I am testing a default SP Designer 2010 workflow action called "Find Interval Between Dates" located under the "Utility Actions" category. I need to compare the amount of time passed between the current item's last modified date and the current date.

The use-case is that I need a workflow to calculate "aging" of a list item, so I want to compare Today's date with Last Modified Date and see if that number of days is greater than some given threshold. The actual behavior is that the workflow thinks the threshold is met almost immediately (suggesting the "day" calculation is close to zero).

At first I tried examining the number (it should result in a number, right?) that was calculated by "find interval between dates", and I get a strange value like ".47" even though the interval I was testing should have been about 3 days. Then I tried hours, and this second test was with an items that had been modified only about 5 minutes ago, so I expected a small fraction for "hours", but my test returned "11.23". What is going on here?

  • Current Date = time defaulted to 12:00 AM, if you update an item at 12PM then days will be 0.5, hours 12. Also, is this a list workflow or site workflow? If it is a list workflow then it will update the item (workflow column) when it runs, i.e. difference in dates will always be from midnight till the time of run.
    – Peter
    Jun 3, 2013 at 2:17
  • It's a list workflow.
    – Alex
    Jun 4, 2013 at 16:57
  • But as I mentioned it shouldn't come out to .47 if I waited 3 days and expect a value of around that.
    – Alex
    Jun 4, 2013 at 18:10
  • the workflow updates the item when it runs...
    – Peter
    Jun 4, 2013 at 23:50
  • So you mean that the last modified date gets updated whenever the workflow kicks off, destroying my logic (per my comment below)?
    – Alex
    Jun 5, 2013 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


First question, how is the workflow triggered? If the workflow is triggered when the item is modified therefore there is no doubt that Last Modified Date and the current date would just return decimals.

This is suppose to be a comment but i can't do that as of the moment

  • Ok I see what you mean. It is triggered on modify, so you're saying that the last modified date would get updated when the workflow kicks off, so my comparison is not what I expect: it will be comparing almost the same times, but what I really want is the "last modified before last modified"...is there any logic I could place to get that? Possibly create a backup column to save the modified date and update it only after the workflow runs?
    – Alex
    Jun 4, 2013 at 18:14
  • Yes, i think you can create a new DateTime column to handle the previous Modified date. Maybe put the value of the modified date in the last portion of your workflow so that it can be use after it is run again. YOu may also create separate workflow just for this column to have a value on item creation. Jun 5, 2013 at 10:54

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