tips & tricks

  • 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 – and 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 – but always plan ahead – plan 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 😉 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! 🙂

    9. Finally… Get dance-y!

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

    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 – Bulkification 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

  • 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 🙂 ) – 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! 🙂

    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.

  • Dreamforce ’17: roundup

    Were you fortunate enough to head to this year’s Dreamforce?  If not, have you caught up on all the new goodies that were announced?  If you are like me and couldn’t attend, we have to catch up on all the new announcements from this session via Youtube, Facebook,  Linkedin and other blogs.

    So to help out, below is an overview of some of the resources I have found useful to catch-up on all things Dreamforce 2017, and feel free to add your comments & own resources in the comments section at the bottom of the post.

    Fourth Industrial Revolution

    The key theme this year was around the 4th industrial revolution.

    And it contains a key message about the impacts on the impacts this next digital revolution will have on society, from AI and the workplace of the future, to how we treat each other…

     

    Dreamforce 2017: over 3200 sessions of learnings!

    If you have been fortunate enough to attend Dreamforce, the scale is massive.  It literally takes over San Francisco for a week and brings together people from so many different backgrounds to learn and network.

    But where to start though?  Catching up on everything is a mammoth task and with over 3200+ sessions, there is so much for people to catchup on.  New use cases and successes shared with the Salesforce community… It is what Dreamforce is all about!  That is why no two wrap-ups will be the same, as everyone has there own personal journey through the week.

    But key highlights for me include Salesforceben with two great posts stand out for me: Admin perspective or Nov roundup) and Jen Lee’s fantastic recap and her sessions about process automation and workflows.  Also David from SFDC99 has a great recap too.

    Salesforce has the videos published from most of their keynotes and a number of the larger sessions from the week, and you can access them on the Salesforce Youtube playlist.

    Key Youtube videos I have found useful include:

    And personally, I love the T-Mobile story at this year’s keynote, where they demonstrated a number of the new ‘mySalesforce’ features (such as my Trailhead, my Lightning and my Einstein).  You can catch that session including a live demo here:

     

    The future roadmap of Salesforce core platforms

    One session I always try to catch up on is the core platform update/roadmap sessions.  This next session has a number of the Product Owners talking about some of the features that are coming up over the next few releases.

    Want a crystal ball into Salesforce’s thinking and where they are focusing their efforts? Look no further.

    They also go into the Ideas Exchange, why some ideas can’t/haven’t been delivered so far (even though they might seem really simple from the outside looking in), and how Lightning is actually allowing Salesforce to drive the pace of delivery of new ideas that Classic simply couldn’t do…

    So without further ado, here is the True to the Core overview from Parker Harris and co…

    The future roadmap of Salesforce’s core products definitely looks promising and personally I can’t wait for the discussed improvements to reports & dashboards (Sub folders… Field to field filters?!  OMG)

    Comments always welcome

    Got any key videos / blogs / resources you have used to catch up on Dreamforce this year?  Share in the comments below.

  • Cleaning a Salesforce Org

    Data is such a big focus for anyone working with a CRM, Salesforce is no exception.  Previously we looked at migrating data into Salesforce.  But what happens when you need to remove data?  Cleaning a Salesforce org can present a few challenges.

    Say you need to clean your Salesforce org and delete/archive, because…  you might have gone over your Salesforce data allowance?

    This is what happened to us recently.  One of the orgs my team manages went over its allocated Data Space, and we started getting emails / calls from Salesforce to remind us that we have used up our allowance.

    We had a choice, buy more storage (at Salesforce’s very inflated data prices).  I mean c’mon it is 2017, 1TB with Dropbox/Google/Onedrive/etc is only around $100/year…

    As you can probably guess, this wasn’t our “go to” option, so we had to find out what we had in Salesforce vs what we needed, and then make a decision…

    (c) Dilbert

    Legacy org & technical debt

    The org in question was what I deem a “legacy org”, and has had presented a few challenges over the years.  It has been an active Salesforce org since 2003. And without constant love and attention has built up so much technical debt because it was never actively managed/improved/developed…

    Even relatively simple things like enabling and rolling out Chatter were never done – even years after Chatter launched.

