Autonumbering is a powerful tool for many enterprise users that have normalizing requirements in their Salesforce software. For Salesforce release management, Salesforce backup and recovery, and especially Salesforce security, autonumbering plays a very important role.

What is Autonumbering?

Autonumbering is a Salesforce software procedure that assigns each record in the system a unique, sequential alphanumeric ID. This eliminates the need for manual coding, making it simpler to identify records without potentially introducing errors. It also helps keep records consistent in an ever-growing system. Salesforce provides three autonumbering fields: AutoNumber, External ID and Hierarchy.


AutoNumber fields are used to assign a sequence of numerical ID's to each record. This numbering is independent of the system, meaning that if any records are deleted, the number for undeleted records will not be affected.

External ID

External ID's are typically used when integrating Salesforce with another system. The External ID is the unique identifier that corresponds to records in the external system. As an example, invoice numbers may be entered into an external system and those numbers then linked as the External ID in Salesforce.


Hierarchy fields are a bit different from AutoNumber and External ID's. Hierarchy fields are used to assign values to records according to a predetermined hierarchy. This added level of contextualization may help organize business data in a more organized and efficient manner.

Best Practices

When implementing any type of autonumbering in Salesforce, there are a few key points to keep in mind.

1. First, ensure the autonumber setting is appropriate for the records to be entered. This will prevent any conflicts with existing values that may occur with sequential numbering.

2. Be mindful of field lengths. Autonumbering may significantly increase the length of field values. Depending on your Salesforce system, there may be a need to add additional fields to handle this data.

3. Consider the scope of your autonumbering. Depending on how the autonumbering works, values may be system-wide, or they may be limited to certain profiles or user roles.

Finally, once the autonumbering is set up properly, it is important to test it before implementing it in production. This will prevent any potential discrepancies that can happen when deploying a new autonumbering set up.

Autonumbering is a powerful tool that can help your organization streamline data entry, normalize records, and track system performance. Knowing the basics of autonumbering and following best practices can help Salesforce staff in choosing the right autonumbering solution for your enterprise. This approach will ensure the best possible performance of your Salesforce solution.




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“Flosum is the best native release management tool that you will fall in love with. I have gained confidence in my role and has given me the ability to view release management from a whole different perspective.”

Faizan Ali

Faizan Ali
Salesforce Consultant at Turnitin