salesforce optimizer

  • 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.

  • Summer ’17 Deep Dive: Salesforce Optimizer

    What is Optimizer?

    Simply put Salesforce Optimizer is a reporting tool which gives you valuable insight into areas which may need addressing within a Salesforce instance.

    The report is very easy to read and¬†I can’t tell you how much I love Salesforce Optimizer. ¬†Want to define some areas of technical debt to target? ¬†Optimizer is here to help! What more could an Awesome Admin want?! ūüôā ¬†Working across two instances (a¬†legacy org¬†and a new org), this report gives me insight into areas to focus on and this feeds directly into our roadmap.

    But it isn’t just for old orgs. ¬†You would be surprised how many newer instances also have some areas¬†to address. ¬†With Salesforce Optimizer report, you can easily analyse some of the common pain points in any org.

    And now it is even better in the latest Summer ’17 release. ¬†The team behind Optimizer now have added in some additional areas to analyse!

    Identifying Technical Debt

    Salesforce Optimizer covers quite a few key areas every¬†Salesforce admin should keep an eye on. ¬†It is a great place to start if you are looking to do a spring clean of your org or reduce an org’s technical debt.

    Currently it evaluates a number of setup and configuration areas and generates a really insightful report.  The report provides easy to understand breakdown on what is the issue, why it should be addressed and what you should do to fix it.

    In the Spring ’17 release, it went live covering the following areas in Salesforce:

    • Field Usage (object limits & usage)
    • Apex Triggers (limits)
    • Custom Layouts (page layouts, record types)
    • Validation Rules (active & inactive)
    • Sharing Rules
    • Workflow Rules
    • User Permissions (specifically who has administrator access)
    • Profiles/Permissions Sets


    Salesforce Optimizer & Improvements in Summer ’17 Release

    As part of Summer ’17, Optimizer also gets a number of improvements. ¬†There are three key additions as part of the Summer ’17 release and they are:

    Salesforce Optimizer improvements in Summer '17
    Are you ready for the Summer ’17 release?

    Profiles and Permissions Sets

    In Summer ’17, you can now find¬†any profiles/permission sets that aren’t¬†allocated to any of your users. ¬†The fact these are now included in the report is fantastic, and definitely helps remove some of the clutter.

    In my opinion there is still more that Optimizer can do in this area. ¬†For example comparing profiles, so difficult in Salesforce… ¬†But for an easy way to compare permissions and permission sets, I recommend using¬†Perm-Comparator. ¬†It is a free tool and works wonders!

    Locate hard-coded URL references

    Hard-coded URLs can cause links to break when you make certain changes to your org (like activate your custom domain).  They also present a problem if your org ever goes through a Salesforce org-split, as the server location may change as part of this process.

    Users’ login activity

    Also in this release, Salesforce Optimizer now reports your users’ login activity and then flags users that haven’t logged in recently or never activated their accounts.

    Other general improvements

    With all software these days, a new release gives the development team the chance to update the service with some general user tweaks & bug fixes to the report.


    Feedback with the Product Team

    The Optimizer Product team are listening. ¬†If you want to provide feedback you can go to the Release Readiness & Feature Adoption¬†group and use the topic ‘OptimizerReportFeedback‘.

  • Summer ’17 Deep Dive: Salesforce Einstein

    Since being announced, Salesforce Einstein is something I really want to get more involved with. ¬†The initial fanfare from Dreamforce last year hasn’t disappeared. ¬†If you are like me, you probably waiting to see how it can benefit your users before taking the next step. ¬†But with Summer ’17 release, Salesforce Einstein gets some very welcome additions.

    Salesforce Einstein, a brief history…

    Salesforce Einstein Insights
    Salesforce Einstein Insights

    Firstly if you haven’t heard of Salesforce Einstein, welcome back to Planet Salesforce ūüôā ¬† Being¬†launched at Dreamforce last year and is the name of the new AI platform which Salesforce is baking right into its core. ¬†For a quick intro video, here is a Salesforce¬†promo video¬†(~1min) for Sales Cloud Einstein.

