How Do Salesforce Administrators Choose The Right Customization Tool?

It’s an ongoing debate! Making use of Salesforce’s declarative tool set or add an app from the AppExchange or get the whole thing coded? Each has their own advantages. This article will explain how you can make a dignified decision.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Have you ever struggled with the decision whether your Salesforce customization should be done with the declarative tools Salesforce gives you out-of-the-box? Or whether there could be a better solution with an app from the AppExchange or even by coding from scratch?

There is no easy answer! First and foremost you should have a pretty good understanding of the Salesforce platform’s capabilities and limitations. And once you get started to learn all about Salesforce, you will quickly realize that it’s no small feast. And on top of that, Salesforce brings out three releases per year with even more awesome out-of-the-box functionalities. It may leave you scratching your head…

At WeLearnSalesforce we care deeply about the success of our Salesforce Trainees and want to help them make educated decisions for what works best for their business’ Salesforce implementation as well as future updates and maintenance. But not only System Administrators are involved in the decision making process. If you are a Product Manager, Business Analyst, Consultant or otherwise involved, this is relevant for you too.

In this article I will walk you through the three customization options, their benefits and challenges and how to choose the best possible solution.

Best Practice Considerations

Before we dive deeper into each, as a rule of thumb, always consider declarative customization first. If you don’t seem to get anywhere with this, have a look at the AppExchange and only, only if you still don’t find what you are looking for, consider programmatic development.

If you are a Developer reading this, you may be thinking “What the f&$!#%”. I totally get that. Coding gives you a lot of flexibility and often a very reasonable solution, but we want to look at the greater picture and the sanity of Salesforce configurations.

Use a Questionnaire

Of course it’s not always as simple as yay or nay. There are a number of factors to take into consideration before deciding how to go about a planned Salesforce configuration, no matter if it’s an entire implementation project or a change request of an existing setup. I’ve been part of many Salesforce implementations and have seen the struggles first hand. It’s impossible to cover every single scenario, but you can avoid a lot of issues early in the process by asking the right questions from the start or even before that.

So I’ve put together a list of questions you should think about before deciding what you want to do:

  • What business problem are you looking to solve? What would be the benefit for the business?
  • What specific outcome are you trying to achieve?
  • Are you imposing your business processes onto Salesforce or could it benefit from the way Salesforce is already set up?
  • What is your Salesforce Support package (called “Success Plan“)? What type of support is already included?
  • What is your budget for the configuration and future maintenance?
  • What is your timeframe? How urgent is the implementation or change request?
  • Do you want to develop in-house or externally?
  • How do you maintain any related or unrelated changes in the future?

These are just high-level questions. We won’t go into detailed project management related questions, we save that for another article. However, these questions already give you an idea of how complex your decision may become.

Do your Homework

Depending on what your answers to these questions look like, they will either have a small or big impact on your business’ success. Because Salesforce is being implemented to make your business processes better, right? And who is using Salesforce? Your business users! Hence, user adoption plays a huge role. Which means setting up, maintaining and supporting your Salesforce org depends on the way it is being managed behind the scenes.

So here is a table for you to help you compare and understand the differences between each of the three customization options you have available:

 Declarative DevelopmentExtend with Apps from the AppExchangeProgrammatic Development
What is itSalesforce Configurations without using code.

Using tools such as Process Builder, Flow Builder,  Lightning App Builder, Einstein Automation etc.
Salesforce owned or Partner Apps.

Integrate seamlessly with a Salesforce Org.
Using code-based tools to set up functionalities beyond declarative capabilities.
When to useWhen the business follows a common business scenario.

When business processes are less complex.
When a declarative feature is not available and cannot be replicated with declarative tools.When the business follows complex processes.

When a declarative feature is not available and cannot be replicated with declarative tools and a suitable solution cannot be found on the AppExchange.
What are the BenefitsOut-of-the-Box.

No additional fees.

Point-and-Click (Relatively) easy to maintain.
Managed Packages (incl. automatic upgrades).

Unmanages Packages at your own disposal.

Click-and-Install

Only small configurations required (in most cases).
Code and automate anything you want.

The sky is the limit.
What are the ChallengesLimited capabilities as per Salesforce Edition.

Documenting business processes and how they are implemented.

Changes may require more complex updates of Processes and Flows.  
Compare with Salesforce Products and potential Partner Apps.

Most come at an additional fee.

Time and patience to research and test potential app solutions.
Can become very convoluted.

Keeping control over what is declarative versus what has been coded.

Documenting business processes and how they are implemented.

Changes require manual code updates.
What Skills are requiredSolid understanding of fundamental Salesforce features and limitations.

A certification like Salesforce Admin, Advanced Admin, Platform App Builder can be beneficial.

No coding required.
Solid understanding of fundamental Salesforce features and limitations.

A certification like Salesforce Admin, Advanced Admin, Platform App Builder can be beneficial.

Good understanding of other Salesforce Products and how Partner Apps work with Salesforce.
Experience with object-oriented languages like Apex, Java, as well as with Lightning Components and Visualforce.

A certification like Platform Developer I or JavaScript Developer I can be beneficial.

Understanding of fundamental Salesforce features and limitations is beneficial.
Declarative vs. AppExchange Extensions vs. Programmatic Tools

Make an educated Decision

As you can see, each has their advantages and requires thorough investigation. It all starts with a solid understanding of the Salesforce fundamental features that we teach in our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. We have a Free Salesforce Administrator Introduction Course to give you a taster.

I truly hope you are finding the information in this article useful. There are certainly other factors to be considered in a Salesforce implementation or enhancement that I haven’t mentioned. Let me know in the comments below what else you would add to the list.

TOP 10 SALESFORCE SPRING’21 RELEASE HIGHLIGHTS

The Salesforce Spring’21 Release has arrived, most Salesforce Orgs have been updated. As always, we encourage you to keep up-to-date on the latest and greatest Salesforce features. So, here are our Top 10 Favorites.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

The Spring’21 Release has arrived, most Salesforce Orgs have been updated. Your Trailhead Playgrounds are usually the last ones to receive the updates.

