tools

  • 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 – Sandbox 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.

  • Salesforce to buy Mulesoft

    After last week’s announcements big Salesforce announcements relating to Dropbox, CloudCraze and Salesforce Essentials. It appears that 2018 could be shaping up to be a big year for acquisitions… As Salesforce has announced they will buy Mulesoft.

    UPDATE: It has now been officially announced, that Salesforce will acquire Mulesoft for $6.5bn (source here). Previously, Business Insider had confirmed that Salesforce was working on a big deal, but they couldn’t confirm the acquisition target was Mulesoft.

    Is 2018, the year to buy?

    After a quiet 2017 on the acquisition front. We have now seen a number of purchases early on in 2018, is this just the start of a big year of acquisitions?

    With CloudCraze announce just last week, focusing on B2B e-commerce. And Attic Labs adding to the Quip offering. Could we see Mulesoft being added soon?

    When this deal closes, it will be one of Salesforce’s largest purchases to date, coming in at an estimated $6.5bn.

    Also, this would be another acquisition which was initially funded by Salesforce Ventures. As Mulesoft received $128m in funding from Salesforce Ventures back in 2015. (Look out Dropbox!)

    Salesforce to buy Mulesoft – but what is Mulesoft?

    Salesforce to buy Mulesoft for $6.5bn
    Mulesoft is in target.

    Mulesoft has created a cloud platform called Anypoint. As a platform, this aims to facilitate data integration across multiple systems. And it is targeted at enterprise companies, counting Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Spotify as customers.

    By using published APIs for applications, the platform takes a fair amount of the development out of connecting systems together. In turn, this helps speed up the delivery time to integrate systems together.

    Mulesoft is also behind the Dataloader.io platform, which many businesses use for admin data loading tasks, instead of the Apex Dataloader.

    Why would Mulesoft help Salesforce?

    As we know Salesforce is huge in the enterprise CRM market. This is a market which also typically has multiple systems which need to integrate with each other, be it CRM, ERP or general database systems – ultimately there needs to be a connection where data will be synchronised.

    There are a variety of tools you can use. But many of them require a developer to create and maintain. I have seen a number of different solutions to this problem over the years. Though tools like Jitterbit, Boomi and Mulesoft have taken a page out of Salesforce’s book and have reduced the development overhead needed to integrate often complex systems.

    Where does this help Salesforce though?

    As we have seen over the last few years, there is a push from Salesforce to support Big Data Objects, External Objects with oData and Lightning Connect. It is all about data!

    This is where you can imagine – a platform like Mulesoft would be an add-on subscription. ‘Integration Cloud’ anyone? But much like Wave Analytics is to Reports and Dashboards. Mulesoft would be in a different league to the existing Salesforce solutions. (Also no doubt, Mulesoft would have a side benefit for Wave Analytics = more data! More sources! )

    The value for Salesforce also lies in being able to help customers, integrate and connect systems to the base CRM system. After all, if you get customers to continue to integrate Salesforce in their IT infrastructure, you make it harder for them to move away from Salesforce… And there is a lot of money in that!

    Personally, I would love to see how other add-ons, like Einstein, could in turn be used to make this even more compelling in the future!

  • 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.

  • Secrets of Spring ’18: Hidden Formulas

    Spring ’18 is now live for most orgs, but there appears to be some changes included in the release which haven’t been documented :-O The great news for us Admins, the changes actually resolve a number of ‘simple’ problems we have when trying to calculate values in formulas.  So in this quick update we look at some of the new ‘hidden formulas’ included with Spring ’18 and some of the use cases where you might be able to apply them…

    Update: 26/Feb  – Eagle-eyed Ekaterina has pointed out in the comments, there are even more additional formulas available!  Here is a link to her blog if you want to read more…

    Update: 01/Mar – Salesforce have now scheduled an update to the Known Issue and scheduled an update via the Spring ’18 Patch 11.0.  To see what’s included, click here.

