Tag Archives: Salesforce Help

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.

VLOOKUP

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.

AutoSum

 

 

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

adm201

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.

Related:
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.

Considerations When Adding A New Field

 

newfield

The Sales division just asked for one new field.  Before you go off to your sandbox to get started, you have some questions to ask.

1) What is the Data Type, Name, Description, & Help Text? 

  • After you know the name and purpose of this field, search the object for existing fields that may already serve the same purpose, but perhaps worded differently
  • Depending on data type and purpose, it might need to be unique, external, or encrypted

 

2) Is this data already available somewhere else, like the parent record?

  • If yes, why is the same data also needed on this object?   (You should mind object limits)
  • If determined a separate field is indeed needed, would a user ever need to edit it?
    • If yes, create the field
    • If no, create a formula field to display value from parent record (default read only)

 

3) Who Can Access It?  Who Can Edit It?

  • Don’t expect a list of profile names, you may have to figure that out on your own.
  • Confirm user list with the requestor.  What if a profile contains users who should not see/edit this field?

 

4) Should this field be required?

  • If so, for all records? Or just on certain page layouts?

 

5) Is it required for certain conditions?  

  • If yes, you’ll need a validation rule.

 

6) Should it have a certain format?  Or prevent certain words or characters? 

  • If yes, you’ll need a validation rule

 

7) Which Page Layouts should it be added to?  And where?

  • Same as profiles, don’t expect your end users to know page layout names, but they should know record types.  You can then find the page layout name by viewing Page Layout Assignments.

 

8) Are you going to report on this field? 

  • If so, it will need to be added to the custom report types that are in use by the requestor & team.  Otherwise expect a frustrated requestor wondering why they can’t report on their new field.

Related:
A Design Decision: Case or Custom Object?
CASE OR CUSTOM OBJECT FRY

Tips For Acing Your Salesforce Certification Exams

 

certsOMG

Last Update: January 2016

I’ve taken 6 Salesforce Exams (passed 4 & failed 2), so I’d like to share exam tips & strategy that work well for me.  Everyone learns differently though, so I encourage you to do some research and find what works best for you.

 

Scheduling The Exam

  • By scheduling the exam, you’re committing yourself.  This is important.
  • Give yourself about 6 weeks to study.
    • I prefer taking the exam on Fridays around 10am.  This allows me to ease into my day and review my notes I start the test.
    • Why Friday?  Whether you Pass or Fail, it’s the weekend baby!
  •  You should be doing Admin, Developer, Adv Admin, and Sales Cloud consultant as close together as possible, as they have a lot of overlapping information.  I did Developer, Adv Admin, and Sales Consultant in only 9 weeks.
  • I recommend taking the exams in this order:1. Administrator
    2. Platform App Builder (formerly Developer)
    3. Advanced Administrator
    4. Sales Cloud Consultant
    5. Service Cloud Consultant

 

What’s on the test?

Study material

A great thing about Salesforce is that there’s a ton of info available.  For exam prep, I’ve been sticking to help.salesforce.com and guides.

  • help.salesforce.com  Each topic usually has related articles for considerations and limitations.

  • Salesforce Guides

  • Trailhead:  Trailhead is awesome because while it provides great info to help with the “knowing” part, it also walks you through the “doing” part.

 

Taking Notes & Studying

You need to commit to exam prep & study time. I usually block out 30-60 mins during my workday, plus time at home in the evenings.

  • I retain information better when writing notes.  For each feature/topic, I focus on:

         1. What is it?  What does it do?  What are the benefits?
         2. Considerations
         3. Limitations

  • After feeling pretty confident that I’ve taken notes on all the topics the test will cover, I start studying them everyday.   I’m not big on flash cards, for me just reading my notes has been working.
    • I’ve read that studying in different places helps you retain the information better, so I try to mix it up.  I can recall some questions on an exam where I’ll actually remember the room I was in when I studied that topic.   I guess it works.
  • When I start feeling confident that I know my notes, it’s time to test myself.
    • I will set out a notebook and pen, then find the flash cards on Cram and practice tests on ProProfs
      • Here’s the key, I’m not really paying attention to the answers.  What I care about are the questions.   If I can’t answer confidently, or more importantly, I don’t even recognize the topic,  I’m writing them down on a list.
      • Once complete, I go back to the start and research those items and retake notes.

 

Exam Day

  • I like to go into a test rested and not feeling stressed or rushed.

  • I give myself about an hour to review my notes before heading to the testing facility.

 

Taking The Test

  • Step 1:  scratch paper
    • I write down 1-60, with 2 columns.
    • For each question, I indicate my confidence level. Either a “ √   for 100% knew it or a ”   for a need to review later.
    • After the first pass, I add up all my checkmarks.  If I have more than 43, I’m doing pretty good. If less, then I need to really think hard on the questions I marked for further review.
  • Your 90 minutes can go faster than  you think, try not to spend too much time on questions that stump you.  Just mark those as review later and come back to them at the end.  Sometimes another question later in the test can actually help you when reviewing at the end.

