Lightning Object Creator now Generally Available

At Dreamforce 2018, Salesforce announced the Lightning Object Creator: a new Platform tool that admins can use to quickly create Objects (with populated data!) from spreadsheets. Since August 7, 2019, the Lightning Object Creator is Generally Available in Lightning Experience. In this blog, I will have a first look at this new feature and share the results with you.

Where to find the Lightning Object Creator?

The Lightning Object Creator can be accessed from Setup > Object Manager. In the same dropdown where you can create a new Custom Object, there is a new entry available: Create Object from Spreadsheet:

As an alternative, you can navigate directly to https://object-creator.salesforce.com/.

How does it work?

In a new browser tab, the following screen opens:

Choose between the Production org or Sandbox org by clicking one of the buttons and log in to your org. You will be prompted to allow the Object Creator to access your org:

Once you have allowed the Lightning Object Creator to access your org, you will see the following screen. In this screen, you can choose how to upload your spreadsheet. The following options are available:

  1. Upload an Excel or CSV file
  2. A Google Sheet
  3. Office 365 or Drive

For this blog, I will use the first option and upload a CSV file with dummy data. (You can find the CSV file here) After the upload, you will see the following screen:

As you can see, Salesforce has already done most of the heavy lifting. The CSV file is parsed and Salesforce has taken the column names and turned them into (editable) field names. Also, the data type has been set (although it can still be changed). You can even select if you want to add the fields to the Page Layout! The data type options included in the Object Creator are:

This means that the following data types from the core platform are NOT available (yet) in the Lightning Object Creator:

  • Auto Number
  • Formula
  • Roll-up Summary
  • (External) Lookup Relationships
  • Rich Text Area
  • Text (Encrypted)
  • Time

Another nice touch is that you can also preview the data by clicking on the data preview button. Salesforce will let you preview the first 24 records from your spreadsheet:

Since everything looks good for now, I will go ahead click the Next button. This will open the Object Properties page:

Here you can set the Object Label, Plural Label, API Name, an Object Description, and some Advanced Settings you know from the core platform when you create a Custom Object. For this blog, I will keep the defaults and have Salesforce do all the work for me by clicking the Finish button.

Progress indicators show the progress of the Object creation:

Once the system has finished creating the object and importing the data, a summary screen is shown:

You can see that all the fields were created and all the data rows were imported. Now let’s check the org for the new object.

The result

In the Object Manager, you can see that the Object was created with the field names I specified in the wizard:

From the App Manager, you can now access your new object:

The new Object can be accessed from the App Manager
All the data is loaded into the new object

That was easy and fast! Without the new Object Creator, we would have to manually create the Custom Object, define all the properties, create all the fields and then load all the data. The new Lightning Object Creator makes this process a lot easier and faster for us.

A few things to keep in mind

When you define your field names, the corresponding API names will have the same name (first_name will result in Label “first_name” with API name “first_name__c”). So if you need to follow your org’s naming convention for API names (for example CamelCase), you would have to go into your org after the object is created and change the label (or API name) manually. At this moment, the Lightning Object Creator does not yet support defining those values separately.

Since this is just a first introduction to the Lightning Object Creator, I have not yet tested it for limits. My CSV file contains only 1000 records. I do not know if there is a limit on the number of rows and if so, what that limit is. But keep in mind that there probably will be a limit enforced.

Since the relationship data types are not supported by the Lightning Object Creator, any data that you load which is related to data in the Salesforce org will not be connected by default. Instead, you would have to create the lookup or master-detail relationship manually via the Object Manager and update the loaded records to relate to the correct records in your org.