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Custom Fields vs. System Attributes
Answer ID 11007   |   Last Review Date 09/06/2019

When should I use custom fields vs. system attributes?

Environment:

Oracle B2C Service, All supported versions

Resolution:

When implementing your business process you should consider the differences when determining use cases for custom fields and system attributes before deciding which to deploy. In short, both are used to extend predefined tables (ex. incidents, orgs, contacts, etc...) but they have different characteristics and features. The lists below outline some of the major differences:

Custom Fields:

  • Configured in the Custom Field Designer
  • Available for use in business rules
  • CANNOT be related to other tables/objects
  • NOT visible in the data dictionary
  • Configurable masking (limited, text field data type)
  • Configurable visibility (both profile and interface options)
  • Available for Customer Portal (limited, see "Business Objects" under the "Framework" tab in CP admin area)
  • visible in Campaign editor
  • available as merge fields


System Attributes:

  • Configured in the Object Designer
  • NOT available for use in business rules
  • Can be related to other tables/objects
  • Visible in the data dictionary
  • Configurable masking (regex, text data type)
  • Configurable visibility (profile)
  • Available for Customer Portal (limited, see "Business Objects" under the "Framework" tab in CP admin area)
  • not visible in Campaign editor
  • available as merge fields


This is not a comprehensive list and if you have specific requirements it is always recommended that you test deployments and functionality on a test site prior to implementing them in a production environment. Generally speaking, the recommendation is to use system attributes where possible as they are more feature rich. However, the largest downside is they are not available for use in business rules so if that is a requirement you must use custom fields.

For more information on either custom fields or system attributes please review our online Documentation

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