Here is an example of the challenge I have faced multiple times. I was wondering if anyone could offer best practices on how they handle situations like these.

I have an apex class that process records. I want to store some parameters outside so that my administrator could modify these parameters in the future without modifying and deploying the Class.

Consider this example: I have a class that processes records owned by Users of specific Profiles. In my class I have an SOQL query:

List<Id> profileIds = _____________; //I want to reference these Ids.
List<Opportunity> liOpportunity = [Select Id....FROM Opportunity WHERE Owner.ProfileId IN: profileIds];

What I have done in the past is create a new List custom setting Config__c with a Custom Text Field to store the profile Ids called Value__c and comments__c.

Then I would create the following record: enter image description here

In my Apex Class, now all I have to do is reference the Value field in the Custom Setting.

List<Id> profileIds = Config__c.getValues('ProfileIds').Value__c.split(';');

The advantages of this method are:

  1. Doesn't count towards governor limits
  2. Easily configurable without deployment if requirements change at a later date.

My questions are the following:

  1. Is this an optimal way of doing this or is there a better way to accomplish this (with similar or greater advantages)?

  2. Would it be better to use a Custom Metadata Type for this scenario?

I hope this is the correct forum / way to ask this question. If there is a problem with my question or it is unclear kindly comment and I will restructure the question.

  • Nowadays, I would prefer to store on Custom Metadata Type, unless you have a strong reason to store on Custom Settings. Sep 18, 2019 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


Is this an optimal way of doing this or is there a better way to accomplish this (with similar or greater advantages)/Would it be better to use a Custom Metadata Type for this scenario?

I would use custom metadata types for the following reason.

  1. We can use SOQL, and each profile ID can be a record of custom metadata. SOQL on custom metadata are not counted towards the governor SOQL limit
  2. Can be configured directly in prod. No need of deployment
  3. Can be source controlled as its a metadata, that mean you will retain history of what was the older value if you use Version control like GIT or SVN
  4. Can be deployed using ant and change set. You dont have to worry about moving them as they can also be packaged(read unmanaged, managed, unlocked etc)
  5. Can have relationships to other custom metadata records
  6. Can have entity deifinition and field definition to Standard/Custom Object and fields.
  • 1
    +1. One thing to note -- if you're used to working with Custom Settings, you'll need to think differently about Custom Metadata when it comes to test classes. Whereas you can (must) create specific Custom Settings in a test class, You cannot change Custom Metadata within your test class... you must use what is specified in your custom metadata. Sep 18, 2019 at 18:56
  • Thanks, I see the benefits of using MDT's. in my scenario considering I created a record of custom mdt for each profile Id, how would you recommend an admin be able to select which profiles I would like to use in my class. I imagine you are implying that the admin create the MDT records if they want to be used or delete them if they should no longer be used. Could you elaborate?
    – Z33dawg
    Sep 18, 2019 at 19:00
  • My Idea I guess would be to create a MDT Object like Apex_Config__mdt. I could then create custom fields such as a multiselect picklist Profiles__c (label: profile_name, value profile_id) , a comment field (to explain which fields to configure) Then I can create records of which I can query from classes. In my class I would query for the appropriate record and uses the field values. I could then reuse this model for different classes. Anyone have better ideas?
    – Z33dawg
    Sep 18, 2019 at 19:31
  • @Z33dawg that sounds ideal :) Sep 18, 2019 at 19:53
  • LOL I just checked and [obviously] for some reason, Salesforce does not support multi select picklists on custom MDT.
    – Z33dawg
    Sep 18, 2019 at 20:53

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