    Hidden Formulas: ADDMONTHS

    The first of the hidden formulas included in Spring ’18 is the new AddMonths function.

    Imagine you need a formula to calculate a date, which based off another date entered on a record.  For example, you could see this in action in Contract End Date (contract start date + 2mth duration = contract end date).

    The formula to add 2 months, while only using point and click Admin features, is quite little long winded (if you want to accurately account for Leap Years):

    IF(
      MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 2,
      IF(
        DAY( date ) > 28,
        DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH( date ) + 2 ) / 12 ), 3, 1 ),
        DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH( date ) + 2 ) / 12 ), 2, DAY( date ) )
      ),
      IF(
        OR(
          MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 4,
          MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 6,
          MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 9,
          MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 11
        ),
        IF(
          DAY( date ) > 30,
          DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH(  date  ) + 2 ) / 12 ),
           MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) + 1, 1 ),
          DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH( date ) + 2 ) / 12 ),
           MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12), DAY( date ) )
        ),
        IF(
          MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 0,
          DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH( date ) + 2 ) / 12 ) - 1, 12, DAY( date ) ),
          DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH( date ) + 2 ) / 12 ),
           MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12), DAY( date ) )
        )
      )
    )

    GULP!!

    But, now you will be able to use the AddMonths formula…

    So you want to add 2 months, to a field containing the start date of the contract, it is now as simple as:

    addMonths(date, 2)

    To see more details, until the official documentation is available, visit Ekaterina’s post here.

    Hidden Formulas: WEEKDAY

    Salesforce WEEKDAY formula
    Salesforce WEEKDAY formula

    Also in Spring ’18, and a little more obscure, is the new WeekDay function.

    It allows you to return a number (from 1-7) which indicates the day of the week, based on a date field within Salesforce.

    Before, once again, you could retrieve this information – but it was again a bit cumbersome:

    CASE(
      MOD( DATEVALUE(CreatedDate) - DATE(1900, 1, 7), 7), 
         0, "Sunday", 
         1, "Monday",  
         2, "Tuesday", 
         3, "Wednesday", 
         4, "Thursday", 
         5, "Friday", 
         6, "Saturday",
         "Error"
    )

    But now – simply use:

    WeekDay(date)

    And it will return for you, a number which represents the day of the week:

    1 = Sunday
    2 = Monday
    3 = Tuesday
    4 = Wednesday
    5 = Thursday
    6 = Friday
    7 = Saturday

    Hidden Formulas: CURRENCYRATE

     

    Salesforce CURRENCYRATE formula
    Salesforce CURRENCYRATE formula

    The next hidden formula in Spring ’18, is CURRENCYRATE.

     

    This formula will return the conversion rate used for a record’s currency code.

    So for example, if you have the default currency as USD.  But the record’s currency is GBP – you can now retrieve what the conversion rate is between those currencies.  And then display it as a formula field or use it in reports.

    CURRENCYRATE(IsoCode)

    As a possibly obvious tip, Currency Management will need to be activate in your org before you can use this…

    The returned value will be a number showing the currency conversion rate, eg 0.717412 (but you will be able to control how many decimals are shown).

    Hidden Formulas: MFLOOR & MCEILING

    Salesforce MCEILING formula
    Salesforce MCEILING formula

    These two final formula functions go hand in hand.  And now also available in Spring ’18!!

    Previously, we did have access to ROUND function:

    Round(decimalNumber, 2)

    Where you could round a decimal number to the number of decimals you specified in the formula.  But you couldn’t force Salesforce to round up or down… Until now!

    MCEILING will round a number up to the nearest positive whole number.  Whereas the MFLOOR will round down to the nearest positive whole number.

    Both functions will return 0, if the input number is a negative.

    So for example, if you have a number field which contains decimals but you want to round up or down, you can control this with these functions.

    To round up, to nearest whole number:

    MCEILING(number)

    To round down, to nearest whole number:

    MFLOOR(number)

     

    Found any others?

