Tag Archives: Salesforce Administrators

10 Ways To Experience Dreamforce Without Actually Going To Dreamforce

Can’t go to Dreamforce this year? Bummer. Here’s how you can feel like you attended anyway.


1) The day before Dreamforce, go hang out in the airport.  While there, spend your time on Twitter reading posts from everyone arriving in San Francisco and running into their friends from the Salesforce Community.  You’ll feel like you’re right there with em!


2) Eat your breakfast and lunch outside every day.  If there are people around you, ask them about their jobs.


3) Each night, drink more than you normally would and stay up too late.   Be careful though, you don’t want to be too hungover…  you still have to function well enough to drive to the dollar store. (see # 4)


4) Visit your local dollar store and pick up some nice pens, notepads, mobile phone chargers, sunglasses, stickers, and T-shirts.  Don’t forget a reusable tote bag to bring all that awesome shwag home with you.   When you get home, spread it out all over your bed, take a picture, and post to Twitter.


5) Your daytime routine is as follows:  Step 1: Pack a backpack full of stuff (maybe include some of that dollar store schwag)  Step 2: Go to Trailhead  to expand your knowledge and earn some badges. Step 3: Once an hour, put on that backpack and go walk around your neighborhood a few times while checking your Twitter feed. 


6) Whenever you need a break from earning Trailhead badges, go to the AppExchange and watch demos.  Don’t forget to provide your contact information so they can follow up with you.  If you felt like any of those demos were a waste of time, reward yourself and head back to the dollar store for more sweet schwag. 


7) The day of the main keynote, go stand in line somewhere for a couple hours. When you think you’ve had enough, return home and watch the keynote at Salesforce Live.  (It’s also a great way to watch other keynotes, interviews, and breakout sessions)


8) On the last night, take the city bus to your local TGI Fridays for endless appetizers. Wash it down with draft beers while listening to {insert Dreamforce band here} on your phone. 


9) Preparing for life after Dreamforce.  Step 1: Find a place where lots of germs are present and touch everything.  Step 2:  Don’t wash your hands.  If you’re lucky, you’ll have a cold within a couple weeks, just like a lot of your peers who went to Dreamforce. 

When you’re at home nursing your cold, that’s just about the time when all of the Breakout Sessions you missed are posted to YouTube on the Dreamforce Video channel.


10) Still not in the Dreamforce spirit? You’re missing that warm and fuzzy feeling after doing good for others.  Please consider donating some of your time or money to a charity, such as Project Night Night.



An Interview With Garry Polmateer!

Garry Polmateer

Garry Polmateer [@DarthGarry] is a Salesforce Community legend. He’s one of the original Salesforce MVP’s that poured the foundation to help make the Salesforce Community as awesome as it is today.   He’s been an inspiration to me for over 5 years, so I was honored that he was willing to answer some questions for my blog. 

He’s currently Managing Partner at Red Argyle, a global Salesforce consulting company specializing in development, consulting, and administration.

Red Argyle                    RedArgyle.com      @redargyledotcom


Salesforce Bullet:  When did you get started in Salesforce?  How did it happen?

Garry: I started a new job as a business analyst for website design projects.  I happened to start working there about a week after Dreamforce ‘08, and my boss was totally fired up and decided to start a new Salesforce.com team and asked me if I’d be on it.  So I asked for a day to think it over, spent the night digging into the technology, showed up to work the next day and said “I’m all in”, and been all-in ever since!



Salesforce Bullet:  How has learning Salesforce changed from then to now?

Garry:  A lot.  My first Salesforce learning experience was from a book!  I felt totally alone with nothing more than that book and a developer org.  That changed as soon I discovered Twitter a few weeks later and got very involved with everyone tweeting about Salesforce at the time.  That’s where I met some of my first friends including Jeff Grosse, Mike Gerholdt, and Becka Dente.  Ever since, the power of the community has made it easy to keep learning, not to mention all the great resources that the community has cooked up since then!



Salesforce Bullet: These days, where do you go first when you need help figuring something out?

Garry:  I check with my team first in our internal “Technical Stuff” room on Hipchat.  Answers community next.  And, insert obligatory SteveMo nod, about half the time he’s chimed in on whatever thread my search results have returned.  Twitter third or for more esoteric questions.  There’s a very diverse and smart group of people camping out on #askforce that has saved my butt on more than one occasion.  Beyond that I’ve got a few “phone a friend” folk on speed dial!  Of course I’ve met them all on Twitter or otherwise through the community!



Salesforce Bullet:  You’ve been an MVP since 2010. What does being an MVP mean to you? Has that changed over the years?

