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What are Salesforce ID's composed of?


I remember seeing somewhere that IDs are composed of a few pieces. I always have a hard time trying to find that information when I'm looking for it. What I mean by the above is that the various places in the ID represent different things - for example the first few characters represent what type of sObject it is.

Attribution to: Ryan Elkins

Possible Suggestion/Solution #1

Not detracting from anything above, and not being part of the SF community, here follows a PHP class for converting between type 18 and type 15 ids. Note that many people suggest merely cutting the last three characters off the type 18 id, in order to get the type 15. Since type 18 is 'case-safe' and type 15 is case-sensitive, such a stratagem not a good idea.

Although, strictly, the 18-character id is not case-safe, in that case-insensitive sorting will differ for 18-character due to the digits coming after the alphabet, and the encoding bit being set for upper case. To be correctly case-safe, the encoding characters should have been in ansi-order, and the encoding bit should have been reset for uppercase). Consider the following id15s..


  2. aaAABaaAABaaAAB

  3. aaaAbaaaAbaaaAb

  4. aaaabaaaabaaaab

These will sort (case-sensitive) to 1,2,3,4 - because 'A' < 'a' and 'B' < 'b'.

However, their id18 equivalents,


  2. aaAABaaAABaaAAB222

  3. aaaAbaaaAbaaaAbIII

  4. aaaabaaaabaaaabAAA

sorts (using case-INsensitive, as they are 'case-safe') to 2,4,3,1 - because 2 < A < I < P

Anyway, that's only a side issue here.


class SalesForceID {
    private $id15;  //
    private $id18;  //
    private $valid  =false; //is it a valid sf id
    private $length =0; //is it a valid sf id
    private $errs   = [];

    public function __construct(string $idIn = null) {
        $this->valid = $this->validate($idIn);
        if($this->valid) {
            $this->length = strlen($idIn);
            if($this->length == 18) {
                $this->id18 = $idIn;
            } else {
                $this->id15 = $idIn;

    // Helper function. Use this to default to 
    // The id that you wish to use.
    public function id() : ?string {
        return $this->id15();

    public function id15() : ?string {
        if(is_null($this->id15) && $this->valid) {
            $this->id15 = $this->sf18to15($this->id18);
        return $this->id15;

    public function id18() : ?string {
        if(is_null($this->id18)  && $this->valid ) {
            $this->id15 = $this->sf15to18($this->id15);
        return $this->id15;

    private function validate(string $id) : bool {
        if(!is_null($id)) {
            if(preg_match('/^[a-zA-Z0-9]+$/',$id)) {
                $length = strlen($id);
                if($length !== 18 && $length !== 15) {
                    $this->errs[] = "Salesforce Key Id has an incorrect length";
                    return false;
                if(($id === "000000000000000") || ($id === "000000000000000AAA")) {
                    $this->errs[] = "SalesForce Empty Key Id is not acceptable";
                    return false;
            } else {
                $this->errs[] = "SalesForce Key Id is not valid";
                return false;
        } else {
            $this->errs[] = "SalesForce Key is null";
            return false;
        return true;

    private function sf15to18($str): string {
        $retval = $str;
        foreach (str_split($str, 5) as $segment) {
            $idx = 0; $base = 1;
            $chars = str_split($segment);
            foreach($chars as $char) {
                $idx += ctype_upper($char) ? $base : 0;
                $base <<=1;
            $retval .= $lib[$idx];
        return $retval;

    private function sf18to15($str): string {
        $retval = "";
        $idx = str_split(substr($str, -3)); //This marks upper case.
        $val = str_split(substr($str, 0, -3),5);
        for($i=0; $i < 3; $i++) {
            $base = 1;
            $value = strpos("ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ012345",$idx[$i]);
            $chars = str_split($val[$i]);
            foreach($chars as $char) {
                $retval .= ($value & $base) === 0 ? strtolower($char) : strtoupper($char);
                $base <<=1;
        return $retval;

    public function isValid() :bool {
        return $this->valid;

    public function errors() : array {
        return $this->errs;

function doTest() {
    $salesForceId =

   foreach($salesForceId as $key => $base ) {
        $x8 = new SalesForceID($key);
        $xx = $x8->id18();
        $tt = $xx === $base ? 'Y' : 'N';
            print("$key should $xx = $base $tt\n");

    foreach($salesForceId as $key => $base ) {
        $x8 = new SalesForceID($key);
        $xx = $x8->id15();
        $tt = $xx === $key ? 'Y' : 'N';
        print("$base should $xx = $key $tt\n");



Attribution to: Konchog

Possible Suggestion/Solution #2

The first 3 digits are a prefix that specifies the type of sObject, a big list can be found here:

I believe the rest of the Id is reference to the record itself. I should also add that the ID's are 15 digits long but can be 18 digits long with the last 3 digits for error correction making the the Id case-insensitive.


