In a database I work on, most of the datetimes I store are converted to and from UTC so all of my datetime columns end in UTC such as CanceledUTC.

I have a situation where I need to store a "local" time and want to signify that it is a local time in the column name.

Is there a convention for signifying local datetime variable names?

I know that storing "local" datetimes is a bad practice so I'm also considering storing it as a string, but that's not the question here.

closed as primarily opinion-based by GlenH7, gnat, user22815 Nov 13 '15 at 20:43

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • You mean the column names, right? – Lightness Races in Orbit Nov 13 '15 at 20:08
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit Haha, yeah. I try and switch up my words when asking questions so other people searching can find it because this question doesn't just apply to column names. – Zach Mierzejewski Nov 13 '15 at 20:15
  • @ZachMierzejewski: What else does it apply to? I would advise sticking with proper terminology so that we know what you're talking about, rather than "switching up" your words... – Lightness Races in Orbit Nov 13 '15 at 20:26
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    @ZachMierzejewski: Then your chosen terminology "column" was incorrect for both your current use case, and your future use case! lol – Lightness Races in Orbit Nov 13 '15 at 20:37


The name of the column should be CancelledTime or CancelledAt, and the column should have type TIMESTAMP. It will be stored timezone-agnostically, but automatically have the timezone of the session taken into consideration when values are inserted and retrieved.

If that is not possible for some reason, then fine make it a DATETIME … but give it a COMMENT line that indicates the field values are local time representations. This really seems like a bad idea, though: local time when? Insert before daylight savings, retrieve after daylight savings → you're hosed.

Certainly, though, information about the data representation doesn't belong in the field name. What the data is belongs in the field name. And your data is (presumably) "the time at which a thing was cancelled".

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