A timestamp is a sequence of characters or encoded information identifying when a certain event occurred.

Xano stores timestamps as a unix timestamp in milliseconds. Unix timestamp is a way to track time as a running total of seconds. This count starts at the Unix Epoch on January 1st, 1970 at UTC.

For example: 1604959474 seconds since Jan 01 1970. (UTC). This epoch translates to 11/09/2020 @ 10:04pm (UTC). Since Xano uses milliseconds, the timestamp would be 1604959474000.

There is no timezone in a timestamp because it is the number of milliseconds from the unix epoch - Jan 1, 1970.

What is the difference between a timezone region, a timezone abbreviation, and a timezone offset?

A timezone region handles day light savings time for you. For example: America/Los_Angeles will automatically be PST or PDT depending on the actual timestamp. It handles this behind the scenes so you always have the right timezone offset. Timezone regions are listed here.

A timezone abbreviation is the shortened 3 letter abbreviation (PST, PDT, etc.). This represents a timezone offset: PST is -0800 and PDT is -0700. These values are always the same. It is recommended to use the timezone region mentioned above so you donโ€™t need to keep changing the abbreviation selection with daylight savings time changes.

When I choose a time from the database table viewer, what timezone is used there?

The database table view is using the unix timestamp internally but transforming it in the spreadsheet view to the timezone of your browser. This means that if someone else was looking at it from a different timezone, they would see the time that is local to themselves.

What are my options for inputting a timestamp into Xano through the API?

  • Raw timestamp in milliseconds (this would not need any timezone information). For example: 1604959474000

  • ISO 8601 format, which is Year-Month-Day then a โ€œTโ€ and then 24hour-minute-second then โ€œthe timezone offset in hours and minutesโ€:


  • Postgres database format, which is similar to the ISO 8601 format: 2020-11-09 14:13:18-0800 (Note: a space is used to separate the date from the time instead of the โ€œTโ€ character in ISO 8601. Also, the offset does not include the colon.)

  • Relative time. Xano uses relative time formats from php.net. For example: now, last Monday, +7 days, etc. (Relative times normally donโ€™t have any timezone information, so it will often be important to reference the timezone in any type of filter.)

Here are relative time formats and their meanings that Xano accepts (source: php.net).

What are my options with formatting date and time?

There are lots of options available. A full list is available here from php.net. Here are a just few examples:

  • C = 2004-02-12T15:19:21+00:00

  • R = Thu, 21 Dec 2000 16:01:07 +0200

  • Y-m-d H:i:s = 2000-01-01 00:00:00


See the Timestamp Filters page to see how to use timestamp filters in Xano.