Build Your Own Salesforce Custom Report Types

Salesforce Reports analyze data that is stored on Salesforce Records that belong to Salesforce Objects that are related to one another, or not. That’s a mouthful. And so are Salesforce Reports. Depending on how the data has been set up and structured in your Salesforce org, you’ll need to craft your reports in a corresponding fashion. Salesforce doesn’t leave you alone. They give you ready-to-use Standard Report Types. And if you can’t find what you need you simply build your own, meaning Custom Report Types. Let’s discuss the differences and when to use what type.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

What are Salesforce Standard Report Types?

Standard Report Types are provided by Salesforce out-of-the-box. They come with Salesforce’s Standard Objects such as Accounts, Opportunities, Cases, Leads and so on. You will find the corresponding categories from which you can choose the available Report Types from.

Plus, when you create a Custom Object and tick the “Allow Reports” checkbox, Salesforce will also create a Report Type for you automatically. You’ll find it under “Other Reports”.

Which Standard Report Type Should You Use?

Let’s use the “Opportunities” Category as an example. This is where you find Reports related to the Opportunities Object and their associated Objects such as Products or Contact Roles etc.

The Standard Report Type “Opportunities” will include fields from the Details tab of these records.

A Report Type like the “Opportunities with Products” will include fields from the Details tab as well as fields from the related Object, in this case the Product details.

TIP: Report Types that include details from related records like Products, will only give you a subset of the records (=AND condition). In our example only Opportunities that do have Products attached. You will not be able to include Opportunities without Products.

That’s where Custom Report Types come in.

What are Salesforce Custom Report Types?

Whenever you can’t find a suitable Standard Report Type or need something more complex, that’s when you need to build your own Custom Report Type.

For example: Opportunities with our without Products (=OR condition)

How To Build Custom Report Types

Custom Report Types (CRTs) are created from the Setup menu. You need to select the Primary Object, choose a meaningful Report Type Name and Description. And, you can choose a Category, though you can’t create new categories.

These steps are pretty straight forward. BUT, what the heck is a Primary Object? The question should rather be: What is the main focus of the Report? The Primary Object will determine your Filter Options in the Report.

For example: CRT on Accounts with or without Opportunities. The main focus is on Accounts for which you want to see related Opportunities details. Users will be able to filter by Account to identify those that do or do not have Opportunities.

CRTs typically contain information from multiple related Salesforce Objects, such as “Accounts with Opportunities with Products with Schedules”. Or: “Accounts with or without Opportunities with or without Products with or without Schedules”. The latter would be the most comprehensive.

This means, you can add up to four related Objects, the Primary Object being your first one. You can choose between AND or OR conditions.

AND example: Accounts with Opportunities

OR example: Accounts with our without Opportunities

Awesome Custom Report Types Features

CRTs have another huge advantage over Standard Report Types: They allow you to tailor what will be available in the Report Builder.

You can organize the fields from each Object and group them into logical sections. You can even rename field labels, especially when you have duplicate field names like the “Created By” field. AND: You can add fields from related parent records, meaning Lookup fields. For example: On Account records, you’d have Lookup fields to the Account Owner (= User Object).

You can also specify default columns which will auto-populate when Users create a new Report of this Report Type.

Benefits of Salesforce Custom Report Types

CRTs have many benefits. You can even use them to improve Standard Report Types, though you’ll have to re-create them first as a CRT.

CRTs help you to:

  • Remove clutter from Reports that Users don’t need to see or should not be using
  • Make building Reports easier for Users
  • Standardize the Report building process across teams and departments

Did You Know?

You can hide Standard or Custom Report Types which are redundant. Instead of deleting a Report Type (CRTs only) which would delete all associated Reports, you can simply hide the Report Type.

NOTE: This is currently only possible through the Salesforce Classic UI. However, Salesforce is planning to make this available to Lightning in Spring’23. (Refer to Release Notes!)

If you want to learn more about creating Standard and Custom Report creation, it’s included in our all of our Salesforce Certification Courses. Understanding the data setup and structure is a critical component. That’s why we recommend learning about Reports in context of the bigger picture. This will make you the better Salesforce Admin or Business Analyst.

Plus, all study materials, such as Video Tutorials and Study Workbooks contain awesome checklists, flow charts, diagrams and best practices. You can even download and pin them to your office wall. 🤓

Let me know in the comments what types of Custom Report Types you have created or which ones you would like to try out.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, make sure to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

TOP 10 SALESFORCE SPRING ’22 RELEASE HIGHLIGHTS

The Salesforce Certification Exams have just switched over to Spring ’22. Aren’t we already moving into Summer ’22? That’s right. However, the exam cycles do have a shifted time frame. Salesforce learners need to be able to catch up. And here we go, if you are preparing for your Salesforce Certification Exam, make sure to familiarize yourself with the current release notes. Here are my TOP 10.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

#1 Collaborative Forecast Setup Becomes More Effective

This makes so much sense. Salesforce is combining Forecast Settings and Forecast Types into one screen. You won’t find a separate menu item for Forecast Types anymore. And that’s not all.

The Forecast Settings include a few new features, such as the display of Quota-related information. You get two new columns by default, the “Gap to Quota” and the “Pipeline Coverage”.

Tip: Enable “Show quotas” in order to see the option to enable “Show gap to quota and pipeline coverage”.

#2 Display Historical Trending on Forecast Tab

You’ll love this one for sure! You may be familiar with Historical Trending which is used to track changes on records such as Forecast Items. Historical Trending is usually used in reports to analyze such changes. However, in regards to Forecast Items, you can now enable the display of upward or downward trends on the Forecast Tab. This may even make the creation of corresponding reports redundant. #admintimesaver 👏🏻

Tip: Historical Trending is not enabled by default. Make sure to enable it first. Once it’s ready you’ll receive an email. After which Forecast Users will find respective Display Options on the Forecast Tab to choose from.

#3 Selecting The Right Report Types Becomes So Much Easier

When creating a new report from scratch, the very first thing you need to choose is the Report Type. If you get it wrong, you’ll have to start all over. 🤯 Salesforce makes this easier by showing you Recently Used Report Types.

And the best part is you can now hide Report Types which should not be used at all. This feature was already available in Salesforce Classic, and finally found its way into Lightning Experience. What took them so long? 🤔

Tip: You need to enable this feature under Reports and Dashboards Settings by ticking the checkbox “Enable Recommended Report Types”

#4 Inline Editing in Reports Gets Even Better

Similar to List Views, inline editing can be a double-edged sword. On the one side, inline editing can be very practical allowing Users to make changes right from the Report without having to open the record. On the other side though, related information might get overseen and not updated. This is being improved now. Whenever you update one field on a record that is relevant to another field on the same record, this related field will be highlighted.

Note: This feature is still in Beta and may or may not become Generally Available.

Tip: If you haven’t already, enable “Inline Editing in Reports” in the Reports and Dashboards Settings.

#5 Personal Data Protection In An Online World Becomes Even More Important

You already have all these data security and access tools available to prevent unauthorized access to specific types of data. However, there’s been a gap around User Data such as Names, Addresses, Emails, etc., especially in Experience Cloud Site Users. They should not necessarily be able to see each other’s details. Therefore, make sure to enable “Enhanced Personal Information Management” in the User Management Settings.

Note: This replaces the “Hide Personal Information” feature, which you will need to disable again if you had it turned on.

#6 Sharing Rules Become More Sophisticated

In regards to data protection, you can now include or exclude specific records which are associated with High-Volume Community Users or System Users.

