Data Model – Free

Open Section Resources

This is not an exhaustive list; additional resources are referenced within objectives below.
ObjectiveResourcesKey Facts
Describe the object relationships used in Salesforce.Object Relationships
[Must / 2m /]
Understand the difference between the following relationships:

One to many
Many to many
Self relationship (one to many within the same object - e.g. parent account)
Describe the Salesforce data model.Entity Relationship Diagrams
[Must / 2m /]

Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) Training Video
[Should / 15m / Gina Baldazzi]

Salesforce Data Model
[Must / Long /]

Data Modeling for Non-Developers: An Intro of Sorts (repeat)
[Should / 50m / ustudio (via Salesforce)]
Recommended areas of study of the Salesforce Data Model:
Sales Objects
Task and Event Objects
Support Objects
User, Sharing, and Permission Objects
Profile and Permission Objects
Product and Schedule Objects

All Objectives Met

Data Model: Quiz
[Must / Short Quiz /]

Data Model: Feedback
[Should / Survey /]
Finished this section?  Next section: User Interface

37 Responses to “Data Model – Free”

  1. kmkaast March 12, 2017 at 10:51 am #

    for the Salesforce data model / User, Sharing, and Permission Objects :
    Can you clarify the “UserRole” relation with ParentuserRoleID

    • JohnCoppedge March 13, 2017 at 2:01 pm #

      When you enable partner portal or partner communities on an account, partner roles are created underneath the role of the account owner. It’s not a simple thing to explain in the comments section – but I suspect that field is used to describe the partner’s assigned role (which is different than the typical role a user is assigned declaratively in setup)

  2. nitzan.marinov February 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    Hi John,

    When trying to access the Data Model section in the Developer Guide I get: “Sorry, the document you are looking for doesn’t exist or could not be retrieved.”

    Any idea why? Or is there another source for this info?


    • JohnCoppedge February 14, 2017 at 10:36 pm #

      I just tried it – no issues? Which link are you using/having issues with?

      • nitzan.marinov February 20, 2017 at 1:11 pm #

        Hi John,

        Sorry, I didn’t see your response until now. It looks like it was a temporary issue. It seems to be working now. Thanks

  3. lrfabian April 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    Hey John,

    What should I be trying to take away from the ERD’s you noted in the Data Model? Detailed knowledge of the setup or a general understanding of the entity relationships? Something else? Let me know. Thanks.


    • JohnCoppedge April 13, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

      Hi Lynn,

      The most important thing is that you understand the fundamental object relationships (e.g. many to one, many to many) , how they are constructed, as well as the standard object relationships (e.g. an account can have many opportunities). This section is designed to help facilitate that understanding.

      Hope that helps!


  4. February 18, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

    Hi john,
    Curious about look up and Master – Detail relation ships .
    I don’t see much info in here,
    But i m ok with that,
    Just have question that does the lookup also do cascade delete like Master Detail relation ships.?
    as i saw this following note when i was confuse , so i really want to know if look up also behave same as Master Detail when it’s record Deletion time.?

    Thank you.

    • JohnCoppedge February 22, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

      Lookup relationships do not have cascade deletion

      • JohnCoppedge February 22, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

        Interesting – this article implies that you can enable cascade deletion in lookup relationships through a feature request (raise a case to salesforce). So it is possible, but definitely not the default behavior.

  5. February 7, 2016 at 5:30 am #

    Hi john,
    When it’s many to many relation ship between 2 objects using one junction object…
    So to establish relation ship …should always created at parent to child?
    or either way it’s possible..?
    As obj_A and Obj_C have many to many
    Obj_J is junction object…

    Which is the correct one :
    1) Obj_J to Obj _A and Obj_J to Obj_B ?
    2) Obj_A to Obj_J and Obj_B to Obj_J ?

    Thank you .

    • JohnCoppedge February 8, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

      If Object A and C are joined by object B, then typically object B would have two master-detail relationships (to A and C).

  6. January 23, 2016 at 2:14 am #

    Hi john,
    I want to know that if i have many to many relation ship created useing 3 custom objects and
    Obj A ,ObjB , Objc
    B is the junction object.
    (off course its detail or child side object.)

