Salesforce Basics Objects, Fields, and Lists Explained Simply


In Salesforce, objects are the fundamental units of data. There are two main types of objects: standard objects and custom objects.

  1. Standard Objects:
    • Salesforce comes with predefined standard objects like Account, Contact, Opportunity, etc.
    • Example: The “Account” object represents a company or organization.
  2. Custom Objects:
    • You can also create custom objects tailored to your specific business needs.
    • Example: You might create a custom object named “Project” to track information about different projects.


AccountRepresents a company or organization.ABC Corp
ContactRepresents an individual associated with an Account.John Doe
OpportunityRepresents potential revenue from a sale.Sales Deal 2022
Custom_ObjectCustom object created to fit specific business needs.Project


Fields are where you store data in an object. They can be of different types, such as text, number, date, etc.

  1. Standard Fields:
    • Standard objects come with pre-built standard fields.
    • Example: The “Account” object may have standard fields like “Account Name,” “Industry,” etc.
  2. Custom Fields:
    • You can add custom fields to both standard and custom objects.
    • Example: Adding a custom field like “Project Manager” to the “Project” object.


Account NameTextName of the company or organization.ABC Corp
IndustryPicklistType of industry the account belongs to.Technology
Annual RevenueCurrencyFinancial performance of the account.$1,000,000
Contact RoleTextRole of the contact in the organization.Manager
Opportunity NameTextName of the sales opportunity.Sales Deal 2022
AmountCurrencyEstimated revenue from the opportunity.$50,000
Project ManagerLookupLinks a project to a specific manager.Jane Smith (Contact)
Task DescriptionTextDescription of a task in a project.Complete project plan


Contact to Account (Lookup)Associates a Contact with an Account, allowing you to link individuals to companies.John Doe (Contact) linked to ABC Corp (Account)
Opportunity to Account (Lookup)Connects an Opportunity with an Account, indicating the potential revenue source.Sales Deal 2022 (Opportunity) linked to ABC Corp (Account)
Project to Task (Master-Detail)Creates a hierarchical relationship where Tasks are dependent on the associated Project.Task “Complete project plan” (Detail) associated with Project (Master)

Related Records:

Related records allow you to establish connections between different objects. There are two main types: Lookup Relationships and Master-Detail Relationships.

  1. Lookup Relationship:
    • Allows you to associate one record with another, creating a link.
    • Example: On the “Opportunity” object, you might have a lookup relationship with the “Account” object, connecting each opportunity with an account.
  2. Master-Detail Relationship:
    • A stricter form of relationship where the “detail” object is a child to the “master” object.
    • Example: You could have a master-detail relationship between “Project” (master) and “Task” (detail), ensuring that tasks are linked to specific projects.

Related List:

Related lists display records related to a particular record. They are present on the detail page of a record.

  1. Standard Related Lists:
    • Standard objects come with predefined related lists.
    • Example: The “Account” detail page might display a related list of “Contacts.”
  2. Custom Related Lists:
    • You can also create custom related lists for custom objects.
    • Example: A custom object “Event” might have a related list of “Attendees.”

Related Lists:Related ListDescriptionExampleContacts on AccountDisplays a list of Contacts associated with an Account.John Doe, Jane SmithOpportunities on AccountShows a list of Opportunities linked to an Account.Sales Deal 2022Tasks on ProjectLists tasks associated with a specific Project.Complete project plan

Example Scenario:

Let’s say you have an “Account” object and a “Contact” object with a lookup relationship between them. Each account can have multiple contacts.

  • Account Object Fields:
    • Account Name (Standard)
    • Industry (Standard)
    • Annual Revenue (Standard)
    • Custom Field: Account Manager
  • Contact Object Fields:
    • First Name (Standard)
    • Last Name (Standard)
    • Email (Standard)
    • Custom Field: Role
  • Relationship:
    • Lookup relationship from Contact to Account
  • Related List:
    • Account detail page would display a related list of Contacts.

This is a basic overview, and Salesforce can be quite extensive. Visualizing relationships through diagrams in the Salesforce Schema Builder can help you understand the structure better.

Real-Time Scenario:

Let’s say you are managing sales activities for ABC Corp.

  1. Account Page:
    • You create an Account named “ABC Corp” with the industry set to “Technology” and an annual revenue of $1,000,000.
  2. Contacts on Account Related List:
    • In the Contacts related list on the Account page, you add John Doe as a contact with the role of “Manager” and Jane Smith as another contact.
  3. Opportunities:
    • You create a new Opportunity named “Sales Deal 2022” linked to the “ABC Corp” account with an estimated revenue of $50,000.
  4. Project:
    • You create a custom object named “Project” and associate it with the “Account” object. Each project has a project manager, and you link Jane Smith as the project manager for a project.
  5. Tasks on Project Related List:
    • In the related list on the Project detail page, you add a task with the description “Complete project plan.”

Now Lets talk about one of the important topics -> record types in salesforce

Record Types in Salesforce are a powerful feature that allows you to define different sets of picklist values, page layouts, and business processes for different users or scenarios within a single object. This helps tailor the user interface and behavior of Salesforce records to specific business needs.

Here are key aspects of Record Types:

1. Definition:

  • A Record Type is a way to categorize records of the same object based on certain criteria.
  • It allows you to define different picklist values, page layouts, and business processes for each record type.

2. Use Cases:

  • Different Business Processes: When different teams or departments have distinct processes for handling records of the same object. For example, Sales and Support might have different processes for managing opportunities.
  • Customized User Experience: To provide a tailored user experience for different user profiles or roles within the same object.

3. Components of Record Types:

  • Picklist Values: Each record type can have its own set of picklist values for certain fields.
  • Page Layouts: You can create different page layouts for different record types, controlling which fields are visible, required, or read-only.
  • Business Processes: You can associate different business processes with each record type, defining the stages a record can go through.

4. Creation:

  • To create a Record Type, go to the Object Manager, select the object, and navigate to “Record Types.”
  • Create a new record type, define its picklist values, associate page layouts, and choose a business process if applicable.

5. Assignment:

  • Assign Record Types to profiles or users to determine who can use each record type.
  • You can also use the “Record Type Selection” page layout to allow users to choose the record type when creating a new record.

6. Visibility Rules:

  • You can set up visibility rules to control when a record type is available based on certain criteria, like the profile of the user or the values of other fields.

7. Page Layouts and Business Processes:

  • Different record types can have different page layouts, showing or hiding fields as needed.
  • You can associate specific business processes with each record type, guiding users through a set of predefined stages.

8. Example:

  • Consider an “Opportunity” object where the sales team and the consulting team have different processes and information they need to capture. You can create two record types: “Sales Opportunity” and “Consulting Opportunity.” Each can have its own picklist values, page layouts, and business processes.

9. Benefits:

  • Customization: Tailor the Salesforce experience based on different user roles or business scenarios.
  • Efficiency: Streamline data entry and guide users through specific processes.
  • Clarity: Make it easier for users to understand and work with records in accordance with their responsibilities.

Record Types are a flexible tool that empowers administrators to create a more customized and efficient Salesforce environment, catering to the diverse needs of different users and teams.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *