Tips & Tricks

  • Passing the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification

    Although not strictly part of the pathway to Certified Technical Architect, sometimes you just want to branch out a little and demonstrate your knowledge of the platform. So with this in mind, I recently sat the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam (that is a mouthful!)

    Happily, I can report back, that I passed! And to help others also pass, I have compile a list of tips and resources I found beneficial to passing the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant.

    Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant ‚Äď Who is it for?

    Firstly, let’s clear the air a little.

    You don’t have to be a consultant to sit this exam. Much like I mentioned in the Sales Cloud Consultant exam, it is a good way to certify your understanding the features and benefits of the various aspects to Service Cloud and following on from that, also the implementation of it.

    If you are an Admin, Application Manager, etc – and are working within Service Cloud, and want recognition for your skills. Or wanting to learn specifically about implementing Service Cloud, this is the certification for you.

    Additionally, if you are a consultant and wanting to demonstrate your understanding of Service Cloud – then yes, this is also the exam for you. ūüôā

    What does the exam cover?

    Even though the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Exam is based on Service Cloud products and knowledge – there is a sizeable chunk of the exam dedicated to which solution fits the business problem the best. Along with best practises for implementation steps and delivery of a Service Cloud project.

    Image result for lightning service console
    Lightning Service Cloud Console, unsurprisingly, forms a big part of the Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam.

    Breakdown of the exam:

    • Industry Knowledge: 10%
    • Implementation Strategies: 15%
    • Service Cloud Solution Design: 16%
    • Knowledge Management: 9%
    • Interaction Channels: 10%
    • Case Management: 15%
    • Contact Center Analytics: 5%
    • Integration and Data Management: 5%
    • Service Console: 15%

    Salesforce’s Exam Guide gives you an official breakdown of each section.

    I found that the key topics/areas in my exam included – in no particular order:

    • Case Setup, including Console (both Classic with Case Feeds and Lightning Service Console)
    • Case Escalations rules
    • Entitlements and Milestones
    • Also, when you might use an Entitlement/Milestone vs Escalation rule
    • Knowledge, and all things relating to Knowledge (Articles, Permissions, Integration with Communities, Knowledge ‘Lifecycle’, Migrating to Knowledge, etc)
    • Marcos and Quick Text (why and how you might use them)
    • Email to Case, versus On-Demand Email to Case.
    • Migration of data, and best practises involved in such activities.
    • Industry knowledge, around metrics/SLAs and how to best report on them.
    • Use cases for customer retention (ie using Service Cloud and Sales Cloud together)
    • Different Service Channels, and why/when and how you might use them (Calls, Email, Live Agent, Social, etc )
    • Omni-channel, what it is used for and capabilities.
    • Different Console configuration options, and what might be best in specific scenario. Keep in mind, some of these questions still focus on both Classic Service Console and Lightning Record Pages with Components.

    Exam Format

    Like other Salesforce Exams, this in the format of a multiple choice exam.

    All up, there were 65 questions in total (n.b. this is at time of writing Jan 2020).

    Though this included an additional five questions, which don’t end up counting to your overall mark. Instead providing feedback to Salesforce on user understanding of newer practices, products and features.

    FYI – this is similar to other exams, like the Platform Developer I exam (where it had additional questions testing on your understanding of Heroku).

    Resources that helped me

    After using and implementing Service Cloud for a couple of years, I still found it really useful to study.

    For example, I didn’t realise there was a difference between Email to Case and On-Demand Email to Case… And there were a few questions about the different solutions and why you might use one versus the other.

    In short, studying helps! ūüôā

    If you don’t have experience using Service Cloud, this might be a little more difficult for you to pass. But not impossible. The key is preparation.

    And when studying, don’t just learn the feature. Try and pay attention to the scenarios and the ‘why’ you might use a particular feature/solution.

    Trailhead, is a great place to start.

    The Service Cloud modules and projects, are very hands-on and give you that implementation experience. And Salesforce has grouped a large number of the courses together, into a ‘Prepare for Your Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Credential‘ trailmix.

    Even though I have hands-on experience, I still did the Trailhead modules. I always feel that you can never have enough hands-on experience. As it helps build your confidence, and if you get stuck in the exam, you can at least think back and try and visualise how you did a particular step.

    Online Course

    I also purchased the ‘Service Cloud Consultant Certification’ course on Udemy from Mike Wheeler.

    It is a good course and really outlines the foundation of the exam and how to implement certain solutions. I was concerned when watching the videos, that it was a little dated, especially considering there has been a big push over last few years to bring Service Cloud up to parity in Lightning.

    But from my own experience, there was enough on the exam still based around Classic… And the reasons of ‘why’ you would use a particular product is still the same.

    Community

    Most other blogs I researched before hand, seem to mainly focus on the exam and reiterate the outline of the exam… So I decided to also asked the Reddit Salesforce community for some tips & pointers for the exam, you can check out that thread here.

    One user ‘yummyyummybrains‘ (great username btw!) pointed out that with these Consultant exams:

    …I can say: the questions are going to involve a lot more qualitative and evaluative analysis than the Specialist Exams. Less: “What does this function do?” and more: “given these parameters, what’s the best way to achieve the client’s stated goal?”

    I’ve had a hard time recommending study materials for the MC Consultant Exam for that very reason — how do you study for an exam that requires deep knowledge of the relative pros and cons of different features, and how they would be impacted by the specific needs of a client?…

    yummyyummybrains on Reddit re: Service Cloud Consultant Exam

    One blog article I did find that stood out for me was from Ashish, who created an in-depth study guide, including checklist of topics and direct links to Salesforce Help articles for each specific topic on the Exam Guide.

    Wrap-up

    So there you have my little debrief of the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam.

    As mentioned about, there is a big focus on why and when you would choose a particular solution to match a business requirement. So learning just the features of Service Cloud products won’t be enough…

    If you have any tips or insights you would like to share, please feel free to use the comments below.

    And if you are sitting the exam, best of luck to you!

  • Why you should love Trailhead Superbadges

    As someone who has worked across Salesforce roles, over the last 9 years, there are times where a Salesforce certification will only carry you so far.

    This isn’t an article second-guessing the value of certifications. They are great to ensure the certified admin/developer/consultant is aware of the specific features and options needed for their roles.

    But they need to cover a lot of topics broadly. With little or no guidance and experience on implementation.

    This means you end up understanding the theory, with little real world / hands on experience.

    Trailhead Superbadges, blend the theory and skills needed for specific roles with hands on experience.
    Trailhead Superbadges, grouped and assorted by Role.

