Friday, March 24, 2006

A Welcoming Breaking-Change in .Net Framework 2.0

Finally, after a few years waiting, Microsoft admits its implementation of DateTime serialization in web service is flawed, and made a breaking change to it. See the last item on this page:

In one sentence, under the old framework, only local time can be transmitted correctly by web service. If you save UTC time in database, and try to transmit using web service, bad luck. You will have to convert all the time in to your web server's local time, then send it out. And, on the other end, the receiving computer will have to convert again the date time to UTC time. And, under the hood the web server and receiving computer both did some conversion during XML serialization and de-serialization too. That is about 4 times CPU time wasted on the conversion that leads you back to where you started!!! Even worse, this behavior is not well documented in MSDN, and causes big confusion for developers.

I had to send an internal memo to all developers in my company to raise the awarness of this issue back in 2004. Really glad it finally gets attention and being resolved.

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