    Clean Your Salesforce Org: a balloon waiting to burst
    Clean Your Salesforce Org: Our org was a balloon waiting to burst

    As the company has grown, obviously so has the data stored within the org.

    Add into the mix that new apps installed in the org which have driven a sudden increase in the volumes of records being created (eg telephony integration and training people to log calls).  And hey-presto data storage & how we are using it is suddenly a priority.

    Where is the data?

    For an org which has grown from around 50-100 people in 2003, and a very simple business processes.  The question was how could we be using up out data storage suddenly?

    Why now?  How do we get to the bottom of what is happening?

    Admittedly it wasn’t something we had kept an eye on.  So the first port of call was the setup menu.

    As you might know Salesforce offer a section in the Setup menu called ‘Storage Usage’, which is quite basic but gives you a snapshot of where your data and file storage is used.  To use it, go to Setup -> in Quick Find, and search for ‘Storage Usage’.

    Boom, there it was.

    The org with over 23,000,000 records…

    The org had ballooned to over 23,000,000 records.  Shocking as our number of accounts are a fraction of that overall volume.

    What was even more shocking for us was that it was two objects consuming almost 70% of the total storage!

    Salesforce Data Storage
    Yes those numbers are real… We needed to clean our Salesforce org!

    The two objects in question: Tasks & Email Messages…

    <sarcasm> Oh joy! </sarcasm>

    Not all objects are equal

    Why was I so *not* excited that it was Tasks & Email Messages using up our storage?

    Salesforce Tasks & Archiving

    Activities in Salesforce have a unique feature which means they get archived by Salesforce after a set number of days.  This is typically around 365 days of being closed (but there are a few caveats to that), and can also be extended if you request it from Salesforce.

    This is an issue, as once archived you can no longer use the standard Salesforce reporting to analyse.

    And due to the sheer volume of records (over 12,500,000), it was even crashing Dataloader/Workbench/Developer Console when trying to export the data.

    When I did manage to get the export, by trying to filter by created year, the file was still too big to view in Excel.  Also we were limited to just Excel, which meant we hit a brick wall.

    Email to Case & Email Messages

    data storageThis org heavily relies on Email-to-Case.  And when received, the email is stored in the EmailMessage object.

    Additionally all auto-response emails are also saved against the case, in addition to any replies from the customer.

    Great for keeping track of all communication.  But once again creates some difficulties when trying to report and analyse.

    Also as an email gets saved against a case, it also creates a task.  So we end up with a sort of duplication, with a task and an email message created and linked to the same case.

    Getting the data out of Salesforce

    In the end we contacted Salesforce Support, as we couldn’t use normal methods to export and clean the data.

    The only suggestion that Salesforce could provide was to schedule a data export of the objects we wanted to export and analyse.  Simple enough…

    Anyone who has used this feature will know the output of this is zip files, which contain CSV files inside.  Great it was going to be small enough to work with!

    CSV SplitterNope… Each CSV was still over 1,000,000 rows.

    Excel still was too unusable to analyse the data.  At this point I really was wishing for something like Access/MySQL to load the files into.

    Enter CSVSplitter, a really simple tool that allowed us to split the CSV files down into smaller more manageable chunks.

    Once they were broken into the smaller files, then we were able to start analysing the tasks.

    Analysing the data

    Inspector Gadget time!
    Inspector Gadget time!

    The road to cleaning a Salesforce org is paved with lots of data to analyse!

    You need to understand what you have, before you can understand what you need.

    So we started analysing the data.  And we dissected the data in many different ways to understand what was driving the volume we were seeing.

    We looked at tasks created by month and year.  Were there specific users who created more than others?  Were there common subject lines – which might point to auto-generated tasks.

    Our Salesforce, had never ever been cleaned.  And we have used tasks in the past to drive system automation within the business.  So where relevant, these records could go!

    Archiving the data

    So we had analysed the data, now to archive it somewhere in case we actually needed to reverse the process. (FYI – while researching this post, I found this useful guide to creating a Archiving Policy for your company).

    Though storing the records outside of Salesforce and then trying to restore in the case of a profile would be painful if we had to.  But at least we had a fall back plan, and if needed the business could still use in reports.

    In addition a lot of care was taken in being conservative with what we are removing and working with various stakeholders to ensure the different departments were on board with our plan.

    Now we could start the actual cleanup!

