Jun 12, 2011

Using REGEX in Validations

Recently I saw many questions on Discussion Boards regarding validations. Folks always want to go with validations avoiding Apex.

We can not ignore flexibility provided by Apex but I always prefer Validation when I can implement my business logics with it. I am bit lazy kind of person and hate writing test methods, that's why I use validation because if there is no code then no test method. Thanks to Salesforce for providing these kind of native functionalities where I do not have to write any code.

I am going bit off track as there is no point discussing over this. So coming back to REGEX in Validations, I have some good examples.

Example 1 : Validate Credit Card Number
Description :
Validates that a custom text field called Credit_Card_Number is formatted in 9999-9999-9999-9999 or 9999999999999999 number format when it is not blank.The pattern specifies:
• Four digits (0-9) followed by a dash: \\d{4}-
• The aforementioned pattern is repeated three times by wrapping it in () {3}
• Four digits (0-9)
• The OR character (|) allows an alternative pattern of 16 digits of zero through nine with no dashes: \\d{16}

Validation Formula :
NOT( REGEX( Credit_Card_Number__c ,
Error Message : Credit Card Number must be in this format: 9999-9999-9999-9999 or 9999999999999999.

Example 2 : Valid IP Address
Description :
Ensures that a custom field called IP Address is in the correct format, four 3-digit numbers (0-255) separated  by periods.

Validation Formula :
REGEX( IP_Address__c,
Error Message : IP Address must be in form 999.999.999.999 where each part is between 0 and 255.

Example 3 : US Phone Number Has Ten Digits
Description :
Validates that the Phone number is in (999) 999-9999 format. This works by using the

REGEX function to check that the number has ten digits in the (999) 999-9999 format.

Validation Formula : 
NOT(REGEX(Phone, "\\D*?(\\d\\D*?){10}"))
Error Message : US phone numbers should be in this format: (999) 999-9999.

Example 4 : Social Security Number Format
Description :
Validates that a custom text field called SSN is formatted in 999-99-9999 number format

(if it is not blank). The pattern specifies:
• Three single digits (0-9):\\d{3}
• A dash
• Two single digits (0-9):\\d{2}
• A dash
• Four single digits (0-9):\\d{4}

Validation Formula :
LEN (Social_Security_Number__c) = 0,
REGEX( Social_Security_Number__c , "[0-9]{3}-[0-9]{2}-[0-9]{4}")
Error Message : SSN must be in this format: 999-99-9999.

This will provide am idea how we can write validations using REGEX.



  1. Great Ankit....you have given valuable information...

  2. am write vr
    NOT(REGEX(Phone_c, "[0-9]{10}")) for mobileno it is not working why

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hi Ankit,

    I want to compare First character of Lead Last name in Workflow rule. Suppose it is between A to L, then one Task will be created and if it is between M to Z then another tasks will be created.
    For that I have written workflow rule as below:
    REGEX(LEFT( LastName ,1), "[a-lA-L] {1}")

    but it gives me an error : "Function REGEX may not be used in this type of formula".

    Can you please suggest?

    1. Sounds like you need this, let me know if works.
      REGEX( LastName, "[a-lA-L]{1}")

  5. hey ankit can u pls provide validation for email format.

  6. NOT
    ( AND
    ISBLANK( Skills_Required__c ),
    REGEX( Skills_Required__c , "[a-zA-Z]")

    I do not want any numbers just only text but the above formula is not working please help me with the correct one.