Setup and Non-Setup Objects in Salesforce

Salesforce, a leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, is built on a robust data structure comprising various objects. These objects are broadly categorized into setup and non-setup objects. Understanding these categories is essential for effective Salesforce administration and development.

Setup and Non-Setup Objects in Salesforce

What are Salesforce Objects?

Before diving into setup and non-setup objects, it’s important to understand what Salesforce objects are. In Salesforce, objects are database tables that allow you to store data specific to an organization. They come in two flavors:

  • Standard Objects: Predefined by Salesforce, such as Accounts, Contacts, Leads, and Opportunities.
  • Custom Objects: Created by users to store data unique to their business.

Setup Objects

Setup objects are the backbone of your Salesforce organization's configuration and metadata. They store information about your Salesforce instance's setup and customization.

Characteristics of Setup Objects:

  • Metadata Storage: They hold the metadata that defines your Salesforce environment, such as custom fields, page layouts, and workflow rules.
  • Configuration Data: They include information about configurations like user roles, profiles, permissions, and settings.
  • Not Visible in Standard UI: Typically, setup objects are not accessible via standard Salesforce tabs but can be accessed through the setup menu or APIs.

Examples of Setup Objects:

  • Profile: Defines the level of access a user has to objects, fields, and records.
  • User: Stores information about individual users within the Salesforce org.
  • ApexClass: Contains the metadata for Apex classes used in custom development.
  • CustomObject: Represents custom objects created in Salesforce.

Non-Setup Objects

Non-setup objects, often referred to as data objects, are where the actual business data is stored. These objects are crucial for day-to-day operations and interactions within the Salesforce environment.

Characteristics of Non-Setup Objects:

  • Business Data Storage: They contain the actual data used in business processes, such as customer information, sales transactions, and support cases.
  • Accessible via Standard UI: These objects are typically accessible through standard Salesforce tabs and can be manipulated via the user interface or APIs.
  • Transactional Nature: Non-setup objects are involved in transactional processes and are updated frequently.

Examples of Non-Setup Objects:

  • Account: Stores information about companies or individuals involved in your business.
  • Contact: Contains data about individuals associated with accounts.
  • Opportunity: Tracks sales deals in progress.
  • CustomObject: Used to manage customer support issues.

Key Differences Between Setup and Non-Setup Objects

Feature Setup Objects Non-Setup Objects
Purpose Store configuration and metadata Store transactional business data
Accessibility Through setup menu and APIs Through standard UI and APIs
Frequency of Updates Less frequent More frequent
User Interaction Primarily admins and developers End-users, admins, and developers

Why Understanding the Difference Matters

  • Business Data Storage: Setup objects often contain sensitive configuration data. Properly securing these objects is critical to maintaining the integrity and security of your Salesforce instance.
  • Data Management: Understanding which objects store your business data vs. configuration data helps in better data management and troubleshooting.
  • Development and Customization: Knowing the type of object you're working with is crucial for effective Salesforce customization and development. For example, deploying changes involving setup objects requires different considerations compared to data objects.


A clear understanding of setup and non-setup objects is essential for anyone involved in Salesforce administration or development. By distinguishing between these types of objects, you can better manage your Salesforce environment, ensuring it is both secure and optimized for your business needs.

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