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Posted 1 Dec 2011

Quick Tip – Converting JSON Serialized .NET DateTime to JavaScript Date

, 1 Dec 2011
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Converting JSON serialized .NET DateTime to JavaScript Date.

Quick Tip – Converting JSON Serialized .NET DateTime to JavaScript Date

When you are using the controller JSON method in ASP.NET MVC or scriptable WCF services, you sometimes have to serialize a .NET DateTime property. DataContractJsonSerializer will serialize it into the the following format:


This format indicates to the client side parsers that the data fragment that was sent is a date representation. But how can you convert it to a JavaScript Date object?

There are a few methods:

  • “Brutal Force”: Extract the number using a Regular Expression or substring functions and pass it to the Date object which gets the time in milliseconds in its constructor:
  • var date = new Date(1235398665390);
  • Server-side approach: Send to the client side not a .NET DateTime but the total milliseconds and then use the same constructor from the previous bullet. You should pay attention that JavaScript’s base date is 1/1/1970. The following code can help:
  • var baseDate = new DateTime(1970, 1, 1); 
    var currentDate = DateTime.Now.ToUniversalTime(); 
    TimeSpan ts = new TimeSpan(dcurrentDate.Ticks - baseDate.Ticks); 
    return ts.TotalMilliseconds;
  • The eval way: On the client side, use the eval function to evaluate and create the Date object:
  • var date = eval("new " + dateFromTheServer.slice(1, -1));

    Where dateFromTheServer is in the format which was presented at the top of the post.

There are probably other ways which can help you. What is your way?


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Gil Fink
Technical Lead sparXys
Israel Israel
Gil Fink is a web development expert and ASP.Net/IIS Microsoft MVP. He is the founder and owner of sparXys. He is currently consulting for various enterprises and companies, where he helps to develop Web and RIA-based solutions. He conducts lectures and workshops for individuals and enterprises who want to specialize in infrastructure and web development. He is also co-author of several Microsoft Official Courses (MOCs) and training kits, co-author of "Pro Single Page Application Development" book (Apress) and the founder of Front-End.IL Meetup. You can read his publications at his website:

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Comments and Discussions

Question"Brutal Force" is better Pin
Sergejsvit6-Dec-11 22:29
memberSergejsvit6-Dec-11 22:29 

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