Garry:  Being an MVP has been an amazing and rewarding experience that has truly been life changing.  Most of my best friends, I’ve met through the Salesforce community and it’s truly a world class group of people.
My love for Salesforce, the community, and the MVP program has never waned over the years, but my life situation sure has!  As an owner at Red Argyle, and recent Dad of two kids, I had to make some tough choices, and one of them was to accept moving into MVP “Emeritus” status at the beginning of 2015.  Even though the badge is a bit different, I still love the community, contribute where I can, speak, and still blog regularly.  Even though I’m no longer an active MVP, I’m continuing to work hard to carry the Salesforce flag wherever I go and see no end to that in the future.  And as my kids get a little older, who knows!


Salesforce Bullet:  What is your advice to aspiring MVP’s?

Garry:  Don’t aspire to be an MVP.  Just be a good person.  Participate in the community, help people out and be consistent over time.  Do whatever you can to contribute and share your knowledge and wisdom.  Seek a community mentor and work with them on how to best focus your contributions to help the most people.  Find a user group, speak at it regularly, or start a user group in your town.  Do all that, and the badge will likely follow.  And whether or not you’re an MVP throughout that journey, we’re all here for you!



Salesforce Bullet:   You were recently featured in the opening of the DF15 keynote with your awesome lego rendition of Moscone.  What do you like about Legos?

Garry:  Well, it was also in the 2011 keynote, but who’s counting 🙂
Legos represent a structured system that allows you to take predefined forms and turn them into whatever your imagination can conjure up.  I’ve had them since I was a kid and loved building stuff!  Always had fun playing with them, and if I were on a Lego blog right now, they’d ask “what do you like about Salesforce” and I’d answer “Salesforce represents a structured system that allows you to take predefined forms and turn them into whatever your imagination can conjure up”.  Get the similarity?  It’s perfect!  I now have a whole rack of Legos at the Red Argyle office and smile every time I look over at them, and I’m currently building set 42043.  Who said we had to act like grown ups?



Salesforce Bullet:  You post a lot of your home DIY projects on twitter.  What project are you most proud of?

Garry:  My current project is restoring a 1930’s Gerstner machinist chest that was my Dad’s since I was a kid.  It was severely water damaged and I am in the process of making new wooden parts to restore it to its original function.  Most proud?  Probably when I replaced the circuit panel and rewired my whole house because I saved so much dough!  Of course now I’m “that guy” everyone in my family calls when they need some electrical work done.  I firmly believe that keeping a hand in the physical world helps me be a better IT professional, as it’s always easier to keep the real results of business operations in mind.  Probably why I work with a lot of manufacturing folks now.
The Gerstner chest project


Salesforce Bullet:  You’re currently managing partner of Salesforce Consulting firm, Red Argyle. What inspired you to get into Consulting and start a firm?

Garry:  I spent 2000-2008 as an IT and Database administrator.  Around the end of that time, I got realized I loved project work.  What better way to always be rocking projects than to work at a consulting company?  So I made the jump, and after a few years I decided life wasn’t crazy enough and helped build Red Argyle with my friend and super cool guy, Tom Patros.



Salesforce BulletHow did “Red Argyle” get its name?

Garry:  That, my friend is a story only shared over a beer.  🙂



Salesforce Bullet: What do you like most about your job?

Garry:  I always relished the feeling of the first day on a new job.  It’s a new beginning.  Everyone’s super nice, you’re seeing new things, learning new processes, and also learning about problems that need solving.  So in consulting, we pretty much get to experience that newness all the time.  Always a new project with new, awesome people.  I also love being involved in an entire project lifecycle; being able to hunt for work, win it, and deliver it.  And now we’re into our 5th year with over 575 projects…. time flies!



Salesforce Bullet:  What are the biggest challenges of running a consulting firm?

Garry:  No doubt, “work life balance” is the biggest challenge.  Consulting can be an all-consuming business.  Owning a consulting company is that plus a bunch more. I am still a practicing consultant with 50% of my time on the line and the rest divided between Sales, HR, and all the rest…  and now I am married and have two very young kids.  I’ve definitely made a lot of changes to my schedule most notably cutting down on travel, but there’s no shortage of guilt from working late more than I’d like.



Salesforce Bullet:  How does Red Argyle compete with the giant Salesforce consulting firms?

Garry:  We don’t really compete.  As a boutique shop, we partner with other companies just as much as we are bidding against them.  And with a lot of SMB customers, we’re often flying “under the radar” anyway.  I like to think that we provide a unique service that works well with a niche of customers.  We’ve got loads of work in our backlog and leave happy customers in our wake, so I really don’t feel like we’re competing, just being good to our customers and anyone else we come across and treating everyone fairly.  I also push hard during prospect qualification to save everyone time.  If we’re not going to work together, I try to determine that quickly.



