ICE Collateral Balances Report – two digit years and Y2K workarounds

What year is it?

That pesky Y2K issue is back to haunt us …

ICE are providing maturity dates in the Collateral Balances report with just two digits for the year. These maturity dates can be thirty or more years into the future. And that takes us into the territory of the Y2K workarounds for two digit years.

The default behaviour for most databases is to use a cutoff to interpret two digit year values in dates. The cutoff for SQLServer is set at 2049 so any year entered as “00” thru “49” is taken to be 2000 thru 2049. Any year entered as “50” thru “99” is taken to be 1950 thru 1999. Oracle follows a similar pattern based on a cutoff of 2050.

The value of the cutoff is adjustable in the database configuration options. If your system only deals with 21st century dates you could set the cutoff as 2099 so that all dates will be given “20” as the century.

But sadly that is not the end of the story …

Where data is being loaded into a database through an external toolset then it is the toolset that controls interpretation of dates. Windows 7 OLE Automation is set with a cutoff of 2030. Hence a two digit year of “31” thru “99” will be stored into the database as 1931 thru 1999. Microsoft do not provide a means to alter the OLE Automation cutoff.

JDBC gives a cutoff at 2034 and again there is no simple way to adjust that cutoff.

So it really is time to persuade your data providers to supply four digit year values on all reports.

Just as they should have been doing since Y2K first threatened to end the world!

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