    The last two releases have seen it slowly starting to appear across the various clouds (ie Sales/Service/Marketing/Platform/IoT/etc). ¬†Initially it was launched in Winter ’17 with some features regarding Lead Scoring, Activity Insights in Sales Cloud and Predictive Scoring in the Marketing Cloud (click here to watch the video).

    Spring ’17 release further expanded this with predictions and additional insights for Accounts and Opportunities within Sales Cloud. ¬†App Platform and Communities also received some additional features…

    The first two releases really seemed a little bit light. ¬† I am not saying the Product team have an easy job but I want to see more! ūüėČ ¬†And that we were yet to see the full power of Salesforce Einstein. ¬†Is it ready for take-off?

    Roll-on Summer ’17

    As per my recent post, Summer ’17 pre-release notes are now published. ¬†So what does the next release bring us in terms of Salesforce Einstein?

    1. Sales Cloud Einstein Readiness Report

    Well first off the bat, you will now be able to run a report on your¬†Sales Cloud Einstein Readiness. ¬†This is a smart move by Salesforce. ¬†It follows a pattern of ‘readiness reports’ being made available for Lightning Experience and Optimizer¬†(see my last post here).

    I am looking forward to being able to run this in my org and see what the results are!  No doubt there will be a dependency on Lightning Experience being enabled in your org.  So there might be similar dependencies on enabling both.

    Salesforce Summer '17 Release logo
    Are you ready for the Summer ’17 release?

    2. Automated Contacts & Email Matching

    Einstein can now automatically suggest potential contacts to be created into Salesforce based on emails and events.  It can also suggest setting the contact role against opportunities based on those activities.

    This will be a simple but amazing feature for users.  My sales teams hate having to log their emails using Salesforce for Outlook.

    Anything that helps¬†minimise sales admin time, can be added into the business case for getting Salesforce Einstein. ūüôā

    3. High Velocity Sales

    This one is quite intriguing.  It does seem to be Salesforce bundling together a number of features available to orgs with Lightning Experience and Einstein enabled.

    By combining the features of Sales Console, Lead Scoring, Lightning Dialer (formerly Lightning Voice) and Activity Capture.  Salesforce is helping sales people streamline their work.

    Lightning Dialer… ¬†Looks like quite a useful add-on and now allows you to setup a call lists. ¬†If only it was available outside of US/Canada!!

    4. Improvements to Lead Scoring & build processes around it

    You can now access the ‘ScoreInsight’ object, which is where Salesforce Einstein stores its insight based scoring. ¬†You can now use this via custom formula fields, Process Builder, triggers or Apex. ¬†This might not sound immediately useful…

    But imagine being able to update the lead status, assign it to a campaign and potentially prioritise the lead.  All through automation based on the insights provided by Einstein.

    Salesforce Einstein, ready for takeoff?

    Einstein ready for take-off?

    For me this is the first release that Einstein actually begins to add value to end-users.

    I am¬†waiting with bated breath for the readiness report which becomes available with Summer ’17 release. ¬†I am very eager to test it out on a legacy org and see the recommendations. ¬†To be fair, I am not expecting a silver bullet with Einstein. ¬†You know the old saying about data – crap in, crap out! ūüôā ¬†Though Einstein won’t solve data issues within your data, at least not at this stage…

    But this will no doubt serve as a fork in the road where the business case for buying Einstein might actually become viable.  And it will rapidly continue to expand across the Salesforce platform in the coming releases.

    Final word

    While researching this post, I found an interesting video series on Youtube. ¬†Salesforce has created a new playlist, ‘FY18 The Year of Einstein‘. ¬†The videos show how Einstein can be used to empower a business. ¬†How? ¬†In typical Salesforce fashion by highlighting use cases from the usual suspects (Coca-cola, Amazon AWS, etc). ¬†I am intrigued about what Einstein Vision has the potential for, but in my current role I can’t see much use of it at this point in time though…


    What about you?  Use the comments below to share your thoughts.  What are you excited about with Salesforce Einstein.  Is there a specific use case you are looking at Einstein to help you with?

  • Salesforce Summer ’17 is here!

    The Seagulls have landed (and hopefully not stolen your chips!). ¬†For those eagerly awaiting the Salesforce Summer ’17 release, the preview notes are now live.

