In this tutorial, we will discuss the following topics:

    • Explanation of Standard vs. Custom Objects
    • How to Manage Data (CRUD Operations)
    • Guidelines on Importing and Exporting Data
    • Insight into Object Relationships

Standard vs. Custom Objects

Standard vs. Custom Objects

Standard objects are pre-defined by Salesforce and common across all Salesforce environments. They include essential business entities such as Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, Leads, and Cases, which are integral to typical CRM functionalities.

Standard objects come with a pre-defined structure, including fields and behaviors designed to support common business processes and relationships among different entities (e.g., Accounts related to Contacts).

Definition of Custom Objects

Custom objects are user-defined objects created to store information specific to your organization’s needs that are not covered by Salesforce’s standard objects. These objects allow you to store data unique to your operations and can be related to other custom or standard objects to maintain relevant relationships.

Custom objects include custom fields, page layouts, relationships, reports, and dashboards specific to your business processes.

When to Use Standard vs. Custom Objects

Choosing between standard and custom objects typically depends on several factors:

Business Requirements

Standard objects should be used when your data management and process requirements align closely with the pre-defined Salesforce functionalities. For instance, managing customer contacts or tracking opportunities is straightforward, using standard objects like Contacts and Opportunities.

Specialized Processes

Custom objects are suitable when specific data needs to exceed what standard objects offer. If your business processes require tracking additional, unique information or developing new relationships that do not exist in standard objects, creating a custom object is the right approach.

Integration and Compatibility

Standard objects are often better for situations where you anticipate integrating Salesforce with other software applications, as these are more likely to be directly supported by third-party integration tools.


However, custom objects can be necessary if the integration requires data or processes unique to your organization.

Long-term Scalability

Consider whether the solution you choose will scale with your business needs. Standard objects provide less flexibility but ensure stability and less maintenance effort. Custom objects offer more flexibility to evolve as your business grows but may require more ongoing customization and maintenance.

How to Manage Data (CRUD Operations)

Creating Records

To create new records in Salesforce, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Object: Access the object tab where you want to create a new record, such as Accounts, Contacts, or a custom object.
  2. Use the New Button: Click the ‘New’ button typically found at the top of the list view or related list.
  3. Fill Out the Form: Enter the necessary information in the fields provided in the form. Required fields are marked with a red asterisk (*).
  4. Save the Record: After completing the form, click the ‘Save’ button to create the record. You can also use ‘Save and New’ if you need to create multiple records sequentially.

Updating Records

To update existing records in Salesforce:

  1. Open the Record: Navigate to the record you wish to update.
  2. Edit the Record: Click the ‘Edit’ button at the top of the record. This will open the edit page, which is similar to the new record form.
  3. Make Changes: Modify the fields as necessary. You can change one or multiple fields based on your needs.
  4. Save Changes: Click the ‘Save’ button to apply your changes. If you decide against modifying the record, you can click ‘Cancel’ to return to the record without saving any changes.

Deleting Records

To delete records in Salesforce:

  1. Locate the Record: Open the record that you want to delete.
  2. Delete the Record: Click the ‘Delete’ button, usually at the top of the record.
  3. Confirm Deletion: Salesforce will ask for confirmation to ensure that you want to delete the record. Confirm your choice. Note that this action may be irreversible depending on your organization’s data management policies and the recycle bin settings.

Guidelines on Importing and Exporting Data

Preparing Your Data for Import

Before importing data into Salesforce, proper preparation is important to ensure accuracy and efficiency.

Here’s how to prepare your data:

  1. Cleanse Data: Review your data for accuracy. Remove duplicates, correct errors, and ensure consistency in formatting, especially in date and currency fields.
  2. Structure Data: Organize your data in a format compatible with Salesforce. This typically involves arranging data into columns that match the Salesforce fields where you want to import data.
  3. Check Field Types: Ensure that the data types in your file match those in Salesforce (e.g., text, number, date).
  4. Download Templates: For an easier setup, download the import templates from Salesforce for specific objects like Contacts or Leads to ensure you have the correct fields and structure.