    Enter Trailhead Superbadges

    This is the gap that Trailhead Superbadges addresses. Blending the theory of regular Trailhead modules with the hand-on experience.

    A Trailhead Superbadge delivers you into a simulated real-world example. Where you have to focus on user requirements and then setup, configure, develop your way to a workable solution.

    How do Superbadges they work?

    Starting off with a Trailhead Superbadge, still starts with learning the theory.

    Prerequisites:

    All Superbadges require you to complete a number of pre-requisite modules. This grounds you in the basics of the topic at hand and prepares you for what is coming next…

    You still have to complete the pre-requisite Trailhead modules, before you can start with the Superbadge.

    Preparation:

    This is an important section, so read through this section carefully.

    Normally, it contains information on preparing the Trailhead Playground for the Superbadge assessment. This often includes installing a package in the environment to setup pre-defined custom fields, custom objects and/or Apex triggers/classes.

    It will also include important information about dates / schema / etc. Let’s look again at the ‘Lightning Experience Specialist’ Superbadge:

    Pre-work contains important information about setup/initial config to prepare.

    Use case:

    Each Superbage gives you an overview of the use case / problem you are trying to solve (and in turn be assessed on).

    It often includes specifics, such as customisations and schema details required to meet the Business Requirements.

    Here is part of the Use Case and specifics of the ‘Lightning Experience Specialist’:

    Use case and details overview, which you’ll need to solve the Business Requirements…

    Business Requirements:

    This is is where we start get into the simulated real-world.

    Business Requirements are what have to be met in some fashion day in, day out for all admins, developers and consultants.

    These are involved and contain all the details you need to pass the Trailhead Superbadge. It is your job to translate all of this information and find the way that is required of you, to implement the solution.

    Business Requirements in action…

    Career Gold…

    This is the gold in the mountain – this is the reason that you should love Trailhead Superbadges.

    It is this very skill and experience of taking requirements, filtering out what is needed and finding a way to to implement it, which strengthens your capabilities as an Admin/Developer/Consultant.

    This is the skill that will set you up for your career within Salesforce.

    And Trailhead gives you a way to practice it repeatedly and for free!

    Over to you…

    Have you started with Superbadges? If so, which ones have you completed? What’s next on your Trailhead journey?

  • What is the difference between¬†ISNULL() and ISBLANK()?

    As an admin, Formulas can be a little confusing sometimes.  Especially when there are two functions which appear to be very similar / do the same thing.

    From the out set, the difference between these two functions can actually appear very slight.

    But not all is as it appears, and sometimes the difference between them is actually what you want to test/validate…¬†

    What is: ISNULL()

    From a computing perspective¬† (which Salesforce adheres to), something could be NULL because it doesn‚Äôt exist or hasn‚Äôt been created/setup (in developer speak, you might say ‘instantiated’).

    Ultimately, this means NULL is the absence of a value all together.

    The ISNULL() function will return a TRUE or a FALSE value, which you can then use in validation rules, workflows, formulas, etc.

    What does this mean in real world? 

    In Salesforce, if you had a date field, with no value in it.  Salesforce would return TRUE.

    However, if you had a text field ISNULL() would always return a false value, even if there was no text in the field.¬† This is because Salesforce stores an empty value in text, even if there is nothing in the field – which leads us to…

    What is: ISEMPTY()

    Like the above function, you get a boolean (TRUE/FALSE) output.

    However ISEMPTY() goes a step further than ISNULL() and by adding support for text fields (like the example above).  

    When is a field is ‘not empty’?¬†

    If it contains a character, blank space, or a zero. (ie ISEMPTY() = FALSE)

    And now text field which is contains no text, will now return ISEMPTY() = TRUE.  Along with other fields, like dates or numbers.

  • What I learnt rolling out Salesforce Lightning…

    Rolling out Salesforce Lightning is something most of us have or will shortly experience.  If you are an Admin, there is fewer and fewer reasons to not take the plunge and migrate over to Salesforce Lightning.

    I have long been pushing our various Salesforce instances towards being able to migrate to Lightning Experience. 

    We had focused so much time and energy trying to reduce the technical debt to a point we could possibly make the jump.  Until we made the decision to shift gears, and actually move into a shiny new org.

    But moving to Lightning, has taught me a few things as an admin/dev, and it is time to share!¬† So here are some musings/lessons/thoughts about rolling out Salesforce Lightning…

    Learn Lightning, inside and out! 

    I got to say, there was plenty of things that stumped me about the move across to Lightning.

    One that ALWAYS got me, was the difference between the Lightning Page Builder, the ‘normal’ page layout builder and what controls what on the actual overall layout in Lightning.

    Simplest way to learn this, is imagine the Lightning Page as the top layer, or shell, which allows you to organise the overall feel of a specific page in Lightning.

    Lightning page regions 

    • This is where you define how many columns you want to display, how where the columns/rows go.
    • It is also where you control what displays where.¬† And groups together things like record pages (ie the ‘normal page layout’), any widgets or components you want.
    • This is where you can control the sub-tabs which display in Lightning.¬† Like the Related sub-tab or Chatter/Activities

    Adding a Component to a Tab

    The thing that got me, the most when starting out? 

    This is NOT where you control the buttons, quick actions, etc visible on the page.  For that you still need to go and edit the Record Page.

    I don’t know why, but this is one thing that really irritated me the most until it finally just ‘clicked’ and made sense in my head.

    The section on the Record Page Layout for ‘Salesforce Mobile and Lightning Experience Actions’ is where you control this.

    But remember, you may have a Lightning page for all users.  But if you have a Record Page Layout for different profiles/record types, then you will have multiple places to manage this and make sure it is correct for everyone.

    Lightning is about speed and efficiency, so use it!

    So use the opportunity of moving to Lightning as a way to change how your processes work. If you are migrating to Lightning, you will have to review most (if not all) processes anyway. So use this as an opportunity to work with your internal stakeholders and improve the workflow for the end-users!

    Going through our transformation to Lightning, there was a ‘hit list’ of things we wanted to change.

    Depending on your scope re: the project and time allowed, you won’t hit everything. But by identifying and prioritising the ‘top speed boosters’ for your end-users, helps get them engaged in the overall project. And by even improving their workflow by reducing 3 or 4 clicks, you would be surprised how quickly this all adds up to measurable improvement for your users.

    Even reworking your page layouts, to display the information the end-user needs can add to the overall benefit of Lightning.

    Why is this important?

    Rolling out Salesforce Lightning, as a new User Interface, gives you a lot of flexibility. So the more you can do in this area, helps when it comes time to rolling out the new system and getting your users to buy-in and actually use Lightning!

