Understanding record IDs

Record IDs serve as a definitive way of of differentiating one record from another.

There are lots of John Smiths in America -- but we can tell them apart because each of them has a different social security number.

The records in Salesforce each have unique IDs as well. We need these so we can update data without accidently updating the wrong record!

Where it can get confusing in HandsOn Connect is because our database uses a variety of different IDs. So let's talk about which is which and what they are used for!

A sample report showing four different types of ID's for the Connections Record!

When we look for the term ID in a connectioins report-- we'll see there are actually four different IDs that are available!

  • Connection: ID
  • Connection: Connection ID
  • HOC ID
  • Import ID

They each have different functions.

Connection ID -- is the Salesforce.com ID for a record. (In this case, a "connection record")

Connection ID  -- is the Salesforce.com ID for a record.    (In this case, a "connection record")

This is the most important ID, and the one you'll use when doing batch updates.

For each and every record in your insance of Salesforce, an ID is created.

The ID is 15 characters with a combination of numbers and upper and lower case letters. It is case sensitive!

If you want to view a specific record in the system -- this ID is part of the URL that displays the record.

The first part of the URL is the web address of the salesforce server you are on, and the second half is the Salesforce ID for the record. (Since this is a connection record it's called the Connection ID)

Connection id (note this time id is in lower case)

Connection id   (note this time id is in lower case)

Each record is salesforce must have a Record Name Label.

It can be formated as a text (i.e. Full Name, Tool Name, Account Name), or be an numeric code, that is autonumbered by the system.

The format is always a letter or two (indicative of the record type, in this case CO for connection), a dash, and then a sequential number.

This ID number appears as a field in the record. You can use this ID When searching for records!


The HOC ID is used to reference the record for some of the hard coding in the system, and is also used OUTSIDE Salesforce and HandsOn Connect (i.e. for feeds into external search engines such as All for Good and other external technologies)

Its 22 characters long and the first half refers to the instance of Salesforce that's involved, and the latter half refers to the record itself.

It is autonumbered as each record is created. This is not an ID you'll use much internally within the system.

Import ID

When data is first imported into Salesforce from an external source (HandsOn Connect, 1800 Volunteer, other technologies...) the records are correlated from the source technology by assigning an Import ID. This creates a map from the external source to the record within Salesforce.

This ID is important doing data import, but of no particular use thereafter. Nonetheless, the ID stays with the record.

So for data management purposes - the ID we will usually want to use is the "Salesforce ID" (or in the case of a connection record, the Connection ID. The one with 15 characters.


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