Salesforce Bullet:  What are some things you’ve learned as a consultant that you wish you knew sooner?

Garry:  There is no magic.  The most difficult enterprise jobs are run by regular people trying to solve extraordinary problems.  Approach things like an average person, and say “no” when something does not sound right.  Trying to be a hero is the cause a lot of project failures.  Don’t hesitate to call support or reach out for help!  Too many times I’ve tried to go it alone when there was help available.



Salesforce Bullet:  What advice would you give to new Salesforce Admins?

Garry:  Learn the business.  Salesforce is amazing technology and, learning how to wield it to serve business needs will give you the one-two punch to bringing a lot of value to your company.  Working hard to establish a business driven mentality, not a technology driven one will set you up for success.  By doing that, you’ll get exposed to more projects, complexity, and responsibility within your organization.  Don’t jump into consulting too fast if you’re an admin, learn the ins-and-outs of your company and treat them like your first customer.  Then determine if consulting is right for you.  Finally – if you want to be in this business, find a mentor.  Either a community mentor as mentioned above or someone in the industry that you respect and can have a relationship with.  A mentor-mentee relationship is priceless.



Create a Salesforce Support Request Process For Your Users

Are you using emails to manage requests from your users? 

Dodge Emails


The problems with using email for issues & requests are many, such as:

  • Users favoriting certain Admins, causing uneven workload on the team
  • Emails getting buried & forgotten
  • Accidental deletion
  • If you’re in the habit of constantly checking email, it’s distracting
  • No prioritization
  • No reporting
  • Stressful for you: Some users are impatient.  Aside from too many emails marked as high importance, they’re following up too soon
  • Stressful for users:  They have no ability to confirm you got their request or make corrections to it.

Around 3 years ago we rolled out a Salesforce Support Case process to our users.  My work life drastically changed for the better that day.  Just in my team, we currently receive around 300 Cases per month.  I shudder at the thought of those being emails.

How my org uses Cases to manage support requests:

  1. User clicks “Salesforce Support Request” link on the home page.
  2. Some information is auto-filled, so they enter a few other fields & save
  3. The case is sent to a queue
  4. User receives email when case is opened & closed.
  5. A Dashboard is used to monitor these cases, much like a sales team would monitor open & closed Opportunities.

Here’s how to do it:

A Case record type, support process, and page layouts are created.

Regarding fields, your primary goal is speed.  Users should not to spend 5 minutes filling out fields. Here’s the fields we use:

Contact Name

This is the internal Contact, the user.  To make this work, create a process that creates a contact record for each Salesforce user.  The Contact would be related to their user profile via lookup field.

This is auto-populated. If you’re in a global org, this will come in handy later)

Category & Sub-Category
Dependent picklists. Here’s just a couple examples.

  • Users
    • New User – Salesforce
    • User Permissions
  • Data Management
    • Mass Update/Create Records
    • Merge Records




  • Open
  • Need More Information
  • Resolved (Closed)
  • No Change Required (Closed)

For use on the close case layout.  This can be used on the email notification when the case is closed.


Give your users an easy way to create the Case:

  • Under Home, create a custom link.  This link can be added to it’s own component or existing. We have a Useful Links component, so we put it there.
  • The link will be OnClick Javascript.  Calm down and stay with me.  I’m going to show you how. 

First, you need this:


Remember how I told you to create a Contact for each of your users?  This code is going to find and populate it on the case automatically.

 var result = sforce.connection.query("Select Id, Name From Contact Where User__c = '{!$User.Id}'");
 var records = result.getArray("records");
 var ContactName = records[0].Name;
 var ContactID = records[0].Id;

Now you need to specify the Case record type, the region, and anything else.  In my org, we use a Region picklist on the user profile.  I can use that in my code to populate the Region field on the case.

Here’s how to use IF – ELSE based on user attributes.   IF – ELSE can be much more complex than this if you want, keeping it simple for this example:

if('{!User.Region__c}' == 'NA'){
window.open("/500/e?retURL=%2F500%2Fo&ent=Case&cas3="+ContactName+"&cas3_lkid="+ContactID+"&00N80000003E5yO=North America&RecordType=012800000003wSZ&cas7=Open","_top");
}else if('{!User.Region__c}' == 'EU'){

If for some reason, one of those attributes doesn’t apply to a user, you need to plan for that with an Alert at the end.

alert('Unable to create the Case.');

You may be wondering, great… but what is that “Window.Open” junk in the middle?   That’s where you specify the case record type & fields.

  • 500  – the Case Object Id
  • e  – edit mode
  • cas3 – the standard field ID for Contact Name
  • Cas3_lkid  – You need this for the Contact ID.  lkid is lookup ID
  • 00N80000003E5yO –  the custom field ID for Region
  • cas7 – the standard field ID for Status.