    It all ties back into driving engagement and adoption. Which is the reason you are doing this change in the first place, isn’t it?

    It is a bigger jump for your dev team than you may realise…

    Through this project, I had the benefit of working with a number of top notch dev teams, but specifically the Salesforce dev team.

    But changing from Classic to Lightning, had a massive up-skilling implication for us as a company. And we ensured we gave the development team time to learn the ropes with Lightning Pages/Components/etc.

    To help out, we also tried to go as ‘out of the box’ as possible. But no matter how hard you push for this, there are likely to be business rules which need customisations.

    So don’t underestimate this!

    Allow your dev team time before the migration to up-skill and learn about how the new Lightning framework fits together.

    I would always loved to give our dev team more time for this, but keep in mind that you do have to try and balance this with likely delivery ‘windows’ within your organisation.

    We had a lot of other projects happening, both before and after this porject. So we had a specific time frame we had to aim for to release in. But we made it, and I think we managed to get a decent amount of time for our devs to learn the new world.

    Think about the data!

    As previously mentioned, we made a decision that it would be easier for the teams involved to deliver Lightning to the business as part of a new CRM. This was instead of the option to try and update/upgrade things in a Salesforce org that was around 12-14years old!

    For us, though this meant we also had to plan in a CRM Data Migration… YAY!

    Image result for data

    Now, you might not have the need to go this route. But data is still very important in the project.

    What data is visible, can in some circumstances be controlled by Lightning. Do you use Customisable Forecasts? Nope not Lightning compatible, instead you will need Collaborative Forecasts. Salesforce have done a massive job in trying to plug all the gaps between classic and Lightning, but some still exist. (Like Close Date showing in US Date format, regardless of locale settings – very confusing everywhere that isn’t US/Canada!)

    So, remember the data.

    Remember what you need your users to do in Lightning, and make sure they still can do it.

    It could be simple tweaks to page layouts (as per my first point). But you need to make sure everything that is needed, is visible to those who need it.

    And where there are system or feature differences, weigh up does the Lightning alternative work for you? And if yes, what training/coaching do users need to get used to the new way of working? Then this should feed into your overall training plan, as remember, Lightning is very different for end-users!

    Remember your Users (aka avoid the Bambi effect!)

    Any change of this nature is going to be big! As admins and developers, we have now been conditioned re ‘all things Lightning’. And have been for a number of years – even if you haven’t used it before yourself.

    Everything Salesforce related has been pushing Lightning now for a number of years…

    But the biggest thing here is, don’t underestimate the change for your end-users. Remember this will mostly be brand new to them. And some will likely resist the move, at first…

    One anecdote for you, which was something that I had to fight hard against myself. Don’t underestimate the impacts of some of the ‘out of the box’ features that come with Lightning. Remember as Salesforce users we have seen things like Kanban and Lightning Consoles in every Salesforce demo and feature release now for a number of years…

    And this is how you want to ensure you avoid your end-users becoming like the proverbial ‘deer in the headlights’ (aka Bambi).

    Image result for bambi headlight
    Oh look, new features!

    When we rolled out Salesforce Lightning, our sales and finances team LOVED Kanban View on their relevant list views. But it was something that was easy for the delivery team to skip over or avoid, because for us we had seen it all before, and it wasn’t part of what we were actually developing…

    But we didn’t deliver that as a feature… Or did we?!

    Sometimes the project team got a little disheartened, myself included. Why? Because the meetings you go to with end users, they would always say how ‘we love these things’, but those were the Salesforce Lightning ‘out of the box’ features, like Kanban.

    But to make those features work and work properly for your teams, there is a lot of effort that is needed to ensure they work as expected. You have to adjust all the things that go on ‘inside’ Salesforce, in the places end-users don’t really see! Like your workflows and validation rules. These things simply have to be in-sync with what you are trying to deliver with Lightning.

    So we might not have created Kanban, but we did everything behind the scenes that makes it work fluidly/’drag and drop’ in a system. We updated the workflows, approval rules and validation rules behind the scenes to allow users to be able to ‘simply drag and drop’ records into the new status.

    In the old classic workflow, we would just throw up a validation error (not best practise, but so many orgs do this), if something was missing. But now moving to Lightning, this gave us a huge opportunity to rethink how/when certain information got entered in Salesforce.

    Rolling out Salesforce Lightning? Engage the top brass, and the foot soldiers

    A project on this scale, will need so many different people to be involved.

    Success is paramount on engaging the top brass (ie senior leaders/stakeholders) and getting them involved in the process. And likewise, you have to also get the foot soldiers (or your super users) comfortable enough to be able to help take some of the questions.

    We treated this as much of a culture change, as it was a system change. And that seemed to work really well for the project.

    There are a lot of ways to do this, and you can search until the cows come home about Change Management practices. But put simply you and your team will need allies and generals. People on your side to help push your message across the teams / organisation and drive adoption.

    And the biggest lesson here, is to remember that everyone reacts to change differently. Doesn’t matter what it is.

    But by treating this like a cultural change, and preparing to support people as they went through the ‘change curve‘, you can help ‘short circuit’ the pain of change. You won’t get rid of it completely, but you can come up with a plan that helps people transition through to the ‘new way’ as quickly as possible.

    Rolling out Salesforce Lightning is like any change.  Here is a Change Management curve
    Rolling out Salesforce Lightning, can impact people differently. The ‘change curve’ highlights a number of outcomes…

    And finally…

    There is a lot to go through. The key to success really is to plan. I have touched on a number of facets to what we learned as part of our Lightning migration. Everyone has a different starting point, both re: Salesforce instance but also experience with driving changes within an organisation.

    Planning your project will put you in good stead, and by scheduling in the change on your roadmap, you can use it as a golden opportunity to revisit almost everything to do with how Salesforce works at your organisation.

    As part of this revisit, decide what are the must-haves and things that need to change, versus the nice-to-haves. And also use this as a chance to try to identify any risks to the project.

    But don’t just focus on ‘must-haves’. Sometimes the nice-to-haves are the things that also help you get people excited about a new system…

    Comments below!

    Have you recently moved across to Lightning? What are your tips or lessons for moving to Lightning?

    Or if you are planning on moving to Lightning, what are the things you are most looking forward to (or nervous about)?

  • How to survive Dreamforce

    You have registered for Dreamforce, but now what?¬† With over 170,000 attendees last year, it is the largest tech conference in the world.¬† So there will be crowds aplenty – but with so much to learn, about all things Salesforce… How are you going to make the most out of this year’s event?¬† And most importantly, ensure you survive Dreamforce?

