So I’ve been a Salesforce Administrator for a little while. And by that I mean before there were custom objects and a certification program.
I’ve implemented and managed multiple complex orgs, designed processes, and have been around the block a few times so I feel as if I’m pretty knowledgeable about all the things an admin needs to know.
I recently decided to start studying to get my Certified Application Architect Credential. I have Admin, Adv Admin, App Builder and Sales Cloud Consultant so this seemed like the next progression.
As I reviewed the study materials for the two Architect Exams associated with this credential (Sharing & Visibility Designer and Data Architecture & Management Designer), I realized that much of what I was studying should be required knowledge for every Salesforce Administrator. In fact, I immediately began re-thinking/designing my Org based on what I learned.
I’ll give a few examples:
- In the learning materials for the Sharing & Visibility Designer exam, I learned about how to manage my sharing model better to avoid sharing issues and things like lock contention and data skew as changes are made to the database. Sounds kinda greek at first but basically if you have a private sharing model, sharing an account with a Group will result in less recalculation required than sharing with individual users when child records are created/edited. Child records inherit the sharing of the parent, so pretend account ABC has 10,000 child records. You’ve shared the Account with Group-Analysts. If you want to share with another user and you do a Manual share with User-Ben, the sharing of every single child record has to be updated to include User-Ben. If you simply add Ben to the Group-Analysts instead, the sharing is already there. You can move people in and out of that Group and the system never has to touch sharing for those 10,000 child records. To expand even further, if you shared with User-Ben, then move Ben in the Role hierarchy, the system has to recalculate sharing again because everyone above Ben has to be given sharing access to those records too….if you have lots of records and lots of users and roles, the system could very quickly get bogged down with recalculating sharing rules and your users could experience loss of record access needlessly!
- In the learning materials for the Data Architecture & Management Designer exam, I learned that formula fields could be the cause of timeouts when running reports. Since a formula field calculates at run-time, if you create a report and add that formula field to the Filter Criteria, the system has to filter on a that field and calculate it at the same time. So for things that you want to be able to run quickly and efficiently in reports you might want to consider using field updates (via workflow, process builder, visual flow or apex) rather than formula fields. (I had never thought about that!)
Those are just two examples of things I really felt like I should know as an administrator that I learned while studying for application architect.
Which goes to show HOW IMPORTANT it is to keep pushing yourself, to keep learning.
So my call to action for you (and myself) is to utilize the tools and resources and keep learning. Take the Trailhead trails for products you don’t use. Read blog posts on functionality you aren’t familiar with (even if you think it might not apply to you). Engage in conversations about topics think you already know everything about. Play around in your Dev Org. Click buttons, try settings you haven’t tried before. Read the help topics.
Be involved and engaged and eager to continue improving. Because once you stop doing those things, you become irrelevant.
(And this applies to all areas of your life, not just Salesforce.)