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How do I use custom fields?


How do I use custom fields?

With any enterprise system, reporting and integration are key components to a successful deployment.  Zuora's custom fields feature provides you incredible flexibility to tailor your Zuora implementation and integrate with other components of your overall IT infrastructure, including provisioning, web-ordering, customer relationship management (CRM), and financial systems.  Custom fields can also be used as a tagging mechanism that helps drive business processes and workflow based on your billing and payments data.

This article summarizes all that you must consider when using custom fields. Sample use cases are included.


Custom fields from the Zuora UI

Keep track of your custom fields so that when you update your WSDL you can verify your custom fields.

To manage custom fields from the Zuora UI, navigate to Platform > Object Manager in the left navigation menu.

The maximum number of indexed custom fields and non-indexed custom fields for each customizable object varies depending on your Zuora edition or Zuora modules. For more information, see Zuora Editions and Zuora Modules.

Custom fields in Zuora APIs

You can also use custom fields in the SOAP API and in several of the REST API calls.

How to manage custom fields

When using custom fields, keep in mind the following:

  1. Define your custom fields
    • Create custom fields for each object that you want to track custom data. Zuora provides various custom field types, such as Text, Integer, Number, Boolean, or Picklist, to meet your unique needs. For more information about how to create custom fields, see Manage custom fields.
  2. Populate your custom fields
    • Start using your custom fields by populating them on the applicable objects. For example, if you create an account custom field to track the customer type with three pick list options (Enterprise, Professional, or Business), you can mass update all your customer accounts with the appropriate custom field. Additionally, you can ensure the custom field is populated upon creation of all new customer accounts by making the custom field required (optional).
  3. Editing Custom Fields
    • To update custom field definitions, navigate to Platform > Object Manager in the left navigation menu. By clicking the object name, you can edit any existing custom fields of that object. For more information, see Manage custom fields.
    • Custom fields entries can be modified while in any status, for example, when an invoice is in draft or posted status or a subscription is in active or canceled status. Custom fields are viewed as "reporting" fields, thus, changing the custom field values will not change any amounts and values for the object that is being updated.
  4. Custom field inheritance
    • If you create a custom field on a product catalog rate plan charge, when you add that charge to a subscription, the custom field is not inherited by the subscription's rate plan charge.
  5. Search and query custom fields
    • Subscription custom fields are part of the searchable data on the subscription in the user interface.
    • All custom fields can be queried in the API.
    • Custom fields are available in Zuora data sources and custom reports to help you report on key metrics for your subscription business.
  6. Display custom fields on your invoice template
    • Custom fields can be displayed on your invoice template. For instructions on adding custom fields to your invoice template, click your username at the top right and navigate to Billing > Manage Billing Document Configuration > Download the invoice template instructions and see the instructions on "Displaying Custom Fields."
    • Many of the custom fields can be displayed on the invoice template, however, not all of the Zuora supported custom fields may be displayed. See page 11 of the invoice template instructions to see which custom fields are supported.
  7. Report on Custom Fields
    • Using data sources and custom reports you can report on custom fields in the UI or API.
    • You can also export Account custom fields by exporting the customer accounts data in the UI. To do this, navigate to Billing > Customer Accounts > Export Customer Accounts (under Action to the right). This functionality is deprecated and not available by default. See Data Exports.
  8. Synchronize Custom Fields to Salesforce

Sample use cases

Here are a few examples of how custom fields can be used:

  • Deploy custom fields to track and report on marketing and promotional campaigns.
    Custom fields can be set on various levels such as the product, product rate plan, product rate plan charge, subscription rate plan charge. When a customer signs up for a promotional product, you can run reports based on the product and determine the monthly recurring revenue for your promotional products versus a standard (non-promotional) product and see which product is selling better.
  • Use custom fields to tie back key data to other systems which are integrated with Zuora (including CRM, provisioning, ERP, and financial systems). Zuora's Z-Suite integration uses custom fields to track data both in Zuora and in NetSuite.
  • Track reasons for refunds and adjustments, for example, track refunds that result from "chargebacks" and adjustments due to "write-offs."