    The 4-day conference for newbies can be overwhelming, but a little planning can go a long way to ensuring a smooth conference week.

    I have learned so much about different Salesforce use cases and have been inspired seeing how other users and partners are making the most out of the platform.  And most of all, being able to immerse yourself in all things Salesforce for four days straight, really helps you learn & focus on all things Salesforce Рand help you to conjure up new ways of using the platform.

    9 tips to survive Dreamforce!

    1. Build your agenda

    survive Dreamforce: how to build Lightning Apps at Dreamforce 2016
    Session on how to build Lightning Apps @ Dreamforce 2016

    The biggest tip I can give a newbie to Dreamforce is you need to prepare… ¬†Even with pre-planning my first year and hearing from others who had attended the year before me – I was still blown away at the sheer scale of the event.

    With such a massive event, preparing and planning counts for so much!

    Use the Agenda Builder before you get there.  And find out what sessions are available, and if you need to enroll.

    The great news is that not all sessions require you to register, but the more popular ones do tend to…¬† Why?¬† This allows the session to have a priority order to entry (compared to people who just turn up to the session) – but remember this still isn’t a guarantee, so get to the sessions early.

    2. Don’t get lost.

    After you have built your agenda, you can then download the Dreamforce event app (iOS or Android).

    During the event, you will be able to get alerts and notifications on your enrolled sessions and access event details like maps, directions/transport options.

    Google Maps (or your favorite mapping app), is also extremely helpful in finding your way in between venues.¬† Just keep in mind, Salesforce will be offering shuttles between a number of the key sites, and these won’t typically show in these apps.

    3. Be prepared.

    Surviving Dreamforce regarding the weather is relatively easy this time of year.  San Francisco weather in September is typically mild Рbut always plan ahead Рplan for cooler evenings, and warmer days.

    Remember to pack light, you won’t generally need to carry a laptop around with you.¬† A phone/tablet device would typically be more than enough but remember to take a power bank/charging cable around with you.

    With all your note taking (see below), and photos of slides and sights around town, your battery will thank you.  Personally I carry a light powerbank around with me, as finding a charging point can be a little difficult at times.

    4. Be noteworthy.

    Take lots and lots of notes!

    Remember to set out in the morning with an iPad/phone (and as above remember battery pack!!).  Alternatively go old-school with notepad & pen (no battery!) to keep track of everything you learn.

    Personally I like to combine taking pictures of the slides with my own notes in an app like OneNote.

    5. Think of your feet…

    You will be walking around so much!  So, so much!

    To help survive Dreamforce, make sure you are in comfortable clothing and footwear! ¬†Remember to pack light so you don’t carry everything around with you and try to time when you go to the Expo Hall to pick up your swag, so that way you don’t have to carry it around with you all day!

    6. Be patient.

    With so many people swarming around downtown San Francisco, all looking to learn as much as they can about Salesforce, it can get a little frustrating at times navigating the crowds.

    Remember to be patient, everyone is there is get the most out of the experience too.  Try to get to sessions early, and be prepared to be waiting in line.

    7. Be approachable.

    To help pass the time when in a line, strike up a conversation with those around you.

    Personally, I found some of the most interesting conversations at the conference by doing this.  And you can learn from challenges or use cases you both might share.

    Not everyone can just strike up a conversation out of thin air.  And that is ok.  Remember you are both in line for the same session, use that as a conversation starter!

    There are plenty of social functions being planned too by Salesforce and third-party vendors (see below). ¬†But remember an event this size doesn’t happen every day ūüėČ So you only get a chance to network with this many Salesforce professionals once a year!

    8. Get hands on.

    Cloud Expo at Dreamforce 2016
    CloudExpo Hall @ Dreamforce 2016

    In Moscone Center, there is an opportunity to get hands on. ¬†Coding Drop-in Clinics, Admin Reviews, Lightning UX consultations… ¬†If it was something to do with Salesforce, there was a session to learn about it! ¬†The Trailhead theme last year was brilliant and there was so much going on at the different ‘base camps’ and ‘ranger stations’, you could easily spend a day or two just in these halls!

    Go to the Expo Hall, learn about the AppExchange and new tools you might be able to use in your org. ¬†This is also where you are likely to get the most of your swag! ūüôā

    9. Finally… Get dance-y!

    Finally there is also some fun to be had!¬† After all you have to survive Dreamforce in style ūüôā

    Flo Rida at Dreamforce 2016
    Flo Rida @ Dreamforce 2016

    This year will see Metallica taking to the big Dreamfest stage and possibly other acts to support.

    This is the time to let your hair down after a long conference.

    Throughout the week though, there is so much happening.  Salesforce and their partners know how to put on an event!

    But what else is happening throughout the week?  Well, Anaplan has collated a party planner & there is also a post over at SalesforceBen to help you get your groove on!

    Got any Salesforce survival tips of your own?

    Please share in the comments section below!

    Remember there is a Trailhead module now for helping you get the most out of Dreamforce, and¬†if you haven’t registered yet, head on over to the Dreamforce site to buy your tickets (if there are any left!).

  • What is the difference between Process Builder and Workflow?

    Recently the Force.com Developer certification was retired, and all certificate holders were encouraged to switch to the Platform App Builder certification. Which is exactly what I did. One of the things that stuck out to me though, was ‘what is the difference between Process Builder and Workflow’?

    Both tools have now been around for a while. Though a lot of admins still aren’t sure about the difference between the two. So in this post, we will look at the difference between the two and more importantly when you might choose one over the other.

    What is Process Builder and Workflows?

    So let’s start at the beginning… What exactly are Process Builder and Workflows? In short, they are two features within Salesforce which allow you to build process automation within the system.

    Process Builder versus Workflow, which should you use?  What is the difference between Process Builder and Workflow?
    Process automation, helps simplify the user experience

    Both, Process Builder and Workflows, are very similar in the fact they allow you to define criteria and then do ‘something’ automatically without the need to code. This is what is called Declarative Development, or in Salesforce speak ‘clicks-not-code’ may be something you may have heard.

    You may have a process requirement you can automate for your users. For example when an Opportunity is updated to ‘Closed Won’, you then need to create another record (like a Contract) and send a notification to the Fulfilment team. This type of process can easily be done using the process automation tools within Salesforce, with no coding skills required.

    This is one of Salesforce’s strengths in the CRM space. A large number of other CRMs out there, typically did not (and still don’t) allow any users within the system access to this type of process automation. Instead requiring custom development / coding to setup or buying additional expensive add-on packages.

