What is the use case
As a non-programmer I’ve had no end of problems trying to manage dates. Web page display dates in a large variety of formats. I find the .Net date functions to be fiendishly difficult to understand, let alone to use. There’s no bespoke UiPath help. and the .Net help is irritatingly obtuse. The forum responses I’ve had to problems with dates generally end up along very unhelpful and downright condescending lines: “data formats are hugely complex, live with it”.
Now my take is, if a human can recognise that a date is a date, whatever its format, then it can’t be beyond the wit of man to devise an algorithm to do the same.
How do you see a solution for the use case?
I’d like to see a function that takes a text string in one of the many, but finite, number of date formats and converts it to a canonical (UiPath) form (or raise an error). It should take the absolute minimum number of simple, rather than arcane parameters (a country code, perhaps, to distinguish whether 1/3/18 and 3/1/18 is Jan or Mar, or April is Avril).
I’m thinking that the code would cycle through a set of Regular Expressions representing all the (reasonable) date formats and, on finding a match, apply a .Net conversion to a standard format. If each format had an ID then a bespoke date could be generated from a UiPath date with a simple call. The ID number could be hierarchical.
I think it would be acceptable to accept only a space, “-” or “/” as element delimiters (perhaps include “.” as well). Examples of date formats that a human finds no difficulty in interpreting are:
1 Mar 2018
1 March 2018
01 Mar 18
Please see my previous posts on this issue: Guidance on String/DateTime Conversion and String Manipulation
Scope: ______________* Custom Activity, * Reusable Component
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