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Daylight Savings Scramble

A couple of weeks ago, RedDevNews delved into the emerging issue around this year's early switch to Daylight Saving Time. For years, DST has kicked off predictably at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of April. But this year, the switch is coming early, on March 11.

The early change is causing a scramble among software vendors, IT managers and dev shops, which must ensure that time-sensitive code is ready to recognize the sudden spring forward. One IT director with a Midwest law firm who oversees some 40 servers and 300 Windows XP clients says the early time change has crushed his staff. He has four admins running overtime, applying patches, checking code and badgering external customers to make sure their interfacing software doesn't introduce errors when the switchover occurs.

Most distressing, he says, are the unfinished patches coming from vendors. "We've been testing patches but it's a moving target. People keep rereleasing patches because they can't get it right the first time," he says. "Plus, the Exchange tool to correct calendars is single-threaded. So if you've got tons of users, you better start running that pup now."

DST07 is no Y2K, but it appears the unexpected changeover is bringing to mind some familiar headaches. Your IT folks will need to manage the hail of patches coming from Microsoft and other vendors, but corporate dev shops need to get on top of this issue, and fast. With so many systems in upheaval, relying on a late-inning effort to deploy cleaned code is just asking for trouble.

Are you experiencing a DST07 nightmare? Tell us your tale, and we may feature it in our coverage of this challenge in Redmond Developer News. E-mail me at [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 02/28/2007 at 1:15 PM

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