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Lightning Object Creator

Let us explain and guide you through Salesforce Lightning Object Creator. This tool allows you to import spreadsheets from Excel, Google Sheets and Office 365 and turn them into objects, fields and records. Let us show you how.

If you have been a Salesforce admin or consultant for a while, you have probably created a few custom objects in your time. The creation of the object is actually rather simple, what takes the most amount of time are the repetitive steps required to create tens to hundreds of fields to bring the object to life. Again, this isn’t anything too difficult, but it does take up a lot of your time, so wouldn’t it be great if a tool could do all this leg work for us?

Being a Salesforce admin, you have probably also dealt with numerous Excel spreadsheets and CSV files in the past. And we all know, especially for businesses new to Salesforce, that a lot of data is usually kept on these spreadsheets. When you finally come to transition the legacy data into Salesforce, a great portion of your time is spent copying the headers from the spreadsheet and creating the fields in Salesforce into a new object. Well, as of the Summer ‘19 release we can now push this spreadsheet directly into Salesforce - creating the object, fields and importing the records all at the same time.

This new tool is called the ‘Lightning Object Creator’ (LOC) and it does exactly what it says it will do, create objects. When you navigate to Object Manager in Setup and click Create Object, you will see you now have an option to ‘Create Object from Spreadsheet’. It allows you to use spreadsheets from Excel, Google Sheets or Office 365. The function of the new tool is just like any other declarative tool, it is point and click with no code, so happy days! All you have to do is prepare the spreadsheet e.g. making sure the headers are correct and correspond to the fields you want to create. This preparation will make the creation process even smoother as you move on to the next page.

You also have the option to import records at the same time, so the usual data quality preparation will be necessary as well - however, if the field creation is all you are interested in then you can move straight on.

The actual process of using the LOC is very straight forward and intuitive. When you first come to using the LOC you will have to connect your org - it will prompt you to login with your credentials. Once this is done you are free to create your objects.

First of all you will need to navigate Setup and go into Object Manager where you will find the 'Create Object from Spreadsheet' option in the top right hand corner. 

 

Once you have accessed the LOC you will be asked for the source of your spreadsheet, whether that be Excel/CSV file, Google Sheets or Office 365. When using Google Sheets or Office 365 you will be asked to connect with them.

 

For this example, the spreadsheet I have selected is a collection of test drive forms. As you can see, Salesforce has detected the headers in the spreadsheet and created the fields (you can still change the field label here so fear not if you missed anything during your prep stage!), it has also identified the type of field (this can also be changed) and on the far right, if you have data in the spreadsheet, you can see a preview of it.

 

As you can see, you have a few options to choose from such as how the values are separated and whether you want Salesforce to detect field labels or enter them manually. You can decide if you want to import records from this spreadsheet (or not) and finally you can let Salesforce give the new records a name or you can manually select one of your fields as the Record Name.  Once you are happy with the finer details of the object, you move onto the regular setup such as, the object name and the object settings. Once this is completed click finish.

And that's it! 

 

Now that was much easier and less time consuming than having to go through and manually create each one of those fields. All you have to do now are the final modifications e.g. page layout organisation and field level security.

Sounds great, right?  Well hold on a minute, this is a new tool so we will undoubtedly see some further updates over time to it.  There are a few gotchas waiting for you in using the LOC and you need to be aware of these as you will need to go into Salesforce and fix these before releasing your new objects & fields.  Some of the more common issues that you should be aware of include:

  • Field Level Security on all new fields is set to System Admin only
  • The Compact Layouts come out a little messy and need a clean-up before full deployment
  • Values in picklists do not necessarily come out in the right order
  • All number fields seem to default to 4 decimal places and this may need to be addressed depending on how you would like to use the data in the field

None of these are show-stoppers in their own right and can be fairly simply fixed but they are irritants which stop this being even better than the much-vaunted sliced bread!

On balance though, the Lightning Object Creator is a really cool tool brought into Salesforce, it’s fresh, free, and makes admins’ lives much simpler. Check out the video we have created here!

Enjoy!

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