Custom Objects

From Net-Results Support

Overview

Custom Objects allow you to define custom data structures - you can think of them as custom data tables - and leverage your custom data to control email campaign participation, drive automated workflows, list membership and other actions.

Custom Objects allow for "many-to-one" relationships with both Accounts and Contacts in Net-Results. For example, you could store many purchases that were made by a given Contact or Account, and then leverage the data from those purchases in Segments.

Getting Started

Custom Objects are similar to Custom Fields - you must "define" a Custom Object before you begin storing data in it. Unlike Custom Fields, a Custom Object can consist of many fields that all relate to your object.

Once you've defined a Custom Object, you may customize how the data stored in your object will appear in Net-Results.

An Example To Follow
As we walk through the steps below, we're going to use an example to make things easy to understand. Let's pretend that you are a tour company and your customers may register for one or more tours. Each tour has a name, a departure date, and a duration in hours. With Custom Objects, you can store as many tours as are needed for any given Contact.

Defining a Custom Object

Our first step is to "define" a Custom Object. We need to give it a name and few other pieces of information.

  1. Hover your mouse on your username (your email address) at the upper right corner in Net-Results, then hover your mouse on "Administration", and click on Custom Objects
  2. In the sub-menu near the top of the page, click on New Object
  3. Now you'll be asked to provide a name for this object definition. In this example, we'll use the name "Tour". You'll type this (or the name of your Custom Object) in the field labeled Singular Label.
    Net-Results will automatically fill the remaining fields. Feel free to edit the text in these fields, but it's probably safe to leave it as is.
  4. Click Save

Congratulations! You've now created a basic Custom Object in Net-Results. Now let's add in the fields we need to make our new "Tour" object useful.

Standard Fields

Net-Results creates several Standard Fields automatically when you define a Custom Object. These fields will be filled automatically when you create instances of your object.

  • Created By: the email address of the Net-Results user that created the object instance
  • Created Date: the date & time at which the object instance was created
  • Id: A unique ID that is assigned to each instance of the object
  • Last Modified By: the email address of the Net-Results user that last modified the object instance
  • Last Modified Date: the date & time at which the object instance was last modified
  • Object Id: The unique ID of the object definition
  • Owner: the email address of the Net-Results user that "owns" the object instance
  • Object Name: The name of this field will vary based on the names you give your objects when you define them. For example, if you define an object that you name "Order", you will have a Standard Field called "Order Name". If you define an object that you call "Application", you will have a Standard Field called "Application Name". This field will store the Name of each object instance.

Adding Custom Fields to Your Object

Now that you've defined your object, it's time to create Custom Fields to store your data.

  • You can create as many Custom Fields as you need
  • There are several field types available to you when adding Custom Fields...
    • Date
    • Date and Time
    • Lookup A lookup field is a reference to another object in Net-Results like a Contact or Account
    • Number
    • Pick List (also known as Drop Down List or Select)
    • Text
    • Website

Add a Custom Field

  1. In the sub-menu near the top of the page, click on Tour Fields.

    If you named your object something other than "Tour" your sub-menu won't say "Tour Fields". The sub-menu will reflect whatever name you gave your object when you defined it.

  2. You may need to scroll down to see it, but below Standard Fields is an area labeled "Custom Fields". Click the Create New button to add the fields your object requires.
  3. Choose a Field Type for your Custom Field
  4. Provide a Label for your Custom Field. You'll see that the Name field is populated automatically. This is the name the system uses to work with your field. You may change this if you like, but it's likely fine to leave it as is.
  5. Decide whether this Custom Field is required for every instance of this object. If so, check the box.
  6. Click Save

Define Relationships For Your Object

Custom Objects must be "related" - or be tied - to a standard object like a Contact or Account. For example, if you create an object to store Orders, you could choose to have each order "relate" to a Contact or to an Account (but not both). This decision depends on how you track orders within your company.

In order to leverage the data in your objects, you must define the Relationship(s) between your object and an existing object. This tells Net-Results how to use your object in Segments.

  1. In the sub-menu near the top of the page, click on Tour Relationships
    This assumes you created an object called "Tour". The sub-menu options will reflect the name you chose for your object.
  2. Click on the Create New Relationship button
  3. Choose a Label for this Relationship. In our example, we are tying each Tour to a Contact, so we'll label this Relationship "Tour Contact".
    As you've seen previously, the Name field will be populated for you.
  4. Choose a Type for this Relationship. Available choices include
    • One to One
    • One to Many
    • Many to One
    • Many to Many
      When choosing a Type, the word on the left represents your Custom Object. The word on the right represents an object like a Contact or Account. In our example where we want many Tours to be related any Contact we'll choose "Many to One".
  5. Choose the existing object you'd like your new Custom Object to be related to.
  6. Click Save

Customize Your List Layout

A "List Layout" is what you see when view the "My Emails" page or the "My Campaigns" page. Now that you've defined a Custom Object (Tours in this example), Net-Results creates a List Layout page called "My Tours" for you automatically. You get to choose which fields appear on the "My Tours" page.

  1. In the sub-menu near the top of the page, click on Tour List Layout. As you've seen previously, the sub-menu options will reflect the name you chose for your object.
  2. Drag and drop fields from "Available Fields" to "Current Layout Fields" and order them as you see fit. You are free to change your List Layout any time you like.

Customize Your Record Layout

Just like you can view any individual Contact or Account, you will be able to view any individual instance of your Custom Object. You have control over which of your standard and custom fields appear on this view, which is called a Record Layout.

  1. In the sub-menu near the top of the page, click on Tour Record Layout
    As you've seen previously, the sub-menu options will reflect the name you chose for your object.
  2. Objects in Net-Results use a two column record layout. Drag and drop to arrange the columns in your record layout as you see fit. The layout may be changed any time you like.

Adding Data - Create an Instance of Your Object

Manually Create an Instance of your Custom Object

  1. In the top menu, hover your mouse over Contacts & Accounts
  2. Hover Custom Objects
  3. Hover "Tours" (or the name of the object you've created)
  4. Click on Create New
    You can now manually populate the fields for your object.
  5. Click Save

Use the Net-Results API

  • The CustomObjectRecord::setOne method allows you to create or update an instance of your object
  • The CustomObjectRecord::setMultiple method allows you to create or update instances of your object in bulk

Sync Custom Objects from Your CRM Automatically

We are working on adding this capability now. Watch for announcements in the coming weeks.

Segmenting on Custom Objects - Put That Object to Work!

The power of Custom Objects in Net-Results lies in your ability to drive workflows and automation based on your custom data. It all starts with segmentation.

  1. Create or modify an existing Segment and click on Add Conditions
  2. Click on Custom Objects. This option will not appear until you've defined at least one Custom Object
  3. Within your object, select the field(s) you'd like to Segment on
  4. Put that data to work adjusting lead scores, managing list membership, driving campaign participation or CRM tasks... All the power of Net-Results is now enhanced by your custom data.