Decoding Big Objects in Salesforce and Their Many Uses
An average soccer stadium can host close to 114,000 spectators. Imagine a soccer stadium that can host hundreds of soccer stadiums within it? Well, that defines the word massive. Perhaps, that is the simplest way we can imagine Big Objects in Salesforce.
Big Objects in Salesforce are Objects that let you store large amounts of data right within the Salesforce platform.
Big Objects was a Pivot feature first released in Summer 2015, and is currently available as a general feature. They are an extension of other Objects within Salesforce, like Custom Objects, Standard Objects and External Objects. If you are a Salesforce user, you already know the volume of data that an enterprise creates. Big Objects will empower its users to juggle such large volumes of data as well as narrow down on relevant insights from heaps of data.
The primary purpose of Big Objects
The primary purpose of Big Objects is to store large volumes of data within the Salesforce platform itself.
For any growing organization, the volume of data will only increase onwards and upwards. That makes it a Herculean task to crunch the data and pick granular level insights that can steer business decision-making forward.
It is here that Big Objects pitches in as an in-built Salesforce feature that allows users to store large chunks of data as well as manage them effortlessly.
The great thing about Big Objects is that it does not have any upper ceiling on the storage volume. It can accommodate any large volume of data, in the range of Big Data to Data Lakes. The number of records could count anywhere from millions to billions or even more.
Until the arrival of Big Objects, this was done with the help of external systems. But, integrating Salesforce with external systems or vice-versa is a tightrope task. With Big Objects, that difficulty of connecting and integrating with external systems is eliminated. Now you can not only store massive volumes of data within Force.com, but you can also allow your other Salesforce or external applications to connect with them for working seamlessly.
The Two types of Big Objects
There are two types of Big Objects that will facilitate data handling in Salesforce.
Standard big Objects
Big Objects are defined by Salesforce and are an integral part of most Salesforce products. FieldHistoryArchive is a classic example of a standard big object. It stores data as part of the Field Audit Trail product.
Custom big Objects
Custom big Objects help you create custom Objects for specific purposes. You can create a custom Big Object by using a Metadata API.
For example, if you are running a fashion label app and want to keep track of all label names sold, a custom big object like HistoricalLabelNames can help stay you on track.
4 Assured Benefits of Salesforce Big Objects
Salesforce Big Objects brings to the table a handful of benefits that enterprise-grade users will appreciate.
#1 Store customer interaction
Big Objects gives the facility to store all customer interactions like calls with sales executives, support executives, engagement within the website, etc., within Force.com itself. The interaction data can be used to analyze customer interaction and speed of service.
Such local storing of customer interaction gives detailed information about customer loyalty programs, billing, online transactions,etc.It also offers detailed customer demographics that will facilitate strategic decision-making.
#2 Data archival
Keep a trail of your Salesforce data for future reference or for compliance purposes. Especially with GDPR rollout, it has become mandatory for all data-collecting businesses to ensure safe storage of their customer data. Big Data could just be the choice to help you store such data within Salesforce itself. Big Objects can also be relied on to create data lakes that your applications can use in the future for optimizing application performance.
#3 Continuous improvement of user processes
Your users may not be using Salesforce and the applications within it, in the right way. Analyzing the data of their usage might help spot areas where their efficiency can be improved. Big Objects can help do that by allowing you to process large volumes of data. Such data would also help in optimizing the performance of your CRM.
#4 Perform Data Analytics
Since Big Objects allows the storage ofbillions of records, it also sets the stage for Big Data analytics. This means you will not have to rely on external systems or databases to conduct such analytics, and everything stays and happens within Salesforce.
Things to bear in mind before Salesforce Big Objects Implementation
Here are some considerations that you must bear in mind while implementing Big Objects in Salesforce.
Use Metadata API
You cannot use Salesforce drag-and-drop UI to define or edit custom fields. You have to use Metadata API to do anything like defining a new custom Big Object, adding or editing a field to the custom Big Object.
The 100 Big Objects per org Ceiling
Right now, you can only create up to 100 Big Objects per org.
Big Objects doesn’t support certain transactions
Big Objects do not support triggers, flows and processes because they will occupy too much space and will reduce the space that can otherwise be used for storing other objects.
Big Objects will help juggle large volumes of data within the Salesforce platform easily. It will amplify your organization’s ability to analyze large volumes of data within the platform, and also connect them easily to external systems. There are few considerations to be borne in mind while implementing Salesforce Big Objects – the number of Big Objects, supported transactions, and use of Metadata API are the main factors.