Skip to main content

Formats for dealing with dates and datetimes in Salesforce

The correct way to format dates (not datetimes!) 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
You can get the same thing in SQL using CONVERT(VARCHAR, datefield, 127) + 'Z'. This also has the added advantage that Excel doesn't interpret it as a date, so you don't have to do the steps above.

Regardless of where you're getting the datetime value from, 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 using timezones instead of UTC (also works for querying Salesforce with SOQL), use a format like: 2019-08-01T00:00:00.000+0010


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

'A section using configSource may contain no other attributes or elements' error after installing Application Insights

After installing the Application Insights nuget package to an Umbraco solution, you'll get this error:

A section using 'configSource' may contain no other attributes or elements

<ExamineLuceneIndexSets configSource="config\ExamineIndex.config" />
     <log4net configSource="config\log4net.config">
         <root>
             <level value="ALL" />
             <appender-ref ref="aiAppender" />
Source File: \project\web.config

This happens because part of the Application Insights installation process adds a <log4net> section to web.config.  Which would make sense, except Umbraco already has a <log4net> section in /config/log4net.config.  So as you can imagine, the solution is to manually move everything its added into that file. Unfortunately you can't just copy/paste the whole lot, but it's not particularly complicated:


Move <appender-ref ref="aiAppender" /> into the lo…

Handling double-quoted CSVs in Azure Data Factory Pipelines

Azure Data Factory by default uses a backslash as the escape character for CSVs, but we ran into an issue with this today processing one of the CSV files from data.gov.au.  As with most CSVs they use quotes around values as normal and with double-quotes for empty values, but they also use double-quotes to escape quotes within non-empty values. This probably sounds confusing, so here's an example:

"column 1","column 2","","column 4 value is ""sort of"" like this"

The ADF pipeline failed because the double-quotes don't get escaped correctly:
ErrorCode=UserErrorSourceDataContainsMoreColumnsThanDefined, found more columns than expected column count.

The solution was to change the "Escape character" property on the dataset, by clicking the "Edit" button beneath it and manually entering "", since "" isn't in the list of escape characters.  I didn't think this would work at fir…

How to make yourself a Dynamics CRM 2011 Deployment Administrator

Today I needed to deactivate one of our Dynamics organisations, but when I opened the Dynamics Deployment Manager, I received the following error:

"Only the Deployment Administrators are able to use Deployment Manager. You are not a Deployment Administrator."
Bummer. I did a bit of Googling and found this post by Ronald Lemmen (thanks for pointing me in the right direction!).  Since the Dynamics Deployment Manager is obviously checking the MSCRM_CONFIG database for this information I attached a database trace to it and found that it's executing these queries (among many others):

exec sp_executesql N'SELECT  Id, [DefaultOrganizationId], [IsDisabled], [Name]   FROM [SystemUser]   WHERE ((([Name] = @Name0)) ) AND (IsDeleted = 0) ', N'@Name0 nvarchar(41)',@Name0=N'{My windows domain account}'
exec sp_executesql N'SELECT  Id, [Name], [UniqueifierId]   FROM [SecurityRole]   WHERE ((([Name] = @Name0)) ) AND (IsDeleted = 0) ', N'@Name0 nvarchar…