    But what are some of the key takeaways of the Summer ’17 release? ¬†What does the Salesforce Summer ’17 release potentially have in store for you? ¬†And what are the top 10 stand-out features of the release?

    So let’s get started and dive on in. ¬†And if you haven’t already check out the preview release notes here.

    Salesforce Summer ’17

    Salesforce Summer '17 Release logo
    Are you ready for the Summer ’17 release?


    There is no surprise but this is a yet another very Lightning Experience focused release.   As per my last post, I mentioned that there will be a continued focus on feature parity with Salesforce Classic.  Additionally there seems to be performance improvements too when using Lightning (at least in the Preview Dev instance).


    Top 10 features of Summer ’17

    Now let’s jump straight into my top 10 features from the Salesforce Summer ’17 release.

    1. A key feature of this release includes a revamped Migration Assistant and options to drive user adoption of Lightning Experience. Providing you with more insights into how ready your org is to make the switch, and¬†includes a focus on helping Admins resolve migration issues with things like JavaScript custom buttons. ¬†Plus you can ‘encourage’ adoption of Lightning Experience, with the ability to now remove access for users to switch back to Classic.

      Salesforce is really making a big push for users to make the switch over to Lightning Experience.  As mentioned before it is no real surprise that this release is very Lightning Experience oriented and most of the features are gaining parity with Salesforce Classic.  But at least with the Migration Readiness report you can make an educated decision and start planning for a Lightning Experience roll-out.Salesforce Summer '17 - Lightning Migration Wizard

    2. Keyboard shortcuts now available throughout Lightning Experience.  Just press CTRL-/ (WIN) or CMD-/ (Mac) to see what is available.
    3. You can now setup and view Field History lists¬†in Lightning Experience. ¬†This is one fits in the “why wasn’t this there already?” bucket!
    4. Another one for all Admins out there.  Got a picklist field on an object, but want to change it to a Global Picklist?  Worried about migrating the field values?  Worry no-more!  You can now promote a picklist to a Global Picklist.Summer '17 - Global Picklist
    5. There are a swag of improvements to Global Search.  The stand out for me is the ability to now setup a connected search provider, and then use that to search from within Salesforce.  This utilises OpenSearch and allows you to see results from connected external search engines, right from the Salesforce search results page.  And best of all, this feature is available in Lightning Experience & Classic.So imagine connecting up your Sharepoint or Dropbox and your users can simply search within Salesforce and see the relevant results without having to change systems/websites.
    6. Lead conversion process will¬†be a lot easier now in Lightning Experience. ¬†Summer ’17 finally brings the ability to have related files and records link to the account/contact/etc that’s created after the lead conversion.The lead conversion process also benefits from the new Account Matching feature which now allows you to type ahead or deal with multiple matches.
    7. Console has continued its feature development, with Lightning Sales Console now becoming available! Hello split views, come at me!
    8. Jump to ‚ÄėObject Setup‚Äô in Lightning from the object in question. ¬†This is similar to the Setup Menu you have in Classic, but using the new Object Manager. ¬†Sound like such a little thing, but it will save so much time for Admins.
      Salesforce Summer '17 - Object Setup shortcut
    9. Lightning Service Console is now closer to the¬†Classic Console. ¬†You can now add Omni-Channel Utility¬†to the Console, in addition small improvements like preview case details by hover-overs and the previously mentioned keyboard shortcuts will make Service Cloud users happier. ¬†Still no mention of macros being supported though…
    10. Lightning Experience now gives you big productivity improvements in how your teams will use Activities within Salesforce.  First up is an improved timeline view, where you can now show/hide details of an individual task or expand details for all tasks.Summer '17 - Activity Timeline
      Secondly the streamlined activity composer will help your users log their activities.


    Bonus mentions

    I haven’t included this next one in my top 10 as it is only available in USA/Canada currently. ¬† But Lightning Voice… ¬†Oops, sorry it is now Lightning Dialer, looks slick and offers a new call list functionality. ¬†In addition to the send a pre-recorded voicemail feature, this product is shaping up quiet nicely and I wish it would just be available in the UK already!