Tip: By default, the Sharing Rule automatically includes these records. If this is not desired, ensure to deselect the checkbox “Include records owned by users who can’t have an assigned role”.

#7 Smarter Manage Permission Set Group Assignments with Expiration Dates

Keeping an overview of who is assigned to what Permission Set or Permission Set Group is hard enough. Permission Set Groups even allow you to add expiration dates which is awesome. You can now not only see the list of Users with an expiry date, but you can now also search and filter Users.

Note: This feature is currently in Beta, and may or may not become Generally Available.

Tip: Enable “Permission Set & Permission Set Group Assignments with Expiration Dates” in the User Management Settings in order to assign and manage expirations.

#8 Identify Sloooooowwww Record Pages

Since the introduction of Lightning Experience, Users have been complaining about slow page loads. This impacts user adoption significantly and Salesforce has already made a number of improvements around this issue. The Lightning Usage App already includes a section around “Slowest Desktop Record Pages”. However, while you are building out Lightning Record Pages, you are now automatically prompted when the system recognized pages that could run more efficiently.

No tip, just keep an eye out. 😉

#9 Our Love For Flow Is Growing

Almost no other Salesforce development tool has seen so many improvements in such a short time as the Flow Builder does. We all know by now that Flow will become your go-to automation tool and Salesforce is making sure, you won’t have such a hard time. From all the new updates, here are my Top 3:

Auto-Layout becomes Generally Available

When you create a new Flow it is automatically set to Auto-Layout. However, if you prefer, you can switch it back to Freeform. I still personally prefer Freeform because I like to see all Elements and Resources in the panel on the left. #oldhabitsdiehard However, the Auto-Layout is just perfect for Flow Newbies or if you prefer a more guided approach.

Use Flow Trigger Explorer to see all Flows associated to a specific Object

One of the issues with having too many automation tools is that you don’t really know what automation is already in place for one particular Object.

The Flow Trigger Explorer has been put in place to take some of that guesswork out. Of course, it can only look at Flows, but for Record-Triggered Flows, it shows you if there are other Flows already in place for the same Object. Almost too good to be true, but it’s right there. 😉

No tip, just click on “Open Flow Trigger Explorer…”.

Determine Run Order of Record-Triggered Flows

How do you know which Flow runs first when you have multiple Flows for the same Object? Good question. Problem solved with the “Trigger Order” field which you can determine when you save a Flow. If the Flow was saved already, just go to the Flow Properties.

Note: The Flows must use the same trigger, either before-save or after-save.

And there’s heaps more. Make sure to check out the other Flow updates too.

#10 Convert Workflow Rules to Flow

A little warning first: Don’t try this one in a real Production Org, test this out in a Sandbox or Developer Org first! Plus, this is currently in Beta and may require fine-tuning. However, it’s certainly worth giving it a go.

It’s time we face it: Workflow Rules and Processes are going to be retired. While they will still be around for another (probably long) while, you won’t be able to create new ones anymore. You will only be able to edit existing ones. This means, you still need to know how Workflow Rules and Processes work. But, you will also need to learn more about Flow and how to migrate Workflow Rules and Processes to Flow Builder. Salesforce is starting to provide you with migration tools. Here’s one for Workflow Rules:

You will find a new Setup menu item “Migrate to Flow”. Select the Rules you wish to migrate and the system will do the work for you. Once the migration is completed, you will be able to test the functionality in Flow Builder. Voila!

There are so many more features to explore. Go check them out and remember you can earn points for learning all about them: Spring ’22 Release Highlights

Let us know in the comments which features you enjoy the most. We’d love to hear from you!

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, make sure to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

How Long Does It Take to Learn For Your Salesforce Certification Exam?

That depends! Not the answer you wanted? Bear with me. There are a number of factors contributed to your experience, study materials, career goal and more. You are going to make this work using the guidelines we’ll discuss in this article.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

“Success isn’t overnight. It’s when every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.” 

Dwayne Johnson | actor and former pro-wrestler

One of the most popular questions around Salesforce Certifications is how long or how much time it takes to get ready for the Salesforce Certification Exam. And this is indeed a very important question to ask yourself. Understanding the timing will help you prepare accordingly and avoid the frustration.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, we can certainly apply a rule of thumb to give you some direction. Therefore, in this article we will break down the most relevant factors that will contribute to the date you’ll register your Salesforce Certification Exam for. These factors include:

  1. Your Salesforce experience
  2. Your available study time per week
  3. Study materials at your disposal
  4. Your Salesforce career plans
  5. Your desired Salesforce Certification exam date

Your Salesforce Experience

Have you had any experience with Salesforce yet? If yes, then we need to look at the type of experience.

This includes the type of Salesforce User, the type of Salesforce Org, type of involvement, and time spent in the system. Here are a few examples of what this may look like:

Type of Salesforce User:

  • Trailhead Learner completing Trailhead Modules and Projects
  • Salesforce Business User like a sales person using the User Interface, not the Setup
  • Salesforce Administrator working in the system setup

Type of Salesforce Org:

  • Trailhead Playground/Developer Org
  • Production Org such as Enterprise Edition, Essential Edition etc.
  • Robust org setup or disorganized org

Type of involvement:

  • Trailhead Learner completing step-by-step projects or completing complex SuperBadges
  • Business User working in the User Interface only, no Salesforce Setup
  • System Administrator configuring the Salesforce Setup, differentiating between simple setup items (e.g. setting up Users) or complex customizations (creating Custom Objects/Apps, Workflows, Flows etc.)

Time spent in the system:

  • Daily usage
  • A few hours per week
  • Irregular login

Where do you think you fit in? How confident do you feel about your experience with Salesforce?

Based on your previous experience, you may consider the following time frames:

0 Experience: 3-6 months

6 months+ Experience: 6-8 weeks

12 months+ Experience: 3-4 weeks

However, you need to consider how much time you can afford to study. Therefore, let’s look at the weekly study time and how this can affect your timeline.

Hours Per Week You Have Time to Study for your Salesforce Certification Exam

What does your daily life look like? Are you currently working a full-time job? Do you have kids or other people to care for? Do you have any leisure activities/hobbies to attend to?

This will help you determine how much time you can free up to focus on your Salesforce studies. You have various options, such as studying full-time or part-time or casually.

If we take the number of hours per day or week into consideration, the time frame may look like this:

And that’s not all, yet. We also need to look at the study materials you’re learning with as well as your learning pace to work through the materials.

Salesforce Study Materials at Your Disposal

You’ve got a lot of options to choose from in regards to how you are learning all the Salesforce Certification knowledge topics. These include Trailhead Modules/Project, video tutorials, study workbooks, practice exams, quizzes, and others.

If you are a Salesforce Newbie, you will certainly have more knowledge topics, or more material, to work through than someone with prior experience. And even if you are experienced, you may need to work through topics you thought you are confident in to make sure you’re not missing something you may not have been exposed to yet. At least, that’s what I’d suggest you should do. 🤓

What’s the best way to learn all that Salesforce knowledge to prepare for your certification exam?

With so much content out there, we’ve collated the essential details into a comprehensive Salesforce Certification Guide. It’s an 8-step guide telling you exactly what you should do in order to reach your exam day and pass at the first attempt. It also includes important information about what happens after you got certified. Because this is where your career really starts off. 👔

Your exam day will only be as successful as the Salesforce knowledge and skills you are bringing with you. The key to a successful exam day, therefore, is HOW you prepare yourself.