If you want to find out which version your Salesforce Org is on, you can go to https://status.salesforce.com, search for your Org’s instance and view the details.

Trust I Status v 
salesforce 
Search Instance, Domain, Pod, or MID 
Home 
INSTANCE 
EU18 
CURRENT STATUS 
Current Status By Service 
OVERALL SYSTEM 
CORE SERVICE 
LIVE AGENT 
HISTORY 
MAINTENANCE 
SEARCH 
Available 
ANALYTICS 
Subscribe 
Instance Details 
Version 
spring '21 Patch 7.5 
Region 
EMEA 
Maintenance Window O 
Saturdays 
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM PST 
Products 
Salesforce Services
Source: status.salesforce.com

BTW, if you are not sure which instance your Salesforce Org belongs to, check the Company Information page in the Setup.

As always, even if you don’t have to complete any maintenance modules, you should keep up-to-date on the latest and greatest Salesforce features. Make sure to check the Certification Maintenance Schedule so you don’t miss yours!

You may have seen this message across the original Release Notes page:

The Salesforce Release Notes are moving! Check them out on Salesforce Help! This website will not be accessible after July 2021. Learn more.
Source: releasenotes.docs.salesforce.com

The Release Notes are moving all the way into Salesforce Help. It’s best to bookmark the page in your browser, so you can easily find them again.

And without further ado, here are our Top 10 favorite features:

#1 Catch Potential Duplicates Before Saving

Duplicates are a pain in the b… so the good news is, Duplicate Management is getting better and better. In combination with Dynamic Forms, Users will already get an alert while they create or edit a Lightning Record Page. On other pages, Users will only get an alert after they hit the Save button.

Tip: Set up Matching and Duplicate Rules for the relevant Object.

New Favorite 
Information 
* Favorite Name 
I-bedroom 1st floor 
Contact 
Search Contacts... 
* Property 
Search Properties... 
A Similar Records Exist 
5 
Q 
Q 
This record looks like an existing record. Make 
sure to check any potential duplicate records 
Property Type 
--None-- 
Bedrooms 
--None-- 
Lot Size 
--None-- 
t Modified By 
before saving. 
View Duplicates 
For Businesses 
Cancel 
Save & New 
Save
Source: trailhead.salesforce.com
#2 Accounts can now be added as Campaign Members

Still in BETA and may not last, but for now we are super happy it’s here, and very much hope it will stay on. Accounts can finally be added as Campaign Members. This means you start planning your Marketing Campaigns using List Views and Reports based on Accounts instead of individual names which you may not have yet.

Tip: Enable Accounts as Campaign Members in the Setup.

Campaign Members 
Add Leads 
Add Contacts 
Number of Members 
2 
View All 
Add Accounts 
Manage Campaign Members 
Import Leads and Contacts 
Send List Email
Source: trailhead.salesforce.com
#3 Collaborative Forecasts adjustments now available on the Salesforce Mobile App

If you are working in a competitive sales driven environment and you are on the go most of the time, you’ve certainly had your frustrations with your Salesforce mobile access. There is one more item which has been enabled: your Forecast predictions. Some days are more productive than others and you want to be able to track your progress in real-time. Now you can adjust your Forecast numbers on the fly to the next Customer.

No tip, just use it. 😉

Forecasts 
O 
Adjust 
December FY 2020 
Jennifer Lauren 
S30K 
Left in Quota 
Quota Attained 
Quota 
Closed 
Commit Forecast 
Best Case Forecast 
Open Pipeline 
O 
Change Period 
4 
Days Left 
S100,ooo.oo 
S70,ooo.oo > 
$70,000.00 > 
$70,002.00 > 
S140,ooo.oo > 
Chatter 
Today 
Dashboards 
o 
Tasks 
Menu
Source: help.salesforce.com
#4 Opportunity Products can be referenced on other Objects too

Opportunity Products are the specific Products which are added as line items on an Opportunity, referred to as ‘OpportunityLineItem’. There wasn’t much else you could do with it. Now, you can. You can reference these OpportunityLineItems on other Objects. Let’s say you have a Shipment Object and want to reference the specific OpportunityLineItem which is being shipped, you can create a Lookup Relationship and select the Opportunity Product.

Tip: Create a Lookup Relationship field on a Custom Object and select ‘Opportunity Product’ from the Related To picklist.

Shipment 
New Relationship 
Step 2. Choose the related object 
Select the other object to which this object is related. 
Help for this Page 
Step 2
Source: trailhead.salesforce.com
#5 Convert Leads to a Business and Person Account simultaneously

This is for Salesforce Orgs that have Person Accounts enabled. When you convert a Lead and the Company field is left blank, it turns the Lead into a Person Account automatically. However, sometimes you need both the Business and Individual. Just think about bank accounts or insurance accounts where you have couples or families and you need to bundle the individuals into “Family” accounts. You can now have the converted individual Lead added to Business Account. It does require a Custom Flow though. There are new arguments made available for LeadConvert() class.

Tip: Enable the Contacts to Multiple Accounts feature if you haven’t already.

#6 Lightning Sync to be replaced with Einstein Activity Capture

We all love syncing our inbox and calendar with Salesforce, and while Lighting Sync did the job, Einstein Activity Capture is the future. And the future is arriving faster than you’d think. Hence, Lightning Sync won’t get anymore support. Einstein Activity Capture is the way to go.

Tip: Disable Lighting Sync before you enable Einstein Activity Capture. Do it carefully, you don’t want to create a mess. 😉

#7 Add Multiple Fields to Your Reports

Really? This one was a mystery to me. What Classic Reports could do so nicely long ago, Lightning Reports couldn’t. Creating Reports from scratch with Lightning was really something to get used to, if you were like me, moving from Classic to Lightning. Another milestone with Reports has been reached, you can now select multiple Fields to add to your Report.

