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Date and Timestamp Variables

Overview

Using timestamp variables, you are able to render the current date and time in a message. This can either be the current server time (UTC), or the current time according to a set time zone.

Current Time (server time)

This tag will print the date & time when the template is compiled using the server time (set to UTC Time).

With a specific date format applied:

{$smarty.now|date_format:'%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S'}
{$smarty.now|date_format:'%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S+0000'}

Learn more about conversion specifiers for the date_format variable modifier.

You are also able to show a day that is in the past or future with the following tag:

{"-2 days"|date_format:'%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S+0000'}

This would render the current time in UTC 2 days in the past.

Example use cases

Rendering a copyright date in the footer of your email:

©{$smarty.now|date_format:"%Y"} Example Company

Rendering a date in the future to alert the contact when their product warranty is going to expire:

{$expiration = "+20 days"|date_format:'%A, %B %e, %Y'}
You warranty expires on {$expiration}.

Current Time (for a time zone)

Using the getNow Smarty utility, you can render the current time for a time zone when the template is compiled.

Note: Smarty utilities use date format specifiers different from those used with the date_format variable modifier.

Unique to the contact

The time zone can be a variable unique to each contact if you are storing the time zone as an attribute value. Learn how to set an attribute as the primary time zone.

{$utils->getNow($contact.tz, "Y-m-d\TH:i:sO")}

Unique to the account

You can render the current time for the account time zone (defined by a Client Success Manager during account configuration).

{$utils->getNow($account.timezone, "Y-m-d H:i:s")}

Defined by a recognized time zone identifier

You can render the current time for a recognized time zone.

{$utils->getNow('America/Los_Angeles', "Y-m-d H:i:s")}

Set a variable with the current time

Using any of the methods above, you can set a variable with the current time and render it in a message.

{$current_time = $utils->getNow('America/Los_Angeles', "l, F j, Y g:i A")}
{$current_time}

Renders as:
Thursday, February 22, 2018 6:16 PM

Convert Time to a Different Time Zone

The getConvertedDate Smarty utility is used to convert a given date and time to a different time zone.

{$utils->getConvertedDate(date,TOtz,FROMtz,format)}

For example, you can use the following code to convert a date from UTC to the America/Los_Angeles time zone

{$date_in_utc = '2018-08-15 15:36:10'}
{$date_converted_to_la = $utils->getConvertedDate($date_in_utc, 'America/Los_Angeles','UTC', 'Y-m-d\TH:i:sO')}

Date in UTC: {$date_in_utc}<br>
Date Converted to LA: {$date_converted_to_la}<br>

Date Format Specifiers for Smarty Utilities

These are the available date format specifiers for use with getNow, getConvertedDate, and getMicroNow Smarty utilities. Full format details can be found on the main PHP website:
https://www.php.net/manual/en/datetime.format.php

