Zulu Time Zones

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How does Zulu handle timezones?

Zulu takes a very simple approach to timezones.

Times are always stored in the timezone of the FileMaker server. Events created in FileMaker are this understood as having the server's time zone. Someone viewing the event in iCal in a different timezone would see that event translated into their own timezone.

Events created in iCal or on iPhone send their timezone information to Zulu and the start times are translated into the FileMaker Server timezone when the event is created in FileMaker. When these events are seen in iCal or on iPhones, they are translated into the timezone of the person viewing them.


1. My FileMaker Sever is in California. I create an event at 2pm in FileMaker. That event shows up as 2pm when the event is viewed in FileMaker and at 5pm when the event is viewed from my colleague's iPhone in New York.

2. If my friend in New York makes a 4pm event on his iPhone, my California server records that as a 1pm event in FileMaker. It appears to me on my West Coast iPhone as a 1pm event and appears as a 4pm event on my colleague's iPhone in New York.

A Couple Notes

Changing the server's time zone will not change the times of existing events in FileMaker.

Note that you can set the timezone of the Zulu deployment to be different than that of the server it's on (this is essential for hosted deployments). There is a setting for this in the zulu.xml file here:

For FileMaker Server 11
\FileMaker Server\Web Publishing\publishing-engine\cwpe-tomcat\conf\Catalina\localhost\zulu.xml
For FileMaker Server 12
\FileMaker Server\Web Publishing\publishing-engine\jwpc-tomcat\conf\Catalina\localhost\zulu.xml

A list of supported timezone abbreviations can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_time_zone_abbreviations

You want to us the mathematical version of the timezone name, like "UTC-07" but change the letters UTC to GMT so the line in your zulu.xml file will read something like:

<Parameter name="zulu.timezone" value="GMT-7:00" override="false" />

And yes, leave override set to "false".

Using the "GMT-7:00" declaration means you'll have to change the times to account for daylight savings, so we prefer using the "city" declaration instead. Things like:


You can find a list of acceptable values for US cities here.

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