    So is there any rule or assumption that we do not have to show tab for junction object. i.e. obje B in my case?

    Thak you

    • JohnCoppedge January 25, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

      You can but do not have to have a tab for the junction object- choice is up to you!

      • January 25, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

        Thank you john.

  7. October 30, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    Hi John,
    Not sure how this will be reflected in the certification exam. Will it be like one of your quiz questions?
    How will the exam questions be like related to the SF data model ?

    • JohnCoppedge November 9, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

      This sections is more designed to give you a better understanding of how data models work – it will help you in understanding the relationship between multiple objects. The exam questions are more likely to be based around creating a many to many relationship or creating rollup summary fields.

  8. Munira Majmundar October 7, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

    The Salesforce Model Piece is not only looooooooooooooooong but it is difficult to fathom; I know it is an important concept. But, when you say it is a MUST read, I don’t know how that is possible. I checked out few of them and I could not understand a thing.

    • JohnCoppedge October 10, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

      I would review the data model video again – it is important to understand how to read a data model first and then to spend a bit of time to understand the basics in Salesforce. You don’t need to be an expert here by any stretch though.

  9. chelikani June 9, 2015 at 2:46 am #

    Hi John,

    The Salesforce link to the Salesforce Data Model is incorrect I believe. We are getting re-directed to Introduction of SOAP API when we click on it.

  10. Krishna Kumar Senathi April 5, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    I am unable to access Quiz and Scenario in any of the section.please help

  11. Lisa Hart March 25, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    I’m struggling to find the “User Interface” option under set up in SFDC?

  12. SATYASRI GOTTIPALLI March 4, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

    what is the relation ship between account and campaign objects?

    • JohnCoppedge March 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

      There isn’t one directly – campaigns are linked to either contacts or leads through the campaign member object.

  13. Amanda Hanusey January 4, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

    Hi The SOAP API Developer’s Guide just shows the title page but no other pages show up nor the content in the left window.

    • JohnCoppedge January 6, 2015 at 2:22 am #

      Just checked the link – seems to work. Can be a bit fickle to load though… if you are on a mobile, I would suggest trying from your desktop.

  14. Cooper Miller February 23, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    Great add Chris. That really helped me get started.

  15. Chris Lagarde November 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    Hi John,
    I found this primer on creating Entity Relationship Diagrams and felt others here might find it as useful as I did.

    Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) Training Video (Jan 2013 by Gina Baldazzi)

    • JohnCoppedge December 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      Awesome, I’ll add this in. Thanks Chris!

    • Sherry Larsen-Holmes July 25, 2015 at 12:58 am #

      There seems to be two different ways in how many to many relationships are shown in this video. I’m trying to figure out if it is intentional, or an error. At 10:53 minutes, ith shows the “many” side of the relationship pointed toward the join objects from the two entities being joined. This makes sense to me because the join fields can show up on the join table multiple times. However, when they show this same situation again, at 11:33 minutes, they have a join object and the join connecting the assignment entity (join object) with the project entity seems backwards. In the quiz later, it shows the same thing.

      I’m hoping it’s incorrect, and if not, then I’m not sure what the “many” is indicating “many” of… It seems to contradict the other ERDs I’ve been trying to understand. Thanks for any clarification!

      • JohnCoppedge August 17, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

        Hi Sherry,

        I think you’re correct, that may very well be a mistake in the ERD @ 11:33. The way it is displayed reads to me as:

        One employee can have many assignments. One assignment can have many projects.

        I would think it would it would be: One employee can have many assignments. One project can have many assignments (reversing the notation between project and assignment).



  16. Simeon Tzanev October 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Hi John,

    Object Relationships video isn’t loading, can you check this?

    • JohnCoppedge October 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

      Hi Simeon,

      I am not having any problems loading it on my browser – two things you can try:
      1. another browser (e.g. Chrome)
      2. right click on the image for the video and open in a new tab/window

      Let me know if the issue still persists… thanks!


      • Simeon Tzanev October 20, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

        Hi John,

        thanks for your response!

        Just watched the video successfully! Yesterday I tried to load it from the org I work for, I think firewall settings or something else could have caused the problem.


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