preloder

Overview of Salesforce.com

In this module you will learn the following:

  • A brief history of Salesforce.com and its product offerings
  • How to navigate Salesforce.com and and the Salesforce.com setup menu
  • Commonly used terms in the Salesforce.com ecosystem
  • Strategies to manage passwords and sessions
  • How to engage with the Salesforce community

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Priority
Objective

Customer relationship management (CRM) software aims to track interactions (sales calls, closed deals, support calls, etc.) with prospects, customers, and other organizations.

Salesforce.com started as customer relationship (CRM) software and remains the world leader today.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
What is Salesforce.com?
9m
CertifiedOnDemand.com

The Sales Cloud provides tools for selling: prospecting (leads), closing deals (opportunities), marketing effectiveness (campaigns), and more.

The Service Cloud provides tools for resolving customer problems (typically-post sale): issue resolution (cases), knowledge base (articles, solutions), and more.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Sales Cloud Overview and Demo
2m
Salesforce.com
Service Cloud Overview and Demo
2m
Salesforce.com

The edition of Salesforce largely determines the price as well as functionality offered.

Generally speaking, Enterprise and above is generally considered “full-featured”, while editions below Enterprise (e.g. Professional) have historically had noteworthy limitations.

Developer Edition most closely resembles Enterprise Edition in terms of functionality.

Note that you can typically upgrade editions (e.g. change from Professional to Enterprise), but downgrading is not possible.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Editions and Pricing
Medium
Salesforce.com
Take note of the differences between Professional and Enterprise.
Salesforce Editions
Medium
Salesforce.com

Cloud computing is a broad term that generally refers to a service or software that is consumed via the internet.

Multi-tenancy refers to more than one organization (tenant) sharing the same server(s) and hosting infrastructure.

SaaS is a subscription delivery model. As a consumer of a SaaS product, you pay a recurring fee for access to a service/software (e.g. yearly licenses for Salesforce.com).

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
What is Cloud Computing?
3m
Salesforce.com
The Force.com Multitenant Architecture
Long
Salesforce.com
Software as a service
Long
Wikipedia.com

Salesforce Lightning Experience is the new user interface redesign, launched in 2015.  Almost all new Salesforce environments will have this interface as the default.

Salesforce Classic is the user interface that predates Lightning Experience, and many customers still utilize this interface.

Salesforce Lightning uses a component framework, which allows for much more variation and flexibility in how records are displayed (notice the difference between an account and an opportunity).  Salesforce Classic tends to follow a similar layout for all pages (notice the similarity between an account and an opportunity).

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Salesforce Lightning and Classic – What’s the difference?
7m
CertifiedOnDemand.com

Switch to Classic from Lightning by clicking your profile picture in the top right, then Switch to Salesforce Classic.  Lightning Experience must be enabled.

Switch to Lightning from Classic by clicking your name, then Switch to Lightning Experience.  Menu navigation may very slightly based on other configuration.  Classic must not be disabled.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Salesforce Lightning and Classic – What’s the difference?
7m
CertifiedOnDemand.com

Screenshot Example

A field is one data point within an object (e.g. “First Name” on the lead object).

A record is row of field data within an object (e.g. the lead “John Smith”).

An object is comprised of its field definitions and records.

A tab is used to expose an object and its data to the end user through the web interface.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Salesforce.com Basic Navigation & Data Terms
7m
CertifiedOnDemand.com

An application is selected in the top left of the screen in Lightning Experience and in the top right of the screen in Salesforce Classic, and influences which tabs are displayed along the top navigational bar.

A page layout influences which fields are displayed and in what order when viewing or editing a record.

A page layout influences which fields are displayed and in what order when viewing or editing a record.

A list view is used to quickly segment and action records within an object.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Salesforce.com Basic Navigation & Data Terms
7m
CertifiedOnDemand.com

Configuration within Salesforce, including object and field definitions is stored within metadata.

For instance, the custom field “Reason Lost” on the opportunity object is defined with metadata, while the opportunity records are data.

You can navigate to the setup menu from the top right of the screen, however, the location of the setup link will change based on the user interface and other settings.  Examples:

Once you’re in the setup menu, by far the most efficient way to navigate is to use the setup search bar in the top left.  As you type, you will see only relevant menu options.

Navigation within the setup menu changes based the User Interface (e.g. see Lightning and Classic compared) as well as your configuration.  Be aware that your results will vary accordingly.

If you have enabled Advanced Setup Search, then you can also hit enter to search metadata within Salesforce.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Navigating the Setup Menu and Personal Settings in Salesforce.com

ARVE Error: API endpoint returned a 403 error. This can occur when a video has embedding disabled or restricted to certain domains.

5m
CertifiedOnDemand.com

While administrators will spend most of their time in the setup menu, there is a separate configuration menu dedicated to personal user settings.  This menu gives users the ability to update their information, download desktop applications (e.g. Salesforce for Outlook), and update other settings.

