Trailhead provides a really nice overview of Salesforce Custom and Standard Objects and how they are structured https://developer.salesforce.com/trailhead/force_com_introduction/data_modeling/objects_intro.

Setting up an Object

The minimum steps required to set up an Object. 

  • Create the Object, name it
  • Set the Name field on the object - eg Auto Number
  • Set the details on the Object
    • Allow Reports
    • Allow Activities (optional)
    • Track Field History
    • Set Deployed
    • Allow Search
    • Create Tab
  • Create the Tab for this Object
    • Decide who should access the Tab
    • Decide which App the Tab should be in - HINT! NOT ALL OF THEM!
  • Optional - Create Record Types
  • Add the Fields to the Object
    • Include Help Text
    • Set correct Permissions as you are creating the field
    • Include Lookup or MD fields to other objects. 
      • Remember to set the Lookup Filters if required.
  • Edit the Page Layout to ensure that all the fields are visible and in the right location
    • Make the Section header visible for System Fields
    • Ensure required fields are required. 
    • Add Files and Notes related list (if you are using them). 
    • Add Object History related list
    • Override the Salesforce Mobile and Lightning Experience Actions
      • Set the exact Actions you want to appear on the Object
  • Optional - Create other Page Layouts if required for other Record Types
  • Optional - Create a Create Record Action from a related Object
    • Ensure the Layout is correct with all the required fields required for Creating the record
  • Optional - Create an Update Record Action for this object so records can be bulk updated from the list view
  • Create the Compact Layout and assign it to the Page Layout
  • Set the Search Layouts - IMPORTANT! 
  • If there are any buttons to add to the List View, then add them
  • Optional - add any Validation Rules 
  • Set permissions on Object
    • Optional - Set Record Types defaults
  • Enable Feed Tracking for the Object
  • Look at the Object, create a Test Record. 
  • Edit the Lightning Page. See Lightning Record Pages
    • Chatter first
    • Delete Related
    • Add Related List Quick Links IF there are related lists. 
    • Add Files as a Related List under Chatter. 
    • Activate Page - Assign as Org Default.
  • Go to the Tab
    • Edit the All View
    • If there are any Record Types, create a View for each Record Type
    • (Ensure you go back to Classic if this will be in Communities to ensure Communities users can't see Inappropriate Views). 


This video from Trailhead is a really good overview of creating fields https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j95gONjVNFU#t=11

  • The most annoying thing about fields is not seeing ALL fields in alpha order - so have a good idea of what are the custom and standard fields in your org. 
  • Also see each object below for the standard fields that are not set as visible by default, which is kinda annoying (eg Contacts). 
  • The most important thing about fields is the security https://help.salesforce.com/HTViewHelpDoc?id=admin_fls.htm

See Rules for Fields


Trailhead has a good overview of Relationships https://developer.salesforce.com/trailhead/force_com_introduction/data_modeling/object_relationships

Remember, Master Detail relationships are great, but you can always use triggers, or Rollup Helper to create calculated fields if you don't have a Master Detail relationship. 

Standard Objects in more detail