Queue, Case Assignment, & Email Notifications

Create case assignment rules to send requests to the appropriate queue.  Maybe you have different queues for region or category.

So your users know the case was received, you can create auto response or workflow rules for that.  Pro Tip: Within that email, you can include instructions for your users on how to grant log in access to company administrators.

When a Case is closed, an email should be sent to the Contact on the Case.  I like to include the Case Status & Notes field.


Sharing & Validation

If your Case object is Private, you’ll need a sharing rule to grant Read/Write access to the cases that are owned by the queue.  This is needed as your users may need to attach a file/screenshot or update the description.

It would be wise to create a validation rule that prevents a non System Admin from editing a support case once it’s been closed.  You don’t want them to reopen it or change the details of the request after it’s been carried out.


Bringing it all together with reports & dashboards

Now that you’re able to report on the requests you’ve received, you can create a dashboard to show a lot of different metrics, such as case volume by month, ranking of closed cases by owner, cases opened per region last month, cases opened by category year to date, etc…




A Design Decision: Case or Custom Object?


The scenario: Your company has established a new business process in which a request must be created by Sales Reps and sent to Sales Support.

Is this best accomplished by using Cases or creating a new custom object?  I’ll list the questions you should be asking to help you arrive at that decision.

More often than not, Cases will win, but it’s important to know WHY Cases would be the appropriate solution and not fear exploring the use of a custom object if it makes better sense.


Does Sales Support usually work other kinds of requests via Cases?

  • If yes, your aim should be Cases if appropriate.

What is the preferred method of creating this request?

  • If these are external users, you could use Web-To-Case.
  • If the request is also very simple and no real data fields are needed, you could use Email-To-Case.
  • If the requests are originated by Salesforce users, you’re looking at a link or button, which leaves both Cases and Custom Object as options.

Does Sales Support have a queue?

  • You can use Cases or a custom object, as both work with Queues.  However,  only Cases can utilize assignment rules.  With a custom object, you’d likely be creating Workflow rules with Field Updates

If Sales Support doesn’t have a queue, do they want requests with certain specific attributes sent to specific people on their team?

  • Both Cases and Custom Objects can handle that, which like the Queue situation are accomplished with Assignment Rules or Workflows/Field Updates

…or do they want to Round Robin assign?

  • There are different ways to approach that, but could be easier within a Case. See one of those ways here

Do these requests many very specific statuses?

  • It’s probably not a deal breaker, and you could figure out a workaround with dependent picklists, but it’s good to note the limit on Case Status is 100 values.

Do they want the ability to define Open & Closed statuses?

  • Just like Opportunity Stages can be Won or Lost, you can set whether Cases statuses are Open or Closed.  Being able to reference “IsClosed” will help you in other areas.

Will there be a Contact record associated to this request?

  • There are a couple OOTB features that Cases have
    • The Contact can receive an email when a  Case is created, updated, or closed.  You may not needing to set up a Workflow/Email Alert.
    • When a Case Comment is created and set to Public and Send Customer Notification, that goes to the Contact on the Case.  …more on Comments below

Does Sales Support want to enter a series of comments on the request? Do they want the ability to dictate which of those should be private or public?

  • As mentioned above, an OOTB feature of Cases is Comments.  Unlike a text box, multiple comments can be created.  They can also be set to Private, Public, or Public & Notify Contact.

Does the manager of Sales Support want to be notified when a request is taking too long to resolve?

  • Cases have another OOTB feature of Escalation Rules.  An easily configurable feature that can escalate a Case to a manager if it’s not reached a certain status in a predefined amount of time.

Is there a need for Sales Support to escalate certain requests?

  • Again, Case Escalation Rules.

Could Sales Support benefit from sharing & storing knowledge used to complete requests?

  • If so, you could use another OOTB Case feature:  Solutions

Does this request require a lot of information?

  • You should be aware of object limits here. The Case object has a limit of 800 fields. If you have a very large organization consisting of many BU’s, it may not be appropriate to ‘use up’ so many fields on for just one type of request. 

Should these requests remain visible for reference on the parent record?

  • If you use Cases, there could be many other Cases on that related list. However, with a custom object you could highlight those requests on it’s own related list.

Are reports important?

  • If custom object, less criteria would be needed on the report.
  • If Cases, you can use “Closed” in a filter to simply report on Open or Closed cases.

What is the security need of the requests?

