Traditionally, Salesforce users had to use the Picklist field by creating custom fields (Picklist or Multi-picklist) for different objects, ensuring that they have the same Picklist value. This process was manual, error-prone, and repetitive – not something any Salesforce Administrator would prefer.
To overcome this cumbersome task, Salesforce came up with Global Picklists, allowing users to create a custom field that can be used Org-wide for any number of objects.
And the best part is, this Global picklist could be used as Picklist or even as a Multi-Picklist data type in an object, depending on your requirement.
What is a Global Picklist?
Global Picklist is a feature in Salesforce that lets you reuse a single list of values for multiple custom Picklist fields efficiently.
With the help of Global Picklists, you can easily share Picklists across objects by creating Picklist fields on the basis of the master list of values. It restricts users to add erroneous or redundant values through the API, thus keeping the Picklist data clean.
Global Picklists offers two types of advantages to users:
You can conduct picklist value additions, changes, or deletions in one place and can update them across all fields that are using the global picklist or specific fields on specific objects.
It makes managing the values easier as Picklist fields that exist across multiple Objects can use the same picklist value set. The Org-wide updates pushed to picklist is what makes maintenance easier.
If you are using Salesforce for your organization, your Contacts, Opportunity, Leads, and Cases should have a field called ‘Department.’ Traditionally, Administration has to work on creating the Department Picklist field in each object and add values too.
But with Global Picklist, you can Create the Department field with various values, and then you can utilize that field in the form of a source for custom Picklist or multi-Picklist fields for different objects.
How to Use Global Picklist?
By definition, a Global Picklist can be considered a ‘restricted Picklist.’ On creating a Global Picklist, the list of values you specify in it is protected. The values can only be added or changed by editing the ‘master’ Picklist.
If you have created a custom Picklist and based it on the Global Picklist, its list of values will automatically get populated and become non-editable. Users would not be able to load any extra values to the Global Picklist or to Picklist fields that are based on it through the API.
Before you start using Global Picklists, there are certain limitations that apply to a global picklist value set that you would do good to remember:
A Global Picklist can only have a maximum of 1000 values.
A global picklist is a restricted picklist.
A Salesforce Org can have a maximum of 500 Global Picklist value sets.
On applying a global picklist value set to more than 13 different objects, you can deactivate values from the picklist value set. But in that case, you won’t be able to replace any picklist values or delete values from the set.
As you start adopting a Global Picklist for your Org, make sure you remember that the only difference between a standard picklist and a picklist that uses a Global Value Set, is the consideration of where the values are coming from. Both of these are the same field type, but the values can come either from the field or from a Global Value Set, that’s something you should take note of.