Some Vendors Offer Fixes for Daylight-Saving Time Change

But others haven’t said if their apps will be affected

Some major IT vendors have made significant progress in releasing software patches and fixes designed to enable their products to handle the earlier start of daylight-saving time, which takes effect March 11. But others have not made clear how the time change will affect users of their applications.

Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Vista operating system already includes the updated DST rules, but earlier versions of Windows will need to be changed. For Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003’s Service Pack 1, the company will release a combined global time-zone update that will include modifications for the DST change in the U.S.

Earlier versions of Windows, including XP Service Pack1 and NT 4.0, are no longer supported but can be patched manually using Microsoft’s Tzedit.exe utility, which allows administrators to create and edit time-zone entries for the date/time settings in the Windows Control Panel.

Other affected Microsoft products include Windows Mobile, SharePoint Services, Exchange Server, Outlook, BizTalk Server and the Dynamics CRM applications, according to the company. Some patches are available now, and the remainder are scheduled to be released by early March.

A detailed summary of the effects of the DST changes on Microsoft products is available on the company’s Web site.

Sun Microsystems Inc. said it is offering free patches for Solaris Versions 8, 9 and 10, but the company will charge a fee for patches for Versions 5, 6 and 7 of the operating system.

Patches will also have to be applied to Java technologies, including the Java Runtime Environment, Sun said. More recent JRE versions already include new time rules designed to handle the DST changes, according to the vendor. Older versions can be replaced with the newer, corrected versions, or systems administrators can download Sun’s TZupdater tool to update Versions 1.4 or later of the JRE.

Users of older Solaris releases also have another option: At least one third-party service and support vendor, Terix Computer Service in Sunnyvale, Calif., has announced free software that updates the DST rules in Solaris Versions 5, 6 and 7.

Details about the effect of the DST changes on a wide range of IBM products can be found at a special DST Web site that the company has set up. The IBM Web site also provides information about related issues involving Java, specific information about running IBM products with Windows, and a detailed FAQ on the DST issue.

Some IBM products can be updated now, while other applications will include DST updates in their next regularly scheduled maintenance releases, according to the company.

Both Cisco Systems Inc. and BEA Systems Inc. said they have posted information about their products and the DST change on their Web sites.

Other vendors, including Hewlett-Packard Co., Oracle Corp. and SAP AG, didn’t provide more specific information about how their products will be affected by the earlier start of DST.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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