  • Case
    • You’ll have to work around whatever you have your Org Wide Default set to and may need to create sharing rules
    • You’ll also be ‘stuck’ with the object permissions you’ve given your users for other Cases.  You may need to create other configuration (validation rules, for example) to compensate.
    • You might run into situations where a user has access to a edit field on another type of Case, but for this Case it should be read only.
  • Custom object
    • Freedom to set the Org Wide Default and object permissions specific to this request.
    • Easier to set Field Level Security


Considerations When Adding a New Fieldnewfield



Spring ’16 – Highlighting 32 of the New Features for Salesforce Classic

Spring 16 Butterfly

Spring ’16 brings a ton of new features for Lightning and Classic. As most of us are not on Lightning yet, I’m only covering 32 of the highlights for Classic in this post.

You can access the full release notes by clicking the butterfly above.


Process Builder

  • Create Email Alerts for Tasks & Events
    • Also available on Workflow Rules, Approval Processes, and Flows

  • No more retyping names and descriptions for new versions

  • See entire field name in criteria

  • Drag & Drop Criteria Reordering

Reports & Dashboards

  • Option to exclude the Confidential Information Disclaimer

  • Access to Reports & Dashboards in user’s Private folder via Workbench

  • Ability to report on the top 300 File search terms queried by your users

Service Cloud

  • Block Sensitive Data in Chats

  • Supervisors can assign skill sets

  • Case Feed Filters

  • Drag & Drop Files into Case Feed Email

  • INTRODUCING: Work Orders
    • Work Orders are tasks to be performed on a customer’s product, typically in field service.
    • They can be associated with accounts, assets, cases, contacts, entitlements, service contracts, and other work order
  • Asset Hierarchy: An asset can have up to 2,000 child assets, and a hierarchy of assets can have up to 50 levels
  • Knowledge
    • Validation Rules for article types
    • Force.com and Chatter Plus users may be granted read access to articles without the Knowledge User license.
  • Service Console
    • Tab Hovers see highlights of tab contents
  • Macros: Now run on any feed-based layout

Sales Cloud

  • Get Mass Email Opt-Out and Bounce Alerts Before You Send

  • Data Import Wizard: Import Data from the following object Home Pages:
    • Accounts
    • Contacts
    • Leads
    • Custom Objects
    • Person Accounts



  • Broadcast Groups: a group where only group owners and managers can create posts.

  • Group Limits: 300 per user & 30,000 per org.

  • Email Announcements: Group owners and managers can now send email notifications to all group members regardless of their email notification settings.

  • @Mentions are now going to show the people you interact with most instead of alphabetical


  • Synonym Groups (words/phrases that are treated equally in searches) & Spell Correction are now available in the following
    • Knowledge Articles
    • Cases
    • Chatter Feeds
    • Files
    • Ideas
    • Questions


Data Import Wizard

  • Import Person Accounts

  • Display Import Status

  • Import Contacts & Person Accounts as Campaign Members
    • update Campaign Member Status

  • User Permission to import custom objects


General Administration

  • URL Custom Buttons & Links are now available in Lightning & Mobile.

  • Quick Actions update
    • Option to exclude from creating a feed item
    • Include custom success message

  • Picklist Updates
    • Restricted Picklists now in Beta:  Prevents users from importing/updating values that don’t exist.
    • Global Picklist pilot: Multiple Custom Picklist fields can get their values from the same master set.

  • Easier Migration to Lightning with “Migration Assistant”

  • Optimized parallel sharing rule recalculation, will help reduce time org is locked.

  • Login Forensics to help prevent identity fraud


10 Excel Features Every Salesforce Admin Should Know

Excel SFDC Logo

In this post, I highlight the 10 Excel features I use often when formatting record inserts/updates and doing analysis on metadata.

Special thanks to Scott Lewis, an Excel wizard who had the misfortune of being my cube neighbor for a couple years and enduring countless “How do I do this in Excel” questions from me.


1) VLOOKUP search & match data

  • Use Case: Comparing two lists or appending data, obtaining User ID’s for a file containing only user names.
  • How To:  In this example, I pulled a Salesforce report of all Users with ID’s and placed them on the 2nd tab.
  1. Create blank column where you want the matches to be.
  2. Insert VLOOKUP formula into first cell
    • Lookup_value:  the first cell of the column you need to match, in this case “A2”
    • Table_Array:  The source columns you’re using to match, you can just highlight them.
    • Col_Index_Num:  In your array, which column are you bringing?
    • Range_lookup:  I always put “False”
  3. Copy the formula for the entire column, it will automatically update cell numbers.

**WARNING**  VLookup is not case sensitive, so using 15 digit ID’s can create mistakes.  Always use the 18 digit ID’s when working with records in Excel.


2) CONCATENATE: Combining Values from multiple cells into one

  • Use Case: Creating a file of test records, loading multi select picklist fields.
  • How To: Formulas – Text – Concatenate.  Enter Cell followed by a symbol or space, the quotes are automatically added for you.
Concatenate Multi Select Picklist
Stop staring, this one is not a GIF : )



3) SUM Formula: Counts & Totals

  • Use Case: Formatting test records. You need to load 1,000 test records, but each one must contain a unique ID.
  • How To: Formulas – AutoSum – Sum.  In this example, I’m starting with 111 and inserting the Sum formula directly below it to create a set of unique numbers in increments of 10.




