6.13.4 Handling Invalid Dates

Although it is strongly recommended that you avoid the use of invalid dates within your .NET application, it is possible to use invalid dates by means of the MySqlDateTime data type.

The MySqlDateTime data type supports the same date values that are supported by the MySQL server. The default behavior of Connector/Net is to return a .NET DateTime object for valid date values, and return an error for invalid dates. This default can be modified to cause Connector/Net to return MySqlDateTime objects for invalid dates.

To instruct Connector/Net to return a MySqlDateTime object for invalid dates, add the following line to your connection string:

Allow Zero Datetime=True

Please note that the use of the MySqlDateTime class can still be problematic. The following are some known issues:

  1. Data binding for invalid dates can still cause errors (zero dates like 0000-00-00 do not seem to have this problem).

  2. The ToString method return a date formatted in the standard MySQL format (for example, 2005-02-23 08:50:25). This differs from the ToString behavior of the .NET DateTime class.

  3. The MySqlDateTime class supports NULL dates, while the .NET DateTime class does not. This can cause errors when trying to convert a MySQLDateTime to a DateTime if you do not check for NULL first.

Because of the known issues, the best recommendation is still to use only valid dates in your application.