Salesforce is a great platform that allows for Salesforce Teams to bring value to customers everyday with no code. But with this power comes a lot of responsibility! It’s all too easy to create custom objects, fields and automation whether you’re dino-experienced or a freshly baked Salesforce bun so it’s key that you need not get sloppy, remembering how to create, maintain and sustain Salesforce Custom Objects.
Here’s where we fit it! Check out these top 5 best practices:
There’s a tonne of ways to understand what you already have set up in your Salesforce Org, just check out Find and View Your Data. You can even enable your Setup Audit Trail where this tracks the past 180 days history, find out if it’s already been created, perhaps a memory lapse or better you find out someone has the Admin powers they shouldn’t!
Use the apps out there to understand your entire orgs set up. Make sure because you go ahead and create that Custom Object there isn’t one in there already that will either duplicate directly or pose a similar name but the same action.
Key message, don’t go duplicating Custom Objects, know your Org, keep it clean.
So you’ve done your research, taken the time to check your Org, and the results are that you do need a Custom Object. Great, so you get cracking on creating one. Now there’s three key elements here that get ambiguous, dismissed, or simply a lazy input, and that’s the ‘Label’, ‘Description’ and ‘Help Text’.
Label; What it is. All too commonly there are labels names that are overly ambiguous. Keep it simple. Why and what is it there for?
By keeping this to the point (as examples given!) both your colleagues will give you less questions and your future self and those that come after you will be eternally grateful.
Description; What it does. Brief, concise, yet descriptive enough that your Grandparents could understand the reason for its being. By it not being a mandatory field inhibits laziness, keep your Org organised, keep it understandable, keep it clean.
Help Text; Use it to support your teams in inputting the data. This helps you have clean data and a healthy Org. And who likes emails that clog up an inbox asking for clarification over what something does? Not me. Make it easy, keep it short enough for individuals to take the time to read, and long enough to actually live up to its name, help text.
Take two more minutes more to fill these out. This should be easy as if you are not sure what you are creating or why it’s there then you shouldn’t have created it in the first place. This will save you a lot of time in the future trying to figure out what and why it’s there.
If there are Objects created in your Org that have no objective, check first the why of their existence, where they appear. Schema Builder and Salesforce Inspector (my new fav!) these are great tools.
Schema Builder; shows a visual representation of your Org and in essence how it all fits together;
“Schema Builder provides a dynamic environment for viewing and modifying all the objects and relationships in your app. This greatly simplifies the task of designing, implementing, and modifying your data model, or schema. Schema Builder is enabled by default.”
Salesforce Inspector; is a quick and easy way to find information about the Object or Field you are searching for. This becomes highly valuable in complex Orgs, or in my case creating Permissions Sets for Rootstock! Be the Watson of your Salesforce Inspector.
Step 1. Type your mystery Object in
Step 2. Check out the dropdown list, pick the appropriate and select show all data.
Step 3. Check out what I call the family tree. A list of Fields, Parent-Child relationships, apex pages, API, Label, Type… Amongst a tonne of other pieces of helpful information.
Once you have solid information about your Custom Object after doing the theory and speaking to your teams, and checking with your developers, you can then make the decision as to whether it is actually being used or perhaps left over from a redundant decision. Don’t fear cleaning up, but ensure you’ve taken the time to do your homework prior. And if you wanted to test the waters first, remember there is also the option to hide Custom Objects first.
Maintain and Sustain
From taking all this time to make sure that your Org is healthy and your Users are happy, maintain it. Regularly use the audit tools that we used in the initial steps and make sure that you and the teams and Salesforce Administrators, Developers and Users are following the quality standard that we should encompass within our day to day.
Make your Org sustainable for future generations to come. For there will be a day that you will leave, leave with pride that you have built a maintainable and sustainable environment that had helped the organisation grow.
Take care of what goes in your Salesforce Org. So ensure you keep yourself, as Salesforce Admins, Developers, change agents in check. Continuously assess how you’re making changes and adapting your Org to support business needs.
As the saying goes; “Quality in, quality out”. Right?