Configure EDA Settings

Learning Objectives 

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

  • Explore tabs in EDA Settings.
  • Describe how EDA Settings can be used to customize EDA for your institution.

Best Practices for EDA Settings

One of the things that is great about the Education Data Architecture (EDA) is that it’s designed to meet the needs of all different types of educational institutions. EDA is flexible and entirely configurable to your school. And with great power comes great responsibility, so there are some decisions that you and your team will need to make to configure EDA Settings for your institution’s specific use case.

In the Education Data Architecture Basics module we take a high-level tour of EDA Settings and review some key terms. If you haven’t yet completed that module, we recommend you pause, check out that content, and then meet us back here. (There’s a link in the Resources section at the end of this module.)

If you’ve already wet your whistle with the introductory info—then toot, toot! Let’s get started!

EDA Settings menu

Keep in mind that the settings selections reviewed in this unit are considerations and options, not requirements. Exploring EDA Settings with us will help you determine which settings choices are right for your institution.

Affiliations Settings

In EDA, organizations like academic departments, administrative departments, sports teams, and other institutions are represented as accounts, and you connect accounts to contacts through affiliations. You also have the ability to highlight a particular affiliation by marking it as Primary.

EDA lets you see all of a contact's primary affiliations in one place: the Primary Affiliations section on the Contact record (accessed from the Details tab of the contact record).

Primary affiliations

You can customize your primary affiliations section on the contact record to display the primary affiliation for any record type you use at your institution. What appears and what does not appear in this section is controlled by your Affiliation Mappings settings (in conjunction with page layouts).

You can create or edit Affiliation Mappings to fit your institution’s needs by navigating to the Affiliations settings tab.

  1. From the Affiliations tab, click Affiliation Mappings.
  2. Review the default affiliation mappings displayed. Six default account record types are listed. The account record type list shows you all of the account record types whose primary affiliation values map to that special section on the contact record.
  3. To add an affiliations mapping of your own, scroll down to the New Affiliation Mapping section, enter the account record type, enter the primary affiliation field (on the contact record) you want to map to, and finally, click Add Mapping.
  4. To delete any mapping, click Edit and click the trash can next to the mapping you want to delete.

Affiliation Mappings in the Affiliations settings tab in EDA Settings.

Relationships Settings

Relationships represent contact-to-contact connections. When you create these connections, you can also define the type of relationship (friend, family, mother, daughter, and so on), and the relationship status (current, former).

Whenever you create a relationship record, Salesforce automatically creates a reciprocal relationship, which reflects this same relationship in the other direction. For example, if you create a relationship from Daniel Thompson's contact record, and specify Lucy Snow as his wife, Lucy's contact record automatically reflects that she has a husband, Daniel. While the reciprocal relationship will be created automatically, you do have a choice to make about the reciprocal method that’s used.

The Reciprocal Method setting is perhaps the most important of the relationships settings, because it determines whether reciprocal relationships are generated using the List Setting or Value Inversion method.

List Setting
The values in the Reciprocal Settings list determine the type of reciprocal relationship created. For example, if you create a son type relationship from a male-gendered contact record, a reciprocal relationship of father is created automatically on the son's record. Father and son are preconfigured values in the Reciprocal Settings list. Most orgs use List Setting, which is the default Reciprocal Method.

Value Inversion
When you select this method, the type value on a relationship record is reversed to reflect the reciprocal relationship. For example, a mother-daughter type of relationship creates a reciprocal type of daughter-mother. Value Inversion ignores the Reciprocal Settings list. Instead, you create picklist values on the relationship object's type field for mother-daughter, daughter-mother, and all other possible combinations. This example shows the word pair inverted around a hyphen, which is the default delimiter separating the relationship roles.

Here are the steps to verify that the selected Reciprocal Method is appropriate, and to change it if needed.

  1. In EDA Settings, click the Relationships tab.
  2. On the Settings subtab, verify the value selected in Reciprocal Method.
  3. If you need to change from List Setting to Value Inversion or vice versa:
    1. Click Edit.
    2. Select a different value.
    3. Click Save.

The Reciprocal Method in the Relationship settings tab.


If you have an older version of EDA (pre version 1.30) head over to the Courses settings tab to take advantage of the Extended Description Field on courses. Click Run Copy here to copy existing course descriptions to the newer Extended Description Field, which allows for more characters.

Run Copy button in the Courses settings tab.

Course Connections

If you’re using EDA to track student enrollment or a faculty member’s involvement in a particular course, navigate to the Course Connections settings tab and tick the box to Enable Course Connections. In EDA, a course connection links a contact (say a student or professor) to a course offering. Ticking this box is a necessary first step to get you up and running.

The Course Connections settings tab.

Program Plans

A program plan in EDA represents a specific offering for a degree or certification. To create a path for students to follow, program plans use plan requirements which can link to courses. When a program enrollment is created for an advisee, the primary program plan associated with that program is automatically linked to the program enrollment.

In Program Plans settings you can tick the checkbox to Validate Program Plan for Nested Plan Requirements. When this setting is active (which we suggest) plan requirements can specify either a program plan or a parent plan requirement, but not both. If you specify both a program plan and a parent plan requirement, an error message will prevent you from saving until only one is selected.

The checkbox to Validate Program Plan for Nested Plan Requirements.

Accounts and Contacts Settings

One important aspect of building a connected campus is mastering outreach. Institutions may decide to integrate a marketing tool such as Marketing Cloud or Pardot to manage communications, and integrating a marketing tool will require you to define a preferred email. To do this, click the Accounts and Contacts tab, and scroll down to the Preferred Email/ Phone Data Cleanup section (number 1 in the screenshot below). 

The Accounts and Contacts settings tab.

While in the Accounts and Contacts settings tab, consider ticking the Contact Multi-Addresses box (number 2 in the screenshot above). Checking this box disables additional address records from being created, which is particularly useful when managing a campus.

You can also change the default record type for accounts in this settings tab. By default, EDA assigns the Administrative record type to administrative accounts and the Household account record type to household accounts. If you need to, you can change the default account record type.



Changes apply only to accounts created after the change, not existing accounts.

To change the default record type, click the Accounts and Contacts tab.

  1. Click Edit.
  2. Specify the Administrative Account Record Type and Household Account Record Type as needed, depending on which account's default you're changing.
  3. Click Save.

Record type options on the Accounts and Contacts settings tab.

System Settings

While the default account record type is edited via the Accounts and Contacts settings tab, the default account model and account naming format are handled in System settings.

To change the default account model, click the System settings tab.

  1. Click Edit.
  2. In the Default Account Model section, click the dropdown menu and select the account model you want to use as the default. Administrative and Household are the most common default account models.
  3. Click Save.


Not sure which account model you want to use as your default? Check out the Education Data Architecture Basics module for a full explanation of each account model and considerations to take before selecting your default model.

While you’re in the System settings tab, you might also consider updating the Administrative Account Naming format. By default, this is set to Last Name Administrative Account. At institutions with a very large student and constituent body, using only the last name as the default naming convention may get confusing. Here’s how you can change it.

In the System settings tab, scroll to the section for Administrative Account Naming Format.

  1. Click Edit.
  2. In the  Administrative Account Naming Format section, click the dropdown menu and select the naming format you want to use.
  3. Click Save.

Name formats for Administrative accounts in the System settings tab.

Well, we’ve toured all of the settings tabs so that’s a wrap on best practices and considerations for EDA Settings management. It’s time to move on to a new configuration topic: TDTM. Head to the next unit to learn more.


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