This means learning the right content in an effective way for your brain to absorb all that knowledge and retain it. It’s not just about “learning” it’s about “understanding”. There is science behind this, combined with real-life experience from other Salesforce learners.

Here are the recommended study materials that will help you prepare and give you the confidence for your exam day YOU want to have:

Salesforce’s Trailhead Modules and Projects – Each Salesforce Certification requires a different set of knowledge and tools. You will learn these through Trailhead Modules and Projects. The ones relevant for the Salesforce Certification you are preparing for are collated into so-called Trailmixes.

Salesforce Video Tutorials – Video tutorials are a great way to learn in a well-structured and coordinated way. Especially if you are a visual learner who prefers some guidance. Our video tutorials will not only help you “learn” but will offer plenty of opportunities for self-guided practice to help you “understand” what you’ve been learning about.

Salesforce Study Workbook – If you enjoy reading, taking notes, and even like to print out pages to pin at your desk, then our Study Workbooks are perfect for you. They give you a summary of all exam knowledge topics for review, and also include links to the Trailmixes mentioned earlier, so you can deepen your hands-on practice.

Salesforce Practice Exams – I believe these are a must-have for everyone. Because they do two things. One, get you familiar with the exam format and complexity of questions and answers. Two, they help you determine whether you are actually ready to take the exam. They are used to identify your strength and weaknesses, including detailed explanations and additional learning resources to strengthen your weaker knowledge areas.

NOTE: If you are a Salesforce Newbie, I would not recommend to start learning with Practice Exams, rather use them at a later point in time. They are meant to check in on your existing knowledge of the Salesforce features and functionalities.

And again, it depends on your prior experience. Salesforce Newbies may need all of the study materials, Salesforce Experienced may only need the Study Workbook and/or Practice Exams. Choose for yourself, it’s YOUR Salesforce Career!

And this brings us to the next factor.

Your Salesforce Career Plans

Now, we need to look at your Salesforce Career plans. This means, how important is the Salesforce Certification to you and how fast are you looking to use it to make a career move.

A Salesforce Certification is not a must-have to move into a Salesforce job, however, it will likely open more doors if you have at least one. You may even be in a current Salesforce job, maybe as an accidental Administrator, and you’re considering adding that Salesforce Certification to your CV but you’re not in a rush.

The urgency to gain the Salesforce Certification will also determine your exam deadline. And this takes us to the last but certainly not least factor.

Your Desired Salesforce Certification Exam Date

If you already have a date in mind, you can take the table from above and count backward to determine how many hours per week you would potentially have to study.

For example:

You’re desired exam date is 4 weeks from today. Two scenarios:

  • As a Salesforce Newbie, you’d have to study almost 240 hours per week. 🤯 I guess this is not very realistic. You may need to consider moving out that exam date.
  • As a Salesforce Experienced, you’d have to study 40-120 hours per week based on the type of experience. You may or may not be able to make it in 4 weeks.

🌶 Keep it realistic, and use the table above to determine your potential exam date. Yes, you can book your exam date already. This may help to push you forwards. However, if it’s an unrealistic date, you may get super stressed out and even fail while you could have prevented that by setting a realistic date.

If you are not sure whether you should book your exam date already or not, I’d suggest you get started with your learning curriculum. As you progress over the next few days or weeks, you get a feel on how well you are managing the complexity of the knowledge topics and your learning pace. Remember to make use of the Practice Exams to determine your exam readiness. Once you have a better idea, you can certainly go ahead and book that exam date.

We provide a Study Checklist to track your learning progress in combination with a traffic light system. This will give you a good idea of whether you are leaning more towards the sooner or later exam date.

What Else

Extended Hands-on Practice

Hands-on practice is included in any of the above-mentioned study materials. However, if you are a Salesforce Newbie or even if it’s just a few new topics you are studying, you should double-up your hands-on practice. The more you get your hands on the system, the better you’re learning success will be. And learning success means “understanding” your knowledge topic, which in turn will help you pass the exam. PLUS, retain the knowledge for your upcoming job interview.

This means you can either retake the Trailhead Modules/Projects in a new Trailhead Playground, or try on your own in a Developer Org. Alternatively, go and complete Trailhead Superbadges. They are based on real-life business scenarios and requirements which you need to set up in a Trailhead Playground all by yourself without any guidance. They are pretty tough and therefore the perfect way to really deepen your Salesforce skills. Yes, they do require a bit more time and patience. You can skip them, however, I’d really recommend you complete the ones listed in your Trailmixes. Superbadges can even be linked to your LinkedIn profile page, just like you can with your Salesforce Certification. That should tell you something. 💡

Here’s one which is part of the Salesforce Administrator Credential Trailmix:

Salesforce Documentation

Provides an extensive library of product features, knowledge articles, how-to documentation and so much more. While you are studying through your knowledge topics, you may want to read through some of the provided references on help.salesforce.com. They often contain additional or contributing information you should at least have a browse through. This also helps you get familiar with Salesforce Help and how to use it, because you’re going to need it, not only to prepare for your exam but also as an on-the-job reference. 🤓

Salesforce Release Notes

Contain important updates to the Salesforce platform. Each Salesforce Certification Exam is based on a release cycle. Which release cycle it is, is provided to you on the exam guide. Therefore, before you sit the exam, it helps to have a look at the exam relevant topics.

For example, if you are studying for the Salesforce Administrator, you should have a look at Analytics, Configuration, Einstein Automate, Sales, Marketing and Service.

This should give you plenty to contemplate. I hope you’ve been finding this helpful to determine your realistic exam date. Let me know in the comments when you are planning to take your Salesforce Certification Exam. We’re here to support you and help you keep going!

We make learning Salesforce simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks, and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

Why You Should Set up a Regular Salesforce Data Backup

Did you know that Salesforce does not automatically create a backup of your Salesforce data? At least not in a way that would allow easy recovery. Any data loss or data corruption in a live Salesforce Org can have a devastating impact if you do not set up a comprehensive data backup and restore mechanism. In this article, we’ll discuss your options of manual and automated solutions.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Let me start by asking you this: Do you take photos of your family, friends, hobbies, travel or else? Would you be sad if you lost any of them? For my part, I’d be devastated. Therefore, I regularly create backups of any of my photos, whether I’m taking them with my phone or camera.

What does this have to do with Salesforce? A lot! Because the data stored in a live Salesforce Production Org is critical for customer relationship management, business success, legal compliance and so much more.

This means, if any sensitive or business-critical data is lost and not recoverable, it can have a devastating impact. This is particularly relevant when large amounts of data are impacted.

Data can get lost in many different ways. The most common reasons are:

  • Salesforce Users overwrite data
  • Salesforce Users delete records
  • Salesforce Administrator changes field types
  • Salesforce Administrator runs data imports

Any of the above can happen by accident or can be deliberate. As the Salesforce Administrator, you have many tools at hand to protect data access, data edits as well as data deletion. However, data loss or data corruption can still happen. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can manage data backups to recover and restore data when required.

Salesforce Data Backup Solutions

Did you know that Salesforce does not automatically create a backup of your Salesforce data? At least not in a way that would allow easy recovery. If you want Salesforce’s help with this process, you will need to install something first, and that’s Salesforce’s Backup and Restore service. It requires quite a few setup steps before it will backup your data and provides a recovery service. Plus, it comes at an additional fee.

