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Object Design Guidelines

Object Design Guidelines provide standards for naming and configuring custom objects. This includes recommendations on naming the object and its records, enabling object features, and enabling Chatter Feed Tracking.

Naming the Object

We recommend entering a Label and Plural Label in title case, and an Object Name in Pascal case. For example, for the Committee Membership object:


Committee Membership

Plural Label

Committee Memberships

Object NameCommitteeMembership

Learn more about title case and Pascal case in Component Design Guidelines.

Naming Records

In addition to naming the object, you must also specify a naming convention for the object's records. The Data Type for the record name can be either Text or Autonumber, which are two custom field types. Learn more about Custom Field Types (external).

Text Data Type

If staff should name each record with a text value, select a Data Type of Text.

For these records, we recommend a Record Name in title case with the format:

[object name] Name

For example, Entity has a Record Name of Entity Name.

Autonumber Data Type

Alternatively, if the system should automatically number each record, select a Data Type of Auto Number

For these records, we recommend a Record Name in title case with the format:

[object name] Id

For example, Committee Membership has a Record Name of Committee Membership Id.

Display Format

For the Auto Number data type, you must also specify a Display Format.

If the object name contains only a single word, we recommend a Display Format with the format:

[object name] {0000000}

For example, the Display Format for Order is Order {0000000}.

If the object name contains two or more words, we recommend a Display Format with the format:

[abbreviated object name] {0000000}

The abbreviated object name is the first letter of each word in the object's name. For example, the abbreviated object name for Schedule Line is SL, so the Display Format for Schedule Line is SL {0000000}.

You can reduce the recommended number of zeroes (7) if you anticipate a lower volume of records. For example, if you anticipate you will not exceed 10,000 records, you can specify {0000} instead of {0000000}.

If you happen to exceed 10,000 records, don't sweat it; the numbering simply continues beyond 9999 and there will simply be no leading zeroes.

Starting Number

Finally, for the Auto Number data type, you must specify a Starting Number. We recommend starting with 1, unless you are importing legacy data, in which case we recommend starting at a number higher than the highest record number in your legacy system.

Features and Classifications

We recommend enabling all Optional Features, namely:

  • Allow Reports
  • Allow Activities
  • Track Field History
  • Allow in Chatter Groups

We recommend enabling all Object Classification options, namely:

  • Allow Sharing
  • Allow Bulk API Access
  • Allow Streaming API Access

We also recommend enabling Allow Search so staff can search for records.

We recommend leaving Add Notes and Attachments related list to default page layout disabled because newer functionality is available to replace Notes and Attachments, namely Files and Notes. Learn more (external).

Finally, you can optionally enable  to be taken immediately to a page to create a custom tab. If you do not select this, you can always create a custom tab later. Learn more (external).

Record Types

We recommend using record types if you need to display different fields or picklist values for different types of records, or if only certain users or profiles need access to certain types of records. Learn more about using record types to Tailor Business Processes to Different Users (external).

We recommend always adding a description for each record type because it is displayed to staff when creating a new record or changing a record's record type. Keep it as brief as possible while still providing enough clarity to distinguish the record types from one another.

For example, the names and descriptions for a few of the record types for Publication are:

Blogregularly updated website or web page with posts and articles, generally written in a conversational style.
BookA literary composition containing pages bound in covers, either printed or digitally.

Contains original research, in-depth analysis of topics, lengthy articles, and statistical information.

MagazineContains news stories, and current events, generally presented in the form of articles and interviews.
NewsletterContains news stories and current events, generally presented as a bulletin or newspaper.
ReportPresents information on a specific problem and uses facts and evidence to provide a solution. This includes whitepapers and case studies.
OtherA miscellaneous work that cannot be categorized as any of the other record types.

Chatter Feed Tracking

Enabling feed tracking for your custom object empowers staff to use Chatter to collaborate on a record, and it also highlights changes to records by automatically announcing them in the record’s Chatter feed. Learn more (external).

We recommend enabling feed tracking for objects in which staff need to write posts about specific records, or in which they need to be notified about changes to those records' field values.

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