Retain Field History with Field Audit Trail (Generally Available)

Field Audit Trail lets you define a policy to retain archived field history data up to ten years, independent of field history tracking. This feature helps you comply with industry regulations related to audit capability and data retention.
Available in: Contact Manager, Group, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, Developer, and Database.com Editions

As part of a larger initiative for compliance essentials, Salesforce is releasing Field Audit Trail for general availability (GA).
Note

Note

You may need to purchase additional services or subscriptions to use this feature. For pricing details, please contact your Salesforce account executive.

Use Salesforce Metadata API to define a retention policy for your field history. Then use REST API, SOAP API, and Tooling API to work with your archived data. For information about enabling Field Audit Trail, contact your Salesforce representative.

Field history is copied from the History related list into the FieldHistoryArchive object and then deleted from the History related list. You define one HistoryRetentionPolicy object for your related history lists, such as Account History, to specify Field Audit Trail retention policies for the objects that you want to archive. You can then deploy the object by using the Metadata API (Workbench or Force Migration Tool). In production organizations that have Field Audit Trail enabled, data is archived by default after 18 months. In sandbox organizations, the default is one month. You can update the retention policies as often as you like.

After you define and deploy a Field Audit Trail policy, production data is migrated from related history lists such as Account History into the FieldHistoryArchive object. The first copy writes the field history that’s defined by your policy to archive storage and sometimes takes a long time. Subsequent copies transfer only the changes since the last copy and are much faster. A bounded set of SOQL is available to query your archived data.
Note

Note

For some time after the initial GA release, data might not be automatically deleted from the History related list and may reside in both the FieldHistoryArchive object and in the History related list. Salesforce reserves the right to delete archived data from the History related list in accordance with the customer-defined policy in future releases.

To learn more, see the Field History Retention Implementation Guide.