December 1, 2023

Unveiling the Power of Custom Objects in Salesforce: A Comprehensive Guide to When and How


In the ever-evolving customer relationship management (CRM) world, Salesforce stands out as the prime solution, offering businesses the tools to craft their solutions according to their unique needs. What makes or breaks a great CRM is its customization capability. In this comprehensive article, I will take you on a journey to explore the when and how of leveraging custom objects in Salesforce. I will dive deep into their significance and provide practical insights to help you understand the do’s and don’ts of custom objects in Salesforce.


What are Salesforce Objects:

In Salesforce, an object is a fundamental building block that represents a table in the database, storing data specific to your organization. Objects are used to define and organize information within the Salesforce platform, facilitating the management of various business processes. There are two main types of objects in Salesforce: standard objects and custom objects.

Key characteristics of a Salesforce object, standard or custom, are:


  • Objects consist of fields representing individual data (e.g., "Account Name," "Industry," “Created date”).

Record type:

  • A record type is a mechanism that allows you to define different sets of picklist values, page layouts, and business processes for a particular object. Record types are particularly useful when capturing different sets of information for the same object based on specific criteria.


  • Objects can be related, representing complex data structures (e.g., linking a custom "Projects" object to a standard "Account" object). Three relationships in Salesforce are lookup, master-detail, and junction. To learn more about relationships in Salesforce, go HERE

Page Layouts:

  • Control how information is displayed in the user interface, arranging fields and related lists on record detail pages.

Security and Access Controls:

  • Objects have security settings, managing who can view, edit, or delete records through profiles, permission sets, and roles.

Understanding Custom Objects vs Standard Objects:

In Salesforce, custom and standard objects are essential in organizing and managing data within the platform. Understanding the differences between these two types of objects is crucial for designing an effective and tailored Salesforce instance.

Standard Objects

Out-of-the-Box Functionality:

  • Standard objects are pre-built by Salesforce and come with out-of-the-box functionality. Examples include objects like Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, and Cases. Standard objects included may differ based on the licenses that you’ve purchased. 

Standard objects use cases:

  • Standard objects are designed for universal business processes. They offer a generic structure that can be used across various industries and organizations and often have additional built-in functionalities 

Limited Customization:

  • While standard objects should be utilized, their customization options are limited. Users can customize fields, page layouts, and certain aspects, but the overall structure and behavior remain standardized.

Custom Objects:

Tailored to Specific Requirements:

  • Custom objects are created by Salesforce users to meet specific business requirements that standard objects may not adequately address. Custom objects can be utilized if the standard object’s limitations do not allow you to adjust them to your specific business process.

Industry-Specific Use Cases:

  • Custom objects are particularly useful for industries with specialized needs. For example, a healthcare organization might create custom objects to track patient information that aligns with their workflows, and more than the Person Account standard object was needed to fill those shoes.

Extensive Customization:

  • Users have significant flexibility in customizing every aspect of a custom object, including fields, relationships, page layouts, and business processes. This flexibility enables businesses to tailor Salesforce to their exact specifications.

To sum up

Standard Objects:

  • Ideal for common business processes.
  • Offer a foundation for core CRM functionalities.
  • Well-suited for organizations with standard data management needs.

Custom Objects:

  • Tailored for unique or industry-specific processes.
  • It is essential when standard objects don't adequately represent business processes.
  • Provide flexibility to adapt Salesforce to changing business requirements

Custom Object Creation

Navigate to Setup:

  • Begin by logging into your Salesforce account and navigating to the Setup menu.

Object Manager:

  • In the Setup menu, locate the Object Manager. You'll find a comprehensive list of standard and existing custom objects here.

Create a New Custom Object:

  • Initiate creating a new custom object by clicking on "Create Object." Define the object's properties, such as label, plural label, and object name.

Define Fields:

  • Specify the fields that compose your custom object. Depending on the data type you want to capture, these can include text fields, date fields, picklists, and more.

Set Relationships:

  • Establish relationships between your custom object and other objects in Salesforce. This is crucial for creating a comprehensive view of your data across various modules.

Configure Page Layouts:

  • Customize the page layouts to determine how information is displayed and organized within the Salesforce user interface.

For more hands-on challenges, we highly encourage you to go to this trailhead: SALESFORCE DATA MODEL

Custom objects in Salesforce empower businesses to tailor their CRM experience, providing a flexible and scalable solution that aligns with unique processes. Knowing when and how to leverage custom objects is key to unlocking their full potential. By working with us, we will help you follow best practices and understand the nuances of customization; businesses can create a CRM ecosystem that truly reflects their individual needs and sets the stage for future growth. In the dynamic realm of Salesforce, mastering custom objects opens the door to a realm of possibilities for businesses aiming to achieve CRM excellence.

We’re here to listen, advise and act. Regardless of which business processes you want to improve, we can help.

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