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  • Writer's pictureAnjali Dahiya

Data Modeling in Salesforce for Scalability


Data Modeling in Salesforce for Scalability

Salesforce is a powerful CRM platform that can help businesses of all sizes to scale. However, in order to achieve scalability, it is important to have a well-designed data model.

A data model is a blueprint for how data is stored and organized in a database. A well-designed data model can help to improve the performance, scalability, and security of your Salesforce instance.


Here are some tips for data modeling in Salesforce for scalability:

Use standard objects

Salesforce provides a number of standard objects that are designed to be used for common business processes. These objects are well-tested and optimized for performance, so using them can help to improve the performance and scalability of your Salesforce instance.

Some examples of standard objects include:

  • Account: This object represents a company or organization.

  • Contact: This object represents an individual person.

  • Opportunity: This object represents a potential sale.

  • Lead: This object represents a potential customer who has not yet expressed interest in your products or services.

  • Case: This object represents a customer service issue.

Custom objects should only be used when there is no standard object that can meet your needs. Custom objects can add complexity to your data model and can make it more difficult to scale.


Here are some specific reasons why you should use standard objects:
  • Standard objects are well-tested and optimized for performance: Salesforce has spent a lot of time and effort testing and optimizing the performance of its standard objects. This means that you can be confident that your Salesforce instance will perform well when you use standard objects.

  • Standard objects are supported by Salesforce: Salesforce provides support for its standard objects. This means that if you have any problems with your standard objects, you can contact Salesforce for help.

  • Standard objects are used by the Salesforce community: There are a large number of Salesforce users who use standard objects. This means that there are a lot of resources available to help you learn about and use standard objects.

If you are not sure whether to use a standard object or a custom object, it is always best to consult with a Salesforce expert. A Salesforce expert can help you to assess your needs and to determine the best way to meet those needs.


Use custom objects sparingly

Custom objects should only be used when there is no standard object that can meet your needs. Custom objects can add complexity to your data model and can make it more difficult to scale.


Here are some specific reasons why you should use custom objects sparingly:
  • Custom objects can add complexity to your data model: Custom objects can add complexity to your data model by introducing new fields and relationships. This can make it more difficult to manage your data and to run queries.

  • Custom objects can make it more difficult to scale: Custom objects can make it more difficult to scale your Salesforce instance by increasing the amount of data that needs to be stored and processed.

  • Custom objects can be difficult to maintain: Custom objects can be difficult to maintain because they are not supported by Salesforce. This means that you will need to be responsible for any bug fixes or updates to your custom objects.

If you do need to use a custom object, it is important to design it carefully and to use it sparingly. You should also make sure that you have a plan for maintaining your custom object.


Here are some tips for designing custom objects that are scalable and easy to maintain:
  • Use standard fields whenever possible: Use standard fields whenever possible to avoid adding unnecessary complexity to your custom object.

  • Use relationships sparingly: Use relationships sparingly to avoid making your custom object too complex.

  • Document your custom object carefully: Document your custom object carefully so that you can easily understand how it works and how to maintain it.

  • Have a plan for maintenance: Have a plan for maintenance so that you can easily fix bugs and add new features to your custom object.

Use relationships wisely

Relationships between objects can help to improve the performance and scalability of your Salesforce instance. However, it is important to use relationships wisely and to avoid creating too many relationships between objects.


Here are some specific reasons why you should use relationships wisely:
  • Relationships can help to improve performance: Relationships can help to improve performance by reducing the number of queries that need to be run. For example, if you have a relationship between the Account and Contact objects, you can use that relationship to find all of the Contacts that are associated with an Account. This can be much faster than running a separate query for each Contact.

  • Relationships can help to improve scalability: Relationships can help to improve scalability by reducing the amount of data that needs to be stored and processed. For example, if you have a relationship between the Account and Contact objects, you only need to store the Account ID in the Contact object. This can save a lot of space, especially if you have a large number of Contacts.

  • Relationships can help to improve data integrity: Relationships can help to improve data integrity by ensuring that the data in related objects is consistent. For example, if you have a relationship between the Account and Contact objects, you can be sure that the Contact Name field in the Contact object will always match the Account Name field in the Account object.

