Guest Post: Favorite Things – Lightning-Style!

So as a reader of my blog, you already know I think Salesforce Lightning is fantabulous! But don’t just take my word for it! There are a whole crew of Lightning Champions out there to help answer all your Lightning Questions.

I’d like to introduce you to one of my very favorite Lightning Champions (and all-around super-duper-awesome-Ohana-member): Barb Dietz!

Barb is the Salesforce Business Analyst / Administrator for NTT DATA Services, she co-leads the Dallas, TX Non-Profit Community Group, is the Program Leader for Summer of Salesforce, is on the Planning Committee for Texas Dreamin’, a Golden Hoodie Recipient, a Trailhead Ranger and hold SIX Certifications! (Phew, I was exhausted just typing that all up !)

Barb love Salesforce Lightning as much as me and has written up this awesome list of favorites – take a look and fall in love with Lightning yourself if you haven’t already:


These are a few of my Favorite things…. About Lightning!

You have the tune from the Sound of Music in your head – right? Well, it’s not Raindrops on Roses or Whiskers on Kittens – but maybe something more like Dynamic Lightning Pages or Customizable Nav Bars.

If you haven’t made your move to Lightning yet, I thought I might entice you with some awesome reasons why you should. There are so many features of lightning that I really like, it’s hard to choose just a few, but let’s give it a try.

Starting with Dynamic Lightning Pages.

Being able to control the visibility of a component based upon the user details, custom permissions, a field value of a record (or related record) brings another dimension to Lightning. It gives you control over what your users see (or don’t see). Maybe certain information is only valuable to a specific set of users, or relevant to a record that meets certain criteria (like Opportunity stage or Close Date). There are dozens of reasons why you may want to save some real estate on your record page and not show a component. You can show one component to one set of users and a different component to a separate set of users. For example, maybe you want to display a dashboard on the Home Page for all your Sales reps that show how much they have sold, what is coming in their pipeline, and what is at risk. That is helpful for an individual Sales person, but what about the Sales Managers? They want to see all the information for the entire team. With Dynamic Lightning Pages you can display one Dashboard for individual sellers and a separate dashboard for the Sales Managers. Controlling the component visibility is done with Clicks – not code and there are so many options and / or use cases where this Lightning feature can be game changer.

Navigation in Lightning is next on my list.

Being able to easily and quickly customize your Navigation bar is a definite productivity win. I love how you can drag and drop to rearrange the tabs on your Nav Bar, you can quickly add a tab for just about anything…. a List View, a Report, a Dashboard, a specific Record (maybe one of your VERY Important Accounts could be saved as a tab on your Nav Bar). The drop-down options available on each tab provides a variety of selections for viewing Recent records, Recent list views, your Favorites all related to that specific tab. It doesn’t get much easier than that to find a record you had just recently been viewing. Walla – it’s right there on that drop-down menu.

Favorites are still one of my favorites 😊

Being able to quickly add a Favorite (with a single click) and go back to that Report, List View, Record, etc… Again, just by clicking on one of your favorites. Favorites are very easy to rearrange, remove, or add new. Definitely a time saver!

Dashboards

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Dashboards on my list of Favorites. The ability to flexibly design a dashboard with the width and height that makes the most sense for each component. You can stretch components out, make them narrow and tall, whatever works best for you. The end result is you can easily create some really nice, eye catching dashboards in Lightning.

The Utility Bar

Utility bar provides quick access to productivity tools, such as Notes; to allow you take notes from any page, maybe a Macro you have configured to quickly complete a set of repetitive steps, a Rich Text utility that provides information about that particular app, or the History of recent items you have accessed (in console apps). The utility bar is a fixed footer for your apps and you can have different utility bars for different apps with different utility items. It’s like a bonus set of Navigation tools.

Pinned List Views

Remember the days when every time you went to a specific tab, you would see a list of the Recently Viewed Records. Well, with Pinned List Views you can set the default list view you would like to have displayed when you go to a Tab. No more recently viewed items – just exactly what you want to see!

I could really go on and on about the cool Lightning Features that are available, but since the title of this post is “A Few of my Favorite Things” – I’ll wrap it up here. If you haven’t made the move to Lightning yet – don’t fear the change. Instead, embrace the opportunity to use some of these great features and experience gains in productivity. Who knows, maybe these will become some of your favorite things in Lightning as well.

