Formatting Date as YYYYMMDD in XSLT

Posted on 2006-10-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-18
Hello all,

I have a small issue.

I was given the task of taking an existing XML feed and turning it into a version of that same XML feed with certain data filtered out, so I decided to create an XSLT to do the job. Works beautifully, but the problem is that the filter criteria is as such:

<xsl:if test="myDate &lt;= '20061025'">
 .... include nodes ....

The 20061025 is a string, but because its YYYYMMDD format it seems I can get away with a string comparison because string compares are done left to right.

So the only trick is ... how can I get the XSL to take the current date instead of my hard-coded value?

Ideally I am looking for something like this:

<xsl:if test="myDate &lt;= formatDate(getCurrenDate(),'YYYYMMDD')">
 .... include nodes ....

the key though is that myDate is a text value (not a date object), so I am just looking for the string of 20061025 to compare it to.

Extra credit if you can give me CurrentDate + 1 (day) as well.

I think I saw that this can be done using a template, but was hoping that there was an easier way.

My other option is to create a 2 or 3 step process to dynamically generate this XSL file every day from a database query that returns nothing other than the formatted date string ... which seems a very unelegant solution.

Thanks in advance!
Question by:enforge
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Expert Comment

by:Geert Bormans
ID: 17806519
Hi enforge,

There are two ways to get the current date in XSLT

1. use an extension function, but this depends on your processor
- msxml takes jscript and C#
- xalan and saxon take java

2. pass the date in the XSLT as a parameter
make currentDate a global parameter
and use the outside process to give this parameter a value

your database solution is unnecessary clumsy

if you tell us how you run the XSLT, I can help you further


Author Comment

ID: 17806774
Thanks Gertone.

I agree the database solution would be a clumsy one and I was trying to avoid it, but priority 1 is to get it working with priority 2 being to get it working elegantly.

I'm using the MS .NET framework's XslTransform object, and thus the MSXML parser.

If there is an easy way to slap C# into the equation I would be right in my comfort zone. Would this be in a CDATA tag?
LVL 60

Expert Comment

by:Geert Bormans
ID: 17806847
here is a code snippet that does something similar with Jscript for msxml

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"
      <msxsl:script language="JScript" implements-prefix="myjs">
            function GetCurrentDateTime()
            var currentTime = new Date();
            var month = currentTime.getMonth() + 1;
            var day = currentTime.getDate();
            var year = currentTime.getFullYear();
            return(month + "/" + day + "/" + year);

<xsl:template match="/">
      <xsl:value-of select="myjs:GetCurrentDateTime()"/>


you need to define this namespace xmlns:msxsl="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:xslt"
in order for the script tag to be known
and you define a random namespace, I choose xmlns:myjs="urn:internal:my-javascript"
for the implementation of the function
Inside the script tag you stuff the code in a CDATA section, indeed

In the template match="/" I show how to call this new function

C# works similarly



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LVL 60

Accepted Solution

Geert Bormans earned 500 total points
ID: 17806872
this site

gives us this C# example

<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform"

  <msxsl:script language="C#" implements-prefix="user">
     public double circumference(double radius){
       double pi = 3.14;
       double circ = pi*radius*2;
       return circ;

  <xsl:template match="data">  

  <xsl:for-each select="circle">
    <xsl:copy-of select="node()"/>
          <xsl:value-of select="user:circumference(radius)"/>

Author Comment

ID: 17807227
Thanks Gertone, this worked to perfection!!! Exactly what I was looking for.
LVL 60

Expert Comment

by:Geert Bormans
ID: 17809900

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