No tip, just go for it. 😉

REPORT v 
All Opportunities 
Search all fields... 
Close Date 
Close Date (2) 
Close Month 
Opportunities 
Outline 
Groups 
E GROUP ROWS 
Add group... 
Columns 
Add column... 
Account Name 
Opportunity Name 
Y Filters 
A 
A 
A 
A 
A 
A 
A 
A 
Last Stage Change Date 
Next Step 
Stage 
Probability (%) 
Fiscal Period 
Fiscal Year 
Age 
Stage Duration 
Forecast Category 
Opportunity ID 
Last Activity 
Description 
Has Products 
Created Date 
Last Modified Date 
Private 
Primary Campaign Source 
Opportunity Owner Information (13) 
Opportunity Owner 
Owner Role 
Opportunity Owner Alias 
Stage 
# Amount 
# Probability (%) 
Close Date 
Type 
Stage 
Already Added 
Forecast Category 
Has Products 
x 
x 
x 
x 
x 
x 
x 
1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 
8 
9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
19 
20 
Previewing 
Account 
Dickensc 
United C 
Express L 
GenePoil 
Grand HC 
United C 
United C 
Grand HC 
Edge Cor 
Universit 
Pyramid 
Express L 
GenePoil 
GenePoil 
United C 
Edge Cor 
Edge Cor 
United C 
Grand HC 
United C
Source: trailhead.salesforce.com
#8 Salesforce Mobile now has a Home Page

The Home page used to be a privilege of the Desktop User Interface, and now it can be set up for the Salesforce Mobile menu as well. This is in Beta and only for iOS Users but totally worth checking it out.

Tip: Set up a Custom Attribute in the Manage Connected Apps settings for the relevant mobile app, e.g., the Salesforce for iOS.

PLATFORM TOOLS 
Apps 
App Manager 
AppExchange Marketplace 
Connected Apps 
Connected Apps OAuth 
Usage 
Manage Connected Apps 
user provisioning settings 
Enable User Provisioning 
Trusted IP Range for OAuth 
Web Server Flow 
No application-defined IP ranges 
Custom Attributes 
Action Attribute key 
Edit I Del 
New 
Attribute value 
"true"
Source: trailhead.salesforce.com
10:19 q 
Home 
My Calendar 
Today 
10:00 • 11:00 AM 
Client Meeting 
11:00 - 12:00 PM 
Roadmap sync 
All Events 
Calendars 
Is this card usefuP 
Tasks 
Upcoming 
O Call Jennifer West 
All Tasks 
New Task 
-4 
Yes 
Yes 
Accounts 
Edit 
No 
No 
Is this card usefuP 
Report 
Cynoa•gns 
Leads
Source: help.salesforce.com
#9 Standard Read Only Profile becomes a Custom Profile

Salesforce has been extending the permissions available in this Read Only Profile over time. Since it used to be a Standard Profile it was not editable. This is going to change. Salesforce will turn this into a Custom Profile. It’s never been a good idea to assign Standard Profiles to your Users anyways, unless you have signed up for a Salesforce Edition which does not support Custom Profiles. Now, this change will be automated, you don’t really have to do much. BUT, the Metadata API is changed from ‘ReadOnly’ to ‘Read Only’. Therefore, if you are referencing this in Apex code, calls, files etc. you will need to change the reference.

#10 Manual Sharing has arrived in Lightning

Yeah! This has been a handy feature in Classic already. I call this the “last resort” sharing option which you can use when a record isn’t already shared through the Role Hierarchy, Sharing Rules or other sharing settings. It allows Users to choose if and with whom they want to share a particular and possibly sensitive record.

If you wanted to use this in Lighting you had to install an app from the AppExchange and make numerous customizations to get the action button onto record pages.

Tip: The Sharing action button only appears if the Org-Wide Defaults for the Object are not already Public Read/Write.

Source: salesforce.com

Getting up-to-speed on all these exciting release features is only half as exciting if you cannot earn any points to add to your shiny Trailblazer Profile. Therefore, check out more Salesforce Spring’21 Release Highlights with this Trailhead Module:

https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/content/learn/modules/spring-21-release-highlights

There’s so much more to explore, we can’t possibly put it all in one article. What are your favorite new features? Let us know in the comments.

WHAT ELSE…

Are you a Salesforce Beginner or want to freshen up on your Admin skills? Then check out our complete Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. It covers all the basics you need to know as a successful Salesforce professional with lots of hands-on exercises.

WeLearnSalesforce Administrator Certification Course
WeLearnSalesforce Administrator Certification Course

And if you are not sure what you know or don’t know, how about you test your knowledge with our realistic Practice Exams. You get lots of business scenarios and the results include detailed explanations and plenty of learning resources.

WeLearnSalesforce Practice Exams - Salesforce Administrator Certification
WeLearnSalesforce Practice Exams – Salesforce Administrator Certification

Is An Online Salesforce Video Training Worth It?

Have you been thinking about a career change into a Salesforce job? But you don’t have the time amongst all other obligations you already have on your plate? Finding your way through the maze of information and learning resources, make you feel overwhelmed? Let’s take a deep breath together and consider your options.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” Zig Ziglar

In this article, you will find:

  1. Benefits of an online on-demand video-based Salesforce Training
  2. Downsides of an online on-demand video-based Salesforce Training
WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Benefits of an online on-demand video-based Salesforce Training

Can an Online Salesforce Training which is video-based and on-demand be as effective as in-person training?

THE BENEFITS

Free resources are plenty, time is short, money is tight. Sounds familiar? Then maybe an online on-demand Salesforce Training would just be perfect for you … or would it?

Let’s look at the benefits one-by-one:

1. Save time and money

First up, online on-demand Salesforce Training is usually much more affordable than in-person training. How is this possible? Well, it’s simple, the teacher’s expenses are lower and the reach of students is much greater. This means the savings can be shared, leaving a much smaller amount with you, the individual Salesforce Learner.

