Field Conventions

General conventions about field creation, grouping, naming, etc.

General Conventions

All Naming Conventions Are RFC 2119 and RFC 6919 compliant.

  1. All field API names MUST be written in English, even when the label is in another language.
  2. All field API names MUST be written in PascalCase.
  3. Fields SHOULD NOT contain an underscore in the fields name, except where explicitly defined otherwise in these conventions.
  4. Fields generally MUST (but you probably won't) contain a description.
  5. In all cases where the entire purpose of the field is not evident by reading the name, the field MUST contain a description.
  6. If the purpose of the field is ambiguous, the field MUST contain a help text. In cases where the purpose is clear, the help text COULD also be defined for clarity's sake.
  7. Field API names should respect the following prefixes and suffixes.2 Prefixes and Suffixes SHALL NOT be prepended by an underscore.
Field Type Prefix Suffix
MasterDetail   Ref
Lookup   Ref
Formula   Auto
Rollup Summary   Auto
Filled by automation (APEX)1   Trig
Picklist or Multipicklist   Pick
Boolean Is or IsCan3  

1 Workflows, Process Builders and Flows are not included in this logic because these automations either allow field name modifications with no error, or can be modified by an administrator. If fields are created for the sole purpose of being filled by automation (e.g. fields that will be used in roll-up summaries), a consultant WOULD PROBABLY use the Trig suffix anyway, to indicate that users cannot set the data themselves.

2 While norms for other field types were considered, e.g. to make sure number, currency and percentage fields were easily recognizable, they were discarded as being too restrictive for an admin. Fixing type mismatches in this case is easily solved by casting the value to the correct type using either TEXT() or VALUE() functions.

3IsCan replaces "Can", e.g. CanActivateContract becomes IsCanAct0ivateContract. This is to enable searching for all checkboxes on a page with a single query.

Grouping fields

  1. If the organization is home to multiple services, the field API name SHOULD be prepended with the name of the service that required the field, followed by an underscore.
    • This MUST NOT be the case if there is only one service using the object.
  2. If several services use the field, or the field was originally required by a service before being used by others: the field API name MUST (but you probably won't) be prepended with the name of the service that is responsible for the user story that lead to the field creation, followed by an underscore. The Description of the field MUST indicate which services use the field.1
  3. In the case the field is use differently by different services, the Description of the field MUST contain a summary description of each use.
  4. If a field is created to host a value for technical reasons, but is not or should not be displayed to the users, the API name MUST be prefixed with TECH and an underscore.
  5. If more than 50 fields are created on an object, a consultant SHOULD consider using prefixes to group fields in the same manner as technical fields, in the format of $Groupname followed by an underscore.

Examples

Object Field type Comment Field Label Field API Name Field Description
Case Lookup Looks up to Account Service Provider ServiceProviderRef__c Links the case to the Service Provider who will conduct the task at the client's.
Account Formula Made for the Accounting department only Solvability Accounting_SolvabilityAuto__c Calculates solvability based on revenue and expenses. Sensitive data, should not be shared.
Contact Checkbox   Sponsored ? IsSponsored__c Checked if the contact was sponsored into the program by another client.

 

1 While modifying API names post-deployment is notoriously complicated, making sure that field are properly recognizable is better in the long term than avoiding a maintenance during a project. Such modifications SHOULD be taken into account while doing estimations.