Custom date and time format

I was extending a customization of Dynamics AX when I ran into the following piece of code. It formats the current date and time to something like 20150525_0042.

str dateValue, dateFormat;
dateValue   = date2str( systemDateGet(),
dateFormat = strFmt(    "%1%2%3",
                        dateValue, '_',
                        subStr( strRem(time2Str(timeNow(), TimeSeparator::Space, TimeFormat::Auto), ' '),

If I haven’t formatted the code to make it more readable, you would struggle to follow what it does. Even the original developer had the same problem – I already fixed two bugs (!) in this code snippet.

I rather dropped the code completely and replaced it with this:

str formatted = System.String::Format(
                                DateTimeUtil::newDateTime(systemDateGet(), timeNow()));

Better, isn’t it? It’s not only shorter, more importantly it’s much easier to understand and maintain. It would be even simpler if I used DateTimeUtil::utcNow() instead of keeping the original logic with systemDateGet() and timeNow().

This is just a simple example of how .NET Interop from X++ can make your life easier – the amount of .NET code available for you is huge. In this particular case, I called String.Format() method with a custom date and time format. You can also use custom formats when parsing strings to dates (DateTime.ParseExact()), which is probably even more useful.

One Comment

  1. Thanks. Your post reminds me I should explore more on the possibility to take advantage of .NET Interop.

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