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SharePoint: Created By, Created (Date), Modified By, and Modified (Date)

One of the frustrating things about SharePoint 2003 is that the developer documentation is still a bit weak.  The way that we see the impact of this is that well meaning folks end up accidentally saying that something is or isn’t supported.  I’m quite guilty of it myself — although thankfully I’ve not written down any of these errors that I know of yet.

Bil Simser was noodling on the idea of updating the created and modified fields in a list and mentioned that they’re read only. (ListFormWebPart and Tzuanmi SharePoint Designer).  The interesting thing is that I’ve updated these fields in a list.  I did it for some technology POC code I was generating around copying list data from one list to another.  I didn’t even pay attention to the read only field and I got the results I wanted.  I copied the Created By, Created (date), Modified By, and Modified (date) fields.

Help Your SharePoint User

This wouldn’t be so interesting except Adam Macaulay from CorasWorks and I had a similar discussion on the fields not two weeks ago.  Their Data Migrator tool (a great tool by the way) didn’t preserve Created/Modified dates.  So, I forwarded him along my POC code so hopefully he’ll be able to figure out why they initially had problems with getting the Created/Modified dates to copy from one list to another.

I wonder how many other things about SharePoint that we collectively have wrong.


  1. Good Day Robert,
    I have emailed you before.
    I currently am engaged with the Port of Portland over MOSS 2007
    We have a challenge around SharePoint 2007 overwriting the original Created Date and Modified Dates (for example when a user uploads a word doc from thier local workstation for a file share).
    SharePoint modifies these dates to the date and time of the upload.
    How can we preserve these original dates?
    What approach can I use to do this programmatically?
    We want this addressed in real time for the user not via a bulk upload tool like Tzunami
    I know you are busy and I can wait for a reply.
    We are grappling with this right now..

  2. My guess is that what you’re doing is having them use WebDAV to upload files to the server via a drive letter or Windows Explorer. the problem is that Windows explorer may be deleting the file before it’s uploading the new one. I’d test by turning on versioning. I’m not sureI have any simple answers to the problem, however, other than to not use WebDAV.

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