    To finish off on, Salesforce Summer ’17 release also appears to be the start of Salesforce addressing the disparity between a number of similar areas, namely Notes & Attachments, Notes, File, Content/Libraries. ¬†I highly recommend taking a look at this section of the release notes if you use Content/Libraries, as they are about to go through a divorce in this release.

    It also appears that Files finally becomes quite useful as part of this release (now with drag and drop :-)).

  • How to tame the Salesforce ‘technical debt’ beast

    Previously I raised the issue of technical debt, which is an issue that can easily impact any Salesforce org.

    Trying to find out just where to start can feel like trying tame a wild beast.¬† We’ve all been there…¬† Questions like, is it really a problem?¬† Where do I start?¬† How to I gather the information I need?

    Help is at hand, when you are¬†scoping size of the problem,¬†there are some amazing¬†free tools you can use to really zone in on your org’s problem areas.

    New Salesforce features

    The last two¬†Salesforce releases¬†have also brought new features¬†to support you in checking your org.¬† Let’s take a quick look at them both.¬† Please keep in mind, to use both of these new features you will need to check your permissions and license edition of your org.

    Salesforce Optimizer

    Spring ’17 has brought with it the new Salesforce Optimizer.¬† It is a great new feature giving¬†you an easy to understand PDF report.¬† Which focuses on some of the key areas within your org where Technical Debt might be hiding.¬† The¬†report will highlight key areas¬†including:

    Salesforce Optimizer
    Sample of a Salesforce Optimizer report


    • Fields
    • Apex triggers
    • Page layouts
    • Report types
    • Validation rules
    • Workflow rules
    • Sharing rules
    • Administrator permissions

    To access Optimizer right now, jump to Setup -> Optimizer.


    Salesforce Health Check

    In the previous release, Winter ’17 also introduced Salesforce Health Check.¬† This one is very much aimed at reviewing your org’s security policies, and as a result¬†is a little more ‘techy’.

    The report will give you an overall baseline score, recommended areas of focus and suggested actions covering:

    Salesforce Health Check
    Salesforce Health Check
    • Certificate and Key Management
    • Login Access Policies
    • Network Access
    • Password Policies
    • Remote Site Settings
    • Session Settings

    It is very helpful and useful in performing an audit on these key security areas.

    To find this within your org, head on over to Setup -> Security Controls -> Health Check.


    Other Resources

    Salesforce Toolkit

    Another great resource I have used is the Salesforce Toolkit.  It is a must-have suite of free Heroku apps which allow you to analyse, diagnose and configure a variety of Salesforce items.  It does offer up to seven different tools (at the time of writing), and I have used a number of them personally across various orgs of Salesforce.

    Org Doctor

    I found this tool before the Spring ’17 release came out, and introduced Salesforce Optimizer.¬† However this tool still provides some additional¬†information that is helpful when diagnosing any technical debt within your org.¬† Particularly helpful in highlight potential problem areas in your Apex (like API versions and number of test classes) and additional details about your role hierarchy.

    The report it generates once again if very helpful and even contains a brief summary as to why each metric is important to the overall health of your org.

    Schema Compare

    Another fantastic app from the toolkit.  This one presents an extremely helpful report comparing multiple instances of Salesforce.

    Yes, you read that right! Compare two orgs side by side in a single report, which breaks it down object by object.  The two orgs can be a mix of Production <-> Sandbox, Production <-> Production or Sandbox <-> Sandbox.

    An example use case could be to compare a development sandbox with production to see what are the differences object by object.

    Perm Comparator

    The final app I want to share with you today is the Perm Comparator.  Another simple Heroku app which allows you to easily compare Profiles, Permission Sets & Users within an org.  Genius!

    Say for example you wanted to see how two Profiles within your production org actually differ.  This app makes it so simple to view the profiles side-by-side, showing how the user/object permission vary between them.


    Now go forth and slay the beast!

    There is never a better time than now to start slaying the technical debt beast, and with these tools you should make short work of it.  Of course, there will still be other areas that may need analysis.  But this should give you an idea of where you are starting from.

    My next post will look at setting a roadmap, which will help you prioritise and deliver improvements for any identified areas from above.

    As always, feel free to share in the comments below.¬† Do you know of any other free tools that can help in analysing and defining where an org’s pain points are?

Back to top button