With custom fields in Salesforce, you can capture all of your important business data and sort based on your preferences. Custom fields allow you to store and organize data that may not match the standard fields available in your Salesforce CRM. This helps you manage data more effectively and incorporate relevant information beyond the standard Salesforce data fields.
Five Steps to Create Custom Fields in Salesforce
The best way to learn how to create custom fields in Salesforce is by doing—create several different fields and field types to become more comfortable with custom fields in Salesforce. Follow these step-by-step instructions to be on your way to custom field creation:
- Create “New” Custom Field: The location of the “New” option may vary depending on the object you use. When using a standard object, go to App Setup > Customize > [Object Name > Fields. With a custom field object, find App Setup > Create > Objects. You will see the “New” option on the right next to “Custom Fields & Relationships” when you scroll down to the Custom Fields section. Select “New” to create a new custom field.
Using the new Lightning Experience? Go to Platform Tools > Objects and Fields > Object Manager > [Object Name]
- Assign a Field Type: When setting up a custom field in Salesforce, you must define a field type—each field in Salesforce must have a type (e.g., number, text). Field types designate how users view and interact with your data. You can choose from several pre-determined field types. There are a limited number of fields to choose from when creating custom fields versus the full set of field types in Salesforce, as many are only an option when using standard objects. (For relationship fields [lookup, master-detail], you will need to follow more detailed instructions than covered in this post).
- Define Field Attributes: You will need to define attributes for each field that you create in Salesforce. Defining attributes is a critical step to using fields properly. Make sure you recognize the various attribute options before setting up fields. While attributes may vary based on field type and certain attributes may not be available depending on the specific field type, the most popular attributes include: field label, field name, help text, required, unique, external ID, and default value.
- Put Security Measures in Place for Field-Level Data: After you have defined your field attributes, you will need to set permissions that control visibility and access to the field for the Salesforce profiles across your organization. You can select Visible, Read-only or CRUD (create, read, update, delete) as the security designations for each profile. Field-level data is only viewable by users with access to the record.
- Add the Field to Page Layouts: When creating a field, you will receive an option to automatically add that field to a page layout for the object you are working with. For example, if you create a Lead field, you can automatically add to the layouts related to Leads. However, proceed with caution as you will not be able to choose the field’s location in the page layout. Fields are, by default, added to the bottom left field in the first section of the page layout. You will need to move the field layout to your preferred location. Because of this, it can be easier to manually add the field to the page layout, instead of automatically.
Now you know how to set up a custom field in Salesforce. Do you have additional questions? Please ask in the comments section!
This post was pulled from an excerpt from my book, Practical Salesforce Development Without Code, a step-by-step guide for point-and-click development on Salesforce. The content for this post is included in Chapter 1, “The Salesforce.com Data Model: Objects, Fields and Relationships.” I will continue this series throughout 2016. What would you like to learn?