What Data Type Is a Salesforce ID?


Angela Bailey

What Data Type Is a Salesforce ID?

Salesforce is a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) platform that allows businesses to manage and organize their customer data efficiently. One of the key features of Salesforce is its unique identifier called the Salesforce ID, which is used to uniquely identify records within the system.

In this article, we will explore what data type a Salesforce ID is and how it can be used in your development projects.

The Structure of a Salesforce ID

A Salesforce ID is a 15-character alphanumeric code that consists of both letters and numbers. It can be divided into three parts: a prefix, the record ID itself, and a checksum. The prefix indicates the object type, such as “Account,” “Contact,” or “Opportunity.”

The record ID uniquely identifies the specific record within that object type. Lastly, the checksum ensures data integrity by validating the correctness of the ID.

Data Type

In terms of data type, a Salesforce ID is considered as text. Despite its alphanumeric format, it should not be confused with other data types like number or string.

Treating it as anything other than text may result in unexpected errors or inaccuracies in your code.

Usage in Development Projects

When working with Salesforce IDs in your development projects, it’s important to keep their data type in mind. Here are some common use cases where you might encounter Salesforce IDs:

  • Querying Records: When querying records using SOQL (Salesforce Object Query Language), you will often need to specify the object type and its associated fields. In this case, you may use the Salesforce ID as a parameter to retrieve the desired records.
  • Relationships: Salesforce IDs are used to establish relationships between objects. For example, if you have a custom object called “Order” and you want to associate it with an existing “Account,” you would store the Salesforce ID of the account in a lookup field within the order object.
  • Integration: When integrating Salesforce with external systems or APIs, you may need to pass the Salesforce ID as a parameter or reference in order to perform specific actions or retrieve related data.

Best Practices

To ensure the proper handling of Salesforce IDs in your development projects, consider the following best practices:

  • Avoid Hardcoding IDs: Instead of hardcoding Salesforce IDs in your code, utilize queries and lookups to dynamically fetch and reference the required records.
  • Data Validation: Before using a Salesforce ID, validate its format and ensure that it belongs to the correct object type. This helps prevent errors and maintain data integrity.
  • Error Handling: Implement appropriate error handling mechanisms when working with Salesforce IDs. This can include checking for null values, handling exceptions, and providing meaningful error messages to users when necessary.


In conclusion, a Salesforce ID is a unique identifier used within the Salesforce CRM platform. Despite its alphanumeric format, it should be treated as text in your development projects.

By understanding its structure and proper usage, you can effectively work with Salesforce IDs and harness their power for managing customer data.

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