Alternatively, you can find backup solutions on AppExchange with a range of highly respected Salesforce Partner Apps that work a charm. Yes, they do come at a cost too. Depending on your Salesforce org’s data capacity, restore process and of course budget, it’s worth checking out these apps. Just search for “backup”:

Source: appexchange.salesforce.com

Meanwhile, what can YOU do already?

While the automated solutions are great, you can already start with the more manual backup solutions Salesforce does provide you with out of the box, included at no additional cost. You can always extend with apps at a later point in time.

These out-of-the-box backup solutions include Report Exports, the Data Export service, and the Data Loader App/Dataloader.io. Let’s go through each to see how and when to use them.

Export Salesforce Data with Reports

Salesforce data is stored on records that belong to various Standard and Custom Objects, such as Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, and so on. One of the easiest ways is to create reports for each of these Salesforce Objects and export them into a save place on your company’s server.

PROs: Simple way to create ad-hoc reports relevant for data clean-up processes, before data imports, whenever there’s a limited amount of records involved. Exports to .csv and .xlsx. Can be scheduled for export.

CONs: This is a manual process. You won’t be able to export the entire database. Cannot be used to restore, unless you do a manual re-import under specific considerations.

Export with Data Loader App / Dataloader.io

The Data Loader works similarly to reports in the way that you need to select specific types of records you want to export.

PROs: Automatically stores the export file in a pre-defined location. The export process can be automated using the command line. Exports to .csv, .xlsx and other.

CONs: Requires installation of Data Loader App locally as well as Java Runtime Environment (alternatively use Dataloader.io web service). You need to be familiar with all the above-mentioned tools and processes.

Salesforce Data Export Service

This one is managed right from within your Salesforce Setup menu, no need to install anything. You can choose between weekly or monthly exports (depends on Salesforce Edition). It’s the most comprehensive of the export tools:

PROs: Automatically exports either selected or all data. Can include images, documents, files etc. (Beware file size!)

CONs: Data is only prepared for export. Once the export data is ready, the system will send an email to the Administrator with a link to a .zip file. The zip file is stored within the Salesforce Setup from where it needs to be manually downloaded. And, the .zip file delete’s itself after 48 hours.

The Data Export is really easy to set up and if you can ensure that an Administrator will be around to take care of the .zip file within the 48-hour time frame, then this is certainly a great tool to use.

Final Thoughts

The out-of-the-box backup solutions do not provide out-of-the-box recovery methods. The recovery process is a rather manual process, including tools like the Recycle Bin and Data (Re)Imports. Depending on the volume of data/records involved, remember to take a look at Salesforce’s Backup and Restore service or solutions on the AppExchange.

All of the above is about Salesforce Data, not Metadata. Metadata are the containers that define the type and location of the data, not the data itself. This includes Field Types, Page Layouts, Reports, Validation Rules, and so on. Therefore, if you need a backup, or better a copy, of the Metadata, that’s what Sandboxes are for.

Salesforce Data Backup is part of our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. Application Management including Sandboxes is covered in our Salesforce Platform App Builder and Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification Courses.

Let me know in the comments how you manage data backups and which tool you prefer to use.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning Salesforce simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

Before You Run Your Next Salesforce Data Import

Running Salesforce Data Imports to insert or update larger amounts of Salesforce records can be a real time-saver. OR NOT! It can also mess up your data seriously if the import is not prepared well. Which in turn, will cost you a lot of time instead, to fix it all over again. 🤯 In this article, I want to discuss how you can ensure your data imports run smoothly.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

I’ve been going through the painful way of understanding how NOT to use the data import file. We had created a huge mess at the time and it took weeks to fix the whole thing. 🤯 Only because of one field we got wrong. Trust me, you don’t want this to happen to you.

Therefore, in this article, I want to discuss how you can ensure your data imports run smoothly. 🤓 We’ll look at the types of data import tools available to you and what steps you need to follow in order to prepare your import file in the right way.

Which Salesforce Data Import Tool Should You Use

First of all, it’s important to understand which tool you should choose for what type of data import,  data update, or even data deletion. While we will focus on data import in this article, I’ll give you a breakdown of the main data management tools every Salesforce Administrator should be familiar with.

These tools are Data Import Wizard and Data Loader:

Data Import Wizard

The Data Import Wizard comes right out of the box and is accessed through the Salesforce Setup interface. As the name reveals, the Data Import Wizard can only do imports/updates. It’s limited to the Standard Objects Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Solutions, and Campaign Members, but unlimited Custom Objects. You can choose to verify duplicates and choose whether or not you want to trigger workflow rules or processes.

Data Loader App / Dataloader.io

Then we have the Data Loader. It comes in two versions:

Version 1: The Data Loader App. This one is also available through the Setup, however needs to be downloaded and installed on your computer before you can use it. It looks a bit like a dinosaur but is still loved by so many Salesforce Admins because it’s the most versatile of the data management tools.

Version 2: The Dataloader.io website is the modern cloud-based alternative. It can be launched from the Setup menu too. It is a paid service, however can be used for free to manage up to 10,000 records of up to 10MB per file.

Both Data Loader versions support imports, updates, exports, and mass deletes for pretty much all of your Standard and Custom Objects. Using the command line you can even automate imports and exports, for example for regular data migrations from/with other systems. Both Data Loader versions also support saving field mappings which are super handy for those regular data imports. They do not support duplicate checks though and can’t turn off workflow rules/processes.

Here’s an overview of their main differences and when to use which data management tool and what else you need to consider:

As mentioned earlier, in this article we will further focus on data imports because they require the most careful preparation.

Differences Between Salesforce Data Import and Data Update

When you do an import, you need to differentiate between data import and data update. You can choose between the two or even combine the two actions in one upload.

Each Salesforce record is being associated with a unique record ID. This means, if you are doing a data import to create entirely new records, Salesforce will automatically generate a unique record ID for each new record.

However, if you are doing a data import to update existing records, you need to tell Salesforce which records need to be updated. Hence, you must reference the existing record IDs.

And this is the tricky part. If you don’t include the record ID in your data upload, Salesforce will create new records instead and you’ll end up with duplicates.

Now, where do you find the record IDs of the records you want to update? You’ve got three options:

  1. In the URL of the record.
  2. By including the ID field into the corresponding report.
  3. By including the ID field in the data export when using the Data Loader.

Each of these options will give you a different number of digits, either 15 or 18. How does this matter? This is relevant for things like V-lookups in an Excel spreadsheet. Excel does not care about upper or lower cases, hence some of the record IDs will appear as duplicates. Therefore, in case you need to use the data for V-lookup purposes, it’s safer to use the 18 digits.

By the way: The number of digits does not matter for the data upload process. It will work with either number.

What Does a Salesforce Data Import File Look Like

The data import file needs to match the structure of the Salesforce Object which contains the type of records you want to upload. The structure of any Salesforce Object is the structure of a table, like an Excel or CSV. Depending on the type of Object, you need to include the relevant rows and columns.

Data uploads must be done from a CSV file. In case you’ve got an Excel in front of you, make sure to convert it to CSV first.

Here’s an example of an import file related to the Account Object:

Apart from the record IDs we discussed earlier, there are a few other items you should be verifying before you run the import.

Don’t Miss These Steps When Preparing Your Salesforce Data Import File

Therefore, here’s a checklist for you of the most important items you need to verify before you start the import.

