Thursday, 24 September 2020

[#Blogged] - Salesforce Administrator Guide: Propelling your Career Forward - Part 7


Part 7: All about Data Import and Data Export

In Part 7 of our series Salesforce Administrator Guide: Propelling your Career Forward, I want to talk about Data Import and Export.  There will inevitably come a time in your Salesforce Admin career when you will need to handle large amounts of data. Fortunately, this does not mean you will have to spend hours upon hours painstakingly updating each record individually. Whether you will be asked to update large batches of records, or store records periodically for auditing purposes, knowing how to import, export, and manipulate data correctly is a crucial skill to learn early on. Let’s take a look at a few native Salesforce tools that you can utilize to perform these tasks.

Data Import

Importing data is when you take data from another source, such as an excel spreadsheet, and bring that data into Salesforce, matching it appropriately on the records you have already existing. This is referred to as an update. You can also use data import tools to create brand new records, as well.

The Data Import Wizard allows you to import data for both standard and custom objects, as long as the batch sizes are less than 50,000 records. If you have more than that, you can still make updates, but must break down your import into separate batches. 

Image: Data Import Wizard

The Data Import Wizard is fairly easy to use, as long as you have your data appropriately prepared beforehand, and know the API names of the fields you wish to adjust. You can find this tool by searching for “Data Import Wizard” in the Setup > Quick Find menu.

Data Export

There are a few ways to export data from Salesforce into various locations. Although not a tool, per se, an Admin with “Export Reports” permission can choose to create and filter reports to identify necessary information, and export as a .csv file on their computer. This is actually a commonly used step to manipulate data for updates, to be imported back into Salesforce.

There is also a Data Export tool which allows you to set up exports on a schedule. This is great for allowing large amounts of data to be pulled at convenient times of day, such as off-peak hours late at night, so as to not interfere with functionality of your Salesforce org.

And then there’s Data Loader…

Data Loader is also a native tool that does both importing and exporting of data into and out of Salesforce. This is great for loads that the Data Import Wizard cannot handle, and can accommodate up to 5,000,000 records! Data Loader also allows you to update, create or delete records and can be used for objects not available to the Data Import Wizard, as well.

 Image: Data Loader Installation. Find it by Searching “Data Loader” in the Setup > Quick Find menu.

This is not the “end all, be all” list of ways to import and export data, however, it’s a great list to get you started with highly functional tools that are very useful in making the most of your Salesforce journey! 

Thursday, 3 September 2020

[#Blogged] - Salesforce Administrator Guide: Propelling your Career Forward - Part 6

Welcome to Part 6 in my series Salesforce Administrator Guide: Propelling your Career Forward! In Part 6, I want to discuss tools for process automation. As an Admin, you will be asked to not only add fields, or adjust page layouts, but also to implement processes to help your end users get through their day more efficiently. There are a host of tools you can use for various automation requirements, ranging from small and quick to the whole kit and caboodle. Let’s go over three tools for Process Automation, so you can learn how to make your Salesforce org an efficient machine!

Three Tools for Process Automation

Process Automation is not something that should scare you, but should invigorate you. There are a lot of great ways in Salesforce to grab information from one area, populate it in another, or reduce clicks and time spent by your end user. Familiarising yourself with these three tools is essential for taking your career to the next level and can improve your ability to analyse the best options for the job.

Workflow Rules

Workflow rules are great for small, easy changes that have simple requirements and are focused on one object. You can create logic that triggers an action of creating a New Task, New Email Alert, New Field Update, New Outbound Message, or any existing action. In this example, I used a workflow rule to evaluate the Industry field on the Account object to update a separate custom field called “Enterprise Industry”. The action is a field update, which will check the box as “True” if the criteria are met. Quick and easy, Workflow Rules are a great option for these types of automation.

Process Builder

For the past few years, the Process Builder has been the darling of Automation in the world of Salesforce. Due to its ability to execute more actions than a workflow rule, and it's easy to use interface, the Process Builder is a great choice for holding many changes for a single object that need to run upon edit or create. Let’s take the example above for the workflow rule: if you also wanted to add an update for Chatter to go along with your field update, you would set up this scenario in the Process Builder, instead of using a workflow rule. This tool is more versatile and is easy enough for an Admin to use along the various stages of their Salesforce journey.

Flow Builder

This is a more advanced tool, but is one that Admins can still take advantage of, nonetheless. Flow is a step up from Process Builder and is quickly becoming the new favorite tool. Flow has more capabilities all around, is more robust, and is the last step in Admin tools (at the moment) before crossing the threshold into becoming a developer. Flow can do everything from grab records and evaluate before taking action, loop through collections of records to seek or update information, and even make decisions based on input from your end users on a screen. This is worth spending a lot of time exploring and getting some hands-on practice!

Image: Just the tip of the iceberg compared to what this tool can do...

If you can become familiar with those three tools, you can definitely step up your Salesforce skills. Remember, practice is key, so make sure you remain patient, learn from your mistakes, and keep moving forward!