Format Specifier Description Example
d Day of the month, 2 digits with leading zeros 01 to 31
D A textual representation of a day, three letters Mon through Sun
j Day of the month without leading zeros 1 to 31
l (lowercase 'L') A full textual representation of the day of the week Sunday through Saturday
N ISO-8601 numeric representation of the day of the week (added in PHP 5.1.0) 1 (for Monday) through 7 (for Sunday)
S English ordinal suffix for the day of the month, 2 characters st, nd, rd or th. Works well with j
w Numeric representation of the day of the week 0 (for Sunday) through 6 (for Saturday)
z The day of the year (starting from 0) 0 through 365
W ISO-8601 week number of year, weeks starting on Monday Example: 42 (the 42nd week in the year)
F A full textual representation of a month, such as January or March January through December
m Numeric representation of a month, with leading zeros 01 through 12
M A short textual representation of a month, three letters Jan through Dec
n Numeric representation of a month, without leading zeros 1 through 12
t Number of days in the given month 28 through 31
L Whether it's a leap year 1 if it is a leap year, 0 otherwise.
o ISO-8601 week-numbering year. This has the same value as Y, except that if the ISO week number (W) belongs to the previous or next year, that year is used instead. (added in PHP 5.1.0) Examples: 1999 or 2003
Y A full numeric representation of a year, 4 digits Examples: 1999 or 2003
y A two digit representation of a year Examples: 99 or 03
a Lowercase Ante meridiem and Post meridiem am OR pm
A Uppercase Ante meridiem and Post meridiem AM or PM
B Swatch Internet time 000 through 999
g 12-hour format of an hour without leading zeros 1 through 12
G 24-hour format of an hour without leading zeros 0 through 23
h 12-hour format of an hour with leading zeros 01 through 12
H 24-hour format of an hour with leading zeros 00 through 23
i Minutes with leading zeros 00 to 59
s Seconds with leading zeros 00 through 59
u Microseconds (added in PHP 5.2.2). Note that date() will always generate 000000 since it takes an integer parameter, whereas DateTime::format() does support microseconds if DateTime was created with microseconds. Example: 654321
v Milliseconds (added in PHP 7.0.0). Same note applies as for u. Example: 654
e Timezone identifier (added in PHP 5.1.0) Examples: UTC, GMT, Atlantic/Azores
I (capital i) Whether or not the date is in daylight saving time 1 if Daylight Saving Time, 0 otherwise.
O Difference to Greenwich time (GMT) without colon between hours and minutes Example: +0200
P Difference to Greenwich time (GMT) with colon between hours and minutes (added in PHP 5.1.3) Example: +02:00
T Timezone abbreviation Examples: EST, MDT ...
Z Timezone offset in seconds. The offset for timezones west of UTC is always negative, and for those east of UTC is always positive. -43200 through 50400
c ISO 8601 date (added in PHP 5) 2004-02-12T15:19:21+00:00
r » RFC 2822 formatted date Example: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 16:01:07 +0200
U Seconds since the Unix Epoch (January 1 1970 00:00:00 GMT) See also time()

Recognized Time Zone Identifiers

Time zone's must be written in the "Area/Location" format (e.g. America/Los_Angeles). Following is a list of the recognized time zone identifiers. More information on these timezones can be found on Wikipedia.