    Salesforce Workflows Rules & Actions

    Salesforce Workflow Rules & Actions have been available in the system now for a long time. Dating back many, many years – they were even available in the system before I started using Salesforce (all the way back in 2011). Workflow rules on custom objects were released back in Winter ’06… That is over 12 years ago now!

    Workflows Rules allow you to define a set of criteria. And then you control when the rule might fire (eg when a record is created, or every time it is updated).

    Additionally when the rule fires, it can be set to complete a number of the following actions:

    • Field Updates
    • Email Alerts
    • Create Tasks
    • Send an Outbound Message

    As a result, most Admins can then automate business processes with simple clicks-not-code.

    Salesforce Workflows: A Workflow Rule and Action

    But there was still a ‘wall’. This would be the point that you would have to move over to Apex triggers and classes to continue automating more complex processes…

    Additionally, there was no easy way to follow the entire process within the system. If you had multiple workflows firing at different steps, there was no way to see these easily. Diagnosing issues in a process become very complex. And Process Builder was born!

    Salesforce Process Builder

    Process Builder, or Lightning Process Builder as it is now called, started life as a beta in the Winter ’15 release. And one of its main goals was to allow Admins to create the entire process in one place, rather than using multiple workflow rules.

    So the big ‘win’ here how you can connect different steps together to make a single process flow. And it is very visual.

    Also by creating a complete process, you can also control which step is executed when. This was an issue with Workflow Rules, you couldn’t specify the order in which a workflow rule would be processed. At least not without a lot of cumbersome customisation work (new fields, extra workflows, field updates, etc).

    Process Builder simply allows you to drag and drop your rule criteria. Meaning you can have more control over the order things are processed:

    Process Builder, drag and drop criteria to rearrange order

    Add into the mix, some of the more advanced features which Process Builder now allows Admins to do:

    • Create Records (not just task records)
    • Update fields on any related record
    • Post to Chatter
    • Invoke other processes
    • Launch a Flow
    • Submit a record for Approval
    • Call/invoke an Apex class

    This is where we start to see some of the key differences between Process Builder and Workflows.

    And you can start to see why Process Builder has been created. It continues to drive the ‘clicks-not-code’ philosophy further, and continues to bridge the gap between what Admins can do versus Salesforce Developers.

    So, what is the difference between Process Builder and Workflow?

    To give you a high level breakdown between the two, let’s compare them side-by-side:

    Difference between Process Builder and Workflow... Which should you use?
    Process Builder vs Workflows… Which should you use?

    Additional Consideration: Bulk Record Updates

    There are one additional thing to consider though, namely existing automation within your org. Especially around support when bulk inserting or updating records (eg when updating 30,000 records via Data Loader). The good news is that Process Builder was ‘bulkified‘ (as of Winter ’16). However there can be issues when the code may not be setup in a way which accounts for Process Builder. This is something that Workflows handle without much further consideration…

    Existing Triggers, Workflows, etc may need to be reviewed to ensure Process Builder will work nicely alongside. Here is a detailed breakdown from David Liu over at SFDC99. It is a guide to when to code versus when not too, but it is aimed at advanced admins/developers.

    Update: 23rd July РBulkification for Process Builder 

    The way Process Builder manages bulk requests is a point worth considering before implementing Process Builder.  A bulk request can be from importing contacts into your CRM, or an integration which updates a number of records as part of its process.

    When designing your solution, you should also focus on scalability and overall robustness of the design.  What do I mean by scalability?  I am referring to the the ability of your solution to handle increased volumes of data in the future.

    This article from ShellBlack (refer Rule #4), dives into the topic of Bulkification and Process Builder further.  And advises on some of the points you should consider before choosing Process Builder vs Workflows.

    A further discussion point on the Trailblazer Community Idea also expands on this topic.

    Want to learn more?

    For a full breakdown of the automation tools within Salesforce, you can view the list in Salesforce Docs.

    And if you want some hands-on practise, around implementing an end-to-end solution, there is a Process Automation Specialist Superbadge on Trailhead. These Superbadges cover the relevant theory but also gives you a use case and business requirements that you then need to solve and create the correct solution.

    Alternatively, if you don’t feel like completing the Superbadge at this stage – you can always go direct to the Trailhead quick-start module on Process Builder.

     

    UPDATED 23rd July 2018: to expand on the issue of bulkification and Process Builder

  • Becoming a Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant

    Recently I did the double whammy of Platform App Builder and Platform Developer I¬†exams.¬† I have had a few questions about another certification I have done recently, the¬†Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant Certification (CRT-251).¬† So in this post let’s cover what the exam is, what it is testing and some resources to help you prepare for the exam.

    Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant – Who is it for?

    First thing is first, you don’t need to be a consultant to get this exam.¬† I would actually strongly recommend Admins prepare and sit the exam.

    Why?

    The exam obviously tests you on a number of areas within the Sales Cloud package.  But the primary focus of the Sales Cloud Consultant certification is implementing the right solution within Sales Cloud.

    So you will need to use your understanding of the features within Sales Cloud, and chose the right way to implement a solution.

    Sales Cloud in action... Important to know if your planning on becoming a Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud ConsultantTo this extent, most of the questions on the exam are scenarios/use case based. And like most other exams, you have to select the right multiple choice answer.

    Sample question…

    Here is a sample question from the Study Guide:

    Universal Containers is using Salesforce and has set up a private sharing model. Sam is a
    sales executive who reports to John, a sales manager. Sam has ownership of the ABC
    Company account record and has created an opportunity for ABC Company. There is a
    sharing rule that allows the finance team to see all accounts and opportunities.
    Which statement about data visibility is true?

    Choose one answer
    A. John and Sam can see all of the same data.
    B. John can see all of Sam’s data but Sam CANNOT see all of John’s data.
    C. The finance team must be added to the sales team in order to see Sam’s op
    D. John must be added to the sales team in order to see Sam’s opportunity.

    As you can see, this is a scenario any business with Sales Cloud may face.  Who can see what, is one of the fundamental things of the Salesforce platform.

    So to choose the right answer you need to know how the core system works.  How do Sharing Rules, Org-Wide Defaults, Record Ownership, Role Hierarchy and Sales Teams work together?  And how would they affect the above scenario, based on the information you are given?

    So what did you select for the answer?  (Answer is at the end of the article).

    Let’s break it down…¬† What does the exam cover?