Connect with Barb:

Trailblazer Community: Barb Dietz
LinkedIn: barbdietz
Twitter: @bdietz972

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Salesforce Admin: Innovating the E.A.S.Y. Way

What do you do?
I’m a Salesforce Administrator.
<Blank Stare>

Raise your hand if you’ve gotten this response too. Even in the tech industry or business world, often times, people assume that means something different than it does.

Maybe they think you are an assistant to the Sales Manager, or some other role in ‘Sales’ related to ‘Administration’ – which (TBH) most people think of as paper pushing.

So, what is a Salesforce admin? A Salesforce Administrator is a business leader, deeply knowledgeable about how their company operates, intertwined in making all departments successful through process automations, and thus, integral to running a smooth & lean business.

https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2016/05/what-is-a-salesforce-admin.html

Definitely not just a paper pusher, and not just specific to ‘Sales’. And look at those descriptors:

  • business leader
  • deeply knowledgeable
  • intertwined
  • integral

When I was asked to take over setting up a Salesforce CRM 12 years ago, I didn’t know what it meant to be a Salesforce Administrator. I knew it looked like a pretty cool tool (I love new tech) and I knew it represented something I could really sink my teeth into and learn (learning new things is my favorite) and ultimately I had hoped it would help me become more useful and maybe even indispensable in my company.

So fast forward to now and I look at that description of a Salesforce Administrator and I can honestly say I definitely feel as if this is an accurate description.

But it’s not the title that makes me a ‘business leader’, or ‘deeply knowledgeable’, or ‘intertwined’ and ‘integral’ to the business. Those things came from me. From my drive to become those things. From my love of innovation.

This past Dreamforce I was asked to be a part of the Admin Keynote. If you are a long time reader of my blog you may remember this post in 2015 which showed my excitement when celebrating Admins became official at the largest tech conference in the world.

I sat in the crowd in 2014 for the first EVER Admin Keynote and would never have imagined that day that five years later I would actually be featured and get to talk to THE Parker Harris to a room of over 6000 people and simulcast live across the globe.

Parker’s question to me: What’s your advice to everyone on how to deliver innovation?

My answer: I’ve got an E.A.S.Y. formula for you to remember! (because awesome admins love to write formulas, right SteveMo?)

So this is Innovating the E.A.S.Y. way:

Embrace Change

Always Be Learning

Show Your Work

You Got This

Over the next four blog posts, I’ll take a deeper dive into each of these and show you how you can ramp up your innovation game and become the awesome Salesforce Admin described above using this formula!

What are some other adjectives you would use to describe the role of Salesforce Administrator? How do you describe it when asked ‘What do you do?’

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Invisible Innovation

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it even make a sound?

If you are a reader of my blog you could probably be described as an innovator. As someone who introduces new methods, processes, and ideas. As someone who looks for ways to streamline, create efficiencies and generally make the world (and Salesforce org) around you a better place.

And 90% of you do it because that’s just what you do. It’s who you are. You are a noticer – you notice when something isn’t as smooth or seamless as it could be and you do what you can to fix it. Or when a group of users has a repetitive process and by implementing a few cool automation tools (I love you Lightning Flow) you can cut the time it takes them from 15 minutes down to about 4 minutes.

So you build something super-cool and let it out into the world. You write-up an email about why and how it works, you even record a quick video about it, then send it to those who will benefit the most.

Then you wait for feedback.

And someone might reply with ‘Cool bro, thanks’, but most are piled under with other emails and urgent matters and don’t get around to responding. You wonder if they even read the email.

You wonder if they have even tried out this new super cool automation.

And sure, some of your wonder is personal. You worked hard on this, and it’s nice to see that something is being used. But some is also about understanding whether you are like that tree falling in the forest. Can you make a sound if no one is listening? Are the users in your organization resistant to change, are they welcoming to new ways of doing things?

That’s sometimes a hard one to contemplate. And hard to measure. We’ve recently put together some great Lightning Screen Flows to save time for a group of users who have a heavy workload. But while we rolled it out, we had a hard time determining whether anyone was using it, much less get feedback on why they are/aren’t using it or what might make it better.

