What’s an Object?

Q: What’s meant by “object” in salesforce parlance?

Sometimes also referred to as an SObject (“S-Object”), an object is a database table. Simple as that.

Salesforce has standard objects, which come pre-assembled, like Leads, Opportunities, Contacts, and Accounts. But you can also make custom objects to suit your needs.

Now, imagine an excel spreadsheet, where each column is a “field” and each row is a “record.”

Let’s take an example. Again, say I run a company which sells sunglasses. One of the objects in my Salesforce instance is “Product.” Some fields on the Product object could be:

  • Name
  • Price
  • Color
  • Lens Type
  • Lens Size

So you can think about those fields as the columns on a spreadsheet, and each product would occupy a row with its own “values.”

Maybe I just designed a new pair of sunglasses called “Berlin” (or something hipster like that, obviously). I think I’m going to price them at $95. They’re matte black with polarized lenses of 49mm.

These values, Berlin, $95, Matte Black, Polarized, 49mm are all the values of a record of my product object.

So let’s recap quickly:

  • Object: A Database Table
  • Record: A single instance of an object, a row in the table
  • Field: One of the pieces of information stored, a column in the table.
  • Value: One of the attributes of a record, a cell in the table

It’s a lot of information to digest, but it’s absolutely critical to understand and properly use the vocabulary explained above. If you have ever used a spreadsheet before, you’re already familiar with these concepts, I promise!

Want to learn a bit more about working with custom objects, and see a hands-on example? Check out the video + post titled Everything you Need to Know about Custom Objects. Or maybe you have a use case where a Custom Settings actually makes more sense? You can learn about Custom Settings in the video + post called Custom Settings: A Godsend.

That’s all, cheers! Check out the other Conversations here.

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