Global Picklists: New in the Spring ‘16 Salesforce Release

One of the most interesting features in Salesforce Spring’16 Release is Global Picklist, i.e the ability to create a picklist which can be shared across objects and restrict the picklists to only the specified values. This is very useful feature if multiple picklists have same values and need to be in synced all the time.

Why is Global picklist used?

Global picklists allow administrators to create a centrally defined list of values, which can be accessed by any custom picklist fields created on standard as well as custom objects, and with options for adding, replacing or deleting values.  This feature is available in both Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic.

How do they work?

Suppose in any Salesforce Org, multiple objects are there which are related to Payment. The mode of payment needs to be tracked on Account, Order as well as a Custom object, named Payment. To avoid creating same picklist every time, a Global Picklist is recommended.

It can be created from Set Up> Create> Picklists.

Global Picklist Creation

Click on “New” & Create.

Global Picklist Create

Enter Picklist Values.

Global Picklist Values

Now is the time to reuse this effort.

Now Create a Custom Picklist on some Object, like Order. Select “Use global picklist definition” and select the already created picklist field from the drop-down and add this field to the page layout.

Global Picklist Definition

Now create a new record on Order, wherein we can select any of the picklist values defined for the global picklist created before. This way, the picklist values will always be in sync on multiple objects, and can be controlled from just one place.

Order form

Pros & Cons:

Global picklist is a restricted picklist by default. Only a Salesforce Administrator can add or modify its values; users can’t add unapproved values, even through the API.

As global picklists are always restricted, picklist data stays clean because users can’t add erroneous or redundant values through the API.


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