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Is it possible to run a data loader import and set one of the fields being updated to the current date time of Now()? What is the best way to accomplish this? I was thinking of creating a temp workflow rule that checks a flag that I set in the data loader update and it runs a field update to system now() on the field I want to set, but that seems like an over kill. Is there an easier way to do this?

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    Why not set the default value of the custom date time field to Now()? Are you having any standard fields that doesn't support it? Or do you have updates as well in the import?
    – arut
    Jan 11, 2021 at 3:48

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There is no way to dynamically set the date on DataLoader as System.NOW().

With that in mind, you can go with:

  1. your approach (Workflow/Apex code to identify records which you inserted/updated from DataLoader and set the value of that field)
  2. arut's suggestion on the comments (set the default value for the DateTime field you created as System.NOW(), that way you don't need to add any workflow rule).

Best regards!

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