When I was first learning Salesforce, I feel like Record Types vs. Page Layouts was glossed over pretty quickly, so I thought maybe breaking it down in the way that I found useful could help others on their learning path.
I think it’s easiest to think of Record Type first in terms of record creation. When you create a new record (i.e. a new Opportunity, a new Case, etc.), and you have access to more than one Record Type, you will get an option page that pops up to have you select the ‘type of record’ you wish you create (pictured).
Each of these Record Types can have multiple Page Layouts associated to it, but each Profile will only have one Page Layout assigned/viewable per Record Type. For example, if I am on the Customer Support team, and I am assigned to the ‘Customer Support’ profile, then I will always see the same arrangement of fields and related lists (Page Layout) on every ‘Internal Requests” Case Record Type I am viewing.
Your Record Types are the foundation of the ‘type’ of Object (Object being Opportunity, Case, Account, etc.), meaning I have Cases of type = ‘Customer Requests’ vs ‘Internal Requests’ in the example pictured above. One of the big things you can do with different record types is vary your picklist values (on picklist fields) and have different Support Process (Cases), Sales Process (Opportunities), and Lead Process (Leads) statuses. Your Support Process in Cases are the statuses your Case will go through: New, Working, Resolved, Closed, etc. These can vary depending on the Record Type, and a new Record Type is the only way you can have a different Support Process, Sales Process, or Lead Process.
In creating a new Record Type, you will want to make sure that is warranted: do different teams work these, do they need different picklist values visible on fields, or do they follow a unique process (in terms of status changes)? If you just need a particular Profile to see different fields, then you may just need a different Page Layout or even use Field Level Security to limit visibility of fields on the same Page Layout. Think about whether this is truly a different kind of Case, Opportunity, Account, etc. Do you have different types of Cases needed or do you just need a different page layout for the same type of Cases for different people?
Break it down:
- Different Profiles have access to different record types (which types of cases can you create and edit?).
- Note, that all Profiles with access to an Object can view all Record Types, but cannot necessarily edit or create records of that Record Type.
- Different Profiles have access to different page layouts (You may see different fields and related lists on the same Record Type based on your Page Layout assignments at the Profile level. You cannot use Permission Sets to assign a Page Layout.
- For each Record Type and Page Layout combination, you have one Page Layout assignment per Profile. In other words, each person can only have access to one Page Layout per Record Type of a particular Object.
I’m super excited to build out this blog and hopefully help others on their journey in the Salesforce ecosystem. I welcome all feedback and questions as well!