So we decided to create a very simple Automations Analytics process so we can see when one of our screen flows is being used. This way we can see who is (and who isn’t) using an automation and we can work to investigate why or why not and make changes or improvements as needed.

Here’s what we did:

  • Create a Custom Object called Automation Analytics
    • Add 2 fields: Automation Name (text field), Run Date/Time (date/time field)
    • Enable Reports
    • Give Create permissions for all profiles
  • Add a Record Create element to create a new Automation Analytics record at the end of each screen flow
    • Put the name of the Flow in the Automation Name field, stamp the flow run date/time in the Run Date/Time field
    • No need for any other mapping – the person who runs the screen flow will be the Owner of the new automation analytics record

Botta-bing botta-boom! Now you can report easily on when your screen flows are being used and by whom. You are, in essence, listening for trees falling in the forest!

Now, I’ll be honest, in our case the results haven’t been blazing. It confirmed my suspicions that the flows aren’t being used as we had hoped. But at least I know now. We can find out why and tweak the flows to be more useful. Or we can realize that this particular team is resistant to change and either try figure out their ‘WIIFM’ or make the decision to stop spending time trying to help those that don’t want the help and focus on other groups and/or processes.

Either way I can now point to real results when someone asks me to validate some of the things we are doing.

Take a look at some of your automations and see where you might want to build in some analytics. This could even be done with Process Builder as well. But only do it if you intend to act on the results. Analytics for the sake of analytics with no real plan to review and revise is just extra data no one needs!

Read my previous post on Innovation here!

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IE Logout for Lightning!

If you’ve read my blog posts on Lightning, you may recall this post about how we initially addressed users who try logging in with Internet Explorer 11. It wasn’t the most elegant solution.

Enter the awesome, fantabulous, Lightning Champion, Melanie Zilles Head! If you haven’t met Melanie yet, you should make it a priority to do so (her contact info is at the bottom of this post)! I’ve known Melanie for almost 4 years now and am lucky to call her friend. She is the Ft. Worth User Group leader and a powerhouse in the Lightning adoption community! After talking with her about out challenges with IE, and during her Lightning implementation she came up with the perfect way to prevent users from logging in using IE while providing them with customizable guidance on what browsers they should be using!

Without further ado, check out this awesome solution:

You rolled out Lightning, you are checking your adoption metrics in the Lightning Usage App, and you are realizing how many users are currently using IE11 (or versions older than that). Understandably, you are not a huge fan. There are 2 significant issues:

  1. IE11 is not here to stay. Even if you opt-ed in for the extended support, Internet Explorer support for Lightning is going scheduled to go away (see Help Documentation). But that doesn’t mean that you are “OK” for now – because IE11 is still known to have significant performance issues (Knowledge Article). You worked hard on your Lightning rollout – don’t let IE ruin it for your users
  2. IE11 is known to not meet certain performance and security standards (Knowledge Article). That’s a risk you shouldn’t take.

Nana previously shared great ideas on how to “encourage” users to stay away from IE11 (and therefore the Classic UI), but taking away some of the functions they so desperately need. Unfortunately, there a certainly loopholes (ie links/ Ids that can be posted into the URL) that would still allow users to access what they need.

So, if you find yourself needing a more ‘radical’ approach, read on! You will learn how to use a login flow to prevent users from logging in when they use IE.

What are login flows?

Login flows are basically Visual Flows that allow you to either show custom messages to your user, and for our use case, make an assignment that sets the LoginFlow_ForceLogout(type boolean) output attribute to ‘true’, which will prevent the user from logging in.

If you had a chance to take a sneak peak into a Spring ‘19 pre-release org, you may have seen the brand new and shiny Lightning Flow Builder… If not, here’s your first look into the new design and configuration. #SafeHarbor #ForwardLookingStatement

Task to accomplish:

Do not allow user to log in if IE11 (or any IE version) is used to login.

Solution: Use a Login Flow that does the following:

  1. Lookup the Login History to determine the browser and login type used in the most recent (aka current login attempt)
  1. Use a formula Resource to use the User Id of the user that is trying to login
  • Based on the Login Type value, we are checking for non-Browser (non-Standard UI) activity.

**********************************************************

The list of login type values you may want to include here may vary based on your overall setup,

integrations, etc. It’s recommended you check your login history records

(https://workbench.developerforce.com is a great way to do so) for values that you may be expecting based on your users’ login history and make adjustments to this portion of the flow accordingly.

