Creating Salesforce Custom Fields Best Practices

Salesforce custom fields are one of the things that have earned them a huge name in the CRM industry since the SaaS revolution. Business data processing which allows infinitely customized form elements, fields and libraries never outgrow their own usefulness. Not only this, but they empower companies to change with times. What are They For: Custom fields can be used for all number of things. But, I guess we need to talk a little bit about what things like fields, forms, tables and the like really are. Now, a good portion of you are going to say “I already know that”, and okay. But, for the other half who are new, let’s be considerate and let them in on it. Forms are of course collections of printouts and input controls and the like that allow users to communicate with databases. But, exactly what is a database? Well, databases are collections of data in organized structures. They’re usually shaped more or less like a spreadsheet when you get down to it. There are columns of value types with labels, and rows of entries containing sets of matching values for these columns. Of course, since it doesn’t have to be directly visible like a spread sheet, the structure can get a bit more complex than that, allowing for advanced queries and all sorts of things. The entire web is powered by database systems like this, and naturally, so is Salesforce. Now, what exactly is a custom field? Well, fields are those “columns” I referred to. Value slots that each record set fills with values that make the record set unique. For more information go to how to add fields in salesforce. What’s Special Here: So, what’s special about these custom fields? If it’s like a spreadsheet, shouldn’t fields be easy to add? Well, just straight up field spaces are somewhat easy to add, but the problem comes from handling the extra data visually. See, there are a number pre-designed forms to handle the various tasks in Salesforce, and they can’t dynamically add rendering space for new values. Now, custom forms are very possible to design. Custom objects added to forms to add and display special queries are also quite easy to do. But, what does a custom field do? Well, beyond bringing in additional information tracking, certain types of these can even use formulae to do special operations to give you derivations of values, for all manner of additional information special to your case. Related information can be found on creating custom objects in salesforce page. Caveats: Only add additional fields where it really matters. If you have to design a custom form to display this additional information, that’s an undertaking that should only take place when you really need it to. Yes, these things are easy to do, but don’t waste energy just on playing with extra fields full of trivial information. Still, there are uses for these. I don’t really have much else to say or advise on for this, because there’s not much to it, unless you get into specific applications of them. Salesforce custom fields are useful, but I have to say the best advice is knowing when not to use them, more than being sure to always use them. That doesn’t diminish their value whatsoever, though.
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.