 

Before You Hit Submit

Relax, take a deep breath, and remember that whatever the result is, you gave it your best.  Failing only means that you have to study a little more and retake it.  Like I said above, I’ve failed twice, and while frustrating, it’s not so bad.  

 

I Failed!  Now what?

  • If you fail the exam, immediately write down all the topics you can remember that stumped you, as you will not be allowed to take any scratch paper with you from the testing facility.
  • You should book the retake in a week or two, do not put it off much longer than that.

I Passed! Now what?

  • Reward yourself!   This is a big accomplishment that you worked hard for.

  • I recommend booking the next exam immediately.

  • Take a week off and then get back to studying for the next one. 

 

Looks like Brent Rambo just passed his exam. Great job, Brent.

BrentRambo

 

 

Savvy Salesforce Admins Know Where To Search When Stumped

Internet Kid

I’m 4x certified, but not a day goes by that I’m not searching for a little help. Your ability to find the answer when you don’t know can make a huge difference in your success as a Salesforce Admin.

I’ve listed these in order by the path I would usually take to find an answer.  All headings are hyperlinked.

 

Google  

  • This is my first stop, as a search will almost always lead me to one of the other sources listed below.
  • Tip: Use the word “Salesforce” in your search. Ex: “Salesforce Problem/Question/Feature” 

 

FindSF.info

  • This was pointed out to me after I published this post. I just tried it out and highly recommend, definitely an awesome search engine for all things Salesforce.

Help.Salesforce.com

  • This is where you can find a variety of great content for every feature Salesforce has to offer.
  • My favorite part is the list of related topics at the bottom of every article.  “I just came in for an overview of this feature, but what are these considerations & limits?”

 

Twitter

  • I use Twitter specifically for Salesforce (@RyanLorenzen) and there are thousands of other Salesforce Admins that do too.  So follow us.  We’ll follow you back and when you tweet a question, you’ll get an answer.  My Twitter feed is a constant stream of awesome Salesforce information. 

 

Success Community: Answers

  • There are tons of really smart people who love answering the questions posted here.  

 

Success Community: Groups

  •  Got questions? Someone in a user group probably has the answer.  Find one here
  • Bring questions your local user group meeting

 

Salesforce Stack Exchange

  • Salesforce Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Salesforce administrators, implementation experts, developers and anybody in-between. It’s 100% free, no registration required.

 

Reddit.com/r/salesforce

  • If you don’t know Reddit already, I feel a little bad for introducing you…it’s addicting. Reddit is used for a lot of things, and Salesforce is one of them. Post a question, start a discussion, comment, etc…

 

Salesforce Tip Sheets & Implementation Guides 

  • Some of these guides are huge, so if you use ctrl + F, you can usually find you topic pretty quickly.

 

Salesforce Blogs

YouTube

  • The next time you’re on YouTube watching cat videos, you should check out the Salesforce channel.   Everything from Product Demos to Dreamforce sessions are there.  There are a ton of user uploaded videos as well.
  • YouTube is usually where I find my answer when it involves an AppExchange App.

Dreamforce

  • There is absolutely no better place to get answers to your questions than Dreamforce. I try to write down as many as I can before I head out, because I know they’re all getting answered.

Trailhead

  • I have to mention Trailhead here.  While it’s not an optimal source for finding answers, it’s a top notch tool for learning about a process end to end.

 

 

A Better Study Guide For The Advanced Admin (ADM-211) Exam

AdvAdm

I’ve taken the Advanced Admin study guide from Salesforce and made it into a true study guide by listing the topics by test weight and providing links to material to study.  Last Update: Winter ’16 (current)

 I highly recommend Salesforce Trailhead as part of your exam preparation!

 

Related:
My Tips For Acing Salesforce Certification Exams
A Better Study Guide For The Admin (ADM-201) Exam

 

 

Security & Access  20%

1) Describe the capabilities of territory management and the implications to the sharing model

2) Given a scenario, determine the implications to record and field data access

3) Compare and contrast the capabilities of custom profiles, permission sets, and delegated administration

 

Process Automation  13%

1) Given a scenario, troubleshoot an approval process

2) Given a complex scenario, determine the solution using a combination of automation tools to solve a business problem

 

Sales Cloud  10%

1) Explain how to customize and maintain products, price books, schedules, and quotes

2) Describe the capabilities of Customizable and Collaborative Forecasting

 

 Service Cloud  10%

1) Explain how to create and maintain Salesforce Knowledge

2) Explain how to create and maintain service entitlements and entitlement processes

3) Describe the features of Salesforce which enable interaction between support agents and customers

Change Management  10%

1) Describe the options available to move metadata between environments

2) Describe the capabilities and best practices for using change sets to move metadata between environments

Reports & Dashboards  10%

Given a scenario, determine the appropriate analytic tools to meet complex reporting requirements

Data Management  10%

Tools & Best Practices to improve & enrich data quality

Extending Custom Objects & Applications  8%

Describe the appropriate use of relationship types when building custom objects

 

Auditing & Monitoring  6%

Given a scenario, determine the appropriate tools for monitoring and troubleshooting system activity

 

Content Management  3%

Explain how to set up and maintain Salesforce CRM Content