workers. I was trying to create a DataView to show who was telecommuting ‘today’. But it is off by one day for the Start Time.

    To try to isolate the problem, I created a calculated date/time column that was simply =[Start Time]. If I view both columns in a standard view, the Start Time reads 5/08/2009 12:00 AM and the calculated field reads 05/07/2009 8:00 PM.

    I have checked my regional settings and the time zone settings on the SharePoint server and both are set to Eastern Time.

    If I change the regional settings at the site level to GMT-1 (Azores) they then match up perfectly at 12:00 am.

    My suggestion to my boss was to transfer me to the Azores, but he isn’t going for it.

  • Peter

    I think I am experiencing the same bug in a different way. I have a calendar that shows out of office days for telecommuting workers. I was trying to create a DataView to show who was telecommuting ‘today’. But it is off by one day for the Start Time.

    To try to isolate the problem, I created a calculated date/time column that was simply =[Start Time]. If I view both columns in a standard view, the Start Time reads 5/08/2009 12:00 AM and the calculated field reads 05/07/2009 8:00 PM.

    I have checked my regional settings and the time zone settings on the SharePoint server and both are set to Eastern Time.

    If I change the regional settings at the site level to GMT-1 (Azores) they then match up perfectly at 12:00 am.

    My suggestion to my boss was to transfer me to the Azores, but he isn’t going for it.

  • Peter

    I think I am experiencing the same bug in a different way. I have a calendar that shows out of office days for telecommuting workers. I was trying to create a DataView to show who was telecommuting ‘today’. But it is off by one day for the Start Time.

    To try to isolate the problem, I created a calculated date/time column that was simply =[Start Time]. If I view both columns in a standard view, the Start Time reads 5/08/2009 12:00 AM and the calculated field reads 05/07/2009 8:00 PM.

    I have checked my regional settings and the time zone settings on the SharePoint server and both are set to Eastern Time.

    If I change the regional settings at the site level to GMT-1 (Azores) they then match up perfectly at 12:00 am.

    My suggestion to my boss was to transfer me to the Azores, but he isn’t going for it.

  • jriesen

    Thank you for the regioninfo utility. We were having a situation where just one subsite was off by 2 hours. You utility helped to point that out. After spending at least a day on this and researching blogs on the web, we finally discovered that the subsite with problem had the wrong time zone selected in its regional settings. I was totally unaware that each site has its own regional settings. Problem solved.

  • jriesen

    Thank you for the regioninfo utility. We were having a situation where just one subsite was off by 2 hours. You utility helped to point that out. After spending at least a day on this and researching blogs on the web, we finally discovered that the subsite with problem had the wrong time zone selected in its regional settings. I was totally unaware that each site has its own regional settings. Problem solved.

  • jriesen

    Thank you for the regioninfo utility. We were having a situation where just one subsite was off by 2 hours. You utility helped to point that out. After spending at least a day on this and researching blogs on the web, we finally discovered that the subsite with problem had the wrong time zone selected in its regional settings. I was totally unaware that each site has its own regional settings. Problem solved.

  • browlinson

    Ok,

    Update: Just found another ‘incarnation’ of this problem. If a user copies and all day event from SharePoint into his calendar and then syncs his Windows Mobile 6.1 device to the calendar, it shows incorrect times as above. Odd thing is this doesn’t happen with WM 5.0.

    I was ok with having the solution be ‘upgrade to Outlook 2007’, but this new problem isn’t really acceptable.

    Is anyone else seeing this behaviour?

    Cheers!

  • browlinson

    Ok,

    Update: Just found another ‘incarnation’ of this problem. If a user copies and all day event from SharePoint into his calendar and then syncs his Windows Mobile 6.1 device to the calendar, it shows incorrect times as above. Odd thing is this doesn’t happen with WM 5.0.

    I was ok with having the solution be ‘upgrade to Outlook 2007’, but this new problem isn’t really acceptable.

    Is anyone else seeing this behaviour?

    Cheers!

  • browlinson

    Ok,

    Update: Just found another ‘incarnation’ of this problem. If a user copies and all day event from SharePoint into his calendar and then syncs his Windows Mobile 6.1 device to the calendar, it shows incorrect times as above. Odd thing is this doesn’t happen with WM 5.0.

