Solutions for Implementing Lookup tables in Salesforce from Legacy Applications..

If you are migrating a legacy application say an Oracle or Microsoft sql server database, Look up tables are used to store look up or configuration data in the application. When you migrate to salesforce what are the options to consider and solutions for different options at this point?

1. Using Picklists

You can use picklist directly on the objects in salesforce which can replace your lookup data which would make it easy for reporting in salesforce and easy to maintain.


1. Easy to maintain in salesforce .

2. Flexibility in reporting


1. If your legacy application stores id values in the destination tables, migration of data would be a problem because you need to transform the ids to text.

2. When you use multiple languages, this would become complicated with use of custom labels and will not work for Multi lingual sites.

2. Use of lookup objects

Creating lookup objects for every master entity and using one lookup object with code and values would work for Multiple language sites and also for other options.


1. Easy data migration from existing legacy database.

2. Will work in Multiple language websites where you can use a field on the lookup object for language and display text based on language criteria.


1. You might want to Merge all your lookup tables into one table with code and values and create categories to easily segment them. There is an one time effort to consolidate it.

3. Use of configuration settings

Configuration settings can be used to store look up data and can easily be cached in the application


1. Caching is available by default


1. You would not be using picklist on the destination tables and have to use text based ids

to store the data which will not be flexible for reporting.

2. Every data would need to be exposed by visual force pages to translate the text based ids

to lookup values.

So Please consider the above 3 solutions and make the right recommendation for your project.

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Author: buyan47

Hi there! My name is Buyan Thyagarajan. I am a Salesforce consultant specializing in Higher Education, Manufacturing and Marketing Automation. My blogs will help you to maximize your Salesforce CRM investments, prevent problems beforehand and make the right decisions. If you need to talk to me right away, you can email me at or call me at 302-438-4097

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