Supported features for custom objects

When custom objects are configured and enabled in your Network instance and data has been loaded, users can search for and view records in the Network UI. Many of the features in your Network instance support custom objects. For more information about these features, review the following sections.

Network users can search for custom objects using the Network search bar or the advanced search form. Custom objects can be selected in the search facets and in the advanced form to filter your search results.

From the Network search bar, the typeahead results display the root object type in the initial results list to easily distinguish the object, especially if the icons are similar.

Search facets

All custom object types, that a user can access, display in the Entity Type list. Select a specific entity, or search for All entities. The search results for All entities displays the entity type in the object summary.


Search results for custom objects display on the map if the Veeva address sub-object is assigned to the custom object.

Advanced search

The advanced search form includes an option to Search by Entity Type. Expand the list to select a Veeva entity or custom object. If you search by All Entities, Network searches across all root entities that are available to you through your data visibility profile.

When you log out of Network and log in again, the advanced search form defaults to search All Entities.

If a specific entity is selected, the form updates to include only the sections relevant to that entity. For example, the STUDY custom object does not include addresses, so the Location section is removed from the form.

More fields

The Field Name list in the More fields section is filtered to include only the fields that apply to the custom object. This includes fields on that custom object, the Veeva and custom sub-objects assigned to the object, and relationship objects when a custom object is the Owner object.

The filter fields for each entity type are saved for each user so they don't have to be selected each time the entity type is switched in the form.

Network users can use the More fields section to search for related objects using the custom relationship object.

Record profiles

Custom object records are available to view on the new profile only. The new profile is the default view for all countries. The profile page displays the sub-objects (Veeva and custom) and custom relationship objects assigned to the custom object.

Note: Users can view HCPs and HCOs on the classic profile, but custom relationship objects do not display properly if the HCO or HCP is the owning root entity.

The summary header, by default, contains the custom object icon, name, entity type, and Network Entity ID (VID). The record status is indicated by an overlay on the icon; for example, the icon indicates that the record is Active (no overlay), Inactive, or Under_Review. Administrators can define additional fields or remove the default fields that display in the summary header using the Profile Header section of the custom object's profile layout configuration.

Any associated suspect match tasks display on the right side of the summary header. Suspect matches are the only supported tasks for custom objects in this release.

The sections that display on the page are determined by the profile layout that was configured for the custom object.

Preview boxes

Preview boxes for Revision History and Data Lineage display by default on custom object records. The Revision History displays the history of changes to custom object records. The Data Lineage enables users to view the sources that contributed to custom object record updates. Data stewards and data managers can also access the Find Suspect Match box. For more information on suspect matches, see the section below called "Merging and unmerging."

Custom sub-objects and relationship objects

Users can view the custom sub-objects and custom relationship objects on the main object record profile if they have access to those objects through their data visibility profile. For example, users that do not have access to the STUDY custom object might have permission to view HCP records but their data visibility profile blocks them from seeing the custom relationship object section on that record, so they would not see the Clinical Trials that the HCP is participating in.

Summary cards for Veeva and custom sub-objects and custom relationship objects display the summary fields that were defined in the profile layout by the administrator. For custom relationship objects, the icon color reflects the ownership of the entity on the other side of the relationship. For example, if the relationship is to another custom object, the icon color is gray because the custom object is locally managed. If the relationship is to a Veeva HCP, the icon color is orange because the HCP is Veeva managed. Badges display on the summary card to indicate the record state and primary designations.

Click the title or name on the summary card to go to that record profile, or click the summary card to expand it and view the details about the custom relationship object.

View relationships on related object profiles

Relationship objects have an owner object and related object. Users can view custom relationship objects from the related object's profile page if administrators add the custom relationship object to the related object's profile layout. For example, you can view the STUDYINVESTIGATOR relationship object from the STUDY record profile. The relationship is read-only on related object's profile; new relationships must be added from the owner object's profile.