Plus, you save on other costs like travel and accommodation. Neither do you have to get away from your job and potentially loose income or leave time.

And time is the next key factor. In-person training requires travel time and full-day’s attendance. Online training doesn’t require any travel time, and learning units can be attended to whenever they fit in during the day, after work or on weekends. This type of flexibility is unbeatable.

2. Practice in your own time and space

You have full control over your learning schedule. An online on-demand Salesforce video training can be accessed at any time that works best for you. Whether that’s before the kids get up, on your commute to work, during lunch, after dinner, after your sleep-in on Sunday, you choose.

A Salesforce video training can also be adjusted to your very personal pace. If the speed is too slow, you simply turn it up, and if it’s too fast, you can turn it down or pause to practice on your own. You can make it work to your personal preferences.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Practice in Your Own Time
3. Learn from anywhere on any device

Because online Salesforce Training is run through an internet browser, you can access your learning videos from any device that has an internet connection and a browser. Simply choose your preferred laptop, tablet or other mobile device and get started. And the best part is that you can take your device anywhere, as long as the battery lasts. Whether that’s your desk, couch, beach, pick your favorite.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Learn Anywhere on Any Device
4. Learn with Salesforce Experts

Choosing an online Salesforce Training also enables you to practice with Salesforce Instructors who would otherwise not be available because they may live on the other side of the planet. With online training, you have the chance to learn with experienced trainers like Peggy Schael, no matter where you live. 

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Meet Your Salesforce Trainer Peggy

5. Access to learning contents for review

Online on-demand Salesforce Training usually offers lifetime access to video content. This gives you the ability to re-watch videos as often as you like, whether you didn’t understand something or you want to refresh your memory. And in case you have attended an in-person Salesforce Training, you can use the video contents to review certain learning topics.

Our WeLearnSalesforce Courses even contain a Study Workbook you can print and use for notetaking as well as a Study Guide to tick off the learning topics you feel confident about. So you don’t forget anything that is required for your Certification Exam.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - PDF Workbook and Study Guide
6. Connect with Salesforce Learners from all over the world

Learning online doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions or share your own learning experiences, failures and successes. There are so many amazing Salesforce Community Groups with wider audiences or very specific audiences tailored to a certain topic.

Like our dedicated WeLearnSalesforce Facebook and LinkedIn Community Groups. Not only will you reach other Salesforce Learners with your specific questions, but your WeLearnSalesforce instructor is also there for you too.

THE DOWNSIDES

While all of the above sounds great, let’s look at the potential downsides:

1. No face-to-face interaction

In-person training gives you face-to-face interaction with the Salesforce Trainer as well as fellow Salesforce Learners. Some people prefer real-life environments that make it easier for them to connect to other people. It’s a different kind of engagement using an online forum versus a real-life conversation.

Weigh in on your preferences of in-person interactions against a global community that you can contact at any time from anywhere, e.g. our WeLearnSalesforce Facebook and LinkedIn Community Groups.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Face-to-Face Interaction
2. Commitment and Motivation

If you are someone who works best under pressure of deadlines, continuous check-ins and due dates to stay on track, an in-person training may be better suited. Most online trainings do provide a recommended timeline as well as a structured agenda to follow, but it may be difficult to find the commitment without being surrounded by motivated fellow students.

There are however many online study groups (e.g. our WeLearnSalesforce Facebook and LinkedIn Community Groups) you could join that may achieve something similar for you.

3. Guidance and Knowledge Checks

In an in-person classroom, the Salesforce Trainer would usually come around and check-in with you personally. You can show directly on screen what you are working on and where you might be stuck. Some people struggle with finding a solution to their problems by themselves.

In a classroom, the Salesforce Trainer can give you on-the-spot help and guidance to find the solution. While this is a great benefit of in-person training, you can use our WeLearnSalesforce Practice Exams to check in on your knowledge and to get explanations and additional learning resources.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Knowledge Checks with Practice Exams

Now, is an Online Salesforce Video Training worth it?

This question can hardly be answered with a straight “Yes” or “No”. The answer entirely depends on your personal needs. Everyone has a different learning style, time and budget allowance, so only you know the answer.

We have put together a comprehensive comparison table of Salesforce Training Resources, so you can make an informed decision about the learning methods you would like to use.

We are comparing the official Trailhead Platform and Trailhead Academy Courses with our independent WeLearnSalesforce Video Courses. Each of them has its own advantages:

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Online Video Salesforce Training - Comparison Salesforce Training Resources

If you are still unsure whether an online on-demand Salesforce Training is right for you, try out our Free Salesforce Administrator Introduction Course and see for yourself. No strings attached.

WeLearnSalesforce - Salesforce Administrator Certification - FREE Introduction
Try out our Free Salesforce Administrator Introduction Course

We would love to hear your feedback. Please leave us a comment and let us know how you prefer to learn.

Happy Learning!

What you didn’t know about the AppExchange

Did you know you can find a job on the AppExchange? Salesforce is not just a place to search for Salesforce Partner Apps that integrate with your Salesforce Org. It is so much more!

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Did you know you can find a job on the AppExchange? No? Me neither, up until a little while back. When I thought the AppExchange is merely a place to look for Salesforce Partner Apps that integrate with your Salesforce Org.

There is so much more! Salesforce is truly making sure their eco system extends to any of their platforms, whether it’s Trailhead, Salesforce Help, AppExchange and others. So, how about we take a closer look at what the AppExchange really has in store for you. Shall we?

Initially, the AppExchange was born as a marketplace for Salesforce Partner Apps. As Salesforce is evolving not only their amazing products but also their entire community, so is the AppExchange.