  • Verify whether there are any mandatory fields that may be missing, or other data validation rules you may have in place. Also, do all fields you want to import exist in Salesforce or do you need to create custom fields.
  • Clean up potential duplicates. Yes, the Data Import Wizard has duplicate options available however they may not necessarily work in 100% of the records. Therefore it’s always better to check upfront if feasible.
  • Verify picklist values. If a value in your CSV file does not match existing picklist values, it will still import but not actually add the value to the picklist. Picklist values can be enforced. This means, records containing mismatching values will not be imported.
  • To keep your Salesforce data clean and tidy, it’s good practice to run a spell check, verify naming conventions and data formats like country codes and so on.
  • If you are importing currency fields, make sure the currency exists and is included in the file, not just the amount. They are essentially two different fields.
  • And remember the field mapping. It’s best to rename the column headings to match the Salesforce field label. You can still rename during the import but that may take longer. Remember that the Data Import Wizard does not store your mappings. However the Data Loader can, and this may be handy for regular uploads.
  • Determine the Record Owner. If you don’t include it in your import file, YOU will become the owner.
  • One last item that can get really interesting is date and time formats. Make sure the date and time fields are formatted correctly, otherwise they will most likely not get imported correctly. Here is what Salesforce accepts:

Source: help.salesforce.com

Conclusion

The actual data import process is not very hard, however, the type of data you import is what matters and what can truly mess things up.

Data Management is part of our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. You will not only learn how to import and export data in Salesforce but also learn WHY this is relevant. There are a lot of factors to consider in regards to data setup, data security, data clean-up, data backup, data migration, and more. Therefore, we believe it’s essential to understand the bigger picture. 🤓

Let me know in the comments if you found this article helpful. If you had any data import mess-ups let me know too, we can all only learn from our mistakes and by sharing them with others.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning Salesforce simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks, and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder, and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

Plan Your Salesforce Certification Studies – Use a Traffic Light System

Using a systematic approach to plan your study time in order to prepare for you Salesforce Certification Exam will make all the difference. It will allow you to stay on track by organizing your Salesforce learning schedule and allotting specific times for different types of knowledge topics. In this blog article you will learn about the traffic light system and how to use it to avoid distractions and improve productivity.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

“To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.”

Nicolaus Copernicus

Prepare Your Salesforce Certification Exam Studies For Success

Using a systematic approach to plan your study time in order to prepare for your Salesforce Certification Exam will make all the difference. It will allow you to stay on track by organizing your Salesforce learning schedule and allotting specific times for different types of knowledge topics. In this blog article, you will learn about the traffic light system and how to use it to avoid distractions and improve productivity.

Track Your Salesforce Learning Progress

The first question everyone, who is preparing for a Salesforce Certification Exam, is asking themselves is “What do I actually need to learn?”.

Therefore, BEFORE you get started with your learning efforts, the first thing you need to do is understand which Salesforce knowledge topics you need to be proficient about.

This is where the Salesforce Certification Exam Guide comes in. It contains an overview of the exam topics you need to know about. Now, the thing with the exam guide is that it’s more of a high-level overview. It doesn’t quite provide you with a list of sub-topics. Because it’s often the sup-topics which will be asked about in the exam.

Plus, the exam guide does not allow you to tick anything off let alone highlight any topics with our traffic light system we’ll get to shortly.

Here comes our Salesforce Study Checklist to the rescue. The Study Checklist will help you stay on track with your studies. And in combination with the traffic light system, it will organize your study schedule so that you spend more time doing things and less time wasting time.

There are two approaches to incorporate the Traffic Light System.

Approach #1 is for Salesforce Newbies:

If you are totally new to Salesforce and you are starting from scratch, you’ll work your way through the topics in the given order. The order follows a logical structure allowing you to learn each topic step-by-step and build up your knowledge as you progress. Why? Because a lot of the subsequent topics often require the knowledge of the preceding topics. As you progress you’ll tick off each topic and see how you are moving towards the end.

Here’s an excerpt from the Study Checklist of our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course:

Once, you’ve gone through each topic, you’re not done. I don’t want to punish you, not at all. BUT, as a new Salesforce learner, the next step is to deepen what you have learned. Because…by the time you’ve reached the end you will have forgotten at least 50% of what you thought you had learned. This is perfectly normal.

It’s all about repetition and practice. Therefore, you’ll now go back to the top and go through each topic again. For each topic, however, you will now use the traffic light system to classify them. Here is what this may look like:

🟢 Green = **too easy** Topics you know well and you would be able to set up in Salesforce in your dreams.

🟡 Yellow = **uuuhm** Topics you feel like you know but you’re not 100% confident with.

🔴 Red = **never heard of** Well, you probably have but you don’t recall. That’s what I mentioned earlier in regards to the 50% you’ve already forgotten.

Here’s what this may look like:

Approach #2 is for the somewhat-experienced Salesforce learner:

If you’ve already been exposed to Salesforce either through your current job or through the Trailhead platform or else, you probably don’t need to work through all the knowledge topics in chronological order. You can take the approach backward and start with the part where you go through each topic and classify them using the traffic light system.

You’ll then go over to work through each unit in the order of the colors. You’ll begin with the red ones, followed by the yellow ones, followed by the green ones. Then, tick off as you go through each.

Like in this example:

By using the Study Checklist in combination with the Traffic Light System, you can create a schedule that prioritizes the red learning topics while also leaving room for deepening your skills in the yellow topics as well as reviewing your expertise in the green topics.

Setting Realistic Salesforce Certification Exam Study Time Slots

Prioritizing and tracking your study progress is one side of the medal, the other side is your timing. Here are a few tips on how to manage your study time:

  • Set up your learning environment. This includes setting up your Trailhead Account and creating Trailhead Playgrounds.
  • Keep it quite. Turn off your mobile phone. If you live with family members or room mates, tell them not to disturb you.
  • Learn in bite-size chunks. Break down your study goals into smaller buckets, maybe 2-3 learning topics a day. Each knowledge topic is different in length and complexity. Some require 5 minutes, other may need 2 hours. Don’t worry if you don’t tick off more than one, the next day you might tick off 3 at once.
  • Take regular breaks. You can study 0.5-2 hours each day or schedule 3-4 hours on your weekend days. Don’t try to study for hours on end if you know you won’t be able to focus.

CONCLUSION

All of the above will help you stay motivated and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Studying for your Salesforce Certification Exam takes time and patience. Having a plan and tracking your progress will keep you sane. 🤓

We offer a range of Study Checklists you can download for free. They are included in our Free Salesforce Certification Preview Courses. Go here to get access: https://www.welearnsalesforce.com/collections?category=free-salesforce-preview-courses

Let me know in the comments if you’ve been finding these tips helpful. Do you use any other learning methods that you have found useful? I’d love to hear about it!

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning Salesforce simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

Highlight Your Salesforce Skills On Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn Profile page is the first impression a recruiter or potential employer will get of you. Therefore, you want to keep it professional. Plus, it should be obvious that you are passionate about Salesforce. And don’t worry: If you don’t have Salesforce job experience yet, there is still a way to showcase your Salesforce hands-on experience. In this article, I’ll walk you through the key elements you should consider in order to highlight your Salesforce talent on your LinkedIn Profile.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Your LinkedIn Profile page is the go-to page for many recruiters and potential employers. There are two ways they will look at it:

  1. They find your profile page through their search keywords because your profile contains the relevant job roles, certificates or other criteria they are looking for
  2. You share your profile with them directly

This means you want to make sure your LinkedIn Profile contains all relevant details, AND…leaves a positive impression for the recruiter or potential employer wanting to contact you.

In this article, we will not only look at how you can add your Salesforce skills and experiences but also how you can improve some other aspects at the same time. Altogether, it will only take 8 steps in just a few minutes to spice up your LinkedIn profile.

