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Improvements to Date and DateTime parsing and formatting in Apex

Development (Apex, LWC & VF)

Improve the handling of Date and DateTime values in code that exchanges these values with external systems over a text-based channel by making three changes:
  1. Add a `format()` method to the Date class, analogous to the method already extant on the DateTime class and accepting the same Java-sourced format string.
  2. Add a `parse(String format, String input)` method to both the Date and DateTime classes, accepting a Date or DateTime format string and a textual representation of the Date or DateTime to be parsed, which should be expected to be in the supplied format.
    1. Alternately, add a variant of the existing `Date.parse()` method allowing the caller to specify the locale, rather than being dependent on the user's locale.
  3. Ensure that the following invariant holds true when using implicit type conversion:
    String.valueOf(someDate) == '' + someDate

     

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