I have written a test class in which I just want to set one date field. How can I achieve this? I am not able to set the value using the following code:

Account acc=new Account();
acc.effectiveDate__c= '09.12.2016';

4 Answers 4


You can do this using Apex' Date class:

acc.effectiveDate__c = Date.newInstance(2016, 12, 9);

For more information check out the documentation: Apex Developer Guide - Date Class

  • Gosh I wish you could use date literals like in SOQL for setting fields in Apex 😫 Couldn't find an Idea in the IdeaExchange yet. acc.EffectiveDate__c = 2016-09-12; Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 0:21

Another option is using system.today() (or system.now() if it's datetime field):

acc.effectiveDate__c = System.today() + 5;
  • This is what I personally try to use in my own unit tests. I find that not hard-coding a specific date helps in writing better date-centric logic.
    – Derek F
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 13:02

Another option is using system.today().addDays(10)

acc.effectiveDate__c = System.today().addDays(10);


a.SLAExpirationDate__c = date.parse('4/17/2020');

You need to use date.parse to execute the code

  • It's not necessary to instantiate dates in this specific manner.
    – Adrian Larson
    Commented Apr 16, 2020 at 16:53
  • Not only is it unnecessary, it is a very poor idea, because Date parsing depends on the running user's locale.
    – David Reed
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 14:28

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