    Cleaning a Salesforce Org: 2,600,000 records deleted (so far)…

    I have to admit, this part ended up actually feeling strangely cathartic.

    Being able to delete over 2.6 million records from an org was also a first for me 🙂

    We essentially identified the records to be deleted, creating a CSV file of the IDs of the records we wanted to delete, and then use Dataloader to remove the record.

    Once we started with the tasks, we were able to then also move on to other records and start an overall clean out of Salesforce.  Opportunities, Accounts, Cases… All are now in scope and we have created a data clean-up roadmap and are making great headway.

    We have a long way to go still, but at least we can start to let go of the legacy data past.

    And most importantly, make Salesforce a focused CRM for the sales and customer service teams, so it is easier for them to use.

    Salesforce Data Storage - Before
    Still a long way to go… But we shall prevail!

     

    Got your own ‘lesson learned’?  Share your tips…

    I have worked in org’s where hitting the data storage limit was expected and almost required.  As we deployed tools like FinancialForce which create a lot of records (and they need to).  So we simply bought more data.  But it really depends on your scenario, as every orgs needs are a little different.

    Have you been in a similar situation?  How did you decide what to archive?  Did you use any specific tools to help you?

    As part of this issue, we were able to make a business case for getting tools like DemandTools (paid app).

    And I am currently investigating Passage Tech’s ‘Storage Helper‘ and ‘Rollup Helper‘ (both have a limited free version) to see if they can help profile accounts to then identify what records can still be removed and archived from Salesforce.  But I will save the details for another post later 😉

  • Salesforce Hacks: Using picklists to clean your data

    One struggle every Salesforce admin faces, is how to get users inputting the right data. Free form text fields with no format or structure to them. And then trying to report on these fields becomes a nightmare! So how do you then make sure your users are entering in the correct values? That is where the wondrous (yet often overlooked) field type called a ‘picklist’ comes in…

    say picklist again...

    And picklists within Salesforce can help you structure data while guiding your users to complete fields as needed. While recent releases have also added to their versatility. In turn, this can help you as an Awesome Admin setup your Salesforce data more effectively.

    So let’s go back to basics and dive in to Salesforce Picklists!

    You keep saying picklist!!!!!

    Let’s take a quick step back to make sure everyone has the same understanding of what a picklist is.
    A picklist is ultimately a way to present several values to the user, and restrict what then select as a value in the field.
    As an example, a status field when selected could show ‘To do’, ‘In Progress’ or ‘Done’ in the picklist.

    Two types to rule them all.

    Now we start getting into the fun stuff. And yes, I know I am a bit of a geek! In Salesforce there are two basic types of picklists available for an Admin to create, the regular ‘Picklist’ and ‘Multi Select Picklist’.

    The primary difference is illustrated below, where a ‘Picklist’ only allows one value to be entered at a time, while Multi-Select picklists allow a user to select more than one value.

    standard salesforce picklist
    A Standard Picklist allows a user to select one value.

    A Multi-select Picklist allows a user to select more than one value.

    Flexibility with global control

    Reuse the same picklist values across various picklist fields.

    Picklists and world domination… Not coming to a cinema near you!

    Seriously though, as you can hopefully see picklists give you a fair amount of flexibility. But what if you want the same picklist options available across different objects in Salesforce?

    As of Winter ’17 release, you can now define a common or global set of values for any picklist in your org to use. To do this for a new picklist you can go to:

    In Classic: Setup -> Create -> Picklist Value Sets
    Or in Lightning: Setup (via the little gear icon) -> Object and Fields -> Picklist Value Sets

    And as added extra, the Summer ’17 release allows you to promote any existing picklist values and turn it into a global value set. Simply go to the picklist you want to promote, and you will see a button on the top of the page.

    Promote an existing picklist to a Global Value Set.
    Promote an existing picklist to a Global Value Set.

    Picklist ‘gotchas’

    Picklists are very handy in ensuring your users add the right value into the field. But because of the way they are structured there are a few things to remember when setting up and using picklists.

    1) Record types:

    Have you ever wondered why one user will see an option in the drop down, but someone else can’t see that option? The combination of record type and the profile of the user defines what she/he will see on-screen! (Don’t worry though, this one gets even the most seasoned of admins.)