Let’s go through each step and start from the top of your LinkedIn Profile page:

STEP #1 – Choose Professional PROFILE Image

Your profile image is the first impression a recruiter or potential employer will get of you. Therefore, you want to keep it authentic and professional.

I’d recommend one of two options:

  1. Use something which represents the job, maybe a Salesforce Administrator, you are aiming for. This can be something like sitting at a desk or doing a presentation similar to what a Salesforce Consultant might do etc.
  2. Alternatively use a professional image wearing an outfit you would wear at work, maybe a suit or dress

While no one should judge you by your appearance, most recruiters and future employers though will see this as a sign of respect and professional attitude. You can certainly choose a more casual image. In any case, ensure that your face is clearly visible (and it’s your face only) and the composition represents your personality. What matters most is you being you, meaning being authentic.

Here’s an example:

By the way, LinkedIn even provides some basic editing tools to make your image look even better:

STEP #2 – Add A BACKGROUND Image & Include Your Salesforce Certificate

Similar to your profile, your background image will draw attention too. It’s there for a reason, so make use of it. 🤓

If you are looking for a Salesforce job, you can absolutely use something Salesforce specific or cloud computing related to show your passion for Salesforce and/or the industry. This may be a display of your Salesforce Certificates or a more generic cloud computing image or similar.

Now one thing to keep in mind: Always consider copyright. There are lots of royalty-free image platforms like unplash.com where you can find something suitable. Otherwise, I’d recommend creating your own, using tools like PowerPoint or Canva. 🧑‍🎨

STEP #3 – Create A Crisp HEADLINE

This is what appears right below your name. It should be a crisp one-liner that doesn’t have to be a job title, especially if you are currently unemployed or not working for other reasons. You may use something like ‘Helping customers to build tailored Salesforce business solutions” or “Aspiring Salesforce Administrator”. You can get creative here as long as you keep it real.

For example, like this:

STEP #4 – Tell Everyone ABOUT Your Skills and Experiences, including Salesforce

This part is often neglected but really shouldn’t be. It’s where you tell your story and it’s where you can truly leave an impression.

It is very much like what you add to a typical resume where you summarize your key skills and experiences. Make sure to include your Salesforce qualifications. In case you don’t have a Salesforce Certification yet, then list the most relevant Trailhead Modules, Projects or SuperBadges for sure. Recruiters can already see that you are not lazy. 🧑‍💻

🌶 DON’T FORGET: Add your Trailblazer.ID link to make sure recruiters or hiring managers can look at your Trailblazer.Me Profile too.

Here’s an example of what the “About” section may look like:

STEP #5 – Showcase Your Work EXPERIENCE

This is where you list your current and previous work history, just like in a classic resume. Double-check that the companies you work or worked for are linked correctly. When you see a company logo not appear correctly, re-link it again.

If you don’t have a current job, don’t sweat it. Many of us are going through periods of either unemployment or career development phases at some point in our lives. And this may include your time spend on Trailhead to upskill your Salesforce experience. Recruiters will recognize this.

🌶 Beware though: Your time spent on Trailhead belongs in the Education section of your LinkedIn profile. “Trailhead by Salesforce” is a recognized school and will be understood as such.

STEP #6 – Share your EDUCATION Path

Add the most recent schools or universities you have attended. You don’t have to list everything all the way back to Primary School (or adequate to your first school entry in your country). The more recent ones are sufficient.

🌶 Now, one thing which is important here is your Trailhead education. As mentioned above, this section is perfect to add your Trailhead hands-on practice. Use “Trailhead by Salesforce” as the school, then list your most recent or most significant Modules, Projects and Badges you have already completed or you are currently working on.

STEP #7 – List Your LICENSES and Salesforce CERTIFICATIONS

This is where you can shine a light on your hard-earned certifications, including your Salesforce Certifications. Make sure to add them as soon as you’ve completed them.

🌶 Did you know you can even add your Trailhead Superbadges as well? YES, you can and you should! However, in case you got dozens of Suberbadges, choose the ones which are most relevant for the job you are applying for.

This may look like this:

STEP #8 – Show Your INTERESTS And Active Community Engagement

Recruiters also look for your interests to see how you are engaging yourself and what else you are interested in. This shows them that you are a human being and not a one-trick Salesforce-pony.

Here, recruiters can see which groups you are a member of, like Salesforce-related groups, or companies you follow, maybe Salesforce.com, Mulesoft.com, and others.

🌶 Be reasonable though how many groups you join and how many companies you follow. Focus on those that you are truly interested in or engaged in. It may not look very authentic if you are a member of hundreds of groups just to pretend you are being active.

Always keep things real!

As you can see, updating your LinkedIn Profile and including your Salesforce skills doesn’t take much time. So get right to it and spice up your profile to get found by recruiters and potential future employers.

These are just some of the key edits you can do, in particular, to highlight your Salesforce talent. There’s certainly more you can improve like your job descriptions.

Therefore, let me know in the comments if you have any further ideas about what you have done and what you’ve seen others do. I’d love to hear from you.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning Salesforce simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

Restriction Rules – Yet Another Data Security Management Tool?

Hell YESSS! Nothing is more important than protecting your customer’s sensitive data you are storing in your Salesforce Org. You can land in prison if you don’t. Ok, I’m being overdramatic, but nevertheless, data protection is a serious topic. So how about we break down the entire model and see how the Restriction Rules fit in? Let’s go!

Hell YESSS! Nothing is more important than protecting your customer’s sensitive data you are storing in your Salesforce Org. You can land in prison if you don’t. Ok, I’m being overdramatic, but nevertheless, data protection is a serious topic. And your data security toolset just got a new addition. 🤯

Whether you are a new Admin, experienced Admin, App Builder, Product Owner or otherwise involved with the Salesforce Setup, understanding how to protect sensitive data stored in Salesforce is probably one of the most important aspects of setting up and managing a Salesforce Org.

We all know that the Data Security Model is already rather complex and now you have been given yet another tool. So how about we break down the entire model and see how the Restriction Rules fit in? Let’s go!

Salesforce Data Security Model & Where Restriction Rules Fit In

Now, as I mentioned above, the Data Security Model is complex and consists of many layers. In general, we have four layers/levels:

Organization-level = This is where you manage the first entry point of a Salesforce User, their login to the system. This includes things like IP Ranges, Login Hours, Password Policy, and so on. Anything that authenticates the User BEFORE they get access to Salesforce.

Object-level = This is what the User will have access to AFTER they successfully logged in. All Salesforce data is stored on Salesforce records that belong to Salesforce Objects. Hence, you will typically use tools like User Profiles, Permission Sets, and Permission Set Groups to manage access to Salesforce Objects.

Record-level = This is where things really start to get interesting with managing access to records that contain all that sensitive or not-to-sensitive data. Therefore, you want to be very careful which records Users should have access to. The baseline tools you’ll have available, are Organization-Wide Defaults (OWD), Role Hierarchy, Sharing Rules, Team Sharing, and Manual Sharing. PLUS, you guessed it, Restriction Rules.

Record-level sharing is the most complex of all our four layers, so here is how they are built up:

Field-level = Is all about managing access to the individual data types (= fields) stored on Salesforce records. You can choose between No access, Read access or Read/Write access.

Now that you know WHERE Restriction Rules fit in, we’ll discuss HOW they work.

