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Assigning records to inactive owners

If you try to create a standard object record (account, contact etc..) specifying an inactive ownerId, the API complains loudly and the record is rejected. This is fair enough.

If you try to create a custom object record specifying an inactive ownerId, then the API happily creates the record returning an ID. I would prefer it to complain and reject the record.

Is this a subtle design feature of API 4.0?


Hi djordan,

Interesting, because I was able to create a contact assigned to an inactive user.  Can you dig a little deeper to find out if there are any permissions issues involved here?  What is the role or profile of the user you are logging in as, etc...?


This is odd.

I performed the following tests logged in with the standard system administrator profile.

Created a contact with inactive ownerId as you said and it went in without a burp. Similiarly for tasks, leads and custom objects.

Tried to create an account with an inactive ownerId and got "operation performed with inactive user INACTIVE_OWNER_OR_USER". Similiarly for opportunities and events.


I'm not sure why one rule would apply to tasks but another to events.



Hi David,

Ok, I didn't try an account.  I'm with you in that I reckon it ought not behave differently for different objects.  I will try to reproduce this and determine if there is an explicit consideration with accounts or if this is an anomoly that will be addressed via patch.



Hi David,

Could not duplicate this.  Is there any sharing rules or other esoteric information you can give me?

I'm coming across the same problem, importing history. Users in the old system performed activities that have to be retained for a complete customer record. Out of 66 users, 24 of them are active. The rest no longer work for the company. This legacy data has followed this company through a few different systems.

Inactive users should be able to be assigned to Cases, for instance. The users worked on the cases. That happened, and that history shouldn't be lost.

Other than re-activate the users in chunks, import their data, and the deactivate them, are there any ways around this?

I am running into the same issue and was thinking I was going to have to re-activate the users as I load..until I realized there were 68 different inactive users. Is there any work around?


I am running into this same issue, were you ever able to resolve this?

Brian WilliamsBrian Williams

Also having the same issue.


Using Apex Data Loader, Trying to import Cases and preserve the history


But it looks like the Case Owner must be an Active ( paying $ ) User