We’ve all heard the quotes about the importance of the process; “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game,” many of us were told growing up. Salesforce, starting with a beta release in Winter 14’ and a full release in Spring 15’, has changed the way Salesforce Administrators will play the game through their Lighting Process Builder and its related components.
One of my favorite new additions to the Force.com platform, Process Builder allows even those new to Salesforce to automatically create or update records, launch flows, post to chatter, create e-mail alerts, or even trigger APEX code based on set criteria, all with a point and click user interface.
As with any beta release, Process Builder had a few “quirks” (they didn’t call it a beta release for nothing!). Whether it was the inability to effectively update once-activated processes or something as simple as not having a clear path to navigate back to Setup, Process Builder had some characteristics only a mother could love.
Below, I’ll highlight several of my favorite, post-beta Process Builder updates. And yes, one is a simple link back to the Setup page.
1. The ability to Manage Versions.
From inside a process, you can now clone and save as a version of the current process. This provides a much more efficient and practical way to keep track of the changes to your process. Previously, after activating a process for testing, if there were errors to be corrected you had to clone the process, save as a new process, make the changes, and reactivate. This vicious cycle often left you with a series of “Process Name Version …” and multiple inactive processes that could not be deleted for at least 12 hours.
Version history is now succinct and streamlined.
2. Familiar logic when establishing criteria nodes.
When creating a criteria node to be evaluated, you can use custom filter logic just as you would when creating a report. This is a nice step forward from the “All of the conditions are met” or “Any of the conditions are met” options from beta.
3. The ability to evaluate a record multiple times in a single transaction.
The help text took the words out of my mouth!
4. Finally, we have a link back to the Setup menu.
Ah, the little things in life.
As a kinesthetic learner, my favorite thing to do is to dive into Salesforce and get my hands dirty; make a few test processes, you can always inactive and delete later. If you prefer a more calculated approach and less of the “shoot first and ask questions later” mentality, there’s plenty of good reading floating around the Internet. I’d recommend starting out with the Spring 15 release notes featured in a previous blog post (click here).
Check back soon for Part II of this post detailing a few shortcomings/areas of improvement related to Process Builder.
You stay classy, Salesforce!
Lead Salesforce Administrator & Operations Manager
February 19, 2015--Due to high demand, the opportunity to register for SquareBlue Consulting's Salesforce Power Hour is running out--just two tickets remain.
The Power Hour event is intended to provide local businesses the opportunity to explore the benefits of adding a CRM to their business process and to help current users optimize their system.
"We have been delighted with the response from our local business community," says Susan Connor, SquareBlue's President and Chief CRM Strategist.
Registration for the two remaining consultations can be completed online at https://squareblueconsulting.eventbrite.com.
About SquareBlue Consulting
SquareBlue Consulting is a full-service marketing consultancy providing guidance on integrating key CRM technology with sound marketing, business development, and lead generation strategy. From developing a sound marketing strategy that drives both inbound traffic and partnership with your sales team, SquareBlue offers a comprehensive set of customer relationship management, marketing, and sales process advisory services for small- and medium-sized businesses in banking, wealth management, professional services, healthcare, software, events management, non-profit, and more.
Contact: Phillip Poskus | firstname.lastname@example.org
In honor of this weekend’s upcoming Hallmark-induced lovefest, we thought we’d turn our attention to a more non-traditional Valentine: your love-hate relationship with your Salesforce data.
Salesforce can create the prettiest charts and graphs that plot your progress to goal, forecast your sales, organize your help desk team, or send invoices on the right day … but only if the data for the pretty charts and graphs is already in place. Otherwise they are just pretty charts and graphs that don’t mean a thing.
When we undertake Salesforce “rescue” projects, one of the first things we inevitably hear is, “Our data is a mess.” What’s more interesting, though, is that for the most part nobody attempts to do anything about it. They just work around it. It’s like getting used to the fact that the Christmas tree is still in the living room come Valentine’s Day. We’ve adjusted to it, and it’s a hassle to clear. In the same way, people get used to having duplicate contacts, missing addresses, and bad dates, and they compensate with clever Last Names like “USE THIS CONTACT” instead of deleting the bad and cleaning the good.
I’m not throwing any stones here. Our data could use some work too. Some days I take the short cut of yelling across the office, “Hey, Phillip, do you have the security token for … ?” and he’ll skype it to me. Neither of us actually ENTER the data into Salesforce where it should be in the first place. Bad Salesforce Admins.
There are all kinds of tools out there that purport to keep your data shiny white shiny bright. But here’s the best one: a person. A person within your organization who has a love affair with your data. Who takes pride in and is compensated for the completeness and accuracy of every record. This data lover is personally offended when records is missing or incorrect, and he or she will have no issue with publicly berating the users who take shortcuts.
If your budget allows for such a person, I cannot recommend anything more. In many cases, though, it’s just not feasible. There are other ways to give your data the attention it needs. Maybe once a month bring in lunch and everybody sits around the conference table doing nothing but cleaning up their own records. You can enable some of the tools that block duplicate creation, or you can create validation rules that make sure you can’t put phone numbers in text fields. It’s easy to get creative.
This weekend a lot of love is going to be thrown around. Make sure your data gets a little too.
President & Chief CRM Strategist
Spring Is in the Air!
Salesforce.com will roll out the Spring ’15 Release to all remaining instances this weekend. For many of our users, years go by before they even realize the cute little Salesforce icon on the top left corner has changed from an Eskimo to a little birdie. Because in many releases, little that is upfront and meaningful to the average Salesforce user actually happens. But Spring ’15 is different.
At least in part as a response to the burgeoning community of Salesforce users, this release contains at least 250 new and improved features, more than 100 of which are in direct response to IdeaExchange posts in the Salesforce user community.
While there is still the valuable behind the scenes work that makes the Salesforce engine go, there are two key features of this release that should be immediately valuable for all users: enhancements to Process Builder (beta) and the addition of Data.com Duplicate Management.
Process Builder is a powerful tool in Salesforce that enhances the features available with workflows while adding new features of creating records, updating related records, and calling apex methods. Prior to Process Builder, these new features were only possible through triggers. Wait … sorry, what? Remember when you wanted to create a new record when some magical point in your sales / marketing / service process was reached, and your friendly Salesforce consultant would say those expensive words, “I can do that with a trigger”? Well, no more. Process Builder has enabled native point-and-click features that ease the burden of complex triggers that become quickly outdated with more nimble, flexible functionality. Process Builder is available to orgs with Enterprise and above licenses.
But wait … there’s more! If we had a dollar for every time someone asked, “What’s the best duplicate checker for Salesforce?” and we responded, “A person!” For the first time, Salesforce has added native functionality (Data.com Duplicate Management) to help prevent and alert of duplication in your Salesforce org. With these new features, Salesforce will be able to “block” a user from duplicating records based off pre-determined logic or alert of a possible duplication with reporting tools. Duplicate Management is available to orgs with Professional and above licenses – and it does not require a Data.com license.
Click here for more details about the Spring ’15 Release and a list of all the new functionality and features in Salesforce.
Lead Salesforce Engineer