    No doubt Salesforce will be updating all relevant documentation and the Help site soon.  But if you have found any others, add them to the comments below!

  • Spring ’18 Deep Dive: Reports & Dashboards

    Spring ’18 release brings with it a swag of new features.  But it also brings with it a big makeover for reports and dashboards.  In this post we are going to take a deep dive into reports and dashboards in Spring ’18, and see what is coming our way.

    Additionally (and most excitingly) this is the starting point for new reporting and dashboard features within the Lightning.  With another more features heading out way over the coming releases.  To see what this includes, check out feature predictions for 2018 here.  Otherwise let’s get started!

    Dashboards in Spring ’18

    Coming in Spring ’18 your users will now be able to subscribe to dashboards easily within Lightning.

    By setting up a subscription schedule (either Daily, Weekly or Monthly), Salesforce will then schedule a refresh of the dashboard and send out an email update to the user.

    Subscribe to Dashboard in Salesforce Lightning
    Subscribe to a dashboard. Source: Salesforce

    And keeping with the myLightning ability to theme and customise your Lightning instance, dashboards now support more customisation and personalisation by selecting a colour theme.

    Additionally you can then choose the theme by individual component to highlight sections.

    Set a colour pallette for your Dashboards
    Colour your dashboards whichever way you want! Source: Salesforce

     

    Report Builder (Lightning)

    Lightning Report Builder was first introduced in the Winter ’18 release.  But the new report builder is in beta, meaning there are a number of known limitations.  Reports and dashboards in Spring ’18 starts to bridge that gap.

    Most features in Spring ’18 release are migrated Classic features.  But these features are reworked to operate in a very Lightning way.  After all what good is it having a new user interface, and not take advantage of reworking how users can use the system?

    Most importantly it is easy to see how this is a stepping stone to the future for Reports & Dashboards in Lightning Experience.

    Summary Formulas, Buckets & Cross-Filters

    As mentioned above, these aren’t specifically new features.  But they are new for the new Report Builder and operate a little differently.

    For example being able to create a summery bucket on a column, simply select the column dropdown and create:

    Report Builder and creating a Bucket column
    Creating a summary bucket within the Lightning Report Builder. Source: Salesforce

    Or creating a cross-filter, which is also easily done now within the new Report Builder:

    Create a Cross-Filter within the Lightning Report Builder
    Create a Cross-Filter within the Lightning Report Builder. Source: Salesforce

    How to activate the new Lightning Report Builder

    To get access to all of the new features of reports and dashboards in Spring ’18, you will need to first activate the new Report Builder.

    A note before we start, there is a key dependency to activating Lightning Report Builder… That prerequisite is  enhanced folder sharing needs to be enabled.

    If your org was created after the Summer ’13 Salesforce release, you already have enhanced folder sharing. If your org isn’t already using enhanced folder sharing, see Turn On Enhanced Sharing for Reports and Dashboards in the Salesforce Help.

    Go to Setup -> Reports and Dashboards Settings -> Enable Lightning Report Builder (beta):

    Enable Lightning Report Builder (Reports and dashboards in Spring '18)
    Enable Lightning Report Builder

     

    Once enabled, remember to also update either a profile or permission set to include access to the Report Builder (Lightning Experience) too:

    Enabling Report Builder Lightning Experience
    Enabling the Report Builder (Lightning Experience) on a profile

    Remember, if you don’t see this option, you need to check your Folder Sharing rules within Salesforce.  And you will have to check via Classic Setup…  The irony isn’t lost – this dependant setting is only available via Classic Setup menu currently. 🙂

    Before enabling though, ensure you are aware of the implications of doing so.  Especially how this will impact end-users within your org.  When you are ready, jump back into Classic UI and then go to: Setup -> Folder Sharing -> “Enable access levels for sharing report and dashboard folders”.

    Wrap up

    The changes to reports and dashboards in Spring ’18 gives us an insight into where Salesforce is taking the analytics features of the platform.  Along with the added flexibility the Lightning Experience grants.

