System attributes are fields that can be added to standard objects, such as Contact, Incident, Answer, Opportunity and Organization objects. You can select data types, indices, and define relationships for these fields.


System attributes can be used in workspaces and reports, just like custom fields can. However, unlike custom fields, system attributes can be used in relationships in custom objects but cannot be used on customer portal pages. When you create and deploy a system attribute, a new field is added to the table for the appropriate standard object (such as the incidents table).

Following are the benefits of system attributes over Custom Fields:

  • System Attributes can be imported and exported to live site while custom fields have to be created manually on each site
  • System Attributes deployed immediately or scheduled in a small time as compare to Custom Fields.
  • System Attributes can be used to create relationships (between coreó core and coreócustom objects) in the Data Model.
  • A menu system attribute can use existing menus as their source, including menu custom objects.Following are the benefits.
    • You can now re-use a menu.
    • You can use an API to add/remove items from a custom object which implements menu
  • With newer versions of the Connect Web Services API, it has become easier to work with system Attributes rather than Custom Fields.

Use System Attributes whenever you possibly can!!!!

Following are the feature that is not compatible with System Attributes:

  • If you need to use Server Rules with the field
  • If you need to use the field with Customer Portal Pages.
  • If you need to use the field with Chat (includes proactive and form based chat)
  • If you need to set the field with PTA or Encrypted PTA(Pass Through Authentication)

A combined maximum of 500 custom fields and system attributes can be created for each standard object. That is, if you have 100 incident custom fields, you could create 400 system attributes for the incident object. In addition, a combined maximum of 9 custom fields and system attributes can be indexed for each standard object