Africa/Abidjan
Africa/Accra
Africa/Addis_Ababa
Africa/Algiers
Africa/Asmara
Africa/Bamako
Africa/Bangui
Africa/Banjul
Africa/Bissau
Africa/Blantyre
Africa/Brazzaville
Africa/Bujumbura
Africa/Cairo
Africa/Casablanca
Africa/Ceuta
Africa/Conakry
Africa/Dakar
Africa/Dar_es_Salaam
Africa/Djibouti
Africa/Douala
Africa/El_Aaiun
Africa/Freetown
Africa/Gaborone
Africa/Harare
Africa/Johannesburg
Africa/Juba
Africa/Kampala
Africa/Khartoum
Africa/Kigali
Africa/Kinshasa
Africa/Lagos
Africa/Libreville
Africa/Lome
Africa/Luanda
Africa/Lubumbashi
Africa/Lusaka
Africa/Malabo
Africa/Maputo
Africa/Maseru
Africa/Mbabane
Africa/Mogadishu
Africa/Monrovia
Africa/Nairobi
Africa/Ndjamena
Africa/Niamey
Africa/Nouakchott
Africa/Ouagadougou
Africa/Porto-Novo
Africa/Sao_Tome
Africa/Tripoli
Africa/Tunis
Africa/Windhoek
America/Adak
America/Anchorage
America/Anguilla
America/Antigua
America/Araguaina
America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires
America/Argentina/Catamarca
America/Argentina/Cordoba
America/Argentina/Jujuy
America/Argentina/La_Rioja
America/Argentina/Mendoza
America/Argentina/Rio_Gallegos
America/Argentina/Salta
America/Argentina/San_Juan
America/Argentina/San_Luis
America/Argentina/Tucuman
America/Argentina/Ushuaia
America/Aruba
America/Asuncion
America/Atikokan
America/Bahia
America/Bahia_Banderas
America/Barbados
America/Belem
America/Belize
America/Blanc-Sablon
America/Boa_Vista
America/Bogota
America/Boise
America/Cambridge_Bay
America/Campo_Grande
America/Cancun
America/Caracas
America/Cayenne
America/Cayman
America/Chicago
America/Chihuahua
America/Costa_Rica
America/Creston
America/Cuiaba
America/Curacao
America/Danmarkshavn
America/Dawson
America/Dawson_Creek
America/Denver
America/Detroit
America/Dominica
America/Edmonton
America/Eirunepe
America/El_Salvador
America/Fort_Nelson
America/Fortaleza
America/Glace_Bay
America/Godthab
America/Goose_Bay
America/Grand_Turk
America/Grenada
America/Guadeloupe
America/Guatemala
America/Guayaquil
America/Guyana
America/Halifax
America/Havana
America/Hermosillo
America/Indiana/Indianapolis
America/Indiana/Knox
America/Indiana/Marengo
America/Indiana/Petersburg
America/Indiana/Tell_City
America/Indiana/Vevay
America/Indiana/Vincennes
America/Indiana/Winamac
America/Inuvik
America/Iqaluit
America/Jamaica
America/Juneau
America/Kentucky/Louisville
America/Kentucky/Monticello
America/Kralendijk
America/La_Paz
America/Lima
America/Los_Angeles
America/Lower_Princes
America/Maceio
America/Managua
America/Manaus
America/Marigot
America/Martinique
America/Matamoros
America/Mazatlan
America/Menominee
America/Merida
America/Metlakatla
America/Mexico_City
America/Miquelon
America/Moncton
America/Monterrey
America/Montevideo
America/Montserrat
America/Nassau
America/New_York
America/Nipigon
America/Nome
America/Noronha
America/North_Dakota/Beulah
America/North_Dakota/Center
America/North_Dakota/New_Salem
America/Ojinaga
America/Panama
America/Pangnirtung
America/Paramaribo
America/Phoenix
America/Port-au-Prince
America/Port_of_Spain
America/Porto_Velho
America/Puerto_Rico
America/Rainy_River
America/Rankin_Inlet
America/Recife
America/Regina
America/Resolute
America/Rio_Branco
America/Santarem
America/Santiago
America/Santo_Domingo
America/Sao_Paulo
America/Scoresbysund
America/Sitka
America/St_Barthelemy
America/St_Johns
America/St_Kitts
America/St_Lucia
America/St_Thomas
America/St_Vincent
America/Swift_Current
America/Tegucigalpa
America/Thule
America/Thunder_Bay
America/Tijuana
America/Toronto
America/Tortola
America/Vancouver
America/Whitehorse
America/Winnipeg