    2) Dependant picklists:

    Alternatively, it could be a dependant picklist. This is where the value of one field, controls what options are available in the second field. An example of this could be on an Opportunity – where you have two picklists – the ‘Stage’ field and ‘Lost Reasons’.

    You might want to display a list of ‘Lost Reasons’ if the user selects the ‘Stage’ of ‘Closed Lost’. Thereby allowing you to once again guide the user in what the valid options are.

    Enforce picklist values when loading data into Salesforce3) Using Dataloader and picklists

    Picklists are ultimately just text when Salesforce looks at it at the database level, so be mindful that when loading in values via Dataloader.

    Any new values in the file being loaded into Salesforce may appear unless you tick the ‘restrict picklist values’ option on the field (or setup a validation rule).

    4) Picklists in formulas

    Picklist values are technically stored as a text value in Saleforce, however when using them in any advanced formula within Salesforce, like a validation rule, remember to use the function ‘ISPICKVAL()’.

    For example, say we have a picklist field with the name ‘Industry’ and you wanted to see if a picklist value was set to ‘Financial Services’, you would use the formula like so: ISPICKVAL(Industry, “Financial Services’)

     

    So there we have it. In a few short minutes, we have covered the basics of picklists! Exciting right 🙂 Now go forth and structure your data! Any business that values data quality will thank you for it!

  • Reminder: Salesforce & TLS 1.0 being disabled

    As an #AwesomeAdmin – are you aware of which of your users is going to be affect by TLS 1.0 being disabled in Salesforce?

    Hopefully the answer is NONE!  But the July  22nd 2017 is fast approaching, have you gone through the checklist to ensure you are ready?

    First things first though.

    What is TLS 1.0?  And why should I care?

    Salesforce has an explanation on the Help article relating to TLS 1.0 being disabled:

    TLSTLS stands for “Transport Layer Security.” It is a protocol that provides privacy and data integrity between two communicating applications. It’s the most widely deployed security protocol used today, and is used for web browsers and other applications that require data to be securely exchanged over a network. TLS ensures that a connection to a remote endpoint is the intended endpoint through encryption and endpoint identity verification. The versions of TLS, to date, are TLS 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2.

    Salesforce web and API connections, along with email delivery, use TLS as a key component of their security. HTTPS (web) and STARTTLS SMTP (email) also use TLS as a key component of their security.

    In reality, what does this mean for you?  TLS is a protocol which provides security for you and your users when they log in to Salesforce.  This can be either via the website, like when a user goes to login.salesforce.com, or it is also used when a user logins to Salesforce via an app (like Salesforce for Outlook, Web to Lead, Open CTI, etc).

    After TLS 1.0 has been disabled, any login attempt using that protocol will simply fail, unless TLS 1.1 (as a minimum) is support.

    When is TLS 1.0 being disabled?

    Salesforce has previously moved the effective date for the TLS 1.0 disablement to give Admins more time to catch up, but I wouldn’t count on Salesforce moving this again.

    As it stands Salesforce are planning to disable TLS 1.0 on the 22nd July 2017.

    How do I check?

    In Summer ’16, Salesforce updated the Login History reports in Salesforce to allow Admins to check what type of TLS connection is used.  The downloaded file will also show you 6 months history, and will show the TLS Protocol being used.

    To access this, go to Setup -> use the Quick Find to search for ‘Login History’ -> Select ‘TLS 1.0 Logins Only’ -> Click the ‘Download Now’ button.  Please be mindful, this report can take a while to download if there is a lot of TLS 1.0 logins!

    Download Login History to find out if TLS 1.0 being disabled will impact you

    Hopefully, this is an empty or only a few records in the file for you.  One of the orgs I have recently managed had a lot!  And it was all down to Salesforce for Outlook needing to be updated for all users.

    From there, you should be able to narrow down what needs to be updated to then get it fixed.

    The good news, is most up-to-date browsers will already support TLS 1.1 or higher.  And the Salesforce apps like Salesforce for Outlook have supported this change for almost a year… If you are on the latest version of the software, it shouldn’t be a problem.

    Need more help?

    Because this has a potential big impact on customers, Salesforce has provided a lot of support documentation and guides.  They have even published a checklist to download and run through if you need more help.

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