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Create Accounts and Affiliations

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Connect contacts to accounts through affiliations.
  • Identify the six default account record types in EDA.
  • Describe the difference between affiliations and primary affiliations.
  • Describe how affiliation mapping works.


In the Education Data Architecture (EDA), departments, academic programs, sports teams, and other institutions are represented as accounts. You connect these various accounts to contacts through affiliations. For example, if a university student is an English major and plays on the basketball team, that student’s contact record would be affiliated with the University Department account for English, and to the Sports Organization account for the basketball team.

In EDA, an affiliation is different from a relationship. By contrast, a relationship connects contacts to other contacts—we talk about those in another unit. For now, let’s focus on affiliated accounts, which are distinguished by their record types.

In addition to the Administrative Account and Household Account record types, EDA provides five other account record types out-of-the box:

  • Academic Program
  • Business Organization
  • Educational Institution
  • Sports Organization
  • University Department

Affiliations (really affiliated accounts) are important because students and other kinds of contacts generally have so many of them. Salesforce helps you manage them, whether you have 2, 20, or 200. You can also designate the contact’s role for each affiliation—such as student, faculty, athlete, teaching assistant, and more—so that you can easily identify how that contact is connected to that account.

On the contact record, your affiliations look something like this:

Affiliation contact record

You can see that Amanda Jones has four affiliated accounts. You can create as many affiliations as you want. You can also specify certain accounts as primary affiliations. A primary affiliation is just that—an account, perhaps among one of many, that’s primary. Typical examples include the department of a student’s major (especially if the student is affiliated with more than one department), a student's primary academic program, and/or a primary sports team. A contact can have six primary affiliations, one for each of the six default record types, plus any number of custom primary affiliations if desired. We talk more about this later.



The accounts that you affiliate with a contact in EDA are different from the main administrative and household accounts that we talked about in an earlier unit. An administrative account is an umbrella account that holds a contact in your architecture. Administrative accounts and contacts have a one-to-one relationship, whereas a contact can be connected to multiple, affiliated accounts, such as departments and sports teams.

Create an Account

To create an academic program, department, organization, educational institution, or a sports team you create an account.

  1. In Salesforce, click the accounts tab and click New.
  2. Select the record type for the account and click Next.

    For example, if you’re creating an account for a high school, select Educational Institution. We use Lake Dallas High School in the next example, so you might want to create it here.

  3. Fill in the details for the account and click Save.

In the next sections, we use information from accounts in various ways.

Create Affiliations and Primary Affiliations

After you’ve created accounts you can affiliate contacts with those accounts.

  1. Navigate to the contact for whom you want to create an affiliation.

    In this example, we navigate to Amanda Jones’s contact record so that we can affiliate her with one high school, two academic departments, and a sports team.
  2. In the Affiliated Accounts related list, click New.

    Affiliated account

  3. In the Organization text field, start typing the name of the account you want to affiliate, and then select the account when you see it.

    In our example, we’re affiliating Amanda with Lake Dallas High School.

    Affiliation information

    You can also create accounts from this menu if you don’t see the account you want in the list.

  4. Amanda was a student at Lake Dallas High School, so select Student in the Role field. Since she is no longer a student there, you can select Former as the Status. Selecting a Role and Status lets you know exactly how a contact is affiliated with this account. This information is particularly important when a contact has multiple affiliations and helps ensure that you have a complete 360 view of your contact.
  5. (Optional) Fill out the rest of the fields in the dialog box. Select Primary if you want to make the account a primary affiliation for the contact.

    For example, we want to mark the English Department as primary, because English is Amanda’s declared major.

  6. When you're finished, click Save.

Back on the contact record, you can see all affiliations listed in the Affiliated Accounts related list. To see which affiliations are primary affiliations, click the Affiliated Accounts heading.



You can also check out the primary affiliations section of an individual’s contact record. More on that in the next section!

Primary Affiliations and Mappings

EDA gives you the ability to see all of a contact’s primary affiliations in one place: the Primary Affiliations section on the contact record.

Once again, a primary affiliation is an affiliation that’s, well, primary—the department of a student’s major, for example, or the main sports team that the student plays on.

Primary affiliations

For each record type, you can designate a single primary affiliation. For example, a student is majoring in English and minoring in history. The student’s contact record is affiliated with two departments—English and History—but the English Department is marked as the primary affiliation because English is the student’s main area of study.

If you’re using custom account record types, you can customize the primary affiliations section on the contact record to display the primary affiliation for the custom record types. For example, you could create a record type for students’ places of campus employment. What appears in this section is controlled by your Affiliation Mappings settings (in conjunction with page layouts, of course).

For more information on creating your own, custom affiliation mapping, check out the affiliations documentation in the Power of Us Hub. (See the link in the Resources section.)

Great! Now that you’ve created a contact, administrative account, and affiliations in EDA, it’s time to create the next level of your architecture: relationships between contacts.

Connected people