    Overall reports & dashboards within Salesforce are finally getting much deserved makeover…  And there is more to come over the next few releases!

  • Spring ’18 Deep Dive: GDPR Features

    Simple put, GDPR is inescapable for those dealing with individuals within the EU.  In the last post we took a look at what GDPR is and how to start preparing for it.  Additionally, within the next month we also have Spring ’18 release going live.  So the good news is there is a number of GDPR features included to assist Admins prepare…

    Recap: What is GDPR?

    General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise known as GDPR, is the new privacy regulation coming into force in 2018.  It will replace the EU’s previous Data Protection Directive, and align privacy laws and regulations across all EU member states.

    Part of the GDPR is the retention and removal processes re: personal data after a period of time.  Companies should only retain personal data for as long as needed.  So for example, if you have contact details of a person which is linked to contract data you may need to retain it for 7 years.  Versus simply having a contact on a mailing list, retaining the data for this long may not be justifiable.

    For more details, take a look at my last post for the what/when/how of GDPR.

    GDPR: Be Prepared

    GDPR is ultimately an update to a number of data/privacy regulations across the EU.  But the easiest place to start for most companies is to map out and understand the following: 

    • where your data comes from. (eg web-to-lead, email-to-case, data.com, users entering in the data),
    • how it gets used/stored. (eg are there integrations which also use the data, is it stored outside of Salesforce, are records stored in standard and custom objects within Salesforce),
    • what business processes which clean up or remove data. (ie how long does your company need hold onto personal data for (and for what purpose)? Is there already a process to remove personal data?)

    Once you understand there where, how and what of your data, you will then understand where the following features and changes may help and support you.

    Spring ’18 & GDPR Features

    Salesforce Data Privacy Record - aka Individual Record
    A sample Salesforce Data Privacy Record – aka Individual Record in Spring ’18 Preview Sandbox (click to view full image)

    Data Privacy Records (aka Individuals)

    Spring ’18 release brings with it a new setting under Company Profile within Setup.  The setting to enable Data Protection and Privacy, will expose the new object ‘Individuals’ within your org.

    This new object connects to either a contact or lead record within Salesforce to store data privacy settings for that person. So for example you can store the customer’s preference re: soliciting products and services.

    A key note here is that in the preview instances of Spring ’18, Individuals it isn’t treated like other objects and doesn’t have a standard tab available to access the object.

    But a gentle word to note before we go through how to set this up.  As with any changes to a production system, it will require planning before setting this up to ensure it works for your processes.  A number of these changes below may also require assistance from a developer or changes to your marketing platform via API.  This is not entirely a point and click setup…

    1. Activate the feature within Setup

    Lightning: Setup -> Company Settings -> Data Protection and Privacy
    Classic: Setup -> Company Profile -> Data Protection and Privacy

    This will expose the new Individual object, with the standard fields within your org.  Most of these fields are created for the purpose of tracking opt-out requests and personal preferences.

    Some examples include:

    If a contact opts-out of geo-location tracking, you can store that preference here.

    You can even store the D.O.B of the person and indicate if they are considered a minor or not.  (You might need to do this as minors carry different standards for elements like data retention under GDPR.)

    And good news is you can also add custom fields to this object if you wish to.

    2. Update Page Layouts

    Add field to relevant page layouts on contact & lead objects.  Salesforce also suggests to rename the field label from ‘Individual’ to something more meaningful to your users.

    3. Existing Contacts/Lead Records

    There is a code-based solution to create data privacy records for existing contacts & leads within your Salesforce, which also includes code for handling person accounts.

    I won’t go through the code here.  But if you are interested, you can take a sample of the code here.  Remember you will need to execute this somehow (ie start the code running), so you may need help from a developer friend(s).

    4. New / Changes to Preferences

    Finally, you will also need to plan how new records get managed within Salesforce.

    Will an Individual record be created when a contact or lead is created?  What about field updates / etc?  Do you do this via a trigger in Salesforce or via API from your email platform?

