Formatting Paypal dates

10 Jun 2009, by Michael Cindrić

We have been doing a some work on PayPal integration for one of our clients for their soon to be released application and l needed to reformat the date PayPal was sending me. Now l know that Active Merchant could help with this but it didn't fit our application.

So any ways PayPal sends you a date like so "03:25:17 Apr 26, 2007 PDT" and l need it in a clean format so here is what l came up with, its a first run and l am sure l will change it when the time comes to refactor but for now it works.

  def self.date_from_paypal(datetime_string)
    datetime_string =~ /(d+):(d+):(d+) (.+) (d+), (d+)/
    parseable_string = "#$6-#$4-#$5T#$1:#$2:#$3"

  %w(payment_date).each do |attrib|
    module_eval %{
      def #{attrib}=(datetime_string)
        write_paypal_date :#{attrib}, datetime_string


  def write_paypal_date(attribute, datetime_string)
    write_attribute attribute, PaypalTransaction.date_from_paypal(datetime_string)

So what it does is when you go to set the "payment_date" field it runs the "write_paypal_date" method which formats the date for you a little cleaner. You can add other dates to this very simply by just adding them to the string array in the method above.

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