Custom Replacement Values for Anonymizing Data

    An anonymize template anonymizes potentially sensitive data by replacing records with values from a library of alternative, yet representational options for each field. The Anonymize application also provides the option to customize replacement values to comply with any regulation or testing prerequisites. Use the anonymize template's Custom... replacement value option to define and control the formula for generating replacement values.

    The Custom... replacement value option is available for use with the following anonymize template object field types:

    • Currency
    • Data
    • Email
    • Number (Decimal, Double, Int)
    • Percent
    • Phone
    • Picklist
    • Text (String, Text Area)
    • URL​​​​​

    For Example:

    Create an EMAIL ADDRESS with a specific format, e.g.: -, you can create the pattern:

    Creating a Pattern

    For working with the Custom... replacement value option, the following are the available, value type categories:

    • Library

    • List

    • Free Text

    • Number Range

    Think of these value type categories as building blocks (or justblocks). Use these blocksin any of the following ways:

    • A single block (for example, List)
    • Repeat the same block to create a desired pattern (for example, Number Range + Number Range)
    • In combination with other blocks (for example, Library + Free Text + List).

    To add/delete custom replacement values:

    1. When your selected anonymize template displays in the My Tempates page, click Edit. You are now able to edit the fields of the anonymize template's objects.
    2. For a field that you want to define custom replacement values, click in its Replace with field to display the drop-down list of available, replacement value options,
    3. Select Custom.... The Custom Replacement Value dialog opens.
    4. Click  to display a menu of the value type categories (the blocks) that are available to use for defining the field's custom replacement values.
    5. Select a block. Use the multiple selection option to create the same custom pattern across multiple fields.




    • These are the same values available outside the custom option, that can also be used to build your customized pattern. 
    • Combine "Library" blocks with other blocks (e.g. List, Free Text, Number Range) to create the desired pattern. For example, to verify the generation of 1.5M unique value:


    • To add values: Enter value(s) in the pane. Clicking outside the pane saves the upates you made.
    • You can paste into the pane multiple, comma separated values that were copied from any of the following file types: csv, Excel, and plain text.
    • For object fields of type Picklist, List is the block that is used to customize replacement values. The Custom Replacement Value dialog opens in List block mode. There is no option to add blocks. The dialog displays the field's existing picklist values. Update these values (add/delete) as needed.

    ​​​​​​Note: Salesforce doesn't allow adding new values to restricted picklists. Therefore, avoid adding new values to restricted picklists, as doing so will result in a Salesforce processing error.
    • List block processing: The Anonymize application randomly retrieves values from the list's defined values.

    Free Text

    • Free text can be used as a unique value for all records or as part of the custom pattern.
    • Combine with other building blocks. For example, to generate emails with the domain: “” use the pattern:


    Number Range

    • Random option: Randomly generate numbers within a defined number range. For example: If the starting number is 1 and ending number is 5, the random numbers are: 3,1,5,4,2
    • Trailing numbers: Consecutively generated numbers within the defined range. For example: If the starting number is 1 and ending number is 5, the trailing numbers are: 1,2,3,4,5
    • Negative numbers are permitted.
    • Leading zeros: All generated numbers will have the same number of characters as the maximum number. For example, to create a 4 digit value between 1-1000, check the Leading Zero option to generate: 0001,0002,0003…0999, 1000 instead of 1,2,3…999,1000.


    Multiple Selection - Custom Option

    You can select multiple fields, of the same type, and set a single custom value across all fields.

    NOTE: If the generated pattern, for a single field, is longer than the maximum number of characters allowed, the value will be truncated accordingly for that field.

    When you select more than one field, a dialog box appears showing the number of fields selected, field type and the replacement options. From the Replace with drop-down list, select Custom, and click the + button to select the building blocks you need and begin building your anonymization pattern.


    Best Practices:

    • Support UNIQUE values
      • With the Custom option you can concatenate numbers to your  anonymized value using "Free Text" and "Number" building blocks to prevent duplication. For example, to generate 1M unique names, create the pattern:

    • To build a number pattern with unique values, when creating a pattern with multiple number ranges, to generate the greatest number of unique values, select the “random” option in all ranges.

    • To build a DATE pattern, the date format is: YYYY-MM-DD.  For example, generating a birthdate for people under the age of 20, create the following pattern using three "Number Range" blocks with a "Free Text" block between each value for the year, month and date:


    • Creating a PHONE number with the prefix: 1-800-xxx-xxx, create the pattern:

    • To add a SUFFIX to the user name, create the pattern:

    • Set FIXED TEXT for all records, for example to have all records in a certain field display the value: “One value for all”, create the pattern:

    • To generate a certain SIN type format for example xxx xxx xxx, create the pattern:

    • To generate a DATE within a specific time period, the date format that should be used is: YYYY-MM-DD. For example during Q1 in the year 2022, create the pattern:


    • For numbers, phone numbers, URL, and email addresses, spaces are automatically removed from the generated values.

    • The field character maximum permitted in Salesforce is displayed in the dialog. If the generated pattern exceeds the field maximum the value will be trimmed to the maximum permitted. 

    • When creating email/URLs, make sure the patterns are valid, we do not validate the generated result for email addresses and/or URL formats. 

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