You will essentially find three main sections on the AppExchange:

1 – Solutions to extend Salesforce to your business’ needs

2 – Experts to work with, including a Job Marketplace

3 – Community to learn from and support each other

1 – SOLUTIONS TO EXTEND SALESFORCE

This is still the largest section on the AppExchange and typically the main reason you will end up taking a look at the AppExchange. It’s Salesforce’s own app store where you will find authorized extensions such as Apps, Flow Solutions, Components and more. These solutions are either owned by Salesforce or by a Salesforce Partner and may be free of charge or come at a fee.

You can browse for solutions by Type (e.g. App, Flows, Components), by Product (e.g. Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud) or by Industry (e.g. Healthcare, Real Estate, Media). Browsing is a great way to get inspired and explore potential options.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - AppExchange - Solutions to Extend Salesforce
Source: appexchange.salesforce.com

If you already know more about what exactly you are looking for, you can use the search feature. I personally use this most of the time, since you can search for a specific company or product name, or you use search terms such as departments or roles, you name them. And to make the most of your search, you can apply filters to narrow down your search results.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - AppExchange - Search for a specific Solution to Extend Salesforce
Source: appexchange.salesforce.com

The list of search results doesn’t reveal too much about the solution, so you either hover over the hyperlink or better click on the hyperlink to open the full page.

Here is a great example of a Project Management App by Inspire Planner. It’s a very intuitive and 100% Salesforce-native solution that is used by companies ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 in order to manage projects of any shape and size. 

You will find an overview with plenty of details about the product as well as customers reviews. And if you like what you are seeing, you can even watch a demo or take it for a test drive before making the decision.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - AppExchange - Example for a specific Solution to Extend Salesforce
Source: appexchange.salesforce.com

When you are logging in with your existing Trailblazer or other Salesforce login, you will even get recommendations and it also remembers your recent search results.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - AppExchange - Recent Search Results for Solutions to Extend Salesforce
Source: appexchange.salesforce.com

2 – EXPERTS TO WORK WITH AND JOB MARKETPLACE

This is one of the sections you may not have explored yet. Do you require the help of Salesforce Experts such as Consulting Partners or individual Developers? Then jump into the Consultants tab. You can search for suitable Consultants or Developers using the provided filter options to specify your search by expertise, language, country and other options.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - AppExchange - Experts to work with and Job Marketplace
Source: appexchange.salesforce.com

And the most exiting category in here is the Job Marketplace. You can even post a job offering or search for a job yourself. How cool is that?

Source: appexchange.salesforce.com

3 – COMMUNITY TO LEARN AND COLLABORATE

And this one is where the true Salesforce Ohana comes together. All in one place. The Learn tab is your go-to place to access great articles, learning contents on Trailhead, connections to your peers through the Trailblazer Community Groups and so much more. Do me a favor and make sure to check out these resources. I’m sure there is something in there for you too. Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - AppExchange - Community to Learn and Collaborate
Source: appexchange.salesforce.com

Now go explore the AppExchange. Found something else that I haven’t mentioned in this article? Please share with me in the comments.

TOP 10 SALESFORCE WINTER ’21 RELEASE HIGHLIGHTS

The Winter ’21 release cycle is in full swing. And we wouldn’t be WeLearnSalesforce if we wouldn’t encourage you to keep up-to-date on your Admin skills. And so, we want to share our favorite Winter ’21 Release Highlights with you.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

It’s been an interesting year so far with a lot of changes for many of us. This includes your Salesforce career decisions and learning strategies. It’s all about keeping up with the new features and enhancements.

Earlier this year, Salesforce announced that certifications now only require one maintenance module per year. This means, you no longer have to stress about three deadlines, only one. For the curious amongst you, Salesforce will offer two optional badges three times per year so you can still keep your skills sharp during the entire year. Make sure to check the Certification Maintenance Schedule.

The Winter ’21 release cycle is in full swing. And we wouldn’t be WeLearnSalesforce if we wouldn’t encourage you to keep up-to-date on your Admin skills. And so, we want to share our favorite Winter ’21 Release Highlights with you:

#1 Email Template Builder

Designing Emails in Lightning got an exciting upgrade: the Email Template Builder. Just like the Lightning App Builder, you can drag and drop components to the Email Template layout. This makes creating Email Templates so much easier and fun too.

Tip: Create a Permission Set with the “Access Drag-and-Drop Content Builder” permission and assign to relevant Users.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Release Notes - Email Template Builder
Source: https://releasenotes.docs.salesforce.com/

#2 Flow Auto-Layout

Creating Flows feel scary? Well, they can seem difficult to achieve, however Salesforce is making your flow life easier with each release. One of a number of exciting flow updates is the Auto-Layout feature. Instead of using the free form layout you can switch to the new Auto-Layout and have the Flow structure itself. So you don’t have to worry about chaotic flow alignments anymore.

No Tip, just use it. 😉

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Release Notes - Flow Auto Layout
WeLearnSalesforce Blog – Release Notes – Flow Auto Layout

#3 Dynamic Forms and Actions

These awesome new features are now generally available to everyone in most editions. With Dynamic Forms you can pretty much integrate the Lightning App Builder with your Page Layout Editor, allowing you to choose which page layout sections and fields should appear where and under what circumstances. You can add filter criteria to display relevant information when needed. And this includes Action buttons like Edit, Delete, New Task etc. that you can add to your pages dynamically as required.

Tip: You will need to migrate existing Lightning Record Pages to a Dynamic Form first, or you can create one from scratch without the need to migrate. But don’t worry, you can get help from the in-app tips window.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Release Notes - Dynamic Forms and Actions
Source: https://releasenotes.docs.salesforce.com/

#4 Analyze Lightning Page Performance

Loading Lightning Record Pages can feel like watching grass grow. However, there is good news. You will now find a new button in your Lighting App Builder “Analyze”. This will populate a window with an assessment of the current page and offer recommendations with improvements.