However, it is important to use relationships wisely and to avoid creating too many relationships between objects. Too many relationships can make your data model too complex and can make it difficult to manage.


Here are some tips for using relationships wisely:
  • Only create relationships when they are needed: Only create relationships when they are needed to improve performance, scalability, or data integrity.

  • Use the right type of relationship: There are three types of relationships in Salesforce: one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many. Use the right type of relationship for your needs.

  • Use relationships sparingly: Don't create too many relationships between objects. Too many relationships can make your data model too complex and can make it difficult to manage.

  • Document your relationships carefully: Document your relationships carefully so that you can easily understand how they work.

  • Have a plan for maintenance: Have a plan for maintenance so that you can easily fix bugs and add new features to your relationships.

Normalize your data

  • Normalization is the process of organizing data in a way that minimizes redundancy and improves data integrity. Normalization can help to improve the performance and scalability of your Salesforce instance.

  • Redundancy is when the same data is stored in multiple places. This can make your Salesforce instance slower and can use more memory. Data integrity is when the data in your Salesforce instance is accurate and consistent. This is important for ensuring that your Salesforce instance is reliable and that your users can trust the data.

  • Normalization helps to improve performance and scalability by minimizing redundancy. When you normalize your data, you store the data in a way that eliminates duplicate data. This can make your Salesforce instance faster and can use less memory.

  • Normalization also helps to improve data integrity by creating relationships between tables. When you create relationships between tables, you ensure that the data in the tables is consistent. This can help to prevent errors and can improve the reliability of your Salesforce instance.

There are three levels of normalization:
  • First normal form (1NF): In 1NF, each field in a table must contain a unique value. This ensures that the data in the table is unique and that there are no duplicate records.

  • Second normal form (2NF): In 2NF, each field in a table must depend on the primary key. This ensures that the data in the table is related to the primary key and that there is no redundant data.

  • Third normal form (3NF): In 3NF, each field in a table must not depend on any other field except for the primary key. This ensures that the data in the table is related to the primary key and that there is no redundant data.

It is important to note that not all data needs to be normalized to the third normal form. Normalization can make your Salesforce instance more complex and can make it more difficult to manage. It is important to balance the benefits of normalization with the complexity and management overhead.


Here are some tips for normalizing your data:
  • Identify the primary key: The primary key is the field that uniquely identifies each record in a table.

  • Identify the dependencies: Identify the fields that depend on the primary key.

  • Remove duplicate data: Remove any duplicate data from your tables.

  • Create relationships between tables: Create relationships between tables to ensure that the data is consistent.

  • Monitor your data: Monitor your data to make sure that it is normalized and that there are no errors.

Use indexes

Indexes can help to improve the performance of queries. However, it is important to use indexes wisely and to avoid creating too many indexes.


An index is a data structure that Salesforce uses to store information about the values in a field. When you create an index, Salesforce stores the values in the field in a sorted order. This allows Salesforce to quickly find the values that you are looking for when you run a query.


Here are some specific reasons why you should use indexes:
  • Indexes can improve the performance of queries: Indexes can help to improve the performance of queries by reducing the number of records that Salesforce needs to scan. For example, if you have an index on the Contact Name field, Salesforce can quickly find all of the Contacts whose names match the value that you are looking for. This can be much faster than scanning all of the Contact records.

  • Indexes can help to improve the scalability of your Salesforce instance: Indexes can help to improve the scalability of your Salesforce instance by reducing the amount of data that needs to be processed. For example, if you have an index on the Contact Name field, Salesforce only needs to scan the index when you run a query on the Contact Name field. This can save a lot of time, especially if you have a large number of Contacts.

However, it is important to use indexes wisely and to avoid creating too many indexes. Too many indexes can make your Salesforce instance slower and can use more memory.


Here are some tips for using indexes wisely:
  • Only create indexes on fields that are frequently used in queries: Only create indexes on fields that are frequently used in queries. This will ensure that the indexes are used and that they do not slow down your Salesforce instance.

  • Use compound indexes: Compound indexes are indexes that are created on multiple fields. Compound indexes can be helpful when you are running queries that use multiple fields.