    The exam does cover a lot of topics within the ‘Salesforce universe’.¬† But the good news is that it is focused on the Sales Cloud only.¬† So Service Cloud/Marketing Cloud/Wave Analytics/etc are not covered, meaning you can focus your energies.¬† But I will stress that there is a sales/marketing element to the exam, particularly around Campaigns within Sales Cloud…

    Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant badge

    One way I like to prepare for an exam is to reference to the official Study Guide, and look at the weighting for certain topics within the exam.  So for the Sales Cloud Consultant Exam (in order of % weighting):

    • Sales Cloud Solution Design (25%)
    • Opportunity Management (15%)
    • Account and Contact Management (12%)
    • Sales Productivity (12%)
    • Integration and Data Management (8%)
    • Marketing and Leads (7%)
    • Implementation Strategies (6%)
    • Sales Cloud Analytics (5%)
    • Communities and Site Management (5%)
    • Industry Knowledge (5%)

    This is a little high level, but you can see a breakdown of these topics in the study guide.  Now to break it down a bit further, some of the key things you will need to make sure you understand include (in no particular order):

    • Campaign management
    • Person Accounts
    • Sales Processes within Sales Cloud (Lead->Opportunity->Quote->Contract)
    • Products & Pricebooks
    • Orders
    • Using multiple currencies within Salesforce
    • Territory Management
    • Forecasting
    • Communities
    • Role Hierarchy
    • Approvals & Workflows/Process Builder
    • Sharing Rules / Org-Wide Defaults
    • Sales Reports and Dashboards (KPIs / metric based reports for Sales teams)
    • Role Hierarchy
    • Sales Teams
    • Lightning Experience!¬† (make sure you know how the above work within Lightning Experience too!)

    This isn’t a complete list, but it will get you started and covers the majority of the exam.

     

    Resources to help you study for the exam

    As you can see above, the largest percentage of the exam is around solution design.  And so many of the questions are around implementation/solution choices.  Study will help but you will likely need hands-on experience.  It is all about taking use cases and choosing the right solution.

    But study does help… So fear not there is plenty of help you¬†become a Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant!¬† Keep in mind, a lot of the following sites¬†are from mid 2016 or earlier though, so always check the release notes since to see if there are updates.¬†¬†

    Starting out, there is a Trailmix get help you learn the fundamentals.  This includes a lot of the fundamentals of the Sales Cloud package.

    I also found Youtube, immensely helpful by being able to search for specific videos on topics covered by the exam.  For example this one on Territory Management from Dreamforce helps understand the sales topic/business case side of things (it is a long video FYI).  But you have access to so many videos on each topic.  So if you are a visual learner like me, seeing a demo/the feature in action really helps me understand it.

    Next up, and one of my personal favs, is SalesforceBen’s post on resources.¬† There are links to a number of implementation guides from Salesforce, giving you some hands on experience (similar to Trailhead) but a lot more focused on the implementation.

    There is a post over at SalesforceMemo also covering some of the concepts/sample questions needed to pass the exam, which I found useful.

    Additionally, Heller Consulting have a ‘Q and A’ style approach to the exam.

    And finally, Tamara talks about her experience in sitting for the exam.

    Wrap Up

    A key theme throughout this has been ‘implementation’, and that has been very deliberate!¬† Knowing how you can use the base settings/features of Sales Cloud to meet business requirements and deliver a solution is key.

    One thing I am personally against is ‘Exam Dumps’.¬† Personally I would much rather study and practice and pass on my own merit.¬† In the long run, having the base understanding is so much more beneficial.

    Hopefully this post helps you out, and of course good luck for the exam.  If you have any tips of your own or resources you found useful, please feel free to add them in the comments section below.

    Answer to the sample question above

    What did you pick?¬† If you picked ‘B’ you are correct.

  • Time to prepare for Summer ’18 Release

    It only feels like a few months since Spring ’18 release… Oh wait, it was.¬† As time marches on, we are now due for the next release from Salesforce with Summer ’18 release.¬† Over the coming weeks we will start the normal release readiness prep, but what are the key dates of the release?¬† And when will Summer ’18 be released? Additionally what features might we expect to see from Salesforce Summer ’18 release?

    Summer ’18 Release: Key Dates

    As with every release, there are a number of key dates you have to be aware of.

    Most of this is sourced from the Release Readiness Group and you can download a handy infographic here (source: Salesforce).

    April 19th – Pre-release orgs are available to preview the new release.

    April 23rd – The Preview Release Notes will be published.

    May 4th РSandbox cutoff date.  Remember to check here for instructions on which sandbox instance a refresh will land on.

    May 18th, June 1st, June 8th – there are three release windows for Summer ’18 into production environments.¬† Which depends on your Salesforce instance.¬† You can check the dates relevant for your instance, here.

    There will also be a number of Release Readiness webinars, and sessions which will be posted via the Release Readiness Group in the Trailblazer Community.

    Summer ’18: Possible Features

    Because I am not one to generally wait…¬† Impatient, I know…¬† So I started searching the product roadmaps to see what is likely to be released as part of the Summer ’18 release.¬† Combined with a number of webinars I have watched, this is a list of some of the features likely to show in this release.

    But please note – this list isn’t definitive or guaranteed list.¬† And we will get official confirmation within the next week as the Pre-Release Orgs & Preview Release Notes become available.¬†

    So let’s jump in and speculate as to what we might see…

    Lightning Report Builder & Dashboards

    We are likely to see a lot more features being rolled out to the new Report Builder feature.  These are likely to include:

    • Joined Reports, finally in Lightning – albeit this is likely to be a beta/pilot release
    • The ability to create field to field filters. This will allow you to compare two fields directly within the report builder, without needing to build report formulas or custom fields. For example you could run a filter where Created Date equals any custom date field on your object.
    • The ability to create reporting sub folders.¬† So you could setup a ‘Sales’ folder, but then have sub folders for each sales team within it.
    • Ability to sort columns based on a summarised/aggregated value.
    • Setting dashboard schedules for multiple users

    Files

    Files is likely to see the introduction of a Library-type functionality.  This will be no doubt be a nudge for users still on Content/Libraries to move over to the newer Files functionality.

    Platform Enhancements

    The rollout of branding/themes started with the last couple of releases.  We will likely get the ability to now theme/brand each app individually (rather than one theme applying org wide).

    List views will also see Mass Quick Actions rolled out to more objects too.  While Persons Accounts should get the ability to create custom Quick Actions on the object.

    And Product Schedules should finally become available in Lightning Experience.  This should stop users having to switch back to Salesforce Classic to enable product schedules, or to establish/modify schedules for products.  Which is something one of my orgs uses alot, and has blocked Lightning roll-out for that team.

    Wrap up

    We will see if these possible features are actually included in Summer – and no doubt there will be a number of other additions which haven’t been included here… There are always 1,000s of features in each release – so I know we only touched the surface here!

