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All About...Salesforce: January 2023

Happy New Year! The weather has been, well, seasonably cold, but at least the sun is out. In this month’s email, I’m sharing helpful documentation on Flow best practices and standards from Salesforce, updated Grants Management Module Content on Trailhead, an excellent primer on Technical Debt and some ways to avoid it, our friend “Dolores”, a reintroduction to Salesforce Dynamic Forms, and some important changes with Salesforce Enhanced Domains. And will you be at NTC in Denver in April? I’ve added details about the two presentations my colleagues will be giving in the Mile High city soon.

Until February,
Jordan

EXPANDED TRAILS: You Do Trailhead, Don’t You?

The Grants Management Module is Salesforce’s native application for grantmaking organizations. Salesforce has released updated basic information, new tools, and processes, as well as expanded trails that you can take to skill up on the grants management module. If you’re looking for a deeper dive, you can reach out to our Sir Cooper Westbrook (we knighted him our Grants Management specialist!)

NEW FUNCTIONALITY: Inclusive Identities

You asked, and Salesforce listened! The Spring 23′ update allows for better customer engagement with a new feature. Pronouns and gender identity are now included as optional picklist fields on the Lead, Contact, and Person Account objects.

RESOURCE: Let It Flow, Let It Flow

Salesforce has gone all in on Flow Automation; with the announced retirement of workflows and process builders, we are supporting our clients by thoroughly documenting, planning, and executing the migration to flows. It’s essential to look at your automations holistically to ensure that the design and build of your flows are scalable and easy to manage. Salesforce has done an excellent job of updating documentation and providing helpful resources, like this one, on building and managing automations using Flow.

RESOURCE: Technical Debt (TCO)

Our friends at Apex Hours have developed a solid primer on Technical Debt, a critical and often overlooked aspect of software development. As technical debt accumulates in Salesforce, it diminishes the platform’s capabilities, and the total cost of ownership increases, thus reducing the value of investing in Salesforce. What do Salesforce product owners need to know about the impact of technical debt on the total cost of ownership (TCO)? The total cost of ownership for Salesforce refers to the overall long-term cost of owning the platform. It includes expenses for implementing and managing the software throughout its lifecycle, hiring skilled staff such as developers and IT personnel, hardware, licenses and renewal fees, security, onboarding users, and training. We strive to develop and deploy solutions that keep the avoidance of technical debt front and center.

RESOURCE: Aggregate and Display Data on Parent Objects

At Fíonta, we regularly work with our trusted friend “Dolores” or Declarative Lookup Rollup Summaries (DLRS), a mechanism for aggregating or summarizing data from child objects and displaying it on a parent object. DLRS serves the same purpose as Rollup Summary fields but is more flexible with the types of data that can roll up and the formation of criteria. It is mighty and free! We use it in our own Salesforce and with clients requiring data aggregation from one record to the parent or grandparent record. It’s scalable and schedulable, allowing you to do more robust reporting and trigger automations purposefully.

NEW FUNCTIONALITY: Dynamic Forms FTW

Salesforce has gone all in on new technology for the Salesforce lightning user interface, Dynamic Forms, which is now generally available. Our team has been experimenting with the technology, and the benefits are quickly becoming apparent. They provide a much more controllable interface for conditionally displaying fields based on various attributes at the user, profile, record, and more. As Spider-Man says: “With great power comes great responsibility,” and this adage holds true with Dynamic Forms. While powerful, they add additional complexity to your Salesforce org and require more advanced in-house technical skills to manage. If you’re interested in learning more, talk to your project team or reply to this email. 

IMPORTANT: Salesforce Enhanced Domains

You may have noticed that bright yellow banner on your screen when you log in to Salesforce announcing the impending auto-enablement of Salesforce Enhanced Domains. Enhanced domains are the current version of My Domain that meets the latest browser requirements. With Enhanced Domains, all URLs across your org contain your company-specific My Domain name, including URLs for your Experience Cloud sites, Salesforce sites, Visualforce pages, and content files. This feature changes domain suffixes (the part after the My Domain name) to meet the latest security standards. With no instance names, enhanced My Domain URLs are easier for users to remember and don’t change when your org moves to another Salesforce instance.

As enhanced domains meet the latest browser requirements, they’re deployed by default in new orgs, and required in all orgs in Winter ’24. Testing this feature in a sandbox environment before enabling it in production is essential. If you have a single sign-on set up through an identity provider and/or third-party applications, test them all before enabling. Reach out to your project team if you have any questions.

EVENTS In Person and Virtual

NTEN’s Annual NTC
It’s been a long three years…NTC was the first conference we saw canceled in those early dark days of COVID and we are beyond pleased to have the chance to actually get back together in person this April in Denver. My colleagues, Emily Smartt, Karin Tracy, and Mary Dare Brown will be personing the booth, taking in sessions, and presenting.

Webinar: Leading Your Team Through a Major Technology Project
Hold the date! Our association practice lead, Jenifer Alonzo, will host a webinar with our friends at Fonteva. Join us on February 8th at 1pm ET (signup page to come shortly) to learn more about shepherding your internal team through a data or system migration or other large (and potentially scary!) projects (1 CAE credit).