No Tip, just use it. 😉

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Release Notes - Analyse Lightning Page Performance
Source: https://releasenotes.docs.salesforce.com/

#5 Deleted Fields

No more switching to Classic in order to access deleted fields that you want to undelete or erase or just check out. One more feature that is now fully integrated with Lightning. Woohoo!

No tip, just use it. 😉

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Release Notes - Delete Fields
Source: https://releasenotes.docs.salesforce.com/

#6 Subscribe to Reports as Email Attachment

Finally! Users can now choose to have the report attached to the email as a file. Until now, Users were only able to view the Report as a table in the email body. This was a long awaited update.

Tip: You need to enable this feature in the Report and Dashboard Settings.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Release Notes - Subscribe to Reports as Email Attachment
Source: trailhead.salesforce.com

#7 Auto Add Fields to Custom Report Types

Maintaining Custom Report Types can be cumbersome if not frustrating. This includes adding new custom fields, which had to be done manually. This is over! You can now have new custom fields automatically added to your Custom Report Types. If you want to.

Tip: You need to enable this feature in the Report and Dashboard Settings.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Release Notes - Auto Add Fields to Custom Report Types
Source: https://releasenotes.docs.salesforce.com/

#8 Find Changed Deals

Monitoring changes to deals has only been available through Historical Trending Reports. Now, you can easily view changes to Close Dates or Amounts right from your Opportunity List or Kanban Views.

Tip: This will be available for customers with the Unlimited Edition and needs to be enabled in the Opportunity Settings.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Release Notes - Find Changed Deals
Source: https://releasenotes.docs.salesforce.com/

#9 Einstein Opportunity Scoring

Many Einstein features are paid, this one is no longer. Opportunity Scoring are now available to everyone. For those of you that don’t know what it is: The Opportunity Score indicates how likely a deal is to close and shows (on hover) which factors contribute to this score.

Tip: You need to turn it on in the Einstein Sales Assisted Setup.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Release Notes - Einstein Opportunity Scoring
Source: https://releasenotes.docs.salesforce.com/

#10 Salesforce Anywhere App

A whole new Salesforce App? Yes indeed. And it’s looking amazing. With this entirely new app, your Salesforce Users will be able to receive update notifications for changes on records. Users will also be able to access a chat window to share updates, even use video or voice messaging. And Users will be able to share links to records and take immediate actions. All from within the same window.

Tip: To integrate with your Production org and if you don’t have access yet, you can sign up with Salesforce through this form.

WeLearnSalesforce Blog - Release Notes - Salesforce Anywhere App
Source: salesforce.com/products

Getting up-to-speed on all these exciting release features is only half as exciting if you cannot earn any points to add to your shiny Trailblazer Profile. Therefore, check out more Winter ’21 Release Highlights with this Trailhead Module: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/content/learn/modules/winter-21-release-highlights

There’s so much more to explore, we can’t possibly put it all in one article. What are your favorite new features? Let us know in the comments.

WHAT ELSE…

Are you a Salesforce Beginner or want to freshen up on your Admin skills? Then check out our complete Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. It covers all the basics you need to know as a successful Salesforce professional with lots of hands-on exercises.

WeLearnSalesforce Administrator Certification Course
WeLearnSalesforce Administrator Certification Course

And if you are not sure what you know or don’t know, how about you test your knowledge with our realistic Practice Exams. You get lots of business scenarios and the results include detailed explanations and plenty of learning resources.

WeLearnSalesforce Practice Exams - Salesforce Administrator Certification
WeLearnSalesforce Practice Exams – Salesforce Administrator Certification

How to maintain your Salesforce Certificate

This is just the beginning! You have passed the Salesforce Certification Exam and you can proudly call yourself a Certified Salesforce Professional. Now it’s all about gaining more experience and advancing your Salesforce knowledge.

Salesforce Certification Guide – [8/8] Download Full Guide Here

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

In this last of my eight-part certification guide, let’s look at ways to share your proudly earned Salesforce Credential with potential employers and how to maintain your trophy.

ADD YOUR CERTIFICATION TO YOUR TRAILBLAZER PROFILE

First up, make sure your certification is listed on your Trailblazer Profile. In case you haven’t linked your Webassessor Account with your Trailblazer Profile yet, follow these instructions.

SHARE YOUR SUCCESS WITH POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS

Don’t be shy, share your success with the world. You have worked hard for this and can be very proud of yourself.

You can now

  • add your Salesforce Credential to your Personal CV,
  • share the link to your Trailblazer Profile on your social media accounts such as LinkedIn.
COMPLETE THE MAINTENANCE EXAMS

In order to keep your well-earned Salesforce Certification, you need to complete Maintenance Modules. Don’t worry, that sounds worse than it is. Quite the opposite, they are not that hard. Plus, they are free of charge.

Salesforce used to require three Maintenance Modules per year according to each release cycle. However, this had changed to only once per year. Phew!

Salesforce will send you email reminders about your certification maintenance and dates. You will also find this information on Trailhead.

Most Maintenance Modules have been fully integrated into Trailhead. So you can not only study new features and complete the maintenance challenges in your Trailhead Playground but also earn additional points and badges. Win-win!

WeLearnSalesforce - Complete The Salesforce Maintainance Exams
Source: Example for Administrator Certification Maintainance (Spring 20) – List of upcoming Maintenance Schedule: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/help?article=Certification-Release-Maintenance-Schedule

KEEP IN TOUCH

We truly care about your success! So let’s keep in touch. It’s all about supporting each other.

Come and join WeLearnSalesforce on Facebook and LinkedIn:

Salesforce Administrator Certification Guide Download Full Guide Here

Download our FREE Ultimate Salesforce Certification Guide

How to master the Salesforce Certification Exam Day

Exam Day has arrived! Are you freaking out? Don’t be! Take a deep breath and follow my recipe below. I promise you’ll survive! 🙂

Salesforce Certification Guide – [7/8] Download Full Guide Here

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

In this second last of my eight-part certification guide, I want to share my 5 hot tips on how you can enter into your exam session without loosing control. Remember that you can’t possibly know everything but using good judgment and trusting what you have already learned, is the key to survival.

