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by Jiří {x2} Činčura

UnixEpoch field in DateTime and DateTimeOffset in .NET Standard 2.1 (and .NET Core 2.1)

14 Nov 2018 .NET Core, .NET Standard

When I need to put some default value somewhere, I often use Unix epoch. It’s more reasonable, in my eyes, than DateTime.MinValue. But there’s no field for that value thus I always had to create it “manually”. Well, not anymore.

Let’s first do a small recap what a Unix epoch is. The Unix epoch is date and time from which Unix (and other related systems) count time and date (usually by number of seconds elapsed). It’s 1970-01-01T00:00:00Z.

I like the value because it’s reasonable date, yet for a lot of line-of-business systems it’s clear that this is not a real value. Hence, I often used it, but because there was no field for it, I had to create it always myself. I.e. by using new DateTime(1970, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, DateTimeKind.Utc). But starting with .NET Core 2.1 and more importantly for me as a library writer with .NET Standard 2.1 it’s available as a predefined field for both DateTime as well as DateTimeOffset.

Now to just wait for .NET Standard 2.1 to become “the norm”.

Profile Picture Jiří Činčura is an independent developer focusing on data and business layers, language constructs, parallelism and databases. Specifically Entity Framework, asynchronous and parallel programming, cloud and Azure. He's Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and you can read his articles, guides, tips and tricks at