I'm retrieving the "LastModifiedDate" attribute of a File through a GET request with the Salesforce REST API but I just can't figure out the date format.

Salesforce's documentation states the date format is ISO8601 but when I do the following in PHP :

// The value I retrieve is "2014-11-20T14:23:44.000+0000"
$date = \Datetime::createFromFormat(\Datetime::ISO8601, [value]);

PHP throws an error saying it couldn't create a date with this format and this value.

Do you know what is the actual date format used by Salesforce in its REST API ?

Thanks for your answers.


  • Docs say The date and time should be provided in ISO 8601 format: YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss+hh:mm. Try changing your time to 2014-11-20T14:23:44.00+00:00 and see if it works
    – Novarg
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 14:10
  • Hey Novarg, thanks for the answer :) Unfortunately the time is coming directly from Salesforce and that's only once I got it that I'm trying to create a date object with PHP. So even if I change it manually for testing purposes and PHP manages to create a date object, that still doesn't fix my problem since I won't be able to change manually all the date values I receive from Salesforce everytime I ask for a date value with the REST API. Any other idea though ?
    – Asticode
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 14:35
  • Could this be something you are looking for? search.cpan.org/~carlvince/DateTime-Format-Salesforce-0.01_01/…
    – Novarg
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 14:41
  • Hey Novarg, I think what you've found is the best I can get since there are not a lot of documentation about this strange behavior. At least it confirms that Salesforce actually sends the wrong date format. I'll try to come up with a solution and post it here. Thanks again :)
    – Asticode
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 15:06

2 Answers 2


According to the documentation here http://php.net/manual/en/datetime.createfromformat.php you can try this

    $value = "2014-11-20T14:23:44.000+0000"; // example value
    $value = substr($value,0,19);
    $date = new DateTime();
    $date = DateTime::createFromFormat('Y-m-d?H:i:s', $value);
    print( "TEST<br> ".$value ."<br>" ); 
    print_r( $date );    

To respect the timezone, you need a bit more string cutting. It looks like the milliseconds needs to be removed an the offset need a ":" inbetween. Look for the string functions here http://php.net/manual/en/book.strings.php

  • Unfortunately that would make me lose the information about the timezone since you're removing the last "+0000" of the value. Check out the answer I posted and let me know if you feel that's OK :)
    – Asticode
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 15:17
  • Edited my answer. Would not use regexp here, even if it works. Consider readability and maintainability.
    – RichardT
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 15:20

Here's the "dirty" solution I've implemented : upon receiving the date, I preg replace the pattern /\.[\d]{3}/ (removing the milliseconds) and then I'm good to go to create a date from the format ISO8601.

So instead of :

// The value I retrieve is "2014-11-20T14:23:44.000+0000"
$date = \Datetime::createFromFormat(\Datetime::ISO8601, [value]);

I do :

// The value I retrieve is "2014-11-20T14:23:44.000+0000"
$date = \Datetime::createFromFormat(\Datetime::ISO8601, preg_replace('/\.[\d]{3}/', '', [value]);

Thanks to Novarg and RichartT for pointing me to the right direction.

I won't be able to accept my own answer right away so if you feel there's a better way to solve this, please don't hesitate and if your solution is better than mine, I'll accept it as the correct one :)

  • I believe that you're missing a closed parenthesis in your second code snippet.
    – clone45
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 21:48

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