Ran into this in production. We have a contact for our patients and the customer entered "Smith (Jones)" as the contact name. This created a contact successfully, but when they tried to edit the contact to update other fields on the patient, the updates always failed.

Has anybody else run into something like this? I'm looking into excluding parenthesis from the field, but I'm also digging through legacy code to try and figure out how this could be causing problems. (My guess is some soql that uses the name)

Update :

Removing the parenthesis did allow the updates to go forward. Basically, having them in the last name precluded updates, not inserts.

There was indeed a code block hidden away that silently failed updates with parentheses in them for first name or last name of the contact update. This is from a contractor long gone, with the comment :

//added for security vulnerability - Contractor 9/9/2015

I was unaware that there was a security risk on parentheses in SFDC's field names. Google searches do not reveal any that I can find.

Is this a real issue?

  • 1
    Please edit your post with any clarifications. That's not what comments are for.
    – Adrian Larson
    Nov 20, 2017 at 21:59

1 Answer 1


I contacted Salesforce directly through our vendor ticketing, and got a response :

As per your description below is my investigation on the same:

We do not have any security concern with using special characters in text field. We allow all the characters by default in text fields. There can be security restrictions with 3rd party integration which want to avoid such characters that can cause vulnerabilities at their end. If you have integration with such 3rd party kindly check if you should restrict "(" parenthesis when passing such values to them. This might narrow down the reason why your developer restricted it.

Or you may review your business logic whether you want to avoid such characters anywhere in your logic. But we will not restrict them by default in text field like Contact name.

Please let me know whether above information helped you or you want to discuss the same

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