Fields in Salesforce

Fields in Salesforce

On March 28, 2023, Posted by , In Admin,Admin Tutorial,Salesforce Admin,Salesforce Tutorial, With Comments Off on Fields in Salesforce
Fields - Salesforce Admin Tutorial
Fields – Salesforce Admin Tutorial

Table of Contents:


Fields are columns of a Salesforce object. They represent certain details about the object. For example, our Employee object can consist of the following fields. 

  • Emp Id (employee ID) – autogenerated number
  • Name – text
  • Date of Birth – date

Fields also can be standard and custom. Name is an example of a standard field, which Salesforce has created for our Employee object by default. The other two, Emp Id and Date of Birth are examples of custom fields.

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Field Types in Salesforce:

Salesforce fields are essential tools for tailoring Salesforce to meet your unique business needs. Here’s an overview of the different types of fields available:

Standard Fields in Salesforce

Salesforce provides a set of predefined standard fields that are common across all objects. These include:

  • Identity: A unique 15-character, case-sensitive identifier automatically assigned to each new record.
  • System: A read-only field that stores metadata about a record, such as timestamps for creation and last modification.
  • Name: A field used to store the name of a record, which can be either text or auto-numbered, providing a means to differentiate records.

Read more: record types in Salesforce.

Custom Fields in Salesforce

Custom fields come into play when the standard fields fall short of capturing all necessary data for your business processes. These fields can be tailored to gather information unique to your organization. For instance, you could create a custom field called “Preferred Contact Time” to note the best time to reach out to a lead.

Read more: SOQL Query in Salesforce

Additional Field Types

Beyond the standard and custom fields, Salesforce offers various other field types to accommodate specific data needs:

  • Currency Fields: Designed for monetary values, allowing for currency conversion and calculations.
  • Email Fields: Ensure that the data entered is in a valid email format, facilitating communication.
  • Picklist Fields: Provide a set of predefined options, ensuring data consistency and simplifying data entry.
  • Lookup Fields: Create relationships between different objects, enabling the linking of related records for a more integrated data structure.
  • Date and Time Fields: Capture dates and times, essential for scheduling and time-sensitive data.
  • Boolean Fields (Checkbox): Allow users to mark a field as true or false, useful for binary data such as “Active” or “Inactive” status.

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Salesforce Custom Field Types:

Custom fields in Salesforce are designed to tailor the platform to your specific data requirements. Here’s an overview of the various custom field types available:

  • Text Fields: These fields are suitable for storing simple text data, such as names, titles, or brief descriptions. They allow for a mix of characters, including letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Number Fields: Utilized for storing numerical data, number fields are perfect for capturing quantities, prices, or other numerical values. They support various formats, including integers and decimals.
  • Date Fields: Essential for tracking dates, these fields enable users to input or select dates, useful for recording events like the creation date of a record or a due date.
  • Picklist Fields: These fields offer a dropdown list of predefined options, ensuring data consistency and simplifying the selection process for users.
  • Lookup Fields: Lookup fields create links between different objects, allowing for the establishment of relationships and the sharing of data across records.
  • Formula Fields: These fields automatically calculate values based on other fields’ data, streamlining calculations and reducing manual data entry.
  • Currency Fields: Specifically designed for monetary values, currency fields accommodate currency conversion and are ideal for financial data.
  • Percentage Fields: Useful for capturing percentages, these fields allow users to input values that represent a portion of a whole, such as discount rates or commission percentages.
  • Email Fields: Ensure that entries are in a valid email format, facilitating communication and data validation.
  • Phone Fields: Designed to store phone numbers, these fields often include formatting options to accommodate different international dialing codes.
  • URL Fields: Allow for the storage of web addresses, providing a quick way to access external websites or resources directly from a record.

Read more about custom page layouts in Salesforce.

Salesforce User Fields Overview:

User fields in Salesforce, also known as user-related fields, are designed to enhance user interaction and provide valuable insights into record management within the platform:

  • Owner Field: This field assigns ownership of a record to a specific user or queue, determining who has the authority and responsibility for that record. It is crucial for managing access and control over data.
  • Created By and Last Modified By Fields: These fields automatically record the user who initially created a record and the user who last modified it. They are instrumental in tracking the history of changes and ensuring accountability.
  • Last Activity Date Field: This field captures the date of the last activity associated with a record, providing a quick reference for recent interactions or updates.
  • User Status Field: Indicates the current status of a user, such as active or inactive, helping in the management of user access and permissions.

Read more: Validation rules in salesforce.

Specialized Field Types in Salesforce

In addition to user fields, Salesforce offers specialized field types to address specific data requirements:

  • Geolocation Field: This field type stores geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude), making it ideal for tracking physical locations. It is widely used in mapping and location-based services to provide spatial context to data.
  • Date Field: As the name implies, date fields store date values and are versatile in their application. They can be used to record important dates related to a record, such as contract expiration dates, event dates, or project milestones, facilitating time-based planning and tracking.
  • Time Field: Similar to date fields, time fields allow for the capture of specific times, which can be useful for scheduling appointments or recording time-specific events.
  • Address Field: A composite field that stores address information, including street, city, state, postal code, and country, enabling a comprehensive record of location data.

Previous article, Objects and tabs in Salesforce, explains about Objects and tabs.

In the Developer edition, we have a maximum limit of 500 fields per org. 

