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Auto-Number not available as external ID in Data Loader?

Knowledge Article Number 000004514

I have an Auto Number field that is set as an External ID. However, when I use the upsert option in the Data Loader, it cannot be used as an external ID for matching records.


Users can use AutoNumbers as ExternalID fields, but the Data Loader does not support them for use with Upsert. The Upsert command is used to insert or update depending on if the external ID is found in the system. AutoNumbers cannot be used in upsert if the externalID field value already exists. If it does not exist, the upsert call will fail because you are trying to insert a field that cannot be created.

The Data Loader code itself only displays the fields that are Id fields, or that are external ID fields which are either create-able or update-able (per the API describe). Since AutoNumber fields are not create-able or update-able, they do not show up in Data Loader. This is intentional so that users do not run into potential insert errors.

A workaround can be to develop your own API integration. Alternatively, the field type can be switched to Text for the time of the update and then back to Auto number again.

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