Salesforce standard functionality includes Field History Tracking, which allows you to retain data for up to 18 months. However, some businesses have the requirement to retain their data for much longer than 18 months. This is where Field Audit Trail comes into play, as this allows you to retain data for up to 10 years!
If you're interested in some of the more technical terms, I will refer to the object names throughout this document. If you're not interested in this, you can skip over these technical terms, no worries.
Field Audit Trail
The Field Audit Trail is a native Salesforce feature that is made available through an add-on licence. Once activated, Field Audit Trail will retain all data for up to 10 years starting from when the data was archived. This is a 2-step process, by default the data is stored for 18 months in the standard field history tracking functionality. After 18 months this data will get copied to another object called FieldHistoryArchive which is enabled with the Field Audit Trail add-on.
This is a perfect feature for organizations that have to comply with industry regulations related to audit capability and data retention. The only consideration is that it isn’t very user-friendly to retrieve this data (you need to use the API) and that’s why we have developed a custom component to look-up archived data for multiple objects straight from the Salesforce Lightning record detail page, how cool is that?!
Lightning Web Component
We have developed a Lightning Web Component that’s used as a Quick Action on the record-page for multiple objects. The component will fetch all tracked fields, regardless whether they are in the Field History List or are already archived.
It then gives you the ability to download a CSV file that contains the collection of all retrieved history records. The columns that are displayed can be controlled through a fieldset if they want to have access to more information later on.
Our client can now easily generate the Field Audit Trail for a specific record through the click of a button. In a matter of seconds, they can view all the changes that have ever happened on the record for the tracked fields in the last 10 years.
The component we have developed already came in clutch for one of our clients active in the banking industry who has to deal with a lot of internal audits. Not only is this tool useable for audits, the tool can also be used internally to easily monitor historic changes on a record.
Is data retention also on your mind? Don’t hesitate to contact us!
You can reference the official Salesforce documentation via the link below: Field Audit Trail