You might have seen an email from Salesforce with the subject "ACTION MAY BE REQUIRED: Field History data retention now enforced" and body text:
"We’d like to remind you of some important changes coming to Field History Tracking , as you are an admin of an org that uses this feature. As communicated previously, Salesforce guarantees to retain your field history data for up to 18 months through your org, and up to 24 months via Data Loader or the API. Starting with the Spring ‘19 release*, Salesforce will enforce the 18-month retention policy and begin the process of removing field history data beyond 24 months. If you have data beyond 24 months that you would like to retain, please take action well before the Spring ‘19 release."
As Security & Privacy experts for Salesforce, we received a lot of questions from our customers - "what does this mean!?"
Basically, Salesforce has the ability to track field history on the data in the system (e.g. if you change an Account’s Name, you have the ability to see the old value in a separate list on the record).
This data is supposed to only be stored for 18 months, but Salesforce hasn’t actually been deleting the older information. They will now be beginning to do that as of the upcoming release.
So… if you need to keep historical information (change information) for longer than 18 months in going forward, you will need to purchase an add-on from Salesforce called Field Audit Trail.
*Shameless plug: We built the User Interface for FAT - RevCult's Field Audit Trail Cockpit (available on the AppExchange) that allows you to configure your data retention policies with clicks, not code. We also provide Field Audit Trail workshops.
Want more information on this Salesforce change? Salesforce partnered with us and our customer State Bank to explain this change in detail and how to deal with them. Check out the webinar recording here.
Have specific questions? Don't hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.