News & Resources — Tips & Tricks

Buan’s Tip of the Month: Enabling State & Country as Picklists in Salesforce with Senior Consultant Todd Drexler

Enabling State & Country as Picklists in Salesforce

New with Spring 13, Salesforce has developed functionality that will allow you to turn your standard State and Country fields on standard object into picklist fields.  This new feature is available as a generally available pilot and can be enabled in your org by logging a case with Salesforce support.  Once Salesforce has enabled this feature for you, you’ll see a new link under Data Management.

Selecting this new link will show you a screen like:

Before giving access to these new picklist fields, you may want to configure which values are available for Countries and States through the Metadata API. To edit the metadata, you can use the IDE from The metadata will look like this:

To remove the Country or State you will need to find the Country or State you would like to remove from options and change the line in the picture above to: false
 Once you have updated these values or if you have opted to leave all Countries and States available, you will want to scan your org by selecting the Scan now link.

Once the scan has completed, an email will be sent to you with links to the results.

After you have scanned your org, now you can begin the mapping process to map existing states and countries to the new standard picklist values. Select Convert now to start this process.

Since this feature is still a pilot it does have some limitations and should be considered before activating this functionality.

In the current pilot, only dependencies for states and provinces in the United States and Canada only are available.

  • No new entries can be added to either country or state/province list.
  • The labels for countries and states cannot be changed.
  • The only customization available to the country and state picklist values is whether they are visible or not in your picklists. Once you launch picklists, you cannot remove values from the list. The only way to customize that list is through the metadata api.
  • State and Country picklists behave differently than other picklists. You cannot import invalid values. The point of this feature is to keep and maintain clean data. Records with invalid country or state values are no longer allowed.
  • State and Country picklists are not supported in any of the salesforce mobile or desktop clients.
  • The metadata search functionality does not currently search all of your metadata. It also does not allow you to find or fix personal customizations like personal email templates, personal list views and personal reports. This could result in end users seeing reports or views with incorrect data.

It is recommended that you enable this feature first in a sandbox org to test before enabling in your production org.  Once enabled it can be disabled in the Data Management > States and Countries Picklists and then selecting disable.

For more information about or assistance enabling this feature contact your Buan Consultant.  As always, we appreciate your business and look forward to servicing you and your staff.
The Buan Consulting Team
 [email protected]

Posted in Tips & Tricks