8 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Delete an Empty Field

Kendall Odom - Program Manager at Twilio - Trailblazer Profile

We as a whole realize that each client demand, each New Task, and each new overseen bundle adds fields. It could be not difficult to add these fields, however, it’s troublesome (even hazardous) to erase fields since there is frequently almost no knowledge around the ramifications. So it’s far more secure to leave the fields as they are.

At last, the quantity of Fields on Objects moves until it hits the cutoff points that are 100, 500, or 800 relying upon the Salesforce version.

The inquiry is: “Which fields would you be able to erase?


Just because a field has no information, doesn’t imply that it tends to be erased. The following are eight circumstances where a field might be vacant, however is still fundamentally significant for the organization. Erasing it could have critical outcomes, and these probably won’t be clear until it is past time to get the field out of the Recycle bin.



8 Reasons Not to Delete an Empty Field

The Field could be:

  1. A Brand new field so it has not yet been populated.
  2. A Field is utilized by a combination where it is populated then cleared.
  3. A Field just utilized at quarter-end or year-end, and not yet being used.
  4. A Field is utilized in the middle person computation and cleared a short time later.
  5. A Checkbox where the substantial worth is clear.
  6. A Dropdown list where the legitimate worth is clear.
  7. Required for a joining application to work since it is essential for their default arrangement, however, it isn’t utilized in your organization.
  8. Tied into automation or record types, and a nightmare to delete.

Where Could This Utilized be?

Inside Salesforce, the ” Where is this used ” button is accessible for custom fields, yet not really for standard fields. This button will show you where a field is referred to, for instance, in a Formula, Page Layout, or Apex class.


It should be clear about the results. Use the Reliance programming interface which does not hide all metadata (e.g. record types, reports, or Dashboards) and is only for custom fields. Give up to 2,000 results, which should be enough!


Pay It Forward: Document Your Changes

If you document WHY a field was created and HOW it was used at the time of creation, then it is easier to evaluate if a field can be deleted downstream.

Description Field

It very well may be pretty much as basic as placing a few notes in the Description field, which is accessible for some metadata things.
This field should be utilized to archive who utilizes the field or any linked automation, etc.


Create a Metadata Description

Deploying Custom Metadata Records from Apex Code - Avenga

Frequently the Description field isn’t to the point of portraying why a specific piece of metadata was made and the way that it is utilized. You need connections to existing records, process graphs, and screen captures. Also, only one out of every odd metadata type has a Portrayal field.

The guidance from Salesforce streamlining specialists is to make a metadata word reference for your organizations (Production and Sandboxes). This makes a focal asset for putting away all that documentation. Fortunately, you can utilize the Metadata Programming interface to construct the metadata word references, while staying up with the latest and in a state of harmony.
You can even create some automated documentation.

There are utilities to export the Metadata into a spreadsheet, but keeping it up to date as each org changes can be a thankless task, particularly for an org of significant size.


Create Some Business Processes Maps

There is huge value in documenting business processes and how they relate to specific fields – “a picture tells a thousand words”. It is the WHY. A well-documented process is a living document. It will be very valuable when it comes to validating new user requests. It is also great training material that can be embedded in Salesforce page layouts. Check out this handy Trailhead badge on Process Mapping.



Create a Change Log

Every time you make a change, you’re racking up technical debt. But if you are tracking the changes as user stories and linking them to the metadata items in the data dictionary, then you are providing even more documentation that helps when it comes to deletion and cleanup. Keep in mind that one user story can impact many metadata items.

You could use a spreadsheet for a relatively simple org that doesn’t change much, or you could create a Custom Object.

But do not underestimate the discipline required to keep it up to date when you are under pressure to deliver new features. Instead, ensure that updating your change log is part of your development process! 

Do Your Detective Work Before Deleting

Here is a list of the various regions where you can search for pieces of information to finish a more thorough investigation. What’s more, as you accomplish this criminal investigator work and discover something helpful, archive it.

  • Field population – Is it empty and when was it last populated?
  • Field “Where Used” – Is the field used in other Metadata i.e. Formula Fields, Automation, Validation Rules, Record types, and reporting?
  • Field dependency – What metadata is dependent on this field i.e. formula fields, automation, validation rules, record types, and Reporting?
  • Process diagrams – What Processes is it used in, and who is using it?
  • Stakeholders – Who owns it and can they tell you if it is still important?
  • External documentation – Are there requirements, user stories, specifications, process maps, or diagrams that refer to the field?
  • Feedback and requirements – Is there any user feedback about the field or requirements to change it?
  • Change log – When was it created and last modified, and by which users?
  • Integration documentation – It is used in or required by any integrations?


What Is a Change Intelligence Platform?

Change Intelligence Platforms automatically examine and fabricate a metadata word reference, expanded with computerized documentation.
They additionally give the capacity to record any data that can’t be made naturally, like partners, or connecting outer documentation as you track down it. Change Insight Stages can play out the investigation consistently, so you are continuously working off the most cutting-edge data.

On the off chance that now you are saying, “I cannot afford to tool”, all things considered, you simply don’t have the financial plan (not that you can’t see the advantages). There are different advantages including quicker, robotized, thorough examination. The time saved and gambles stayed away from might be to the point of making a strong business case for buying a Change Insight Stage.

The cost-benefit case is an easy calculation: It is your time vs the cost of the Change Intelligence Platform App.

Your Time =

  • Time to maintain the documentation/Metadata dictionary +
  • Time to perform the “where used” and impact analysis for a metadata item (each time) +
  • Time to troubleshoot and fix the org if you missed something and the org breaks +
  • The cost of the downtime to business users if you missed something and the org breaks

Change Intelligence Cost

  • It takes two minutes of effort to set up the Connection to the org.
  • A Metadata dictionary is created and performs the analysis automatically.
  • An analysis is performed every night, picking up changes that were made and highlighting them – up-to-date information is always available.



Elements Cloud is a Change Intelligence Platform. Whilst it is not free, it is affordable for even the smallest org, and we have a license specifically for consultants.



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