HOW Do Salesforce Restriction Rules Work

While your baseline Record-level Sharing Model pretty much opens up access to records, Restriction Rules take away access. In other words, they limit the User’s record access to a sub-set of records they used to have access to. It’s like setting a permanent filter to display only pre-defined records. Why would you need to do that? Good question! We’ll look at some examples shortly.

Now, Restriction Rules can also be used for Objects that do not support any or some of the Record-level Sharing tools.

Let’s look at some examples for both scenarios:

An example where Restriction Rules limit access:

Let’s say you have a Recruiting Team, of which the Recruiting Assistants have access to Positions of the status “Open”. They have hired a Junior Recruiting Assistant, to support with open Positions which need to be filled by the end of the month.

We’re assuming the OWDs for Position is set to “Private”, a Role Hierarchy has been set up including the Role “Recruiting Assistant”, and a Sharing Rule is in place which shares all open Positions with the Recruiting Assistant Role. This Role is also assigned to the Junior Recruiting Assistant. What now?

Well, the Junior Recruiting Assistant has been assigned the Title “Junior Recruiting Assistant” on the corresponding User Record. And this is where we bring in the Restriction Rule. You will use the Restriction Rule to only display open Positions with a Close Date of the current end of the month, to Users with the Title “Junior Recruiting Assistant”.

This may look like this:

The result is this: The Junior Recruiting Assistant already had access to all open Positions because of the Sharing Rule. Of these open Positions, the Restriction Rule limits access to open Positions that contain the date of the current end of month.

Why could you not solve this with a Sharing Rule? Because Sharing Rules don’t support sharing based on User Criteria which are not Role-related. You could use a workaround though, like adding another Role “Junior Recruiting Assistant” to the Role Hierarchy and using this to create a secondary Sharing Rule. However, this makes the Role Hierarchy more complex and will have additional implications on other Sharing Rules, Reports, etc.

As a Salesforce Administrator, you always want to find the least complex but most effective solution. 🤓 Now, you have one, and that is Restriction Rules.

An example where Restriction Rules are the only option:

We’ll use the “Activity” Object which does not support Sharing Rules.

First up, the Object “Activity” relates to “Tasks” and “Events”, and supports OWDs such as “Private” and “Controlled by Parent”. If we chose “Controlled by Parent”, Users who have access to the associated Parent record (what you select in the “Related To” field), maybe “Account”, can see ALL tasks and events of the Accounts they have access to. You can’t restrict access to certain Tasks or Events of those Accounts, even if you selected the OWD “Private”. The latter would limit access to Tasks/Events a User owns.  You wouldn’t be able to open up access to specific Tasks/Events Users do not own, because Sharing Rules are not supported.

How do we fix this? Exactly, with Restriction Rules. Let’s look at a more specific example:

Let’s say you wanted Users of the Marketing Department to only have access to Tasks which have been marked as “Marketing Follow-up”. Again, we’ll use the OWD “Controlled by Parent” as the baseline setting.

Next, we’ll go to the Object Manager and select “Task” and then select “Restriction Rules”. From here, you’ll determine a meaningful Rule Name, specify the User Criteria (like the Department field on the User Record) and then specify the Record Criteria (like the checkbox field “Marketing Follow-up”).

This may look like this:

The result will be: The Marketing Users used to have access to all Tasks of their Accounts because of the OWD “Controlled by Parent” on the Activity Object, but now get a limited view to Tasks marked as “Marketing Follow-up” because of the Restriction Rule.

What Else You Need To Know About Salesforce Restriction Rules

Restriction Rules have only been made GA (Generally Available) in Salesforce’s Winter’22 Release. They still have a number of limitations around where and how you can use them. As always, keep an eye on the Release Notes for updates around the capabilities of Restriction Rules.

Here are some of the key items you currently need to consider before you set up Restriction Rules:

  • Only support Custom Objects and the following Standard Objects: Contracts, Events, Tasks, Time Sheets and Time Sheet Entries
  • Enterprise and Developer Editions only support up to 2 Restriction Rules per Object, Performance and Unlimited Editions up to 5
  • One Restriction Rule per Object per User
  • User Criteria and Record Criteria are limited to a small number of data types (e.g. boolean, date, string)
  • You can’t add more than one User criteria or more than one Record Criteria
  • The Operator is limited to “Equals”
  • Recently Viewed List Views still show records a User may have previously had access to, however when a User attempts to open the record, they will get an error

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the full list of considerations: https://help.salesforce.com/s/articleView?id=sf.security_restriction_rule_considerations.htm&type=5

While the capabilities of Restriction Rules are still rather limited, they already open up great opportunities for System Administrators. They have been put in place for a reason. 🤓

Let me know in the comments if you have been using Restriction Rules and how they have been working for you.

If you want to learn more about Salesforce’s Data Security Model, it’s part of our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. You can sign up for a Free Preview first to get to know our Video Tutorials, Study Workbooks, and Practice Exams.

From Failure To Salesforce Passion – My Personal Story

I’ve always wanted to do something different but didn’t quite know what it was. I knew I loved working with people, I knew I didn’t like sitting at my desk all the time. But what does that mean? How does that help me find out which career I should be pursuing instead?

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Have you been thinking about changing your career, doing something else that you enjoy more? Maybe turning a hobby into a career? But you don’t know how to do it or whether it’s worth it?

Very good questions! You won’t know until you try it out. It’s a risk but without taking any risk you won’t be able to move forward in life and truly discover who you are and what you want to do.

I’ve been asking myself the exact same questions and it took me a long time to find the answer. I’ve written about my own journey before but I wanted to look at it from another angle.

I’ve always wanted to do something different but didn’t quite know what it was. I knew I loved working with people, I knew I didn’t like sitting at my desk all the time. But what does that mean? How does that help me find out which career I should be pursuing instead?

There is no one-fits-all answer. But…if you don’t even start looking around, you will never find the answer.

TAKING THE LEAP OF FAITH TO BECOMING A SALESFORCE INSTRUCTOR

In my case, what happened was, that my partner suggested I try out a career as a Salesforce Trainer. I could work with people and could walk around a classroom all day. So far this sounded like the perfect fit. But, I would also have to present in front of a lot of people. I had never really done any presenting before, maybe back in school, which I remember vaguely I quite enjoyed. But that’s been a very long time ago. So I really had no clue if that’s something I would be able to make a profession of.

I played it through my head, imagined standing up in front of a large classroom, talking to students, showing them something on the computer. It was all there in my head and looked pretty. However, it’s very different to actually doing it in real life.

It took me about half a year to finally take the leap of faith and just go for it. I guess I was desperate enough to get out of my old job that pushed me ahead. I really had no clue if it would work out or not.

I boldly applied for a job as a Salesforce Trainer with a small boutique training provider and did get a job offer. What? Without much prior experience in this area, it must have been something else that was convincing enough to hire me. What I’m saying is, that it’s not always about having years of experience in a certain field, it’s a lot about soft skills, character and attitude.

THE FIRST STEP INTO THE WORLD OF SALESFORCE WAS THE HARDEST

The first step was done. The next step was to get certified by the Salesforce University which is now the Trailhead Academy. This was a requirement in order to be eligible to teach Salesforce’s official courses. The certifications included the technical certification like the Salesforce Administrator as well as the Salesforce Instructor Certification to teach the Salesforce Administration Essentials class.

The technical part wasn’t too hard, but getting the Salesforce Instructor Certification almost turned into me quitting the whole thing. 🤯

So what happened? A real new challenge came my way. Something that forced me to jump into ice-cold water and really stepping far outside my comfort zone. It’s not something I do every day, so I wasn’t quite prepared how to get ready for this Instructor Certification. I had so many questions, like: “How do I become an Instructor?” and “What does it need to be a good instructor?” or “How do you manage a class full of students?”