On the custom relationship object's summary card, the icon indicates the related object type, for example, HCPs. The color of the icon indicates ownership of that record. Records managed by Veeva OpenData have orange icons. Locally managed records have gray icons (or green in China) and third party managed records have blue icons. The summary fields that were defined in the profile layout also display on the summary card.

Editing custom objects

Users can edit all types of custom objects if they have edit permission; meaning, the Read-only access permission in the data visibility profile for that country is False. Sub-objects (Veeva and custom) and custom relationship objects can be added to custom object records, however, custom relationship objects can be added to the record of the owner object only.

Administrators and standard users cannot add or edit custom relationship objects on custom object records or Veeva entity records.


On this HCP profile, a data steward is adding a Clinical Trial. This is the STUDYINVESTIGATOR  custom relationship object but it is called Clinical Trials on the HCP record because that is the label defined by the administrator when the custom relationship object was configured.

Adding custom object records

When you add a record, the custom object is available in the Record Type list if a profile layout has been defined and the user has edit permission for the custom object; the Read-only access permission in the data visibility profile for that country is False.

The Add New Profile page displays the custom object as defined by the page layout. The summary header section includes a blank header with a generic title and the primary country. Sections and fields that are defined in the profile layout display. Values can be added for any of the fields.

After you apply your changes to the new record, Network processes the request and adds the record. You can see the record on your My Requests page.

When you open the new record, the profile page contains the Revision History, Data Lineage, and Find Suspect Match preview boxes. The Record Information section is populated with the latest data and the External Identifiers section includes any keys generated by Network during the add request process.

Merging and unmerging records

Data stewards and data managers can manually merge custom objects using the Find Suspect Match feature or administrators can merge duplicate records in bulk using source subscriptions. Records can only be merged if they are the same custom object type; for example, a STUDY record cannot be merged into a TRAINING record. The records must also have the same primary country.

For deduplicating custom object records on data load, source subscriptions use the default suspect match rules if no match rules have been defined for the custom objects. Tasks are generated for each pair of records that meet the suspect match criteria. Using the Find Suspect Matches feature, data stewards can find matching records of the same entity type using a search keyword or a Veeva ID.

Suspect matches display in the inbox for stewardship; they are the only type of tasks that can be created for custom objects. Data stewards can filter the inbox by entity type or task type to find the suspect matches for a custom object. Hover over the task link to view the summary card for the custom object. To open the suspect match, click Go to task.

On the suspect match task, data stewards can compare the records side by side but they cannot select the attributes from each record that will be copied to the winning record. If data stewards merge two custom objects, the following actions occur:

  • All existing external IDs are copied to the surviving record and then they are deactivated on the losing record.
  • Duplicate sub-objects and custom relationship objects are removed.
  • Relationships are repointed to the surviving record. Relationship are removed if they point to the losing record in the merge.

Custom object records can be unmerged if the source system setting, Unmerge Ability allows (System Interfaces > Systems). For unmerging records, a new Network entity ID (VID) is assigned to custom objects and custom sub-objects.

Source rankings

To set the priority order for source systems during merges or update, you can define source ranking for custom objects at the root entity level (System Interfaces > Source Rankings). You might have several sources that are contributing to custom object records, so you can prioritize the source precedence for each object.

Source rankings can be set at three levels: default, object, and field. The default source rankings define the ranking across all data sources, but you can override those rankings specifically for a custom object. To override the rankings for a particular field, go to the Data Model page and update the field. The default source rankings will be listed on the data model field page; not any object rankings that you have defined.

Field-level survivorship takes precedence. If there are no field-level settings, Network uses source rankings defined for the object and then default settings if there are no object settings.

Target subscriptions

Data for any objects in your flexible data model can be exported to downstream systems in target subscriptions using subscription filters or the Export by VID button.

For target subscription filters, the File & Field Selection section is updated to support custom objects. All objects in your Network instance are listed in this section and are set to Export All Fields by default. Users that do not have access to the custom objects will still see them listed here and can export them.