3 Digits (Object) / 12 Digits (Record) / (Optional) 3 Digits (Error Correction)

Attribution to: Jon Hazan

Possible Suggestion/Solution #3

The Id Field Type is a base-62 encoded string.

Each character can be one of 62 possible values:

  • a lowercase letter (a-z) - 26 values
  • an uppercase letter (A-Z) - 26 values
  • a numeric digit (0-9) - 10 values

As there is a combination of lower and upper case letters the casing of the 15 character Id has significance. E.g. 50130000000014c is a different ID from 50130000000014C.

Within a 15 character Id the breakdown is:

  • First 3 characters - Key Prefix As per Jon's answer, the first 3 characters are the key prefix that identify the object type. There are a few exceptions to this where multiple objects all share the same key prefix! There are a number of fixed key prefixes that are common across all of Salesforce. Custom objects get a unique key prefix per Org. I'd need to confirm this, but I'm fairly certain that Custom objects in managed packages can have a different keyprefix in each installed org.
  • The 4th and 5th characters - Reserved. Currently used for the instance id (a.k.a. pod identifier) (As per comment from @ca_peterson). Starting with the 4th character and overflowing to the 5th if required. Indicates which pod/instance the record was created on. Note that data may be migrated to other pods over time. Updated based on a separate question that indicated the pod identifier is actually two characters rather than one as initially thought.
  • 6th character - Reserved. Will be 0 until such time that Salesforce has a need for it. Source - Steven Tamm
  • Remaining 9 characters - basically a really big number. Like 62^9 big.

To this you can add an optional 3 character suffix that will make the Id unique case-insensitive. This is useful when working with programs that can't maintain the case of the ID (E.g. Excel VLookup).

Notes about the suffix:

  • this is not intended as a check sum to verify the other 12 characters haven't been corrupted.
  • you can't just lower/upper case the entire ID. While it helps other case insensitive applications handle the IDs Salesforce is still case sensitive and won't auto correct the casing based on the suffix. E.g. the casing on a KeyPrefix is important with 00t being OpportunityShare and 00T being Task.

The algorithm to convert from a 15 character Id to an 18 character Id is: (Source - I'm sure there used to be official documentation on how do this.)

  1. Divide the 15 char into 3 chunks of 5 chars each.

  2. For each character give that position a value of 1 if uppercase, 0 otherwise (lowercase or number).

  3. Combine the bits from each chunk into a 5 bit integer where the rightmost bit is the most significant bit. This will yield a number between 0 and 31 for each chunk.

  4. Construct an array that contains the sequence of capital letters A-Z and 0-5 (26 + 6 = 32 possible values).

  5. Use the integer from each chunk to choose a character from the array.

  6. Append the resulting 3 characters, in chunk order, to the end of the 15 char id.

In a formula there is the CASESAFEID function that will perform this algorithm.

You can apply this algorithm to some sample IDs to see how it doesn't really function as a checksum or checkdigit. For example, if you exclude the alpha characters, every ID between 001100000000001 and 001999999999999 will have the suffix AAA. Infact, you get the same suffix if you include any lowercase alpha characters as well. The suffix will only change in the presence of uppercase characters. It is basically encoding which of the 5 characters that each suffix character represents are uppercase.

Sample code to restore the casing from an 18 character ID is in Creating a link using an 18 character ID

If you are working with Data Exports you can also come across the special empty key with the 000 keyprefix.

One area I'm not sure of is the order in which Salesforce increments through the base 62 encoding. E.g. Does it go 0 to 9, then a to z, then A to Z? At this stage I think the sequence looks like '0123456789aAbBcCdDeEfFgGhHiIjJkKlLmMnNoOpPqQrRsStTuUvVwWxXyYzZ' '0123456789ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz'

Attribution to: Daniel Ballinger

Possible Suggestion/Solution #4

While is is true that the last 3 character ads case insensitivity, I believe the algorithm used to generate them is the check digit. Check digits originated in legacy data transmission to alleviate the introduction if errors in the data. So a bit if both I reckon.

Attribution to: techtrekker
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