Using Salesforce Data Import Wizard

The Salesforce Data Import Wizard is an intuitive tool that makes importing data for standard Salesforce objects like Accounts, Contacts, Leads, and custom objects easy.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Access the Import Wizard: Navigate to the Setup menu, enter ‘Data Import Wizard’ in the Quick Find box, and select it under Data Management.
  2. Choose the Object: Select the data type you wish to import (e.g., Accounts, Contacts) and follow the instructions provided.
  3. Upload Your Data File: Upload the CSV file you’ve prepared, mapping the fields in it to the corresponding Salesforce fields.
  4. Perform the Import: Review your data and configurations, then start the import. Salesforce will process the file and import your data, providing a summary of the import once completed.

Using Salesforce Data Loader for Bulk Operations

For more complex imports or when dealing with large volumes of data (over 50,000 records), the Salesforce Data Loader is a more robust tool.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Install Data Loader: Download and install the Data Loader from Salesforce Setup.
  2. Prepare CSV Files: Ensure your CSV files are well-organized and that the fields are properly mapped to Salesforce fields.
  3. Log In and Configure: Open Data Loader, log in using your Salesforce credentials, and choose whether to insert, update, upsert, delete, or export data.
  4. Select Your Data File: Choose the CSV file for import and map the fields in your file to the corresponding fields in Salesforce.
  5. Execute the Operation: Run the operation, and the Data Loader will begin processing your data. Errors and successes will be logged, allowing you to make any necessary adjustments.

Exporting Data from Salesforce

Exporting data from Salesforce can be accomplished through several methods:

  1. Reports: Create a report with the required data and export it to Excel or CSV.
  2. Data Export Service: Use Salesforce’s scheduled data export service to back up data. This can be found in Setup under ‘Data Export’.
  3. Data Loader: Use Data Loader in export mode to extract large data sets based on specific criteria.

Insight into Object Relationships

Understanding how different objects relate to each other within Salesforce is important for modeling your data effectively.

Here’s how these relationships work and how to configure them:

Types of Relationships in Salesforce

Salesforce supports several types of relationships that link objects together to reflect real-world relationships between business entities:

  • Lookup Relationships: Create a simple link between two objects. This relationship is loosely coupled, meaning the linked records remain independent. Deleting one record does not affect the other.
  • Master-Detail Relationships: Create a tightly coupled relationship between two objects. The detail (child) record’s lifecycle depends on the master (parent) record. Deleting the master record will delete all related detail records.
  • Many-to-Many Relationships: Facilitated by using a junction object, this relationship allows you to link multiple records from one object to multiple records from another object.

Configuring Lookup Relationships

To configure a lookup relationship:

  1. Choose the Child Object: Navigate to the Object Manager in Setup and select the object containing the lookup field.
  2. Add a New Field: Choose ‘New’ under Fields & Relationships and select Lookup Relationship.
  3. Select the Parent Object: Choose the object to which this new field will link.
  4. Configure Field Details: Set field properties, such as field name, field level security, and page layout placement.
  5. Save and Test: Save your changes and test the relationship by creating or editing records in the child object.

Configuring Master-Detail Relationships

To set up a master-detail relationship:

  1. Identify the Master and Detail Objects: Decide which object will be the master and which will be the detail.
  2. Create the Detail Field: In the Object Manager, select the detail object and add a new field, selecting Master-Detail Relationship.
  3. Define the Master Object: Specify which object is the master in this relationship.
  4. Field Settings: Configure additional settings, such as sharing settings and whether to include the master’s record owner on the detail record.
  5. Deployment: Place the new field on the appropriate page layouts and test the functionality by manipulating the records involved.

Using Junction Objects for Many-to-Many Relationships

For linking many records from one object to many records from another, use a junction object:

  1. Create a Junction Object: This object will serve as the link between the two main objects.
  2. Add Master-Detail Fields: Add two master-detail relationship fields to this new junction object, each linking to one of the main objects involved in the relationship.
  3. Configure the Junction Object: Define how records in this object will be created and managed. Automated processes or custom interfaces often help manage these records.
  4. Utilize and Test: Use the junction object to associate multiple records from each main object and ensure the relationship behaves as expected.