This documentation supports the 23.3 version of BMC Helix Innovation Suite (AR System and BMC Helix Innovation Studio).

To view an earlier version, select the version from the Product version menu.

Customizing date and time settings with environment variables

Use the ARDATE, ARDATEONLY, and ARTIMEONLY environment variables to customize the date and time settings for the AR System server, DSO server, and Approval Server. The settings do not affect clients, but the variables can affect what is displayed in fields that contain content that the server sets.

While processing date and time fields, AR System uses the format you specify with these variables. For example, to set ARDATE, use the following syntax:

% setenv ARDATE "<yourFormat>"

You can create any date format by combining field descriptors. Field descriptors represent different components of dates and times. Available field descriptors might differ depending on your UNIX computer type. By default, the AR Systemuses the format "%x %X".

The following table lists the UNIX field descriptors that you can use with ARDATEARDATEONLY, and ARTIMEONLY:

%%Same as*%*
%aDay of the week using locale's abbreviated weekday names
%ADay of the week using locale's full weekday names
%b or %hMonth using locale's abbreviated month names
%BMonth using locale's full month names
%dDay of month (01-31)
%DDate as %m/%d/%y
%eDay of month (1-31; single digits are preceded by a blank)
%HHour (00-23)
%IHour (00-12)
%kHour (0-23; single digits preceded by a blank)--Oracle Solaris operating system only
%mMonth number (01-12)
%MMinute (00-59)
%pLocale's equivalent of a.m. or p.m., whichever is appropriate
%rTime as %I:%M:%S %p
%RTime as %H:%M
%SSeconds (00-59)
%TTime as %H:%M:%S
%wDay of week (Sunday is day 0)
%xDate, using locale's date format
%XTime, using locale's time format
%yYear within century (00-99)
%YYear, including century (for example, 2004)

The format you specify can contain any characters, including the field descriptors in the following table in any combination that you select. To put a comma in your date, include the comma in the appropriate place in the format. 

The following table shows examples of ARDATEARDATEONLY, and ARTIMEONLY settings:


ARDATE format


setenv ARDATE "%m/%d/%y"

31 January 2008 16:30:00

setenv ARDATE "%d %B %Y %X"

January 31 2008

setenv ARDATEONLY "%m/%d/%y"


setenv ARTIMEONLY "%X"

The wording of the second example in the table might differ, according to the LANG environment variable or your system's default language.

For Windows servers, use the time and date formats listed in the Regional Options dialog box to set the environmental variables under your System settings.

Sample Windows settings





M/d/yyyy h:mm:ss

Environment-variable: ARDATE=%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S



Environment-variable: ARDATEONLY=%d %m %Y


h:mm:ss tt

Environment-variable: ARTIMEONLY=%H

Errors in formatting ARDATE, ARDATEONLY, and ARTIMEONLY

If you set up an incorrectly formatted ARDATEARDATEONLY, and ARTIMEONLY environment variable, AR System parses the correctly formatted parts and returns the invalid parts as a literal string in the date or time.  For a list of valid field descriptors, see the field descriptors table

It is possible to write an ARDATEARDATEONLY, and ARTIMEONLY environment variable that is correctly formatted but does not make sense. For example, avoid repeating a valid descriptor excessively (%B %B %B %B %B). If a format such as this is chosen, dates are formatted correctly on output, but the system cannot interpret any date that you specify as input.

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