**********************************************************

  • We exit the flow if it is not a true Browser Login attempt (nothing happens, and the user can authenticate successfully).
  • If the user in fact uses a browser, we will check the it’s an IE browser.
  • If the browser is Not IE, we again exit the flow (do nothing) and the user will get logged in successfully.
  • If the browser is IE (IE11, or an older version), we are first showing a quick warning by adding a screen element.
  • Next, the LoginFlow_ForceLogout output attribute is set to “true” using an assignment.
  • So, in the end, the flow will look like this:
  • Lastly you need to create the login flow to actually launch the flow above during a user’s login attempt. For more details, check out the Custom Login Flows help documentation.
    • Be sure to not render this login flow in Lightning Experience. If you do, you may get an error message.

A few more comments:

  1. As a best practice, you may want to consider NOT assigning a login flow to your system admin profile – don’t lock yourself out! (Create a test user instead and always test this in a sandbox first!)
  2. You can expand on this flow to show custom messages or images, etc. If you to, consider using custom settings or custom metadata types to make your flow more dynamic (without actually having to edit the flow itself)
  3. ForceLogout redirect behavior: Know issue in redirect inconsistency: Sometimes user may get redirected to www.salesforce.com instead of the login screen
  4. In the past I have experienced that a Lightning for Outlook authentication shows up as a ‘true’ IE authentication (hopefully that won’t be an issue going forward). However, if you run into this issue, you may want to add a “IE bypass” option that can be temporarily enabled for a user to allow the authentication and then be disabled again to ensure the user continues to be prevented from using IE.
  5. If you can’t wait until the new Flow Builder is available with the Spring 19 release, you can configure the same thing in the current Cloud Flow Designer – you just want get the pretty LIGHTNING view or simplified UI. #LightningNow #LightningChampion #LightningStrikesFlows

Time to celebrate your users being in Lightning at all times!

Feel free to reach out at any time if you have any questions!

Melanie can be found on twitter: @melsfdc
Linked in: Melanie Head
or via the Trailblazer community: Melanie Head

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Might Not Seem Like It Some Days, But You Got This.

Despite what your Facebook and Instagram feed displays, there is not one person around you who isn’t going through some shit.

Some people just choose to cover it up, gloss it over, or ignore it. They carefully cultivate a different visual for the world to see.

And that’s ok. It’s what works for them. Maybe it’s what works for you.

And when I talk about ‘going through some shit’, I am not just talking about big stuff. There is a wide variety of crap, big or small, that you could be facing:

  • Stress about Money
  • Unhappy at Work
  • Anxiety about school or classes or certifications
  • A broken down appliance or car
  • Not enough time in the day to get it all done
  • Feeling pulled in too many directions
  • Health issues for you or a family member
  • Grief
  • Relationship issues (this includes bad relationships, lack of relationships, complicated relationships, that uncertain period when you start a relationship, or that emotionally wrenching time when one is ending)
  • And a gazillion other things you could insert here

Some of us are going through one or two of these, some of us relate to every bullet. Around the holidays especially, it tends to pile up and feel weightier with what seems like everyone sharing how perfect their lives are on social media.

But I want you to know that whatever you are going through, you will get through. It might not be in the way you expect or hope, it might be in a different way altogether. But you are resilient and strong. And, while it might not always feel like it, there are people rooting for you.

On one of my darkest days three years ago, I opened an envelope and inside was this banner. It brought me to my knees. I had lost my home, my vehicles and possessions, hadn’t been to work in weeks dealing with tragedy, and had that very morning called in Hospice for my dying mother.

Yet someone believed in me.

Someone saw this and thought of me.

In no way did I believe that ‘I Got This’ at the time, but knowing that someone else thought I did, that they thought I could get through was motivation. And continues to be my motivation every day.

So this has become my mantra and I hope it becomes yours:

You've got this.

You've got it when you hear it can't be done.
You've got it when it feels like it's just too hard.
You've got it when unexpected shit happens and
you're not sure what the next step should be.

And, just so you know...
You've got me there to help in any way I can.

We've got this.
Posted in Thrive Tribe, Working on Me! | Tagged , , | 2 Comments