Objects

Objects

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Designer > Objects

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

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

Contents

Considerations

  • Custom Objects are represented by 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, Components, Pages, Widgets or a Database View
  • The Log Activity icon cannot be displayed in a List View
  • Fields associated with the Record Id are clickable in Built-in or CRM objects
  • Clicking the link to an Account Name, Contact Name, or other Built-in or CRM objects opens the record for viewing
  • By contrast, Custom Objects provide a Details link to open the record for viewing
  • Quick Edit is not available in Custom Objects, (but is available in Built-in or CRM objects)
  • Alphabetical search is not available in Custom Objects, (but is available in Built-in or CRM objects)
  • The Create Campaign link is not available under the [More Actions] button, even if campaign tracking is enabled for this object, (but is available in Built-in or CRM 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, print templates, web forms, and other associated options can be modified.

Varieties of Objects

There are two kinds of objects:

  • Built-in Objects are pre-defined objects that come with the platform. For example: User, Team, Role.
  • CRM Objects are a special class of pre-defined objects that come with the CRM application. For example: Accounts, Contacts.
  • 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, workflow processing, and provide a variety of other capabilities. Built-in Objects and CRM 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, Data Policies, 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.

Accessing an Object

To Access object properties and layout:

  1. Click Designer > Objects
  2. Select an object
    The Customize {object} page opens.

See also: Accessing Records

Managing Objects

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Users that have the Customize Objects permission can manage Objects 

Add a New Object

1. Click Designer > Objects
2. Click the [New Object] button.
Two tabs appear, giving you the option to create an object by importing data 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.


Edit an Object

When a Custom Object is created or edited, the following options are available for customization:

Note: Built-in or CRM objects may not include all of these options
Object Tab Description
PropertiesDefine Object information and set preferences for Email Campaign tracking, Notes and Activities management.

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Note: Chosen options only are shown on this page. Click [Edit] to see the full range of choices.

FieldsAdd/Edit/Delete Fields, or set Field Audit Log preferences
FormsCreate data entry forms (Forms) and assign them to Roles
ActionsCreate custom actions that can be tied to a Component, Page or JavaScript to execute an operation on a Record or group of Records
Record LocatorsDefine 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)
IndexesDefine a unique identifier to improve search performance and prevent duplicate record creation
ValidationsPrevents bad data from being entered into the database
Data PoliciesModel your business rules and enable automation of processes around data records
AssignmentsAutomatically assign record ownership and trigger notification via email; Visible only in the Prospect or Cases Objects
Print TemplatesPrint Templates create a mail-merge forms to print a record (as an invoice, receipt, certificate, etc.)
Web FormsCollect information from your company web site, and automatically add it to this object
WorkflowsAutomate business processes (request, approve/deny, escalate, etc.)

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. Click Designer > Objects > {object}
  2. From the Properties tab, click the [Delete] button
  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.
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