This menu is in slightly different locations based on the user interface you are using as well as other settings:

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Navigating the Setup Menu and Personal Settings in Salesforce.com

ARVE Error: API endpoint returned a 403 error. This can occur when a video has embedding disabled or restricted to certain domains.

5m
CertifiedOnDemand.com

Standard components (fields, objects, etc.) are those that are included with your Salesforce org (e.g. the lead object is a standard object, as it was included with Salesforce).

Custom components are those that are added by an administrator or an AppExchange package.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
What’s the Difference Between Standard and Custom Objects?
Short
Salesforce.com
Standard objects, such as accounts, contacts, or opportunities are included with Salesforce by default… The Salesforce administrator defines custom objects and their properties…

A sandbox is a copy of a production environment, commonly used for testing and development. Sandbox and production environments use different login URLs:

If you know which pod your org is hosted on (see below), you can also login directly to this pod (for example, https://na38.salesforce.com).  This is usually only helpful immediately after you’ve changed a username (it can take a few minutes for login.salesforce.com to reflect a username change) or there is an outage impacting user authentication.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Introduction to Salesforce sandboxes
Short
CertifiedOnDemand.com
Develop and Test with Sandbox
Long
Salesforce.com

An org is a unique version of Salesforce for a specific tenant, containing their data and configuration (a customer’s implementation of Salesforce).  Org is an abbreviation for organization.  Org, organization, and environment are used interchangeably.  Every org will have a unique ID (found here in setup).

A pod is a cluster of infrastructure (servers, software, networking equipment, etc.) that hosts many orgs.  The terms pod and instance are commonly used interchangeably.  Each pod is located within a geographical area (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific).

You can identify which pod your org is hosted in by checking the address bar of your browser after you’ve logged in (the pod is NA38 in this example).

The region is abbreviated in the naming convention of the pod as follows:

  • NA = North America (Production Orgs)
  • EU = Europe (Production Orgs)
  • AP = Asia Pacific (Production Orgs)
  • CS = Various Regions (Sandbox Orgs Only)
Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Pod, Instance, Org, Environment – What’s the difference?

ARVE Error: API endpoint returned a 403 error. This can occur when a video has embedding disabled or restricted to certain domains.

4m
CertifiedOnDemand.com

Trust.Salesforce.com is the place to monitor system status and much more.  If you are experiencing a problem with your Salesforce org (e.g. slow page loads), make sure to see if there are problems reported on your pod.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Pod, Instance, Org, Environment – What’s the difference?

ARVE Error: API endpoint returned a 403 error. This can occur when a video has embedding disabled or restricted to certain domains.

4m
CertifiedOnDemand.com
Salesforce Trust
N/A
Salesforce.com

One of the best part of the Salesforce ecosystem is the community.  There are a lot of incredibly helpful people that will go out of their way to help you, and there are great options to get involved both virtually and in person.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Salesforce Success Community
N/A
Salesforce.com
Salesforce User Groups
N/A
Salesforce.com
#askforce on Twitter
N/A
Twitter

Salesforce updates their platform 3 times per year (Winter, Spring, Summer), and includes new features or other improvements. All Salesforce orgs are automatically updated with the latest release (according to the release schedule emailed to administrators) for free.

As an administrator, it is a best practice to review release training and read through release notes.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Release Readiness & Feature Adoption (Chatter Group)
N/A
Salesforce.com Community

As you continue working with Salesforce, you may find that you have many different credentials to remember.  Using a password manager can make storing credentials more secure and much easier to reference.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
LastPass
N/A
LastPass
Force.com Logins Chrome Plugin
N/A
Jimdo

You may find the need to log in to more than one Salesforce environment at time on a single computer (for example, your production org at work to do your job and a developer edition org to perform testing).  Not to worry, there are a few solutions for this:

  1. In Lightning Experience, you can add additional logins and then switch between users.
  2. Navigating to the login page will allow you to switch between multiple active sessions.
  3. You can use create Chrome profiles and establish a unique session for each profile.  I highly recommend this approach (even if you are using Lightning Experience), as each Chrome profile can have a separate icon and function (which removes the “wait, what org this again” syndrome).
  4. You can install many browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, etc.) and use each browser to maintain a separate session.

Notes:

  • Session management (#1 and #2 above) is managed separately for production and sandbox environments (you cannot add a sandbox session to a production session).
  • You can only maintain one session per pod per browser (in this example, cleugb@gmail.com and cleugc@gmail.com are both hosted on NA50, so I would need separate browsers if I wanted to connect to both at the same time).
Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Strategies for Maintaining Multiple Concurrent Salesforce Sessions

ARVE Error: API endpoint returned a 403 error. This can occur when a video has embedding disabled or restricted to certain domains.

6m
CertifiedOnDemand.com

Although not critical for an administrator’s success, understanding the history of Salesforce.com will provide a perspective into the platform that you can’t get elsewhere.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry
Book
Marc Benioff

Thank you for taking the time to complete this module. Please review these final resources. We welcome your feedback on anything that can be done to improve this content.

Resource
Priority
Type
Length
Author
Short
CertifiedOnDemand.com
Short
CertifiedOnDemand.com

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