Time to read: 7 min.
The article covers the following topics:
What are Start at/Stop date fields?
Both fields are located in the ‘General’ tab in offer settings:
There are 3 cases when Start at/Stop date fields work:
- There is no offer schedule as an option
- There is the offer schedule, but it is OFF
- There is the offer schedule, but it is ON
In cases No.1 & 2, those fields stand for the date when the offer will be activated (‘Start at” field) and paused (‘Stop date’ field). In the 3rd case ‘Start at’ and ‘Stop date’ fields work in the same way, but also they are in charge of the offer schedule activation. They influence not only the whole offer but work of the offer schedule as well. See our guide on the Offer Schedule feature.
Both fields can be set up manually or via API with the help of these parameters:
- schedule[timezone] - mandatory parameter
As a rule the value in 'Start at' field changes every time when the offer becomes active, but there is one exception. Let's consider two cases:
- the previous date was in the future: in this case when offer activation via one of the above mentioned ways the value 'Start at' field is changed to the current day (the day of activation).
- the previous date was in the past:
- offer becomes active manually/via API/via CPAPI: the value in 'Start at' field isn't changed to the current day (the day of activation).
- offer becomes active via "Activate' button on the offer preview page: the value in 'Start at' field is changed to the current day (the day of activation).
If you want to set up the date in the future, you need to do it when the offer is active and not to change its status futher.
It is not possible to set up the date in the past for both fields. The only case when you see past date there: when it was installed for the current date or for the future, but this date already passed.
How do both fields work?
The general principle is: both fields work in the following way: they go off at the beginning of the day according to the timezone set up in the offer. Thus if you've set up Start at/Stop date today for today - nothing will change. If you set up Start at & Stop date for the future date (the same date for both fields), the behavior will be the following:
- Active offer: will be paused at the very beginning of the day.
- Paused offer: will be activated for a few seconds, then will be paused at the very beginning of the day.
- Disabled offer: will be activated for a few seconds, then will be paused at the very beginning of the day.
If the offer has the offer schedule, both fields work together with the Offer schedule.
An example: there is an active offer with ‘Start at’ field in the future, the offer schedule has been established today, it looks like this:
In this case, the offer will work according to the offer schedule starting from the date set up in the 'Start at' field. When the 1st of November comes, the offer will be activated at 12 a.m. and will continue being activated according to the schedule. At 3 a.m the offer will be paused according to the offer schedule. When the 22nd of December comes, the offer schedule will stop working. The offer will be totally paused at 12 a.m.
Another example: the offer has this schedule:
It will be totally paused on the 20th of October, 2020. The configuration of the offer schedule doesn't matter.
If the offer schedule has ‘paused’ (‘white’) cells for 0 hour (12 a.m.), the offer will be paused right after auto-activation by the ‘Start at’ field.
1) How are changes in both fields logged?
They are logged under ‘Offer new’ or ‘Offer edit’ type of logs in the ‘Schedule’ section even if there is no offer schedule:
It is Unix time. We recommend you to install the ‘Timely’ extension for Google Chrome browser or ‘EpochClock’ for Safari in order to convert Unix timestamp into UTC time format. All data in the ‘Schedule’ section is logged according to the timezone set up in the offer - it might differ from the one set up on the platform's level.
‘Start at’, ‘Stop date’ fields changings are logged when values in both fields are changed manually or via API only.
When the offer is activated by 'Start at' field, this notice appears in the logs:
When the offer is paused by 'Stop date' field, this notice appears in the logs:
2) ‘Start at’ column in the offer list is the same date that ‘Start at” field in the offer settings has?
Yes. It is shown in the offer list, when the value in ‘Start at’ field is changed manually, via API, when the offer becomes active.
3) What does ‘Released at’ line on the offer preview page stand for?
It has the same date that the ‘Start at’ field in the offer settings has. It is shown on the offer preview page, when the value in ‘Start at’ field is changed manually, via API, when the offer becomes active.
4) When the offer is created as active it has no ‘Start at’, ‘Stop date’ fields filled in as well as ‘Start at’ column and ‘Release at’ line. Is it okay?
Yes, it is the expected result.
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Written by Lizaveta Talkachova