    I was ok with having the solution be ‘upgrade to Outlook 2007’, but this new problem isn’t really acceptable.

    Is anyone else seeing this behaviour?

    Cheers!

  • Nick

    In my case, I created a calendar and added Begin and End columns so as to filter by date, and to display dates formatted without time. The values for these are set =[Start Time] and =[End Time], resp. Originally, I was getting the 7 hour differential, then it self resolved. Now, months later, the differential is back; I have added +0.2917 to each to adjust. Now I see that nearly all all-day-events agree with the native reference time fields; but some remain 1 hour off. Events with explicit times are now off by 7. Seems like I should back out my adjustment and pray for another self-correction. ???

  • Nick

    In my case, I created a calendar and added Begin and End columns so as to filter by date, and to display dates formatted without time. The values for these are set =[Start Time] and =[End Time], resp. Originally, I was getting the 7 hour differential, then it self resolved. Now, months later, the differential is back; I have added +0.2917 to each to adjust. Now I see that nearly all all-day-events agree with the native reference time fields; but some remain 1 hour off. Events with explicit times are now off by 7. Seems like I should back out my adjustment and pray for another self-correction. ???

  • Nick

    In my case, I created a calendar and added Begin and End columns so as to filter by date, and to display dates formatted without time. The values for these are set =[Start Time] and =[End Time], resp. Originally, I was getting the 7 hour differential, then it self resolved. Now, months later, the differential is back; I have added +0.2917 to each to adjust. Now I see that nearly all all-day-events agree with the native reference time fields; but some remain 1 hour off. Events with explicit times are now off by 7. Seems like I should back out my adjustment and pray for another self-correction. ???

  • Nick

    This seems to correlate with installation of the August patches from Microsoft, Sunday.

  • Nick

    This seems to correlate with installation of the August patches from Microsoft, Sunday.

  • Nick

    This seems to correlate with installation of the August patches from Microsoft, Sunday.

  • bretrowlinson

    This exact problem is happening for us with connecting sharepoint calendars to Outlook as well, but only with Outlook 2003. At my site, most users are using 2003, but a few are on 2007. On 2007, the all day events show correctly, but on 2003 they appear to spill over 2 days. If you open the item, it shows the time info as “From 12:00AM to 11:59PM (GMT) Casablanca, Monrovia, Reykjavik”

    Hopefully this issue is resolved soon as we are in the middle or rolling this out company-wide, and this feature is going to be used quite often by our users.

    Cheers!

  • dgood77

    I am seeing something very similar. We use SP 2007 with Office 2007. We have an out-of-the-office workflow set up in SP where a request for vacation time generates an email for approval. Our office is in Houston, on CST. Any request, all day or partial day, generates an alert that reflects a time (Modified) that is 2 hours behind actual CST. (ie. a change made at 1PM shows up as “Modified” at 11am). This is what is seen on the alert email received in Outlook 2007.

    Second, we recently tried merging calendars, where you take the calendar in SP, Connect to Outlook (from the SP calendar), then read the calendar in Outlook. This way we can take our OOTO calendar and superimpose it on our Outlook calendar to have an easy reference for who is not in the office that week. The problem cropping up is the partial day folks are showing up 2 hours off! An employee signs up for a doctors appt from 4pm to 6pm, and it shows up on the calender in outlook as being from 6pm to 8pm, yet it is correct in the SP calendar. The employee who submitted the request generated an alert in the process which kicked out an alert that showed the request was made 2 hours before the actual alert time.

    I believe I am current on all product updates, yet this is not working correctly on my system with MOSS 2007 & Office 2007. Any suggestions?

  • Unfortunately WSS 3.0/SharePoint 2007 is plagued with timezone issues and it does not look any of them are going to be resolved anytime soon. I do not believe you are doing anything wrong. The only thing I can suggest you do is open a support ticket with Microsoft. the more people complain about this the more likely they would be to attempt to get it resolved.

  • Unfortunately WSS 3.0/SharePoint 2007 is plagued with timezone issues and it does not look any of them are going to be resolved anytime soon. I do not believe you are doing anything wrong. The only thing I can suggest you do is open a support ticket with Microsoft. the more people complain about this the more likely they would be to attempt to get it resolved.