  • Use partial indexes: Partial indexes are indexes that are created on a subset of the values in a field. Partial indexes can be helpful when you only need to index a subset of the values in a field.

  • Use filtered indexes: Filtered indexes are indexes that are created on values that meet certain criteria. Filtered indexes can be helpful when you only need to index values that meet certain criteria.

  • Monitor your indexes: It is important to monitor your indexes to make sure that they are not slowing down your Salesforce instance. You can use the Salesforce Optimizer tool to monitor your indexes.

Use the right data types

Salesforce provides a variety of data types that can be used to store data. It is important to use the right data type for each piece of data. Using the wrong data type can impact the performance and scalability of your Salesforce instance.


Here are some specific examples of data types and how they should be used:
  • Text: The text data type is used for storing short pieces of text, such as names, addresses, and descriptions.

  • Number: The number data type is used for storing numerical values, such as prices, quantities, and dates.

  • Date: The date data type is used for storing dates and times.

  • Boolean: The boolean data type is used for storing true/false values.

  • Picklist: The picklist data type is used for storing a list of values, such as the status of an order or the type of product.

  • Multi-Select Picklist: The multi-select picklist data type is used for storing a list of values that can be selected multiple times, such as the skills of an employee or the interests of a customer.

  • Formula: The formula data type is used for storing formulas that can be used to calculate values.

  • Encrypted Text: The encrypted text data type is used for storing text that should be encrypted, such as passwords or credit card numbers.

It is important to choose the right data type for each piece of data to ensure that your Salesforce instance performs well. For example, if you store a large number of dates in the text data type, your Salesforce instance may perform poorly.


Here are some tips for choosing the right data type:
  • Consider the size of the data: If you are storing a large amount of data, you may want to use a data type that is optimized for storing large amounts of data, such as the number data type.

  • Consider the type of data: If you are storing a specific type of data, such as dates or numbers, you should use a data type that is optimized for storing that type of data.

  • Consider the performance implications: Some data types are more efficient than others. If you are concerned about performance, you should choose a data type that is efficient.

  • Consult with a Salesforce expert: If you are not sure which data type to use, you should consult with a Salesforce expert.

Use a data dictionary

A data dictionary is a document that defines the data elements in your Salesforce instance. A data dictionary can help to improve the readability and maintainability of your data model.


Here are some specific reasons why you should use a data dictionary:
  • A data dictionary can help to improve readability: A data dictionary can help to improve the readability of your data model by providing a clear and concise definition of each data element. This can be helpful for developers, administrators, and users who need to understand how your data model works.

  • A data dictionary can help to improve maintainability: A data dictionary can help to improve the maintainability of your data model by providing a central repository for information about your data elements. This can be helpful when you need to make changes to your data model, or when you need to troubleshoot problems.

  • A data dictionary can help to improve compliance: A data dictionary can help to ensure that your data model is compliant with industry regulations by providing a clear and concise definition of each data element. This can be helpful for auditors who need to verify that your data model is compliant.

Here are some tips for creating a data dictionary:
  • Start by identifying all of the data elements in your Salesforce instance: This includes all of the fields in your objects, as well as any custom fields or relationships that you have created.

  • Define each data element in detail: This should include the name of the data element, the data type, the length, the description, and any other relevant information.

  • Keep your data dictionary up to date: As you make changes to your data model, be sure to update your data dictionary accordingly.

  • Share your data dictionary with others: This can be helpful for developers, administrators, and users who need to understand how your data model works.

In addition to the tips mentioned above, here are some other things to consider when data modeling in Salesforce for scalability:
  • The size of your data set: The size of your data set will impact the performance and scalability of your Salesforce instance. If you have a large data set, you will need to take steps to optimize your data model for performance.

  • The frequency of data changes: The frequency of data changes will also impact the performance and scalability of your Salesforce instance. If your data changes frequently, you will need to take steps to ensure that your data model is flexible and can accommodate changes.

  • The types of queries that will be run: The types of queries that will be run against your Salesforce instance will also impact the performance and scalability of your data model. If you expect to run complex queries, you will need to take steps to optimize your data model for performance.

By considering all of these factors, you can create a data model that will help your Salesforce instance to scale as your business grows.

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