First, let’s see how to create the Emp Id field. Search for the Employee object on the Object Manager and go to the “Fields and Relationships” pane under it to get started. 

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Click on the “New” button to start the field creation process. It leads you to a page to pick the field’s data type. Since our Emp Id has to be an autogenerated number, you should select the “Auto Number” as type in this step. 

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Go to the next page and enter the field’s label (Emp Id), give it a display format that you prefer, mention the starting number, and add any other necessary information. 

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On the next page, you can select which profiles the field should be visible to. For now, we can make it visible to all profiles.

You can keep the default options on the last page and save the new field to complete its creation. 

Read more: Approval Process in Salesforce.

Now, you’ll be able to see a detailed view of the Employee object with the newly created field. You’ll see how its field name has an __c appended to the end to signify that it is a custom field. 

Next, let’s create the Date of Birth field. Go to the Fields and Relationships pane as before and click the New button. Choose Date as the data type. 

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On the next page, fill in the details of the field as we did before. Here, you can check the “Required” checkbox to make the field a mandatory one to ensure every record contains a date of birth. 

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Complete the rest of the steps as before. 

Now, you can open the Employee tab on the custom tab and create a new record with inputs for these new fields. 

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Salesforce Field Data Types:

Field Data TypeDescription
Auto NumberAutomatically generates a unique numerical identifier for each record.
CheckboxPresents a checkbox for users to indicate a binary (true/false) attribute of a record.
CurrencyEnables users to input a monetary amount.
DateProvides a field for users to input or select a date from a calendar popup.
Date/TimeAllows users to input or select both a date from a calendar popup and a specific time.
EmailFacilitates the entry of an email address (up to 80 characters) with format validation.
GeolocationEnables users to define a location using latitude and longitude coordinates.
NumberAllows users to input a numerical value, treated as a real number (leading zeros are removed).
PercentEnables users to input a percentage as a decimal (e.g., 0.10 is converted to 10%).
PhoneAllows users to input a phone number (up to 40 characters).
PicklistProvides a dropdown list for users to select a single value from predefined options.
Picklist (multi-select)Enables users to select multiple values from a predefined list.
TextAllows users to input a combination of letters, numbers, or symbols (up to 255 characters).
Text (Encrypted)Enables users to input a combination of characters stored in encrypted form (up to 175 characters).
Text AreaAllows users to input text (up to 255 characters) displayed on separate lines, similar to a description field.
Text Area (Long)Enables users to input a long text (up to 131,072 characters) displayed on separate lines, with a customizable limit.
Text Area (Rich)Provides a rich text editor for formatting content, adding images, and hyperlinks.
URLAllows users to input a website address (up to 255 characters).

These data types enable users to define the nature of the data that can be stored in each field, ensuring the accuracy and consistency of the information captured in Salesforce records.

Next article, Formula Fields in Salesforce, explains about Formula Fields.

Frequently Asked Questions on Fields in Salesforce:

Can you explain the difference between standard fields and custom fields in Salesforce?

In Salesforce, standard fields are predefined fields that come with every Salesforce object. These fields cover common attributes like Name, Email, and Created Date, providing a consistent structure across the platform.

Custom fields, on the other hand, are user-defined fields created to capture specific information unique to an organization’s needs. These fields allow for greater flexibility and customization, enabling businesses to tailor Salesforce to their specific data requirements.

Read more: Strings in Salesforce Apex

How do the Owner Field, Created By, and Last Modified By fields enhance user accountability and data management in Salesforce?

The Owner Field in Salesforce assigns ownership of a record to a specific user or queue, defining who has control and responsibility for that record. This field is crucial for managing access and ensuring that the right individuals or teams are accountable for the data.

The Created By and Last Modified By fields automatically track the user who created and last modified a record, respectively. These fields provide transparency and accountability by maintaining a clear history of changes made to each record, aiding in data management and security.

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How can geolocation fields be utilized in Salesforce for location-based services, and what are some common use cases?

Geolocation fields in Salesforce store latitude and longitude coordinates, enabling the tracking of physical locations. They are particularly useful in mapping and location-based services, allowing organizations to visualize data geographically and make informed decisions based on spatial relationships.

Common use cases for geolocation fields include tracking the locations of assets, plotting customer addresses on maps for sales territory planning, and optimizing routes for field service teams. These fields enhance the functionality of Salesforce by providing a spatial dimension to data analysis.

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What are some of the key considerations when choosing a data type for a new custom field in Salesforce?

When choosing a data type for a new custom field in Salesforce, it’s important to consider the nature of the data being captured. The data type determines the format, validation, and functionality of the field, ensuring that the data is stored and processed correctly.

For example, if capturing numerical data, a Number field would be appropriate, while a Date field would be best for date-related information. The choice of data type impacts how users interact with the field and how the data can be utilized in reports and automation.

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Can you describe the process of field mapping in Salesforce and its importance in data integration or migration scenarios?

Field mapping in Salesforce involves associating fields from one object or system with fields in another, ensuring that data is transferred accurately during integration or migration processes. It’s a crucial step in data management, enabling seamless data flow between different systems or objects.

In scenarios like data migration or integration with external systems, field mapping ensures that data is correctly aligned and transferred without loss or corruption. It’s essential for maintaining data integrity and consistency across different platforms and systems within the Salesforce ecosystem.

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