Get DateTime as UTC with Dapper

.net c# dapper orm utc


I'm using Dapper to map my entities to SQL Server CE. If I save a DateTime with Kind=Utc, when I read it back I get a DateTime with Kind=Unspecified, which leads to all kind of problems.


var f = new Foo { Id = 42, ModificationDate = DateTime.UtcNow };
Console.WriteLine("{0} ({1})", f.ModificationDate, f.ModificationDate.Kind);
connection.Execute("insert into Foo(Id, ModificationDate) values(@Id, @ModificationDate)", f);
var f2 = connection.Query<Foo>("select * from Foo where Id = @Id", f).Single();
Console.WriteLine("{0} ({1})", f2.ModificationDate, f2.ModificationDate.Kind);

This code gives the following output:

20/09/2012 10:04:16 (Utc)
20/09/2012 10:04:16 (Unspecified)

I know I should be using a DateTimeOffset, but unfortunately SQL CE has no support for this type.

Is there a workaround? Can I tell Dapper to assume that all dates have DateTimeKind.Utc? And more generally, what are my options to customize the mapping?

EDIT: My current workaround is to patch the dates after Dapper has materialized the result, but it kind of smells...

var results = _connection.Query<Foo>(sql, param).Select(PatchDate);


static Foo PatchDate(Foo f)
    if (f.ModificationDate.Kind == DateTimeKind.Unspecified)
        f.ModificationDate = DateTime.SpecifyKind(f.ModificationDate, DateTimeKind.Utc);
    return f;

Accepted Answer

Adding this answer for anyone else who comes looking for a simple fix. This is possible now with the addition of SqlMapper.TypeHandler in Dapper.

Add this class to convert the value from the db to a datetime with the kind specified as UTC.

public class DateTimeHandler : SqlMapper.TypeHandler<DateTime>
    public override void SetValue(IDbDataParameter parameter, DateTime value)
        parameter.Value = value;

    public override DateTime Parse(object value)
        return DateTime.SpecifyKind((DateTime)value, DateTimeKind.Utc);

Then in my Global.asax file of my Web API I add the type handler to dapper.

SqlMapper.AddTypeHandler(new DateTimeHandler());

If you need to ensure you are always inserting dates as UTC, then on the SetValue method you can use:

parameter.Value = DateTime.SpecifyKind(value, DateTimeKind.Utc);

Popular Answer

Looked into the Dapper code. Unless mine was out of date, for value types like datetime (which is mapped to DbType.DateTime), dapper just does a simple cast from the IDataReader object.

Pseudo : yield return (DateTime)IDataReader.GetValue(0);

That's the specific case for Datetime out of a bunch of generic code and lambdas.

AFAIK, SQL datetime never stores the offset / timezone so the kind will always say "Unspecified" on any datetime you store and fetch.

So, to do it cleanly, you could touch dapper internals:

which is a pain as you'd have to touch a big IL generating method (the DataRow Deserializer) and put in an if case for DateTime.


just put a setter on the DateTime props where UTC is an issue (which is kinda against POCO but is relatively sane):

class Foo
    private DateTime _modificationDate;
    public DateTime ModificationDate
        get { return _modificationDate; }
        set { _modificationDate = DateTime.SpecifyKind(value, DateTimeKind.Utc); }
    //Ifs optional? since it's always going to be a UTC date, and any DB call will return unspecified anyways

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