4) Text To Columns:  Breaking one cell into multiple cells (the opposite of Concatenate)

  • Use Case:  Singling out one relevant part of a string.  You pulled a report or copy/pasted a webpage and need to remove the junk.

  • How To:  Highlight Column –  Data – Text To Columns – Delimited – Choose Symbol, punctuation, or space  – Next – Finish

Note: Insert  blank column to the right, otherwise you could overwrite data in neighboring columns.

Text To Columns

5) Removing Objects: Highlight and delete all objects on sheet

  • Use Case:  Cleaning up a list that was copy and pasted form a source containing objects, If you copy and paste an object field list, you may end up with check boxes that need to be removed.   (This can be avoided by pasting to match destination formatting instead of Source formatting)
  • How To:  Find & Select – Go To Special – Objects.  The objects will then be selected, then hit Delete.

Delete Objects

6) Highlight Cells Rule: Highlights cells that are duplicates or contain specified text

  • Use Case: Finding duplicates or cells that contain a certain value, a business unit name perhaps.  If your report is not easily filtered in Salesforce, you can use Highlight Cells Rules to further break down your data.
  • How To: Conditional Formatting – Highlight Cells Rules – Text That Contains/Duplicate Values

Highlight Cells

7) Removing Duplicates

  • Use Case:  Drilling down a large report to only see the unique values.
  • How To:  Data – Remove Duplicates – select one or multiple columns.

Remove Duplicates

8) Double Click Auto Fill

  • How To: Double Click lower right cell corner to auto fill to end of rows.   NOTE:  Cells ending in numbers can sometimes autosum.   Example, a cell ending in 12 would end in 13, 14, 15, and so on.

Auto Fill Cells

9) Changing Formula Values To Text

  • Use Case:  After using a formula, you’ll need to change those cells to text before inserting/updating in Salesforce.

  • How To:  Select Column – Copy – Right Click – Paste Special –  Paste Values – “123”


10) KeyBoard Shortcuts That Save Scroll Time

  • CTRL + Up or Down Arrow:  Goes to last row
  • CTRL + Right or Left Arrow:  Goes to last column
  • Shift + CTRL + Up or Down Arrow: Goes to last row and selects all
  • Shift + CTRL + Right or Left Arrow: Goes to last column and selects all


A Better Study Guide For The Admin (ADM-201) Exam


I’ve taken the Salesforce Certified Administrator from Salesforce and made it into a true study guide by listing the topics by test weight and providing links to material to study.

My Tips For Acing Salesforce Certification Exams
A Better Study Guide For The Advanced Admin Exam

If you’re really new to this, you may want to start with the basics to help put everything else into context.  Learn Salesforce Basics PDF

And finally, I highly recommend Salesforce Trailhead  as part of your exam preparation! 2015-Trailhead-Flogo_FINAL-1



Standard & Custom Objects 18%

1) Describe the standard object architecture and relationship model

2) Explain how to create, delete, and customize fields, page layouts, and list views for custom and standard objects

3) Given a scenario, determine the appropriate fields and page layouts for custom and standard objects

  • See Above

4) Explain how to create, delete, and customize record types for custom and standard objects

5) Given a scenario, determine the appropriate record types and business processes for custom and standard objects

  • See Above

6) Explain the implications of deleting fields

7) Describe when to use and how to create formula fields


Security & Access 15%

1) Explain the various organization security options

2) Describe the features and capabilities of the sharing model

3) Given a scenario, apply the appropriate security controls

4) Describe the various profiles controls

6) Given a scenario, determine the appropriate use of a custom profile


Reports & Dashboards 13%

1) Describe the options available when creating or customizing a report

2) Describe the impact of the sharing model on reports

3) Describe the options available when creating and modifying dashboards

4) Describe the capabilities of custom report types


Data Management 11%

1) Describe the considerations when importing, updating, transferring, and mass deleting data

2) Given a scenario, identify tools and use cases for managing data

3) Describe the capabilities and implications of the data validation tools

4) Describe the different ways to backup data



Sales Cloud Applications 9%

1) Given a scenario, identify the capabilities and implications of the sales process

2) Given a scenario, identify when to apply the appropriate sales productivity features

