Describe the standard object architecture and relationship model.
Salesforce stores data in relational database tables called objects. Several standard objects for customer relationship management (CRM) are provided out of the box. Additional custom objects can be created as needed and linked to other objects using different relationship types.
Standard objects are pre-defined database tables and relationships in the Salesforce data model. In addition to the data model, Salesforce also provides core business functionalities for standard objects.
Some of the core standard objects provided by Salesforce are Lead, Account, Contact, Person Account, and Opportunity. Those objects are related to each other, to properly manage customer relationships.
A Lead represents a potential customer of a company. This can be any person or organization which might be interested in doing business.
An Account represents an organization involved in doing business with a company. This can be a customer, competitor, partner, or any other relevant business entity.
A Contact represents an individual associated with an account. This can be an employee, stakeholder, or any other relevant business associate.
A Person Account represents a consumer involved in doing business with a company. This can be an individual customer, patient, or any other consumer of products or services.
Person Accounts are technically a combination of the Account and Contact objects. They are Accounts of a special type, allowing them to have Contact fields and be used as if they were Contact objects.
An Opportunity represents a sales deal between a customer and a company. Opportunities progress through different stages during the sales process until they are either won or lost.
Salesforce distinguishes between four types of relationships, to link standard and custom objects between each other. Depending on if internal Salesforce objects or external objects stored outside Salesforce are linked, different relationship types are available.
A master-detail relation strongly links two internal Salesforce objects.
A lookup relation loosely links two internal Salesforce objects.
An indirect lookup relation loosely links an external object to an internal Salesforce object.
An external lookup relation loosely links an internal Salesforce object to an external object.
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