    And what do you get at the end of this?  A new record of course … 🙂

     

    bad data quality ahead

    Data Quality & Duplicate Jobs

    GDPR features in Spring also come in the form of expanded functionality.  Spring ’18 release provides an update for its out-of-the-box duplicate management to allow Admins to run a duplicate job.

    Previously matching rules would run when a record was being added or updated by a user.  This would then either alert the user or block the user, depending on how the Admin had set it up.

    But in Spring ’18 release, us Admins can now run a “Duplicate Job“.  This allows you to use (or create) a matching rule and then run a search within Salesforce to find duplicates.  Once a Duplicate Job completes, you will be able to take action by comparing and merging records, right from the summary page.

    Duplicate Job within Spring 18 release
    Duplicate Job within Spring 18 release.

    Changes to Web to Case and Web to Lead

    Spring ’18 release also brings another GDPR feature.  This time there is a slight update to how failed Web-to-Case and Web-to-Lead emails are handled.

    When a Web-to-Case and Web-to-Lead fails an email is generated automatically to advise.  This email will no longer include any personal data inserted by a third-party application.

    Data.com for UK/Ireland Contacts

    This only impacts users who are using Data.com Prospector or Clean.

    Data relating to contacts stored within Data.com Connect (only UK & Ireland) will now be removed from the Connect database.

    Also the Clean Status field on a Contact/Lead records will be changed to ‘Not Found’.

    Wrap Up

    As you can see there is a lot to cover, and Salesforce is enabling businesses to become GDPR compliant with all the GDPR features in Spring ’18.  There is still more to read in the Release Notes for Spring ’18 if you are using other tools like Pardot, Inbox or a developer (specifically around Event Logs).

    There is support at hand, and if you haven’t already I would strongly recommend completing the Trailhead modules setup for GDPR Basics (and there is also a trail for US Privacy Basics too).

    Additionally Salesforce has a new section in the Help for Data Protection & Privacy.

    And finally there is a basic scenario guide, which looks at a number of common requests and suggested actions/things to consider to be compliant under the various privacy laws (including GPDR).

  • Salesforce Spring ’18 Release is almost here!

    Wait, what?!  Wasn’t it just Dreamforce last month?  Oh no, that was two months ago now!  And hold up, doesn’t it feel like winter has really only just started?  (I’m looking at you, US of A & Canada, and your freezing temperatures this last week).  Well as far as the good folks at Salesforce are concerned, that is the perfect time to start preparing for the Spring ’18 release.

    After making a number of feature predictions for 2018 in the last post, I am eager to see what has been included in this release.

    So let’s get release ready and warm up by the fireplace (or cool down by the aircon if you’re in the Southern hemisphere). And let’s look at the top 10 features for Sales and Service Cloud coming in the Spring ’18 release…

    Top Sales & Service Cloud Features in Spring ’18

    Macros, macros, everywhere!

    Macros are now available almost everywhere in Lightning Experience
    Macros are now available almost everywhere in Lightning Experience

    Spring ’18 release brings one killer feature that was only previously available in Console Apps.

    Macros!!!!  Technically Quick Text is now also available too in Spring ’18.  But as you can probably see, it is Macros that really have me revved up!

    You can now setup and use macros on pretty much every object now.  That’s right, most custom and standard objects are now available to use with macros – providing they support Lightning Experience.

    These are so useful for speeding up those really common processes that are so repetitive and tiresome for your users.  Click here, send that, update this field, mark as complete… Can now all be done at a click of a button (obviously once setup).

    Also Macros Utility Bar & Macro Builder both have an updated/easier to understand layout too.

    myLightning

    myLightning was announced at Dreamforce this year, and will be released in Spring ’18.  Truth be told, it seems that myLightning was just marketing ‘packaging’ for a number of new features which takes Lightning even further.

    Lightning Experience - Custom Themes with Dynamic Pages

    Custom Themes

    First up, there is Custom Themes which allow you to brand and theme your Salesforce instance to make your company’s brand (like the T-Mobile example, pictured left).