America/Yakutat
America/Yellowknife
Antarctica/Casey
Antarctica/Davis
Antarctica/DumontDUrville
Antarctica/Macquarie
Antarctica/Mawson
Antarctica/McMurdo
Antarctica/Palmer
Antarctica/Rothera
Antarctica/Syowa
Antarctica/Troll
Antarctica/Vostok
Arctic/Longyearbyen
Asia/Aden
Asia/Almaty
Asia/Amman
Asia/Anadyr
Asia/Aqtau
Asia/Aqtobe
Asia/Ashgabat
Asia/Atyrau
Asia/Baghdad
Asia/Bahrain
Asia/Baku
Asia/Bangkok
Asia/Barnaul
Asia/Beirut
Asia/Bishkek
Asia/Brunei
Asia/Chita
Asia/Choibalsan
Asia/Colombo
Asia/Damascus
Asia/Dhaka
Asia/Dili
Asia/Dubai
Asia/Dushanbe
Asia/Famagusta
Asia/Gaza
Asia/Hebron
Asia/Ho_Chi_Minh
Asia/Hong_Kong
Asia/Hovd
Asia/Irkutsk
Asia/Jakarta
Asia/Jayapura
Asia/Jerusalem
Asia/Kabul
Asia/Kamchatka
Asia/Karachi
Asia/Kathmandu
Asia/Khandyga
Asia/Kolkata
Asia/Krasnoyarsk
Asia/Kuala_Lumpur
Asia/Kuching
Asia/Kuwait
Asia/Macau
Asia/Magadan
Asia/Makassar
Asia/Manila
Asia/Muscat
Asia/Nicosia
Asia/Novokuznetsk
Asia/Novosibirsk
Asia/Omsk
Asia/Oral
Asia/Phnom_Penh
Asia/Pontianak
Asia/Pyongyang
Asia/Qatar
Asia/Qyzylorda
Asia/Riyadh
Asia/Sakhalin
Asia/Samarkand
Asia/Seoul
Asia/Shanghai
Asia/Singapore
Asia/Srednekolymsk
Asia/Taipei
Asia/Tashkent
Asia/Tbilisi
Asia/Tehran
Asia/Thimphu
Asia/Tokyo
Asia/Tomsk
Asia/Ulaanbaatar
Asia/Urumqi
Asia/Ust-Nera
Asia/Vientiane
Asia/Vladivostok
Asia/Yakutsk
Asia/Yangon
Asia/Yekaterinburg
Asia/Yerevan
Atlantic/Azores
Atlantic/Bermuda
Atlantic/Canary
Atlantic/Cape_Verde
Atlantic/Faroe
Atlantic/Madeira
Atlantic/Reykjavik
Atlantic/South_Georgia
Atlantic/St_Helena
Atlantic/Stanley
Australia/Adelaide
Australia/Brisbane
Australia/Broken_Hill
Australia/Currie
Australia/Darwin
Australia/Eucla
Australia/Hobart
Australia/Lindeman
Australia/Lord_Howe
Australia/Melbourne
Australia/Perth
Australia/Sydney
Europe/Amsterdam
Europe/Andorra
Europe/Astrakhan
Europe/Athens
Europe/Belgrade
Europe/Berlin
Europe/Bratislava
Europe/Brussels
Europe/Bucharest
Europe/Budapest
Europe/Busingen
Europe/Chisinau
Europe/Copenhagen
Europe/Dublin
Europe/Gibraltar
Europe/Guernsey
Europe/Helsinki
Europe/Isle_of_Man
Europe/Istanbul
Europe/Jersey
Europe/Kaliningrad
Europe/Kiev
Europe/Kirov
Europe/Lisbon
Europe/Ljubljana
Europe/London
Europe/Luxembourg
Europe/Madrid
Europe/Malta
Europe/Mariehamn
Europe/Minsk
Europe/Monaco
Europe/Moscow
Europe/Oslo
Europe/Paris
Europe/Podgorica
Europe/Prague
Europe/Riga
Europe/Rome
Europe/Samara
Europe/San_Marino
Europe/Sarajevo
Europe/Saratov
Europe/Simferopol
Europe/Skopje
Europe/Sofia
Europe/Stockholm
Europe/Tallinn
Europe/Tirane
Europe/Ulyanovsk
Europe/Uzhgorod
Europe/Vaduz
Europe/Vatican
Europe/Vienna
Europe/Vilnius
Europe/Volgograd
Europe/Warsaw
Europe/Zagreb
Europe/Zaporozhye
Europe/Zurich
Indian/Antananarivo
Indian/Chagos
Indian/Christmas
Indian/Cocos
Indian/Comoro
Indian/Kerguelen
Indian/Mahe
Indian/Maldives
Indian/Mauritius
Indian/Mayotte
Indian/Reunion
Pacific/Apia
Pacific/Auckland
Pacific/Bougainville
Pacific/Chatham
Pacific/Chuuk
Pacific/Easter
Pacific/Efate
Pacific/Enderbury
Pacific/Fakaofo
Pacific/Fiji
Pacific/Funafuti
Pacific/Galapagos
Pacific/Gambier
Pacific/Guadalcanal
Pacific/Guam
Pacific/Honolulu
Pacific/Johnston
Pacific/Kiritimati
Pacific/Kosrae
Pacific/Kwajalein
Pacific/Majuro
Pacific/Marquesas
Pacific/Midway
Pacific/Nauru
Pacific/Niue
Pacific/Norfolk
Pacific/Noumea
Pacific/Pago_Pago
Pacific/Palau
Pacific/Pitcairn
Pacific/Pohnpei
Pacific/Port_Moresby
Pacific/Rarotonga
Pacific/Saipan
Pacific/Tahiti
Pacific/Tarawa
Pacific/Tongatapu
Pacific/Wake
Pacific/Wallis
UTC

In the next article learn about hashing algorithms.

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