Daylight Saving Time 2007 -- seven helpful tips for Lotus Notes administrators

Daylight Saving Time 2007 comes three weeks early and lasts one week longer in the fall. Because of these changes, almost all applications that use scheduling will need to be patched very soon. SearchDomino.com contributor Andy Pedisich offers tips and resources to help Lotus Notes administrators prepare for the impending adjustments.

Daylight Saving Time (DST) this year comes three weeks early and lasts one week longer in the fall. If this fact is a shock to you, I apologize, but someone had to tell you.

This change is taking place because of a provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was passed August 8, 2005. That's right. It was passed a year and a half ago. Why it's taken so long to deal with it is a mystery to me.

Clocks will be set ahead one hour on the second Sunday of March instead of the first Sunday of April. You need to patch on the operating system (OS) level for all servers and workstations. And, after you patch, all schedules that were made before the patches will be an hour off.

Almost all applications that use scheduling will need patching very soon. Most of us are already suffering from high levels of anxiety just thinking about it.

There are many technical articles on the Web about this change and how to apply software patches to cope with Daylight Saving Time 2007. If you need that kind of information, here's a good reference from IBM: Daylight Saving Time (DST) changes for 2007 will affect Lotus software products.

Here are seven helpful tips about the new Daylight Saving Time situation to help get you through it:

  1. Although Lotus Notes is affected, it's not all about Lotus Notes. We have heard workstation management teams refer to the workstation patch as "The Notes Patch." Wrong!

    Communicate to users that this change in DST start affects all systems that keep track of time including Microsoft Exchange Server, your VCR (if you still use one), your digital watch, airline and train schedules, the ATM that gives you cash, and anything else that used to know when we changed to DST.

  2. There are a lot of moving parts in this DST switchover. Many of them are not under your control. All it will take to break your repairs are a couple of users who create meetings on unpatched home systems.

    Warn your users about how fragile the fixes are. Tell them you've done everything in your control, but that they must expect some scheduling shenanigans with meetings and such being off by an hour.

  3. Just in case the fixes are spotty, advise users to put the date and time in the subject of any event scheduled in those new couple of weeks of DST. This will act as a confirmation for the user that the time and date are correct.

  4. Because meetings can be off by an hour, the freetime lookups of users and resources at the meeting will also be off by an hour.

    Tell users to remember this when they schedule meetings. If a meeting is critical, users just might want to follow up with a phone call to the attendees. I know that sounds odd, but that's the way we used to do it BC (Before Computers).

    Rooms and resources? Well you can't exactly call them, can you? Be prepared for things to break.

  5. Lotus Notes patches are designed for applications made with the Resource and Reservation template and for the calendaring functionality in the mail templates. If you have homegrown applications that do any kind of scheduling, you're going to have to fix them yourself.

  6. Be sure to check the IBM and other platform and vendor sites to catch all of the patching needed. For example, most Sametime Connect clients do not need patching, but Sametime 7.5 does need one. You have to assume nothing and be a diligent technical person.

  7. Australia made a switch in the start date of Daylight Saving Time with just a couple of weeks notice. And Brazil changes the start and end dates of every year based on the lunar calendar. This can be done and it can be done cleanly!

Remember, anything scheduled before you patched the client and server OS will be off by one hour once the operating systems are patched. Patch the OS first; then get busy patching all the software that runs on the platform.

Your other devices, like your VCR and such, will have to be changed to the correct time four times a year. Better put a reminder in your Franklin Planner!

About the author: Andy Pedisich is President of Technotics, Inc. He has been working with Lotus Notes and Domino since Release 2. Technotics provides strategic consulting and training on collaborative infrastructure projects for customers throughout the world. You can contact Technotics through their Web site at www.technotics.com.

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