    Lightning Experience & Components

    Another killer feature, and of course Lightning Experience only, is the new Dynamic Components feature.  It allows you to control when to display certain Components within the Lightning App.  There are some limitations to what filters can be used, but there is plans to expand this feature over the coming releases (refer the features section in my last post for more).

    On top of this, Salesforce are now expanding the ability to set Component Visibility Rules across related objects and fields, instead of being limited to the record you are viewing.  This expands the options to control what is displayed and when…

    And when arranging your components on any Lightning Page into collapsible sections (accordion style).  This allows your users to now de-clutter what they are seeing and find what they need a whole lot quicker.

    Example of Accordion sections
    Spring ’18 and Collapsible Sections!

     

    Choose your own Path

    There is a very easy to miss feature has been included in this release.  Possibly due to the fact it is still only a preview feature.  But you can now setup a Path based on any picklist, across all standard objects.

    If you are not aware of what Path is, it provides your users with a quick guide on what are the next steps to progress a deal or a lead.  But it was only limited to the status or stage field, and only on a handful of objects.

    Personally I think it is an amazing feature that can really help drive adoption in a simple and easy to understand way.  But now, Salesforce are opening the doors to help all admins drive system and process adoption by expanding what options you can use to set up a Path for your users…

    Here is the example in the Release Notes.  It shows how you might setup a Path, and help your users on-boarding a new client:

    Salesforce Lightning Experience & Sales Path
    Path, now helps you go your own way… (click for full image)

    Mass Quick Actions

    BOOM - Spring 18 introduces Mass Quick Actions

    Bulk editing records from a list view, has been frankly a little tiresome within Lightning.  But fret now, you can now allow your users to use Mass Quick Actions to update up to 200 records within a list view.  It is only available for Cases, Leads and custom objects at this stage.   But I think it still deserves a little **BOOM**

    Clean your data

    Who doesn’t love a clean Salesforce?

    Spring 18 introduces new ways to clean your data

    I have been using Salesforce now for over nine years, and every single org has always had some form of record duplication.

    Salesforce has been taking steps to help Admins over the years when introducing the built-in duplication management toolkit.  But Spring ’18 has upped the ante.

    Rather than waiting for a duplicate to be blocked or alerted, you can now run a Duplicate Job when using your existing Matching Rules.  Right from the Setup menu.  It works for Business Accounts, Person Accounts, Leads and Contacts at this stage.

    And with Spring ’18, when the Duplicate Job has completed you can report on the results, share the results or take action directly within the Duplicate Job feature and merge those pesky records!!!

    Data privacy

    With GDPR and other privacy regulations coming into effect shortly, Salesforce has included a range of tools to support the Salesforce community through this change.  There is even a new standard object for storing an Individual’s privacy preferences.

    Now is the time to read up on all features relating to GDPR, and a quick search of the release notes will show you all specific updates regarding GDPR.  Here are two points that may help you in preparing for these changes.

    When does the Sandbox Preview for Spring ’18 start?

    Any sandbox refreshed before the 5th/6th January 2018, will routed to a Preview Instance.  This means that if you want to Preview the Spring ’18 release in a sandbox you have to refresh before this date.  For more details, check out this Salesforce page.

    All refreshes completed after the 9th/10th January, will be routed through to a sandbox with Winter ’18.

    When does Spring ’18 get released?

    Salesforce is planned to start rolling out the Spring ’18 release from February 3rd 2018.

    Other Resources

    As per every other release, there is a wealth of information available to get up to speed with the changes.

    Got a favourite feature in Spring ’18?

    Tell us about it below in the comments section!

    Adios for now…

  • 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.

  • Salesforce Winter ’18 Release

    Salesforce’s next release is here, and Winter ’18 is jammed packed with Lightning features and still brings some improvements for those (well most of us) who are still on Classic.  In this post I will also show you how to check key days for your org and share some of the best resources I have found for the Winter ’18 release.