Do you know what I did? I studied all the course materials and exercises and felt well prepared to take the instructor certification exam. Guess what happened? I FAILED MISERABLY. I wasn’t prepared at all. The Salesforce Master Instructor who led my certification exam session became one of the best mentors I’ve ever met before. He wasn’t shy about telling me what I did wrong. That included telling me straight up that I had no hands-on practice, I didn’t know how to deal with difficult questions asked by students and so on and so forth. I cried! And I never cry, NEVER. But this made me cry, I felt humiliated and I wanted to hide in a dark cave where no one could find me.

Of course, that was not an option. The Master Instructor was very kind and explained exactly which steps I needed to take to prepare and practice and get ready to truly become a great Salesforce Instructor. I did follow his advice and completed every single step he asked me to do. I read tons of Salesforce documentation, practiced the hell out of the system, did some role-plays and practiced even more until I felt like I had turned every stone. I registered for another instructor certification exam session and PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS.

IT’S ALL ABOUT PREPARATION

There we go. It’s all about preparation, well, the right type of preparation of course. I had a few more instructor certifications to complete for different types of classes, and I never failed a single one again. Because I learned so much the first time around, it taught me a lesson for life.

Every single time I’m learning a new skill, not just something Salesforce related, but also things like becoming a Yoga Teacher or learning how to sew my own clothes, I vividly remembered what it takes to learn something properly in order to achieve the results I want to get.

I’ve been taking this approach into my Salesforce Classes to transfer my Salesforce knowledge to my students in a way that makes sense and shares the skills it needs to put the knowledge into perspective. I’ve been teaching for many years successfully, so I guess this learning concept is working. In order to reach even more students, I’ve decided to create my own Salesforce Learning Platform www.welearnsalesforce.com which contains a range of Salesforce Courses for beginners and beyond.

TRUST THE PROCESS!

So what can YOU take away from this? If you want to do something different, be courageous and take the first step. Trust the process of putting in the work and you will achieve your goals.

And if you are interested in learning Salesforce with me, I will give you all my experience and expertise to help you become a successful Salesforce Professional, no matter which Salesforce career path you choose to take.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my personal story and maybe found some inspiration. Let me know in the comments which career path you are currently considering (even if it’s not Salesforce 🤓).

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

How Do Salesforce Lightning Record Pages, Dynamic Forms and Page Layouts Go Together?

When designing the look and feel of Salesforce Record Pages, System Administrators usually start off by creating and arranging Page Layouts. However, more recently, Salesforce has introduced Lightning Record Pages followed by Dynamic Records.

You may have been wondering how they are different, or not, and how they actually play along? Can they be used together, or separate? What’s the deal here? 🤔

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

When designing the look and feel of Salesforce Record Pages, System Administrators usually start off by creating and arranging Page Layouts. However, more recently, Salesforce has introduced Lightning Record Pages followed by Dynamic Records.

You may have been wondering how they are different, or not, and how they actually play along? Can they be used together, or separate? What’s the deal here? 🤔

Back To The Future – An Evolution from Salesforce Classic to Lightning Experience

Let’s take a quick tour back to where things started. At the time I got introduced to Salesforce, which was still in the good old Salesforce Classic times, we used to work with Page Layouts to design and structure the contents of the Salesforce user interface (we’re ignoring any Apex coding for now and focus on declarative development).

With the introduction of the Lightning Experience (LEX) user interface, Salesforce started structuring the user interface with so-called Lightning Record Pages. Lightning Record Pages are pretty much an extension of Page Layouts. This means, Page Layouts are still being used, but have been integrated into Lightning Record Pages and appear as a Detail Tab as well as a Related Tab. Record Pages also contain many other components like a Highlights Panel or Activities and so much more, which can be added and arranged as needed. This makes the design of Salesforce Record Pages so much more flexible, allowing Salesforce Customers to tailor the record components to their specific business needs.

And that’s not all. More recently, Salesforce has released so-called Dynamic Forms. It’s an upgrade of Lightning Record Pages to make them even more dynamic. I guess that’s why they came up with the name.

How Salesforce Page Layouts, Lightning Record Pages and Dynamic Forms Get Along

Now, each has its own features and specifications and do depend on one another. Let’s go through step by step and understand when to use which one.

In case you work for a company that still uses Salesforce Classic, forget about Lightning Record Pages or Dynamic Forms, you only need to worry about Page Layouts. However, this company will eventually have to move to LEX, and other companies use LEX already anyways. So, I guess there’s no way around understanding all three. 🤓

Even though Page Layouts are an integral part of Lightning Record Pages, you still need to manage Page Layouts separately. Page Layouts are used to add, remove, arrange Fields, Sections, Related List, Action Buttons and a few other items.

When you move to set up a Lightning Record Page for the same Object, you will need to add components, including those components that represent what you build on your Page Layout.

For example: If you want to display Fields, you need to add the Record Detail component. If you want to make Related Lists available, you need to add one of the Related Lists components. If you want to display the Standard action buttons like Edit, Delete and so on, then you need to use the Highlights Panel component.

This means, as part of building a Lightning Record Page you are breaking down the Page Layout elements into its main pieces and arrange them in any order required. Every Salesforce business works differently, so it’s crucial for user adoption success, to arrange all record components in a logical and intuitive way. And that’s what we love Lightning Record Pages for.

And then it gets even better, with Dynamic Forms. Dynamic Forms allow even more creativity because you can arrange Page Layout Sections (and their associated Fields) in any form and shape. This means, with Dynamic Forms you can even break down the Record Details component into its sections. Plus, you can make fields or entire sections appear or disappear based on the Field or Component Visibility settings. And there’s more, you can even customize the Highlights Panel in order to manage every single action button.

Something like this only used to be possible with Visualforce Pages or Custom Lightning Components. But Salesforce wants to make customization as easy as possible, that’s why they introduce more and more point-and-click tools like Dynamic Forms. No more coding skills required, almost. 👏🏻

Designing Salesforce User Interfaces with Object Manager and Lightning App Builder

And now, let’s break down the steps you’ll need to follow to get things right:

StepsDesign withAssign toBenefits
1. Create Page Layout (or use Default Page Layout)Object ManagerUser ProfilesArrange Fields, Sections, Related Lists, Action Buttons etc.
2. Create Record TypeObject ManagerUser ProfilesTailor business processes and allocate corresponding Page Layouts
3. Create Lightning Record PageLightning App BuilderOrg or
App or
App + Record Type + User Profile
Arrange page components including Record Details (= Fields and Sections from Page Layouts), Related Lists, Highlights Panel etc.
Use visibility settings to manage access to components
4. Upgrade to Dynamic Form
 
NOTE: Currently only available on Record Pages for Custom Objects.
Refer to Release Notes for updates!
Lightning App Builderas aboveFreely arrange Sections from a selected Page Layout.
Use visibility settings to manage access to single Fields or entire Sections.
Reduce number of Page Layouts
 
TIP: If you want to move only one field, add a section first, then move the field in there.

As you may have noticed, Page Layouts are the basis to building Record Types, Lightning Record Pages and Dynamic Forms. This may change in the future to support even more dynamic user interface designs with declarative tools, so keep your eyes open on future release updates.

Let me know in the comments if you have been using Dynamic Forms yet and how you like them.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.