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Formats for dealing with dates in Salesforce

The correct way to format dates for bulk importing CSVs into Salesforce looks like year-month-day, so today would look like 2019-06-17.  These default to the timezone set for the user importing them, so there's no need to convert to UTC.  Set this in Excel by

  • Select the column/s containing dates
  • Right click on them and select "Format Cells" from the menu
  • Select the format "2012-03-14"
  • Save as CSV (not the UTF-8 type of CSV)


For programmatic imports, the correct .NET Framework DateTime format string to use for a Salesforce Date/time is:
yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ss.fffZ

Make sure it's in UTC! If the time represents the current moment, use DateTime.UtcNow

You might be tempted to use "O" (round-trip pattern) since it looks sort of similar, but don't.  It won't cause an error, but the time will be parsed incorrectly.

For querying with timezones, use a format like: 2019-08-01T00:00:00.000+0010

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