Yes, you have to use DateFormat or better SimpleDateFormat to be able to parse your input and to get a Date. This Date you can put into a Calendar, which has the function getTimeInMillis(). This you have to do for both date values. It is easy to substract both millis and to calculate seconds from it. This sounds a bit strange, but in fact it will be not more than 20 lines of code or maybe less. Even much better, than calculating all by yourself.