STAY IN CONTROL AND OVERCOME YOUR FEAR WITH THESE 5 TIPS:

#1 Take your Time before your start

Take a deep breath. Maybe jot down a few keywords on the scratch-paper (Onsite Exam only) to ease your mind.

Know that you are in control of the start button. The time only starts counting when you decide to hit that start button. So don’t rush it and only start when you are ready.

#2 Read all questions and answers very carefully

You do have enough time to familiarize yourself with the question. They often contain a tiny word or phrase that leads you to the correct answer.

Also, be aware that some questions are not necessarily about what’s correct but what is the best solution. There are often multiple ways to set something up in Salesforce, however, Salesforce wants you to use declarative low code tools as much as possible.

Example:

The Sales Team is required to create Quote records as soon as an Opportunity has reached the stage Proposal. However, some Sales Reps forget this step and the Sales Manager can’t see the correct number of Quotes in the Pipeline Dashboard. How can an Administrator ensure that the Quote is created?

A – Create a process with Process Builder which sends a Task to the Opportunity owner to create the Quote once the Opportunity Stage is updated to Proposal

B – Create a process with Process Builder which creates the Quote record when the Stage on the Opportunity is changed to Proposal

C – Create an APEX trigger which creates the Quote record at Opportunity Stage Proposal

The correct answer would be B because it’s a declarative automation tool. A is a good idea but it’s just a reminder rather than an enforcement. C is possible but requires coding and can become hard to maintain.

#3 Manage your time

If you have a question you know the answer to right away, mark your answer and move on to the next question immediately.

If you come across a question that you are not sure about, don’t let that question throw you off and spend too much time thinking about it – mark it for review and move on to the next question so you are not loosing time for those questions you know well and that will very likely get you to pass.

#4 Got a brain freeze?

That’s what your scratch-paper is for (Onsite Exams only). Draw a diagram or write down acronyms. This will help you unlock your memory. Also, think of your hands-on practice or on-the-job experience where you may have had a similar request. How did you solve that?

#5 Revisit marked questions

Towards the end, revisit the questions you had marked for review. Be aware that the order of the answers in those questions may likely have changed because they are randomized. In case you used your scratch paper to write down the letters of the answers, maybe “A”, this could now be answer “B”. So instead of writing down the letter, write down keywords from these answers. If you are still unsure, leave it and move on to the next question for review. Remember that you don’t have to achieve 100%, your passing score is 65%.

EXAMPLE:

Order of answers at the beginning:

  1. Quick Actions
  2. Custom Buttons
  3. Custom Fields

Order of answers when reviewing:

  1. Custom Fields
  2. Quick Actions
  3. Custom Buttons

GETTING THE EXAM RESULTS

Review the result and scores

Your exam results are immediate and will tell you whether you passed or failed. They will also be emailed to you. The results include the section-level scoring for each exam section. This allows you to identify where your strengths and weaknesses were. In case you failed, you can use this to review and practice your weaker areas.

Celebrate your Salesforce Certification
WeLearnSalesforce - Celebrate your Salesforce Administrator Certification

Share your success with your peers in your community groups. This will encourage your peers and they will give you a pat on the back.

And if you didn’t pass, don’t worry. You have already learned so much and you can only get better. Don’t bust your head in the sand, keep going! Your community is here for you to support you.

Your journey doesn’t end here. 🙂 In the next and last article of this series, I want to explain a few things to keep in mind about sharing your achievements and maintaining your credential.

Salesforce Certification Guide – Download Full Guide Here

Download our FREE Ultimate Salesforce Certification Guide

How to succeed in a Salesforce Certification Exam

Have you booked your exam appointment? And now you’re wondering whether you are actually ready to take it? Keep calm! You still have time to review and practice.

Salesforce Administrator Certification Guide – [6/8] Download Full Guide Here

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

In this sixth of my eight-part certification guide, let’s walk through a few steps you can still undertake to calm your mind and increase your confidence.

Keep Calm & Prepare!

Know How to Succeed in The Exam

First up, no one can guarantee that you will pass the exam. That is entirely up to you. However, with thorough preparation, your chances of passing are very high.

I can tell from my own experience. Before my life as a Salesforce Professional, I registered for a different type of exam I wasn’t much prepared for. I didn’t even realize I wasn’t until I sat the exam and failed miserably. That taught me a serious lesson. I was lucky that I had a great mentor who provided me with all the steps I needed to complete in order to succeed in the exam. I followed the advice, and the next time, I passed with flying colors.

And that’s exactly what this Certification Guide is for. So, if you followed the steps above, learned the right topics and practiced as much as possible, you are highly likely to succeed at the first attempt!

REVIEW YOUR LEARNINGS

Go through the exam objectives one more time, using your Study Checklist. This will help confirm that you have learned and practiced all knowledge areas.

Review any mnemonic devices such as the Study Workbook from our WeLearnSalesforce Video Course which contains lots of diagrams, flowcharts and checklists.

Test your knowledge with the WeLearnSalesforce Practice Exams if you haven’t already. It’s a great way to get familiar with the format and types of questions. And it’s the last chance to review your weaker knowledge areas.

KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW

Keep in mind, that the passing score is 65%, not 100%. It’s ok if there are a few areas where you may not be 100% confident. That’s totally normal. Some topics simply take longer to understand but shouldn’t hold you back from getting your certification that you have worked for so hard.

In the next article, we will look at techniques you can use throughout the exam session to ease your mind and trust the expertise you have already acquired during your learning process.

Salesforce Administrator Certification Guide Download Full Guide Here

Download our FREE Ultimate Salesforce Certification Guide

How to register for the Salesforce Certification Exam

Understanding the differences between the test-taking options and choosing your preferences will make your exam day a tad bit easier.

