TheDeveloperBlog.com


C# Convert TimeSpan to Long

Convert TimeSpan, long. TimeSpan and long are the same number of bytes. It is possible to store a TimeSpan as a long. This can be done with the Ticks property on TimeSpan. It is easier to persist a long in storage. We examine TimeSpan and its representation.

Long

Example. In this program, we get two DateTimes. The first one is for "now." The second is for a day ago. Then we get the difference as a TimeSpan instance. Next, we convert that TimeSpan into a long Ticks.

Finally: We convert that long Ticks back into a TimeSpan, showing that you can round-trip longs and TimeSpans.

C# program that converts TimeSpan to long

using System;

class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
	// Difference between today and yesterday.
	DateTime yesterday = DateTime.Now.Subtract(TimeSpan.FromDays(1));
	DateTime now = DateTime.Now;
	TimeSpan diff = now.Subtract(yesterday);

	// TimeSpan can be represented as a long [ticks].
	long ticks = diff.Ticks;

	// You can convert a long [ticks] back into TimeSpan.
	TimeSpan ts = TimeSpan.FromTicks(ticks);

	// Display.
	Console.WriteLine(ts);

	// Note: long and TimeSpan are the same number of bytes [8].
	unsafe
	{
	    Console.WriteLine(sizeof(long));
	    Console.WriteLine(sizeof(TimeSpan));
	}
    }
}

Output

1.00:00:00.0010000
8
8

Byte count. In the unsafe context, the program shows that a long is 8 bytes and a TimeSpan is also 8 bytes. Therefore, it is logical for one to fit in the other. It may be easier to write a long to a file or a database.

SizeofTimeSpan Examples

Summary. We saw how it is possible to convert from a TimeSpan and a long using the Ticks property and also the FromTicks method. By providing a long representation, the TimeSpan becomes more useful for external systems.

Because: External systems often support simple numeric types better than struct types.