3) Describe the capabilities of products and price books

4) Describe the capabilities of lead management

5) Given a scenario, identify how to automate lead management

6) Describe the capabilities of campaign management

User Setup 9%

1) Identify the steps to set up and maintain a user

2) Given a scenario, troubleshoot common user access and visibility issues

Service Cloud Applications 6%

1) Describe the capabilities of case management

2) Given a scenario, identify how to automate case management

3) Describe the capabilities of solution management

4) Describe the basic capabilities of Communities

5) Describe the capabilities of the Community application, such as Ideas and Answers

6) Describe the capabilities of Salesforce Knowledge


Workflow Automation 7%

1) Describe when workflow rules are evaluated

2) Describe the capabilities of workflow rules and actions

3) Given a scenario, identify the appropriate workflow solution

4) Describe capabilities and use cases for the approval process


Activity Management 3%

Describe the capabilities of activity management


Content & Folder Management 2%

1) Describe the capabilities of Salesforce Content

2) Describe how folders can be used to organize and secure communication templates, dashboards, reports, and documents


Desktop & Mobile Administration 2%

1) Describe the capabilities of Salesforce1 and SalesforceA

2) Describe the installation and synchronization options of Salesforce for Outlook


AppExchange 2%

Identify use cases for AppExchange applications


Organization Setup 1%

Describe the components of the company profile


Global User Interface 1%

Distinguish between and identify the implications of the various user interface features that an administrator controls


Chatter 1%

Describe the features of Chatter



Your feedback is welcomed! Leave a comment below.

Lightning Containers: Definitions & Environments You Can Use Them

Here’s a list of Lightning containers, what they are, and where you can use them.

  • Lightning Components – UI framework for developing dynamic web apps for mobile and desktop devices.
    • Environments:
      1. Lightning Experience
      2. Salesforce1 Mobile
      3. Mobile SDK Hybrid Apps
      4. Communities
      5. Standalone Lightning Apps
  • Lightning Component Tabs – Create a Tab to display a Lightning Component
    • Environments:
      1. Lightning Experience
      2. Salesforce1 Mobile
  • Lightning Components For Visualforce  Integrate Lightning components into Visualforce pages for a dynamic development experience.
    • Environments:
      1. Lightning Experience
      2. Salesforce1 Mobile
      3. Salesforce Classic
      4. Mobile SDK Hybrid Apps
      5. Communities
  • Lightning Apps – An App consisting of Lightning Components.
    • Environments:
      1. Lightning Experience
      2. Salesforce1 Mobile
      3. Mobile SDK Hybrid Apps
      4. External Sites
  • Lightning Out – Directly embed lightning components cross domain 
    • Environments:
      1. Mobile SDK Hybrid Apps
      2. External Sites
  • Lightning Extensions – A mechanism for using custom-built components to replace existing components in the Salesforce1 Mobile App.
    • Environments:
      1. Lightning Experience
      2. Salesforce1 Mobile


Lightning Containers and Environments Chart
Credit: Skip Sauls [@SkipSauls] Salesforce Director of Product Management – Lightning Components & Customizations Special thanks to Samantha Ready [@Samantha_Ready] for sharing on Twitter.

An Interview With SteveMo!


Steve Molis [@SteveMoForce] is arguably the most famous Salesforce Admin in the world.  When I was just starting out,  I had to do a lot of google searching for answers and how-to’s (still do).  It became very common that my answer was provided by  some guy named ‘SteveMo’ with a Charlie Brown avatar.  If you’ve ever been to one of his Dreamforce sessions, you know that he’s not only knowledgeable, but also really funny.

Huge thanks to Steve for answering some questions for my blog!


Salesforce Bullet: What were you doing before becoming a Salesforce Admin?

SteveMo:  I was a Lotus Domino Developer in MIS/IT where I’m working now



Salesforce Bullet:  How did you get your start?

SteveMo: One day in August 2003 I was in a meeting and my boss looked at me and said “We’re getting this thing called Salesforce.  We’re gonna learn it, and then you’re gonna own it”



Salesforce Bullet: You’re described as a self-taught Salesforce Admin.  Can you talk about what it was like back when you began learning compared to now?

SteveMo: Back in my day we didn’t have Trailhead or free Developer Salesforce orgs…  All we had was the Online Help and Training Docs, and we had to walk 5 miles in the snow (even in the Summer)


Salesforce Bullet: Formulas seem to be an area most Admins tend to struggle with. How did you become so good with them?

SteveMo: Working in Lotus Formula Language, and a similar “In House” language before that definitely gave me a leg up.  Going from Lotus Formula to Salesforce Formula isn’t even like going from speaking Spanish to Portuguese.  It was like going from Portugal to Brazil, it’s like the same language, so a different dialect.



Salesforce Bullet: To date, you have provided approx. 42,000 answers on the Success Community. There are a lot of people that think this must your full time job. Can you tell us about a day in the life of Steve Molis?

