Last Updated On May 17, 2023

Salesforce Configuration vs. Salesforce Customization: What You Need to Know!

Salesforce Configuration vs. Salesforce Customization:  What You Need to Know!
By Team TIS

When you use a robust and comprehensive tool like Salesforce it becomes easy to get confused between terms that might sound or look similar, such as ‘customizable’ and ‘configurable’. 

This possibility of a confusion being born, increases many-fold when the platform that you are using, Salesforce in this case, offers both.

Obviously, the two are not the same.

In a brief manner, if I was to give the fundamental difference between Salesforce Configuration and Salesforce Customization, it would be this:

When we talk about ‘Salesforce Configuration, it allows the user to be able to use such features on the platform that already exist. 

It offers them the option to tweak and adjust them, however, to meet your needs and requirements. 

Salesforce Customization, on the other hand, gives you the ability to code and develop particular features. 

These features are those that are not provided to you as an OOTB (Out Of The Box)  functionality. 

Now let us dive deeper, and take a more detailed look at the distinguishments these two features have. 

Comprehending Salesforce Configuration and Salesforce Customization-

Salesforce Configuration:

It incorporates everything that you can do in a CRM platform to configure it to your business needs and requirements, that too without the need for any coding.

For instance, a new field can be added to an existing formula in order to reach the desired outcome. 

Here are some examples of Salesforce Configuration, for developing a deeper understanding:

  •  Setting up emails
  • Tweaking the user interface
  • Modifying fields
  • Changing page layouts
  • Making additional reports
  • Altering workflows

Salesforce Customization:

When we talk about coding and development of new functionalities or features on the CRM platform, which did not come from the OOTB version, this is where Salesforce Customization walks in. 

This means, integrating such features is made possible by the use of the Salesforce Customization feature. 

These are the features that can be integrated with the workflows of your business process and contribute to a scalable outcome. 

In other words, when you want to extend Salesforce functionality beyond its inherent powers, you customize it and tailor it to your requirements.

Here are some examples of Salesforce Customization, for developing a deeper understanding:

  • Altering how a page looks using CSS
  • Working with Apex classes
  • New triggers to perform actions
  • 3rd-party integration

Here are some more differences between the two features, i.e., Salesforce Customization vs Configuration:

Salesforce Customization Salesforce Configuration
With the Customization feature, you can build the Salesforce Experience Cloud. With the Configuration feature, you can create record types.
​​Create Lightning components Build email templates
Develop low code applications Work with validation rules
Add additional capabilities with


Adding tabs, objects, or fields
Work with Visualforce, Aura and LWC Creating new permissions or profiles

What are the Pros and Cons of Salesforce Configuration?


  • Salesforce Configuration offers you the possibility  to support a wide range of users and clients.
  • It allows you to be flexible. This means that you can grant access to your employees, as and when you deem fit. 
  • Code Duplication is not a problematic issue for you anymore, all the logic is accessed via at a single point.


  • Since each and every one of the interdependent components need to be factored in, this makes it a bit complicated to build and test. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Salesforce Customization?


  • With Salesforce Customization, you can provide individual support to a single customer base.
  • Since it caters to the specific needs and requirements of every individual customer, It is simple enough to build.
  • It entails greater customer satisfaction.
  • It doesn’t affect other components of the platform.


  • It is difficult to maintain 
  • It can put the future scalability of the business into question 
  • It is easy to dive into irrelevant customizations with this feature.

Do you need expert guidance?

Generally, with Salesforce integration, the presence of an expert is not a must. This is because you are not essentially altering the foundational structure of Salesforce. 

That being said, a consultant can save you precious time when it comes to integrating Salesforce to your business in order to cater to your specific needs and yielding an improved Return on Investment (ROI). 

A certified Salesforce implementation partner, such as TIS, can prove to be of great value for your Salesforce integration procedures. 

When it comes to Customization, the scope of Salesforce expands a bit. 

This is why it is difficult to handle customization with an in-house team, and an expert is required for assistance. 

A certified Salesforce implementation partner is your best bet to a smooth and easy road to customization.

What to choose: Configuration vs Customization?

It can be a challenging task to choose between configuration or customization, at certain times. 

When this happens, you need to determine your needs and requirements clearly. 

Then, you need to consider the following questions and answer them. 

