Posts tagged ‘best practices’

January 10, 2014

Small but Mighty

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OK, so maybe a small group of citizens doesn’t apply here. But what about a small group of fields? Oh perhaps even just one simple field.

This is a field that I’ve added to many orgs that I’ve worked with, and shared with even more admins who have added it to theirs as well. It’s a field that several Salesforce MVPs have their own twist on. A field that when I tell folks about it, I get some pretty amazing reactions, especially for companies that have high-touch processes. And I can’t believe that it took me 4 years of working with Salesforce before I thought to make this field – and once you hear it, I bet that you will think that same thing.

So what’s the field? A time-zone formula field for Leads, Contacts and Accounts (and really, any other object you what to throw it on). Now you want the formula, right?

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August 16, 2013

I Have Another Bad Field-ing

If you read my last post, you know all the reason why I dislike using the checkbox. And after that whole rant, you may be thinking what could be worse than the checkbox? If you’re a seasoned admin, you already know the answer. The dreaded multi-select picklist.

Now I’ll be honest, at first, I thought these were the greatest fields. They can hold a lot of data, reducing the number of fields on a page. Logically, they make sense to use when categorizing information such as the modules a customer purchases or languages spoken by a contact. The problems come when you start wanting to do more.

To start with, reporting on a multi-select picklist is a nightmare. Trying to write a filter that includes a multi-select picklist is frustrating at best, and more often much worse. Good luck trying to sort by them, or heaven forbid you Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 9.47.33 AMwant to make a chart plotting counts of each of the values. Instead of splitting the count, you end up with variations of every possible combination and your chart is completely meaningless.

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August 2, 2013

Have a Bad Field-ing

Apparently what I really have is a bad pun problem (see – the title of this post). But what I also have is a dislike for some of the field types in Salesforce. checks

There is one field type that I hate above all other. And secretly, I think the more disdain I have for the field, the more requests I get from people to use it. What field is it? The checkbox. Now, I should clarify because the idea of a binary data point is actually a great one, and I am in full support of it. But the problem with the checkbox is the assumption of data. Too often people want to use checkboxes in situation where you shouldn’t because of the implications of an unchecked box.

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July 26, 2013

Don’t go on autopilot

With all my raving on the automagic in salesforce.com, the title of this post may cause you to do a double-take. But I assure you, dear reader, that I am completely serious when I tell you not to go on autopilot. Perhaps a bit of an explanation is necessary.

AutopilotAs Salesforce admins, we have a bevy of tools at our disposal for making Salesforce appear to have that automagic. We can use workflow rules to make fields update, emails gets sent or tasks get assigned. We can leverage triggers to create new records, sum values of non-detail objects or update multiple records. We can use schedules to deliver reports & dashboards to an executives inbox. And with the new Chatter Actions, you can extend that automagic even further. And all of that is great & fantastic, and I am in no way advocating that you stop doing it. In fact, do LOTS of it!

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July 19, 2013

Gone Fishin’

From time to time, even a Salesforce admin needs a vacation. But for many of you, you are the only admin at your company. So how can you take time away during business hours, and still give you users the support that they need to do their jobs? In this post, I’m going to share some of my tips for a successful admin vacation.

It may seem obvious, but the first thing I do is to communicate that I will be away. Fishing_CartoonBy informing those I work with regularly that I will be out of the office, the hope is that they manage expectations and let me know of any urgent issues before I leave. I also provide clear information in my Out-of-Office alert on when I will be back, and what sort of access to email I will have while I am away. Finally, I include a link in my Out-of-Office to submitting an internal Salesforce ticket, so that requests that can be handled by others end up in the right queue.

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