Objects

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Objects are the basic building blocks used to collect information in the different Types of Applications.

Contents

About Objects

Objects often represent entities in the real world and are modeled based on specific delineations needed by the business. For example, if an application for tracking dogs is required, the Dogs object may define the characteristics of each dog. However, if tracking dogs and cats is required, it may be necessary to define the object as Pets. Or if the need is to track dogs, cats, zebras or trees, a Species object may need to be defined.

Learn more: The Power of Objects
Considerations
  • Custom Objects are typically seen as tabs in the user interface
  • Custom Objects typically contain a list of records (like a spreadsheet)
  • Records in Custom Objects can be viewed individually
  • Each record contains data, presented as Fields in a Form
  • Records can also contain lists of records in related objects
  • Custom Objects are things: customers, products, services, invoices, transactions, etc.
  • Web Tabs are types of Custom Objects that extend the platform with these elements: a URL, HTML code, Pages, Widgets or a Database View
  • Fields associated with the Record Id are clickable in System Objects
  • Clicking the link to an Account Name, Contact Name, or other System Objects opens the record for viewing
  • By contrast, Custom Objects provide a Details link to open the record for viewing
  • Alphabetical search is not available in Custom Objects, (but is available in System Objects)

How Are Objects Used?

The platform provides a framework for building information structures that can be used to house data and extract it for a multitude of purposes. Objects, and the data associated with these objects, are the primary information structures in an application.

Objects provide the ability to collect data and share it with other users (based on their team, user role, and access permissions that are assigned). Data is contained in fields, as a data entry form. Data can be typed directly into fields via a Form, or data can be imported from CSV files.

Once an object is created, its properties, field attributes, Document Templates, web forms, and other associated options can be modified.

Varieties of Objects

There are two kinds of objects:

  • System Objects are pre-defined objects that come with the platform. For example: User, Team, Role.
  • Custom Objects are created when applications are developed or installed.
Note:
Most users will never be aware that there is a difference between those two kinds of objects. Even for developers, the distinction is often minor. In general, Custom Objects are more customizable. They allow subclassing,and provide a variety of other capabilities. System Objects, on the other hand, often provide specific functionality that is available only in those objects.

There are also two flavors:

  • The term object designates an entity that is built on a database table, with all of the features that the platform provides for manipulating them: Forms, Validations, Spreadsheet (grid) views, and more. Each table (object) has columns (fields), each row has cells, and each cell has exactly one value. That value may be an ID (foreign key) that lets you select records from a different table (connect to other objects via lookup fields). The field value may even be a comma-separated list. But when managing an object record, you are in effect dealing with a set of single values for a row in a spreadsheet.
  • A Composite Object, on the other hand, is a combination of Related Objects--objects that are connected by lookup relationships. For example, a customer has many orders and a choice of mailing addresses, while every order has a mailing address chosen from the list.

Depending on how you write your application, you can work with either simple objects or composite objects—-whichever makes the task easier.

Managing Objects

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Users that have the Customize Objects permission can manage Objects. 

Add a New Object

1. Click GearIcon.png > Customization > Objects
2. Click the [New Object] button.
Two tabs appear, giving you the option to create an object by importing data from a CSV file exported from a spreadsheet, or by using the object-construction wizard.
3 Choose your object-construction method:
Create By Import
Paste data copied from a spreadsheet, or import it from a file:
  • The wizard identifies the number of columns of data, and gives you an opportunity to specify the Field Display Type for each column
  • An Object is created from the data. You can then modify the object however you like.
Create Using Wizard
Define as many Objects as you need and specify the Relationships between them.
After an object is created, you're in the design mode for that object.
If multiple objects are created, you can choose which object to visit.

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Best Practice:
A consistent naming convention makes it easier to avoid mistakes when referencing an object.

A plural name is generally preferred. After all, an object is essentially a database table with multiple records. (Use the singular version of the name when referring to an individual record.)

Modify an Object

To modify an object:

  1. GearIcon.png > Customization > Objects > {object}
    The object page appears.
  2. Click the headings or the sidebar entries to view and modify the various aspects of the object.

Delete an Object

When an object is deleted, the associated Data Tab will not be available in your application. All of the records and Related Information in the object are deleted. Deleting an Object moves all associated records to the Recycle Bin.

To delete an object:

  1. Go to GearIcon.png > Customization > Objects > {object} > Object Properties
  2. Click [Delete]
  3. Enter your name to confirm your action
  4. Click [Delete] once again to delete the object, along with all of the records it contains.

Aspects of an Object

Custom Objects provode the following options for customization.

Fields and Forms

FieldsAdd/Edit/Delete Fields, or set Field Audit Log preferences.
FormsCreate data entry forms (Forms) and assign them to Roles.
ValidationsPrevents bad data from being entered into the database.
Forms AssignmentSpecify which Roles use which Forms.
Macros Specify conditions and select actions to be executed when the user selects the macro from the list of Record Actions.
Custom Form ActionsAdd custom code to a form to provide buttons that a user can click.
Activity History Displays the list of activities that have taken place with respect to the record, starting with the most recent.

Automation

Business Rules Define Rules and Rule Sets to automate processing.
Macros Allow users to perform several actions with a single click.
Processes Define a series of tasks and the flow between them--both automated (including Web Services) and manual (specifying the team, role, or person who needs to accomplish them.
External Data Sources Use a Web Service to retrieve related records from an external data store.
SLAs Define Service Level Agreements and their objectives.
SLA Escalations Define escalation policies to send reminders and change record ownership, in order to meet SLA deadlines.

Communication Templates

Email Templates Email Templates are mail-merge forms that can use Template Variables as placeholders for record-specific data.
Document TemplatesDocument Templates are used like mail-merge forms to print a record as an invoice, a receipt, etc.

Record Additions

These items can be added to any record, in any object.

Tasks Create a single-task or define a multi-step task sequence, and designate the person or group that needs to carry it out.
Private Notes and Email Messages Send messages and add notes, automatically recording in the record's activity history.
Attachments Add an attachment to a note or message, click [Add File] in the sidebar to add an attachment.

Object Settings

Object Properties
Edit Modify properties, including singular and plural labels.
Delete Delete the object and any records it contains. You'll be asked to provide your full name for the log. Enter first name, space, and last name, exactly as they appear in your personal account settings.
Object Relationships
Child Objects Take advantage of inheritance to create variations of an object, while defining aspects that are common to all children in the parent object.
Related Objects View and manage relationships with other objects defined by Lookup fields.
IndexesDefine a unique identifier to improve search performance and prevent duplicate record creation
Field Audit Log SettingsSelect fields for auditing. All changes to specified fields are then recorded in the Field Audit Log.
Record Locator Define the methods to locate records (define the fields to display in Lookup or Search results, create a unique Record Id, or define fields to include in a Search)
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