Today() Function

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I'm wondering why in Anaplan we can only have to input current period in Time. 

 

As we're using Anaplan as Supply Chain planification tools and we work really at planning on days level. 

 

So it's necessary for us to determine "today"'s date. 

 

The solution we use now is to launch an automatic import and update the "Today" item.

 

It might be much more convenient if we can have a formular Today() like in Excel to know automatically the current date. 

 

I suppose the difficulty might be the different time zones so it might be even nicer to have an option to choose the time zone in the formular like this today(Time_Zone). 

 

Thank you, 

 

Best regards

 

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Comments

  • Phil11
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    I'd like the 'Today' function and I'd also like to be able to use it as a date stamp (so I don't want it to update once it has generated), e.g. so I can see when User A submitted their plan as part of the workflow.

    I'm happy to be shown how this might already be possible by the way!

  • jprince
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    Anaplan has timestamps built into the history, we should be able to pull in the date and time for UTC!

  • I support this idea ! I don't understand why the timestamp from the history is not retrievable with a formula in a line item. 

    It would be very usefull to time stamp entries in an input form for example. 

  • Another vote for this functionality

  • Another vote for this!

  • Another vote for this , It is really valuable to have in some UX Dashboards some time stamps of actions. 

  • Hi Product team, I understand and respect that other solution dependencies impacted the timing of developing this. I know you will address this when it is possible to do so. Yes, there are work-arounds to this requirement but when customers have many models these work arounds often involve numerous integrations and can be onerous. Thank you for keeping this requirement at top-of-mind.

  • Hi,

    the workaround I found was to use CloudWorks and a few lines of code to create an Anaplan timestamp, the build was:

    1. An "input line item" (no formula)
    2. A "Formula line time" saying = if =12 then 1 else "input line item" + 1
    3. An action to copy from "Formula line time" to "input line item"
    4. A CludWorks integration schduled on the hour to run action 3.

    I've been testing it for a week and so far the results are good, with accuracy to the hour.



  • @Antonio_Flor definitely a nice idea but ultimately we need an accurate clock from Anaplan, which should not be hard. We have experienced a bit of cloudworks inconsistency and if there is an error it will break this functionality you built.

  • Hi @jakesachs ,

    This is the reasoning I have in my head for this not to be so straight forward as it seems. I can see several reasons why Anaplan still hasn’t a Now() or Today() function, but they would fall mainly under these 2 in my point of view:

    • Calculation engine and Granulometry of data

    Should the Now() be milliseconds, minutes, or days. How would a module cope with a formula that is constantly changing results?

    Anaplan recalculates whenever there’s an input and this would be like having a constant input every millisecond, minute, etc…

    • Concurrent inputs

    It is shared platform with concurrent inputs all over the world on different time zones, so today’s () data would be a bit different depending on where you are. 

    The history record (right click show history) itself has its problems, particularly when the hour changes. I'm in hte UK and a week ago any input would be recorded one hour behind and now it’s with the correct time, this happens because the servers we use are in the Netherlands …. I understand theat it would be very complex to change the clock on a server (an Anaplan one where history is tracked) not sure why isn’t always one hour behind, I thought central Europe adjust to wintertime on the same day…..

     In excel, Now(), today(), come from the time on your local machine, it would be different when you take your laptop abroad and that alone can create confusion on any time recorded, with Anaplan that would be multiplied several fold.

     I believe Anaplan would come to a compromise by having the concept of Model Time Zone, and come up with some kind of Today() formula with a lot of restrictions, not sure if in the pipeline for implementation soon, but I wold leave them to comment @gazwillott .

  • CommunityMember127794
    edited March 2023
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    @Antonio_Flor

    I certainly agree that NOW would not work as a function in Anaplan. However, Anaplan DOES have a UTC timestamp for every change recorded in the history log. A LASTCHANGED or TIMESTAMP function enabling us to leverage that to display the last change timestamp for a particular cell, a row (i.e. all line items in a module), and summarize it to parents and Top Level items would go a long way.

    However, TODAY is pretty straightforward. A UTC Today function would be basic improvement, though as you noted, each model would benefit from being able to be assigned a time zone. We accomplish this via a daily import action to our data hub followed by import actions to every one of our spokes which is a bit tedious and requires change requests to our integration team when we put a new model online.

  • Adding my vote here - my "New UX" users would love this feature

  • Agree.

  • One of the comments earlier was regarding time zones etc. I don't think it should matter. Anaplan has time already calculating and knows all the time zones bc of the cloudworks scheduler. You should be able to do a simple setting of what time zone and time you want it change.

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