Introduction > Introducing Customer 360 SaaS > Key concepts

Key concepts

To work effectively in Customer 360 SaaS, you need a basic understanding of master data management concepts of Informatica.

Business entities

A business entity is an entity of importance to your organization. Business entities can be people, places, or things.
Customer 360 SaaS includes the following predefined business entities:

Source records

A source record is a record from a source system. Source records from multiple source systems can contribute data to the master records.

Patch records

MDM SaaS creates a patch record when you edit a master record through the user interface, API, or batch jobs. A patch record acts as a source record, but it contains only the master record fields that are edited.​ If the same master record is edited multiple times, the patch record contains the latest changes.
Patch records are created for each source system. For example, when you edit a master record from the user interface, a patch record is created for the default source system. However, when you edit a master record value that originated from the Salesforce source system, another patch record is created for the Salesforce source system.

Related records

Records that have relationships with the first-level nodes. Relationships describe the connection between two records. For example, if John Smith is an employee of Informatica, the person record of John Smith can be related to the organization record of Informatica.

Workflows and tasks

A workflow consists of a sequence of tasks and ensures approvers review and approve the data before it becomes master data. When a user creates or updates a record, the action can trigger a workflow.
A workflow consists of multiple tasks linked together. A task is an activity that must be completed, such as accepting or rejecting an edited record.


A hierarchy contains hierarchy relationships between records. Create hierarchies to show how records are related to one another. A record can appear in multiple hierarchies.
For example, when you view the John Smith record, you might see that the record belongs to the Organization hierarchy and the Household hierarchy. In the Organization hierarchy, you see a relationship from the Informatica record to the John Smith record. In the Household hierarchy, you see a relationship from the Smiths record to the John Smith record. The hierarchies show that John Smith is employed by Informatica and is part of the Smiths household.
The hierarchy relationships that you can create depend on your configured hierarchy models.


An extension is a package of pre-configured assets to accelerate the implementation of a business application and extend its capabilities. An extension is available for installation on request.
Based on your requirements, you can use an extension to achieve the following goals:
For example, you can use the Salesforce extension to integrate Salesforce and Customer 360 and process the Salesforce records in Customer 360 in batches or real-time.