This will help you sort your confusion out and make your decision easier. 

  • The function that you are aiming to achieve, is it possible simply by using configuration?
  • Is configuration fulfilling your business requirements and objectives? 
  • If you are looking at building a customized solution, do you have the adequate budget for it? And is there enough time? If time and budget constraints are an issue, the advised solution is to go with configuration. 
  • Have you utilized all the features, modules and tools that are built-in and come OOTB, to quench your business needs and requirements? If you have not, then configuration is the way for you. 
  • If the CRM is being used by a number of users and for multiple clients, to provide various options, you need to go with configuration. 

When should you opt for Salesforce Customization?

Often configuration is done while implementing Salesforce in your system. 

This is why it is a crucial part of the initial process. 

It is not relevant to whether you decide on Salesforce CRM customization later on in the future, or not.

On the other hand, Salesforce customization is an elaborate process. Its need is felt when you need more alterations and changes that do not come OOTB. 

Below are some of the most common scenarios when the need for Salesforce Customization is felt.

  • When you aim at targeting a more specific and individual client base. 
  • If you think you need a more comprehensive and interactive dashboard. 
  • The standard reports that are the norm, are no longer able to suffice your needed information. 
  • When you want to integrate a tool, third-party app or software with your system to enhance its performance. 
  • When your business processes are not being fulfilled with the usual workflows and validation rules.
  • When your clients are not comfortable with adopting configurations and are more set in with the current methodologies. 


When you add information or modify the Salesforce platform, in order to allow the stock software to work in alignment with your business goals, it is known as Configuration. 

On the other hand, customization means changing the source code of Salesforce to ensure that it is tailored to your individual needs and requirements. 

Most of the time, both of these functionalities are necessary to ensure your business objectives are being met. 

What your business requires at any given point in time, Salesforce configuration or customization, depends upon your unique goals and objectives. 

If you are not sure of what will work out best for you, a certified consultant can help resolve the issue for you.

At TIS, we come with great technical expertise to provide high-quality Salesforce customization and configuration assistance. 

When you decide to partner with us, you not only open the path for the best assistance there is, but also are offered tailored solutions to your individual issues so that you are able to make the correct decisions resulting in a boost in business performance and an improved customer experience.


1. What are the key distinctions between Salesforce configuration and customization?

Salesforce customization fundamentally involves modifying the basic  functionality and features of the CRM platform in order to remain relevant to your business needs and requirements. 

This includes:

  • Writing a custom code
  • Developing new objects
  • Creating custom applications

On the other hand, configuration is the process of integrating Salesforce with your business requirements, while using the OOTB tools and features, such as:

  • Workflows
  • Process builders
  • Layouts

That too without coding.

2. How do I decide which to use, customization or configuration, for my Salesforce implementation?

To understand and establish whether customization or configuration is the best choice for your Salesforce implementation, you need to be careful while you lay out your business goals, present resources, and the platform’s OOTB features. 

Generally businesses prefer to go with Configuration, since it uses OOTB Salesforce tools. Configuration also requires less effort and time. 

However, It may be the case that customization is needed, if you have any business requirements that cannot be met with the platform’s features that come out-of-the-box. 

It is therefore important to take factors such as cost, long-term maintenance, and scalability into consideration, when making a decision.

3. What are some best practices to follow when configuring or customizing Salesforce?

When configuring or customizing Salesforce, it is of utmost importance to follow best practices to ensure a successful implementation is attained. 

Some key recommendations are as follows:

  • In order to identify the problematic issues that need to be fixed immediately, begin with an in-depth analysis of your business processes and needs.
  • Keep configuration over customization whenever possible, since it is generally believed to be more efficient and easier to maintain.
  • Make sure that your customizations follow Salesforce development guidelines to avoid any possibility of issues arising during updates or maintenance.
  • Test all customizations and configurations with the utmost care so as to ensure they keep functioning with precision and as they are meant to be working.


About the Author:

This blog is authored by Nandini Pathak with an area of expertise in technology. Uniquely blending her legal background to create engaging content, she is passionately involved in emerging technology trends. An avid dog lover, her warmth and empathy enrich her writing style. Nandini’s passion for learning and her SEO proficiency ensure her work stays relevant and visible, making her an impactful content creator who seamlessly integrates personal pursuits with professional expertise in the technology domain.

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