    Appendix

    If you want to know more, one of the most helpful videos outlining some of the new features on the roadmap, is this one: True to the Core, which was originally included in my last post Dreamforce 2017 roundup.

    Also the Lightning Roadmap is available here, but a little out of date now Spring ’18 is in preview, it is available here.

    Hope that helps with exploring in more detail.

  • Passing the Platform App Builder & Platform Developer I Exams

    Sometimes overconfidence catches up to you when you least expect it.¬† That is probably really obvious.¬† But for me recently it was about two months ago, when I sat both the Platform App Builder Transition exam and the Platform Developer I exam.¬† When I went into the exam centre here in London, sat down and clicked the ‘Begin Exam’ button, only to find I was woefully unprepared for the exams…

    The result of that day, two exams failed.¬† But the story doesn’t end there.

    So I am going to share some of my personal Salesforce experiences leading up to this point and more importantly my lessons learned and resources which helped me ultimately pass both exams.

    Journey To Certified Technical Architect

    Stepping back in time for a moment, I passed my first exams back in 2012.  And I do say exams, as in plural.

    In May 2012, I decided to sit both the Salesforce Admin (ADM-201) & Force.com Developer (DEV-401) exams on the same day.

    I decided to take the plunge after working with Salesforce for around a year and get certified.

    Passes for both the Certified Administrator & Force.com Developer exams...
    Passes for both the Certified Administrator & Force.com Developer exams…

     

    My objective was simple enough, and I wanted to get a recognised credential I could take with me when I moved to the UK.  I figured having a globally recognised certification would help the transition and ultimately help me find employment.

    My plane to Abu Dhabi on the way to London…

    It was a time of massive change (picking up and moving to the other side of the world).¬† But my main ambition was to set up in London and travel around Europe.¬† And if you know many Aussies in London, this is a little stereotypical ūüôā

    But those first steps I took, have set me on a path I have never looked back on.

    And over the last year, I have been continued planning next steps and my future direction within the Salesforce community and ecosystem.

    With the launch of the new certifications from Salesforce in late 2016, I have decided (like a lot of people) to slowly start working towards the goal of becoming a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect.

    Patterns are easy to form

    With a couple of other certifications over the last 18 months (like the Advanced Admin & Sales Cloud Consultant) – I relied more on my personal experiences and knowledge of the platform, rather than directly studying for the exams.

    Platform App Builder & Platform Developer I are both on the pathway to Certified Technical Artchitect
    Platform App Builder & Platform Developer I certifications are both on the pathway to Certified Technical Architect

    Sure, I ended up referencing the study guides, but after running through some practice quizzes, I was relatively sure I wouldn’t need further study.¬† But with this, I started to build a pattern of not taking the exams seriously enough.¬† Taking for granted my hands-on experiences and knowledge over the years getting me across the line.

    And so, I found myself eagerly booking in my App Builder transition exam & the Platform Developer I exam…

    Overconfidence and failure

    Why was I so unprepared?  You can probably guess where we are heading with this next part!

    I made the first mistake of where I expected the Platform App Builder exam to be the easier of the two exams that day.  In my head I just assumed it was just like the Force.com Developer Exam (DEV-401), which it was replacing.

    The transition exam is only 20 questions, but there is new material which is covered by the exam (and rightly so!).  But with only 20 questions, and being over-confident blinded me to the fact I should have studied.

    Overconfidence can get you in trouble

    Secondly I had booked both exams on the same day…¬† Which isn’t generally a great idea in the first place.¬† As it doesn’t leave you time to deal with a negative result before moving straight onto the next exam.¬† The unexpected failure on the Platform App Builder transition knocked me for six (a cricket metaphor for those who don’t know what this means).

    And I knew going into the exams that the Platform Developer I exam was going to be the weaker of two…¬† But even still, I assumed by developer experience of the last year would be enough to get by.

    Leaving the exam centre that day, I took the result badly.  I was being very hard on myself and kicked myself for not taking the exams seriously enough.  How could I have just expected to coast by?  Did I not know Salesforce at all?

    With my anxiety, my mind was the harshest critic and it tore me to shreds…¬† But I vowed to make sure not to repeat the mistakes again.¬† And to do that I needed acknowledge what went wrong, and plan a way forward.

    Take Two: Adam Strikes Back

    So quietly I made preparations to re-sit both exams.

    After coming up with a study plan and finding a number of helpful resources (which are shared below).  I can proudly say I am back on track and have passed both exams.

    row of traffic lights, green lights illuminated (digital composite) - source: TelegraphI must be a glutton for punishment as I still re-booked both exams on the same day, but the exam centre isn’t that easy for me to get to, so I ensured I booked time slots which would give me some time in between¬†if needed.

    And as a funny/side anecdote¬† – as I was driving to the test centre, I had a ‘green light’ run.¬† Where every traffic light was either green or turned green on my way…¬† That never happens in London!

    Salesforce Platform App Builder Platform App Builder: Where did I go wrong?

    Now this may come from my past experiences and working with Salesforce now for over 7 years (hence over-confidence) but some of the questions on the Platform App Builder exam are easy… I mean really easy.¬† And almost make you second guess the answer as it is so obvious you think it is a trick question.

    I second guessed my answer about sandboxes the first time round, and ended up over thinking it and picking the wrong option… **DOH**

    But the area that really sunk me the first time around, generally related to the setting up of External Objects.¬† As I haven’t used these features of Salesforce, I was guessing.¬† And after studying External Objects, I know I got these completely wrong in that fateful first go of the exam!

    Also understanding the system limitations re: changing field data types was important as I had a couple of questions on this topic.

    Platform App Builder: Study Resources

    • SalesforceBen is pretty much a one stop shop for most certification exams nowadays, and the Platform App Builder was no exception.
    • Trailhead has a Trailmix specifically aimed at this certification
    • Salesforce888 & SalesforceMike both have a breakdown of the Platform App Builder Transition Exam

    And the Quizlet also has a number of flashcards/practise exams, but I found some of them had incorrect answers… So not 100% useful if you don’t know the answers.¬† Personally I used this one (link broken), and they seemed correct.

    Salesforce Platform Developer IPlatform Developer I: Where did I go wrong?

    There were a couple of areas, but the biggest areas I found when I failed needed to work on were the test execution/design patterns.¬† As I have never used Test Factory Data design or stored test data in Static Resources. Instead I have generally included a test method in the code I have written… But this isn’t very efficient in the long run!