Salesforce Administrator Certification Guide – [5/8] Download Full Guide Here

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

In this fifth of my eight-part certification guide, I will give you the run-down of what to consider before you choose between an Online or Onsite Exam. And I will share the link where you need to go to finally register for the exam. Trailhead is hiding this link a bit too well (probably not on purpose).

Know Your Test-Taker Style

The certification exam can be taken either Online from a location you choose or Onsite from a Kryterion-sponsored Testing Center.

It’s important to understand the main differences so you can decide which test-taking style you feel more comfortable with. Here are the key differences:

Take the Salesforce Exam – ONLINE:

  • Take the exam remotely from your own personal or work computer
  • Proctored through a webcam
  • Requires external webcam
  • Requires installation of Sentinel Secure software
  • No scratch paper allowed during exam

Read the official instructions carefully so your computer and exam location are prepared correctly:

WeLearnSalesforce - Complete Your Salesforce Exam Remotely
Source: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/help?article=Online-Proctoring-Completing-Your-Exam-Remotely

Take the Salesforce Exam – ONSITE:

  • Take exam from a Kryterion-sponsored Testing Center. There are many to choose from worldwide, so you can schedule your exam with a testing center that is closest to you
  • Proctored through cameras set up in testing room
  • Everything is ready for you, no need to worry about technical setup and installations
  • You are provided with scratch paper

There are a few items to bring to the testing center for check-in purposes, so read the instructions carefully to be prepared:

WeLearnSalesforce - Complete Your Salesforce Exam at a Testing Center
Source: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/help?article=Onsite-Proctoring-Completing-Your-Exam-at-a-Testing-Center
Register for a Salesforce Certification Exam

You will need to sign in at www.webassessor.com/salesforce.

If you have never registered for an exam with this site before, you will need to create an account first.

On the homepage, you will find all relevant information about Online and Onsite exams and how to schedule your exam.

WeLearnSalesforce - Register for a Salesforce Certification Exam
Source: www.webassessor.com/salesforce

Follow the instructions provided to you on both Webassessor as well as Trailhead: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/help?article=Scheduling-an-Exam

The Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam does come at a cost of US$200 plus applicable taxes per local law. The Retake fee is US$100 plus applicable taxes.

WeLearnSalesforce - Register for a Salesforce Certification Exam - Salesforce Certified Administrator.
Source: www.webassessor.com/salesforce

Always check against the Official Salesforce Administrator Exam Guide for the latest updates on the release cycle, costs and other requirements.

Don’t Freak Out!

The date is set and now it’s countdown time. BUT don’t stress out. If you have prepared yourself well with the steps I have described earlier, you are good to go.

In the next article, we will take a look at the steps you can take to calm your mind and increase your confidence towards your exam day.

Salesforce Administrator Certification Guide Download Full Guide Here

Download our FREE Ultimate Salesforce Certification Guide

How to best test your Salesforce Knowledge to take your Salesforce Certification Exam with confidence

Know what you know and know what you don’t know. What? Exactly! You can’t possible learn and memorize everything at once. So being aware of what you are confident in and what you still need to practice will contribute to your learning success.

Salesforce Administrator Certification Guide – [4/8] Download Full Guide Here

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

In this fourth of my eight-part Salesforce Certification Guide, we will walk through the steps you should follow to verify your learning progress. You don’t want to pass your exam only because you were lucky? You want to pass because you understand what you are doing, right? So let’s find out how you can test your knowledge and gain the confidence you want to achieve before booking your exam appointment.

How do you know you are READY to take the Salesforce Certification Exam?

Review the Salesforce Certification Exam Objectives

Don’t forget to check your learning progress against your Study Checklist. Have you learned and practiced all the topics required for the exam? Use the checklist I’ve provided you with to make sure you don’t forget anything.

Test Your Salesforce Knowledge

Testing your knowledge is a great way to identify your strength and weaknesses. The Official Salesforce Administrator Practice Test gives you a chance to familiarize yourself with the test environment, format and level of questions.

The Official Salesforce Administrator Practice Test comes at a small fee of US$20. It includes 60 questions with an allotted time of 90 minutes, just like in the real exam. It’s un-proctored and done online at your own convenience. Once completed you will be presented with your overall score plus section-level scores for each exam objective.

Don’t trust the test scores blindly though. You might just have been lucky. Even if an area appears to be a strength, ask yourself if that’s true or if you need to review this area as well.

The Official Salesforce Practice Test is great, but you can only do it once and you will loose access once it’s completed. Of course, you can register again for another US$20.

Verify Your Confidence Level

We want you to be really confident and give you more opportunities to test your knowledge. That’s why we have created our very own WeLearnSalesforce Administrator Certification – Practice Exams for you.

WeLearnSalesforce Practice Exams - Salesforce Administrator Certification
WeLearnSalesforce Practice Exams – Salesforce Administrator Certification
Each Salesforce Admin Certification Practice Exam Includes:
  • 60 Exam Questions
  • Covering All Exam Sections
  • 90 Minute Time Limit
  • Section-Level Scoring
  • Detailed Explanations
  • Additional Resources

How do you make sure you are READY to take the Salesforce Certification Exam

Practice Even More!

Did I mention that hands-on practice will be the key to your learning success? And not only that! It will also help you succeed in the exam because you understand what you learn.

So, review your results from your practice exams and get back into Salesforce and practice the topics you got wrong or still don’t feel confident about at least once more. 

Re-Test Your Knowledge

Do at least one more practice exam and see how your results turn out now that you have even more practice. Do you get 80-90% or more correct? And do you feel confident rather than lucky?

If the answer is Yes, then you are ready to give the exam a go. Of course, any of the above is completely optional. You don’t have to do any formal training, you don’t have to do any practice exams. BUT…they will give you the peace of mind and confidence you want to achieve as a successful Salesforce Administrator.

In the next article, we will talk about the different test-taker styles and where you need to go to register.

Salesforce Administrator Certification Guide Download Full Guide Here

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