- February 17, 2014
- Category: KELL Labs
- Written by Adam Kramer
Did you know Salesforce actually has two unique IDs for every record? Yep. There’s a 15 character and an 18 character. Rumor has it the 18 character ID was introduced after Microsoft created a 16 character ID for their records ;-)
But seriously… these IDs are super important. They’re totally unique to each instance of salesforce. They appear in the URL of the page, making it super easy to email someone a link to a specific record, or report, and most importantly they ensure the integrity of your data.
So why are there two?
To be honest we’re not exactly sure, but we’ve learned how important it is to use the right ID for the right purpose.
In the main Salesforce interface, you typically only see the Salesforce 15 digit ID. This ID is case sensitive which means that 003i000000NYZrg isn't the same record as 003i000000nYZRg. However, if you export the results of a report to Excel and try and do comparisons between different lists using this ID as the comparison (e.g. using VLOOKUP), you'll have a lot of problems.
To get around this problem, Salesforce has an internal 18 digit ID that Excel will see as completely different fields. Here's how you create a formula that has that 18 digit ID that you can add to your reports and avoid headaches in Excel.
The 15 Digit ID