    Let’s jump in and take a look at the top Sales & Service Cloud features in this release.

    Top 6 Winter ’18 Features: Sales & Service Clouds

    Enhanced Instant Search Results & Better Search in Salesforce

    Salesforce Winter '18: Smarter Search Results

    This is such a small thing overall, but will save so much time for users.

    Spell correction is now available within instant results!  Users will now get suggestions if there is no direct match.

    And the search has also been improved to allow users the ability to include an Account Name when searching for a contact, opportunity or an account.  This will then narrow the overall results!

    To check out this feature, click here.

    Lead conversion now improved in Lightning Experience

    This has been a bug bear of so many people.  Put simply the Lead conversion process in Lightning left a lot to be desired!

    Well Salesforce have heard us and worked on an improved conversion process, and now gives a clearer view to sales users on if they are creating a new record or linking the lead to an existing one.

    Personally, the new screen looks a little clunky… But it is still an improvement from the previous way of converting a lead.

    Salesforce Winter '18: Lead Convert Process

    The new lead convert process is documented here.

    Manage your duplicates using Duplicate Record Sets

    If you saw one of my last posts, data is such a big focus for us.  The new Winter ’18 release now allows you to manage duplicates within Lightning.

    In the Data Management section of the Setup menu, you can setup a feature to report on duplicates based on your matching rules.  Now in Lightning you can leverage any reported Duplicate Record Set, then compare and merge!

    Salesforce Winter '18: Duplicate Record Sets

    View this feature in the release notes.

    Macros & Live Agent now in Lightning Experience

    I have combined these two but Macros and Live Agent are now both support in the Lightning Service Console! #abouttime!

    This will bring about productivity improvements for those using Lightning.  But most importantly also removes yet another hurdle to making the change to LEX for those orgs not using Lightning UI and Service Cloud…

    Check out Marcos and Live Agent details.  Live Agent in particular does still have a few feature gaps between Classic and Lightning, but these gaps are slowly being removed and will no doubt be ironed out over the next few releases.

    Time Field Type (beta)

    There is a new feature in beta this release, which allows users to track time (independent of date). :-O

    Imagine in a project management app, being able to simply allocate time to something rather than stating a date/time…

    For more click here.

    Lightning gets a tweaked UI

    Lightning has been such a big focus for Salesforce and they continue to actively improve the User Interface.

    In the upcoming Salesforce Winter ’18 release, they have given us a new look and feel.  To me this is very similar to the new-ish design concept that Google and others are following, with ‘cards’ of information broken out into pieces and clearer whitespace usage to illustrate what is important on the page.

    And also in the Setup menu, there is future improvements hinted at.  Where in the future we might be able to update the background and theme Salesforce Lightning Interface to suit your business 🙂

    More details here.

    Salesforce Winter '18: New Look and Feel

    When does Salesforce Winter ’18 release?

    You will need to check Trust site for your server instance, but most production orgs are currently schedule for the major release from 7th October 2017 (select NA instances) – 14th October 2017 (most AP / EU instances).

    Can’t wait for the release?

    Miss the cutoff for sandbox refreshes on the last week? You may still be able to sign up for a pre-release Winter ’18 org to have a look at the new features.

    Best resources to help you get Winter ’18 release ready!

    Salesforce directly should always be your first port of call.  They always publish and support users through the transition and this release is no different.  Here are your go-to Salesforce resources:

    Other blogs and videos for Salesforce Winter ’18 Release Readiness

    Check out her blog, as there is a wealth of information also on areas like Mobile & Einstein!

    • Salesforce Weekly, has done a ‘Release in Action’ video for Salesforce Winter ’18
    • Rakesh on Automation Champion has his top 10 features
    • Praneel at Above and Beyond has a guide on the features of the release, with some additional focus on things developers (and some admins) would be interested in like DX.
    • Jenna Molby has a breakdown of her 12 favourite features from the release.
  • 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 😉

Back to top button