Ask Me Anything

I really enjoy helping other Sys Admins.  While I’m not currently taking on any new mentees at this time, I would gladly answer any questions you may have.


  • I have 10 years as a Salesforce user, last 5 as a Sys Admin.  If you got a tricky problem, maybe I’ve already dealt with it.
  •  Need certification study advice?  I’m 4x Certified: Admin, Adv Admin, Developer, and Sales Cloud.   (Svc Cloud coming soon)
  • I work in a pretty complex global org with around 3000 users and many different business units.   Ask me what that’s like,  best practices, and what challenges I face.
  • Questions about Dreamforce?
  • Curious about where to go after Sys Admin?   Or how to become a Sys Admin?

If you’d like to ask a question, comment below.   If you’d like to schedule a call instead, contact me and we’ll set something up.


22 thoughts on “Ask Me Anything

  1. OK , I’m Asking…

    I need to automate the receipt, upsert of sales and new-customer data from a 3rd party PoS system (that’s Point of Sale). Although the PoS people are fairly unresponsive, if I can arrive at a workable solution, I may be able to push it through.

    Da Facts:
    I can log into their HTTPS site and run reports. Two reports (combined somehow) would yield all the data I need. But, one other report does have a column of links (receipt links) to the exact info I need, but outputs it in a formatted, printable bill-of-sale looking page.

    I could have them email a CSV nightly. But try as I might, I can only get inbound email handler to read the CSV (I see the lines of data in the log!), not upsert or create records. I found wildly conflicting data online regarding this type of solution.

    I could push for a nightly FTP drop, and pay $ to automate grabbing the CSV. But, I’m not sure if I can do an upsert (i.e., check for existing accts and either update or create new, add Assets).

    Apparently, lightning Connect won’t actually copy the customer or purchase data into SFDC, nor create new accounts.

    You can’t create a login credentials for an External Data Source that is a Simple URL.

    I went through an exercise to create a canvas app via Heroku quickstart, but I have no idea how to hack/configure/set up a workable solution.

    I appreciate your time – and any direction you could point me in. Thanks for your willingness!


    1. Hi Bart,
      This is a little over my head, but I’m confident you can find resolution if you post this question on

      Have you looked into using a data integration app like Informatica to handle this for you? We have many nightly pushes/pulls with external data sources in my org.

    2. Bart,

      if you have a secondary objective to clean your contact data and load third party consumer data from a consumer data provider for your sales and marketing efforts, I manage an app that is currently privately listed on the AppExchange that provides Salesforce users on demand customer cleansing and insights . We are looking for beta testers before we go live at Dreamforce. The test will be provided at no charge in exchange for your feedback. Let me know if you have any interests .

      More on the app called ConsumerInsight here:

  2. Is there a way to report on Activity History for Email Types? Specifically, who the email was sent to and who sent it? Thanks!

  3. When the sales team comes to you and requests an app to do “X”, what steps are you taking when you start and progress through the research and even testing phases?

    1. First thing is to obtain a list of what needs they are trying to fill. I try and prevent the business coming to me with a solution. I want to hear their problems first. Try and provide multiple solutions with pros and cons of each, then let them choose what they like the best. It’s also helpful to have them identify their must haves vs. nice to haves. That ensures you aren’t caught up trying to provide difficult features that aren’t important to the MVP

  4. Hi Ryan,

    Any tips for taking the 201 certification exam? I’ve taken it and failed and I find it the situational questions to be very difficult. A lot of the answers sound very similar and it’s compounded by the fact that most of the questions are multi select. Anyways, I’ve recently taken courses but I was hoping to get some advice about how to approach the questions and any tips for the exam.

    Thank you for your time! (I’ve been using your study guide to prepare for my upcoming test)

    1. I failed on my first attempt too, so have many others. Don’t let it discourage you. I also utilize pro-profs to find topics that you’re not familiar with (don’t pay attention to answers, just the questions). Look those topics up, take notes, and study.

  5. Hi Ryan I just started learning salesforce and I am planning to take 201 test. My goal is to become a developer. When is a good time to take the admin test, after working on it (real time experience) or after how long time of preparation? Please suggest.

  6. We are looking for a Salesforce consultant to help us better integrate our new FastForms membership form into Salesforce. We need to:

    1. Set-up automatic renewal emails through Salesforce
    2. Create formulas that when people become members or renew through Salesforce, their membership information is updated in their Salesforce Account- this includes membership start and end dates, current membership checkbox, and membership payment
    3. We also need to ensure that all of this information is still available in reports

    Is this a project you would be interested in? If so, can you please provide a quote, a timeframe for project completion, and any reviews you have from past customers?

    1. I would love to help, but PayPal is keeping me pretty busy right now. Please provide your contact information and perhaps others reading this would be able to assist.

  7. I reviewed your profile on LinkedIn, as well as your Blog, and want to connect with you regarding an opportunity we have in Florida that may interest you or someone you know.

    We have an International, multi-faceted $billion client that is headquartered in Florida and growing.

    My client is looking for an experienced Salesforce Developer type that has 5+ years of experience and wants to grow in a Manager/Director type of role.

    We will relocate candidate to Florida and there is great opportunity for growth, both up the ladder and into tangent lines of business with the company.

    Dynamic environment, top compensation package and benefits.

    Let me know if this could interest you or someone you know. Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.

    Dave Gonczy

    1. I have to pass as I can’t relocate, but maybe someone else reading this will be interested. Thanks for reaching out.

  8. Hello Ryan and members

    I am preparing for the SF Amin 201 and I need help with correct answer for the below questions. Can you please help if time permits. thanks and appreciate your help.
    How can Knowledge articles be used?(Choose 2)
    • To display Salesforce Answers
    • To display for customer self-service
    • To resolve customer cases
    • To display Salesforce Solutions
    If two objects have a parent-child relationship, how can a user access the child record from the parent record?
    • Child field
    • Custom link
    • Lookup field
    • Related list
    What does the report type determine when a new report is created? (Choose 3)
    • Whether the report can be displayed in a dashboard
    • Whether the report will be tabular, summary, or matrix
    • The fields available to include in the report
    • The object included in the report
    • The default columns in the report
    Which user is listed in the case history related list for case changes made from assignment and escalation rules?
    • The automated case user specified in the support settings
    • The user who created the assignment or escalation rule
    • The owner of the case when the rule was triggered
    • The default case owner specified in the assignment or escalation rule
    Which record type can be updated when converting a lead? (Choose 2)
    • An existing opportunity record
    • An existing contact record
    • An existing custom object record
    • An existing account record
    What does a custom report type determine? (Choose 2)
    • The custom summary formulas displayed in a resulting report
    • The report format of the resulting report
    • The objects that are available when building a report
    • The fields that can be used as columns when building a report

    What can be modified on standard object fields?(Choose 3)
    • Help text
    • Label
    • Default text
    • Picklist values
    • Field type
    Which option is available when using the process visualizer? (Choose 2)
    • Share annotated approval process diagrams
    • View approval processes as a flow chart
    • Add approval steps from the process visualizer
    • Edit the criteria used to trigger the approval process

  9. Hello Ryan:

    Do you recall if deployments/migrations questions are part of the ADM 201 exam? Trying to be as efficient as possible regarding what to study and I am assuming that it may be part of the more advanced exam coverage.

    1. I don’t believe there would be much on deployments or migrations. You should know how change sets work. Regarding (data?) migrations, you should know about external ID’s and the methods/limitations of importing data.

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