Activity Forums Salesforce® Discussions Difference between External ID & Unique ID in Salesforce?

  • Manpreet

    April 13, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    I have seen checkboxes of  External ID & Unique ID while making Fields but don't exactly know why they are used for?

  • Jos

    April 13, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Manpreet,

    The external ID option can be used for automated lookup and to be used as reference in other systems. Within each org record ID's are generated. So when you import data within a dev sandbox you can't import the ID values as there are generated by salesforce. However, the external ID does not get (re)generated.

    So this means when you import contacts using the external id on account, using the right tools will perform the lookup. This will save you lot's of time.

    There's a whitepaper you can download on this subject here:

  • Avnish Yadav

    September 30, 2018 at 5:28 am


    They can then refer to that ID field, rather than the Salesforce id. Additionally, if you have an external ID field, the field becomes searchable in the sidebar search. You also can use the upsert API call with the external ID to refer to records


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