    I also forgot topics in the exam that I know.¬† As an example I forgot the Order of Execution during the exam… Does a validation rule fire after a workflow?¬† I went completely blank…¬† I put this down to sitting this exam directly after failing the Platform App Builder.

    There are also five ‘product related questions’ throughout the exam, which actually have no bearing on the end-result.¬† At the time I did my exam, these related to Heroku (and I assume I got these wrong).¬† And I remember getting most of these early in the exam and this combined with the early failure in the exam before left me mentally panicking and I was freaking out that I knew nothing!¬† It was like reading another language!

    Platform Developer I: Study Resources

    • Order of Execution is key knowledge which is tested multiple times in the exam.¬† The questions I got in the test related to workflows, validation rules and triggers specifically.¬† But there could be other questions testing your understanding of this, and how to avoid recursion.
    • Vandevelde Jan’s blog post about the Platform Developer I exam was one of the most comprehensive I found online.¬† I can’t recommend it highly enough for those studying for this exam.
    • As mentioned above,¬†SalesforceBen is also a go-to resource for certification resources and unsurprisingly has a post dedicated to the Platform Developer I.
    • There are additional resources available in this Trailblazer Community post.
    • And finally there is also a Trailmix focused on the Platform Developer I certification

    If you have access to Premier Support, you also have this online course for the Platform Developer I available to you.  It is an extensive overview of the course and exam questions.

    Have you got any resources relating to these exams to share?

    Please feel free to add them in the comments section below.

  • Cutting the Clutter: Maintaining a Clean Salesforce Org

    Maintaining a clean Salesforce org, doesn’t need to be a battle. Recently, I was watching a great webinar by Kelly & Leanne entitled ‘Cut that Clutter‘. And it got me thinking about how the problems faced by a cluttered Salesforce, and how it can easily consume an Admin’s time and effort. And it not only affects us as Admins, but also our end users! So in this post I am going to recap some of the awesome tips shared in this webinar, and also see offer some additional FREE tools to tackle the problem that so many of us face!

    The War Against Clutter

    Ok, ok. I admit that this header is full of hyperbole.

    Maintaining a Clean Salsforce, shouldn't be a battle...
    Don’t raise the white flag, in the war against clutter!

    But a cluttered Salesforce creates a lot of frustration and anxiety for me. And I assume most it does for most of you reading this too! My personal vendetta against clutter drives me to ensure I am always improving the org for my end-users…

    I have previously written about how we started to tame the Technical Debt beast haunting our primary orgs and removed over 2 million records from an org (hint: very manually).

    But there is still so much to do…

    It is a seemingly never-ending fight. But as Admin’s we are always looking for tools and resources to help us in our day to day Admin Superhero duties. And to help us in maintaining a clean Salesforce org…

    Cut that Clutter! – The Recap

    Now before we get much further. If you have a spare 30mins I strongly recommend that you watch the webinar as I am only going to briefly summarise it here…

    The session covers the Three-S’s. These are the primary areas to focus on, to ensure your CRM is kept in tip-top shape.

    • Security – making sure you know who can see what in your CRM
    • Structure – does the setup of Salesforce ensure data security and meet any data governance requirements
    • Strategy – how to plan and scale while ensuring you don’t have to keep doing ‘big clean-ups’ each year

    If you want to hear more, then please check out the video.

    Cut that Clutter: Resources mentioned

    Next up, the ladies mentioned some great tools to help you in maintaining your Salesforce org.

    From Salesforce:

    • Salesforce Optimizer (aka Optimiser in non-US/Canada countries ūüôā ) – I am in LOVE with Optimizer reports. It is such an amazing tool to help you analyse and understand where the Technical Debt is likely to be hiding within your org. This should be your first port of call, in maintaining a clean Salesforce. That is how much I love it!
    • Security Health Check – helps you understand any vulnerabilities you may have within your Salesforce. This covers areas like Password Policies, Critical Updates, etc.

    From AppExchange:

    • Field Trip – this tool is one I install in every org I have managed now for a number of years!! It is a great tool to help analyse and understand just which fields are being populated and used by your end users. It is worth noting, that if you have a field that is always updated automatically by a trigger/workflow… Then it will obviously show as being used, even if that trigger/workflow update isn’t actually required. But overall it will help you understand your org in very tangible way.
    • The Permissioner – can help you when mass assigning/removing Permission Sets from your users.

    From Trailhead:

    Additionally the ladies have set up an Admin Trailmix.

    This covers a number of modules covering: Salesforce Profiles/Permission Sets, User Authentication, Data Quality, Data Management and finally Reporting & Dashboards.

    Help with maintaining a clean Salesforce org

    Extra, extra! Two more tools to add to your Salesforce Cleaning toolkit…

    Now for the bonus round.

    There are always so many tools and ideas out there helping admins when maintaining a clean Salesforce org. And I am only skimming the surface with these next two tools…

    Compare Permission Sets & Profiles

    When watching the webinar, albeit not live, I started shouting at my screen.

    During the Security section, there was a point around Profiles/Permission Sets. As an admin it is a mammoth task to compare all profiles/permission sets and what they might grant access to within your org. This can be kryptonite to Salesforce Superadmins…

    There was a recommendation to switch off Enhanced Profile View, and then compare the permissions… But why do that? Especially, when there is a secret weapon at your disposal?

    Perm Comparator by John Brock is that secret weapon!

    Seriously… More people need to know about this tool! And I am not even on commission! ūüôā

    Stop duplicates in their tracks…

    Salesforce hasn’t always been an admin’s best friend when it came to cleaning an org…And without getting all ‘back in my day’-ish…

    But there was a time Optimizer, Security Health Check and those tools simply didn’t exist.

    There was also a time Salesforce didn’t have an easy way to prevent duplicates… Admins had to either buy other tools to identify and manage duplicates, or create complex formulas and validation rules to try and prevent exact match duplicates.

    But when planning your strategy for maintaining a clean Salesforce, you should investigate the in-built duplicate management tools from Salesforce.

    After all, what good is cleaning up your security (profiles, access policies, passwords) and clearing out fields you don’t use any more – if your end users are still swimming in duplicate records?!

    The in-built feature will take care of the basics, but depending on your use case, there may still be a reason to buy a tool like Cloudingo or DemandTools (just to name a few).

    What is in your toolkit?

    De-cluttering your Salesforce can be so rewarding!
    De-cluttering can be so rewarding!

    As I mentioned I only skimmed the surface here… And this is a topic I can (and will likely) write more about in the future. I have rambled more than enough for now…

    So to wrap up the post, feel free to add any other suggestions or recommendations for your ‘Cleaning Salesforce Toolkit’ into the comments section below.

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