7 Great Tools Every SalesForce Admin Should Know About

Today, I wanted to spend some time talking about my favorite CRM, SalesForce.com and 7 tools that can help make using and working with much easier. For those of you who administer SalesForce you may (or may not) be aware of some of these tools however I hope you are able to find a pearl of wisdom or two that saves you time and increases your productivity exponentially!

I will run through some time saving tools including permission sets and Login as any user to help you with user management in SalesForce as well as covering Schema Builder and re-parenting on master-detail relationships and a few other topics in between to help you further develop processes in SalesForce and move data around more effectively. So let’s have a look into 7 great tools that every SalesForce administrator should know about and may not.

1. Permission Sets

In the arena of Profile Management in SalesForce there has been no bigger recent release then Permission sets. What permission sets give you is a way to allow access to specific users outside of the confines of the profile that’s been assigned to them in SalesForce. Instead of needing a custom profile for every user in your SalesForce instance this gives you the ability to start with a lot of the default profiles available from SalesForce and open access for specific users as needed. It’s versatile and meets most any use case for profile management that you can throw at it. Check it out by going to Setup | Administration Setup | Manage Users | Permission Sets.

2. Login as Any User

As of the summer ’12 release of SalesForce as an administrator of SalesForce you now have the option to login as any user in your SalesForce instance. Previously and as many SalesForce Administrators will tell you you normally had to request access to the user’s account and that took time. Now you can have access to anyone’s account in SalesForce which is definitely a great time saver. In order to enable this functionality in SalesForce you will need to contact SalesForce support first.

3. Reparenting Master-Detail Relationships

This is another change to the traditional functionality that up until the summer ’12 release was previously not possible in SalesForce. Now you are able to change the parent record for the child record in a master detail relationship which helps to solve the problem of a “Cascade delete” scenario which used to be the main issue when working with and deleting parent records in a master detail relationship. Your children are now safe :)

4. Schema Builder

There has been a lot of development over this piece of functionality that SalesForce has added to help administrators “visualize” the objects in their SalesForce instance and beyond that look at things like the relationships and fields that these object have in SalesForce. By going to Setup | Develop | Schema Builder you then have the option to not only check out your SalesForce objects but also drill into them and make changes and understand the relationships of objects in your SalesForce instance. This is definitely a useful tool for anyone planning further customization to their SalesForce instance whether you are a business analyst or developer.

5. Limits on Objects

Another new addition to the summer ’12 release of SalesForce is being able to check the limits on objects in your instance of SalesForce. You can get to these limits sections for each object in SalesForce by taking the following path Setup | Customize | Object Name | Limits. Where this becomes useful is if you are planning to add fields, workflow and additional functionality and to want to check to make sure you are still within the limits imposed on objects in SalesForce.

6. Lookup Relationship Options

Lookup relationships in SalesForce are a great way to relate objects but in the past they lacked the ability to be able to enforce and kind of data dependency on related objects. Now you have options when it comes to how you want to relate objects using a lookup relationship in SalesForce.

7. System Overview

From a monitoring standpoint the System Overview screen (which can be found by going to Setup | System Overview is a good tool to quickly see if you are or have reached any limits in your SalesForce instance. You can then have a view of any issues that might exist around Schema, API Usage, Business Logic and User Interface as well as Most Used Licenses.

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