If you choose Export Some Fields or Export All Fields for an object, you can configure additional filters in the Export Options section. If you choose Select Records, you can specify the records using groups of filters. For custom objects, the Field can be filtered by Primary Country, Source System, and Defined Query only.

For more information about using filters, see Add a target subscription.


Users can use advanced SQL queries to report on custom objects. All custom object types and their fields and reference values are available for advanced queries. After the report runs, the results can be viewed in the Network UI and downloaded so they can be analyzed.

Access to advanced reporting, the custom objects that you can report on, and the ability to download reports are determined by permissions in each user's profile and through their data visibility profile.

Network Explorer

You can view relationships between custom objects on the Network Explorer canvas. Use the feature to quickly visualize and understand large data sets.

To view custom objects in a hierarchy view, open Network Explorer using one of the following ways:

  • Click Network Explorer in the Hierarchy preview box on a custom object record profile
  • Click Network Explorer on the Network menu bar and search for the custom object.

    The search results will display custom objects that you have access to through your assigned data visibility profiles.

Viewing objects and relationships

Custom object and relationships details are available using the same methods as Veeva standard objects.

Hover over an entity to view a business card with relevant details and click the entity name link to open the profile in a new browser window.

Hover over a connecting line between two objects to view relationship details. Click the solid circles on an object to expand affiliations. Circles on the left side of the object display related objects; circles on the right side of the object display owner objects.

For more information about viewing affiliations and working with the canvas, see Network Explorer.

Filtering the canvas

The custom object hierarchy can be filtered using the field values of custom objects or custom sub-objects.

To create a filter:

  1. Click Filter and click + Add Filter.
  2. Type a Filter Name.
  3. In the Conditions section, expand the list and choose the custom object.
  4. Choose the field, condition, and field value that will be applied to the selected custom object.
  5. Click Save and Apply to save the filter and immediately filter the canvas.

Filters created for sub-object fields are applied to the object that controls the sub-object.

For example, creating a filter for a Certification custom sub-object would be applied to its owner object, HCPs. The Network canvas could be filtered for HCPs that have valid (non-expired) certifications.

Example filter

Feature options that are not supported

Network Explorer does not support the following options for custom objects:

  • View profile - Previewing a record profile on the Network Explorer canvas is not supported for custom objects. On a Veeva standard object, the profile can be accessed by right-clicking on the entity node and selecting View Profile.
  • Edit mode - Custom objects cannot be managed using the Network Explorer canvas. Edit mode is available for data stewards and data managers because Veeva standard objects can be added and affiliated to other standard objects in the hierarchy, but custom objects cannot be added or affiliated to other objects.

Data updater

The Data Updater enables you to quickly make simple updates to records using .csv and .xlsx files. You can update custom objects by uploading a file and choosing the custom object in the Data Updater job. Custom sub-object and custom relationship objects also display in the list if you have access to the root object.

Custom objects can also be updated when you make changes to a related object; for example, if you upload an Address file, those changes can update custom objects.

More information

To learn how to update records using this feature, see Data updater.

Managing configurations

Administrators can create configuration packages in the source environment that include custom objects. When you create an export package, dependencies for custom object types are automatically added to the export package. For example, a custom sub-object cannot exist without its linked custom object, so the custom object will be automatically added. However, custom field and custom object dependencies for feature configurations must be explicitly added; Network does not validate that these objects are included in the package. For example, if you created a new profile layout for the STUDY custom object and you are exporting the layout to a target environment, ensure that the STUDY custom object is included in the package, or already exists in the target environment because it is not automatically added to the package.

For more information about exporting and importing configuration packages and details about custom object dependencies, see Managing configurations.

Features that do not support custom objects

Some features in Network do not support custom objects in this release:

  • Ad Hoc Match
  • Candidate records
  • Concur
  • CRM bridge integration
  • Data quality reports