Date and Time

OTRS comes with its own package to handle date and time which ensures correct calculation and storage of date and time.


Date and time are represented by an object of Kernel::System::DateTime. Every DateTime object holds its own date, time and time zone information. In contrast to the now deprecated Kernel::System::Time package, this means that you can and should create a DateTime object for every date/time you want to use.

Creation of a DateTime Object

The object manager of OTRS has been extended by a Create method to support packages for which more than one instance can be created:

my $DateTimeObject = $Kernel::OM->Create(
    ObjectParams => {
        TimeZone => 'Europe/Berlin'

The example above will create a DateTime object for the current date and time in time zone Europe/Berlin. There are more options to create a DateTime object (time components, string, timestamp, cloning), see POD of Kernel::System::DateTime.


You will get an error if you try to retrieve a DateTime object via $Kernel::OM->Get('Kernel::System::DateTime').

Time Zones

Time offsets in hours (+2, -10, etc.) have been replaced by time zones (Europe/Berlin, America/New_York, etc.). The conversion between time zones is completely encapsulated within a DateTime object. If you want to convert to another time zone, simply use the following code:

$DateTimeObject->ToTimeZone( TimeZone => 'Europe/Berlin' );

There is a system configuration option OTRSTimeZone. This setting defines the time zone that OTRS uses internally to store date and time within the database.


You have to ensure to convert a DateTime object to the OTRS time zone before it gets stored in the database (there’s a convenient method for this: ToOTRSTimeZone()). An exception could be that you explicitly want a database column to hold a date/time in a specific time zone. But be aware that the database itself won’t provide time zone information by itself when retrieving it.


TimeZoneList() of Kernel::System::DateTime provides a list of available time zones.

Method Summary

The Kernel::System::DateTime package provides the following methods (this is only a selection, see source code for details).

Object Creation Methods

A DateTime object can be created either via the object manager’s Create() method or by cloning another DateTime object with its Clone() method.

Get Method

With Get() all data of a DateTime object will be returned as a hash (date and time components including day name, etc. as well as time zone).

Set Method

With Set() you can either change certain components of the DateTime object (year, month, day, hour, minute, second) or you can set a date and time based on a given string (2016-05-24 23:04:12). Note that you cannot change the time zone with this method.

Time Zone Methods

To change the time zone of a DateTime object use method ToTimeZone() or as a shortcut for converting to OTRS time zone ToOTRSTimeZone().

To retrieve the configured OTRS time zone or user default time zone, always use method OTRSTimeZoneGet() or UserDefaultTimeZoneGet(). Never retrieve these manually via Kernel::Config.

Comparison Operators And Methods

Kernel::System::DateTime uses operator overloading for comparisons. So you can simply compare two DateTime objects with <, <=, ==, !=, >= and >. Compare() is usable in Perl’s sort context as it returns -1, 0 or 1.

Deprecated Package Kernel::System::Time

The now deprecated package Kernel::System::Time has been extended to fully support time zones instead of time offsets. This has been done to ensure that existing code works without (bigger) changes.

However, there is a case in which you have to change existing code. If you have code that uses the old time offsets to calculate a new date/time or a difference, you have to migrate this code to use the new DateTime object.

Example (old code):

my $TimeObject     = $Kernel::OM->Get('Kernel::System::Time'); # Assume a time offset of 0 for this time object
my $SystemTime     = $TimeObject->TimeStamp2SystemTime( String => '2004-08-14 22:45:00' );
my $UserTimeZone   = '+2'; # normally retrieved via config or param
my $UserSystemTime = $SystemTime + $UserTimeZone * 3600;
my $UserTimeStamp  = $TimeObject->SystemTime2TimeStamp( SystemTime => $UserSystemTime );

Example (new code):

my $DateTimeObject = $Kernel::OM->Create('Kernel::System::DateTime'); # This implicitly sets the configured OTRS time zone
my $UserTimeZone   = 'Europe/Berlin'; # normally retrieved via config or param
$DateTimeObject->ToTimeZone( TimeZone => $UserTimeZone );
my $SystemTime    = $DateTimeObject->ToEpoch(); # note that the epoch is independent from the time zone, it's always calculated for UTC
my $UserTimeStamp = $DateTimeObject->ToString();