SteveMo:  It’s probably not much different from most SFDC Admins or Devs, start off by logging into all 3 SFDC orgs (Prod, Sandbox, and Dev), checking email, vmail, putting out any fires that pop-up.  There’s always something “on the stove”, whether it’s building/customizing a Report, Dashboard, Page Layout, Process, etc…  I keep the Answers Tab open, and check in when I can, either to take a crack at something, or see what guys like Deepak, Jeff May, Geoffrey Flynn, Chris D, Chris E, Sharif, (too many to mention or count) are cooking up.  There’s just so much knowledge out there flowing through the Answers and Success Community.


Salesforce BulletYou recently passed 3000 best answers, what does that mean to you?

SteveMo: I honestly didn’t even know that I’d done it until Vamsi Krishna posted it in the Success Community.  But once it happened and then Marc and Parker, and other community members, some I’ve known for years, others I’ve never met posted their congratulations…  I still dunno if it’s really sunk in yet. I mean being a Baseball Fan maybe there’s some allegory (right word?) cuz in Baseball 3,000 hits is like one of the standards that batters are measured by.
SteveMo Lightning
Steve receiving the Lightning Bolt from Parker Harris at the DF15 Admin Keynote



Salesforce Bullet: You’re known for telling people they owe you a beer.  By your count, how many beers do you have coming your way?

SteveMo: Oh man…  I dunno if I can build a Formula for that one, I may need to learn Apex Code or Heroku or something.



Salesforce Bullet: What is your favorite kind of beer?

SteveMo: “Pliny the Elder” by Russian River Brewery, it’s considered the Grand Daddy or The Apollo Moon Landing of the “West Coast” IPA movement.



Salesforce Bullet: Any significance using Charlie Brown in your profile/Chatter photos?

SteveMo: I’ve always loved Charlie Brown as a kid, I think maybe I identified with the “Lovable Loser” and I’m a huge Baseball fan (and Dog Lover) so when I created my Community avatar I found a Charlie Brown Baseball image and “hacked in” a RedSox B on his cap.


Salesforce Bullet:  If someone visiting the Boston area could only visit one restaurant, what should it be?

SteveMo:   I’ll give you 2:
  1. Turner’s Seafood Grill in Melrose (be sure to order the Lobster Bisque)  http://www.turners-seafood.com/melrose-grill-market
  2. The Parish Café in Boston http://parishcafe.com/



Salesforce Bullet: I’m assuming you’re a Patriots fan, how did you celebrate the Super Bowl 49 win?

SteveMo: Honestly, I was too stunned… I watched it, I saw it happen, and like 3 days later I was still like “Wait…  did Butler really intercept the ball on the 1 yard line, or did I just dream that???”



Salesforce Bullet:  If you could give a new Salesforce Admin just three pieces of advice, what would they be?

Trailhead, Trailhead, TRAILHEAD!!!
Never stop learning, exploring, tweaking, etc… Spend as much time (or more) in your Dev SFDC org as you do in your Prod SFDC org.


25 Things I Learned After 5 Years as a Salesforce Admin

Wonka 5 Years v2

It occurred to me the other day that I’ve been a Salesforce Admin for over 5 years now. That got me thinking about the things I’ve learned or wish I knew sooner.

  1. Your personal development is a journey, not a destination. 

  2. You have to be all in.  It’s like Mr. Miyagi would say: Either Salesforce Admin do “yes” or Salesforce Admin do “no.” You Salesforce Admin do “guess so,” get squish just like grape.

  3. Bosses that support your work-life balance, personal development, and appreciate your Salesforce skills are very important to your success.

  4. Executive sponsorship is really important.

  5. If there is a lack of accountability in your company, you’re going to have a bad time.

  6. Designing & developing a solution for a bad business process is not fun.

  7. Speak in a language your audience can understand.

  8. It’s impossible to reach expert level. 

  9. Understand what Apex is capable of.

  10. Self-sufficient users will make your job much easier.

  11. Automation is great, but too much of anything can become problematic.

  12. Stakeholders who have a good idea of what Salesforce is capable of will make your job easier.

  13. Your users are more important than you are.

  14. It’s OK say “I don’t know.”

  15. Trying to be a hero can backfire and cause you to burn out.

  16. Having a good change management process is very important.

  17. Project documentation is very important.

  18. Don’t neglect the little things.

  19. No matter what you do, you will always have some users that just don’t get it.

  20. Know when to turn to the appexchange.

  21. Be an evangelist, but don’t drink the Kool-Aid.

  22. Participation in the Salesforce Community can be rewarding in many ways.

  23. Things that seem impossible now will turn into  things you can do in your sleep.

  24. Knowing the right questions to ask can make all the difference.

  25. Many of the most valuable things you learn only come after you’ve screwed something up.