Quick Tips for improving your Salesforce Experience – Part 2

Blog 2 in the Quick Tips Blog Series

Here at makepositive we have started sharing some of our top Salesforce tips in an effort to create a community of Salesforce information sharers, knowledge builders, quick tip gurus, functional wizards (you get the picture).  Our first post covered topics such as helpful Chrome extensions, Dynamic Actions and Quick Actions for related data. If you missed our first post you can access it here.

This second instalment of our top tips covers a reminder about an often forgotten feature; using Lookup relationships to get additional data on report types, a review of the Audit History Trail to monitor config changes and some quick tips on using SOQL to query data in Developer Console.

Lookups in Report Types

Our colleague, Victoria Rothwell, a Managing Implementation Consultant, has a quick tip that highlights the use of Lookups in relation to custom report types!  This is a really old feature that seems to get overlooked. The main benefit is that it allows you to interrogate information on objects that exist as a lookup, on any of the objects that make up your custom report type; this means that you can bring extra information into your report whilst still working within the restriction of the 4 layer relationship. 

Here is a scenario: you are asked to create a report that shows how many opportunities have been created per account and in addition you need to see what order specifications have been recorded against the opportunity using the custom object ‘Order Specification’. 

To facilitate this you create a report type that has a relationship model of Accounts (primary level), Opportunities (second level), and Order Specification (third level). This works well until the client asks for more information to be included on the report such as: 

  • Information on the Parent Account related to the Account in the report,
  • Information on the Account Owner 
  • Information on the Contact related to the Opportunity
  • Information on the Timescale that is related to the Order Specification

This can’t be achieved using the standard report type format as first you would be including too many levels and second the relationship between the information does not follow a linear format of parent child going down through the records. This is where report type lookups come in. Using this feature you can interrogate all of this information by adding these fields to your custom report type. 

How can you do this?  When you create a custom report type you have the ability to ‘Edit Layout’. There is a box at the top right hand side with a drop down list featuring all of the objects that make up your report. From here you can add lookup information using the link ‘Add fields related via lookup’. Multi select the fields you wish to add and like magic they are available when you next edit your report!

Review of View Setup Audit Trail

In this next section our colleague Tom Phillis, an Implementation Consultant, explains and reviews View Setup Audit Trail:

What is View Setup Audit Trail?

This tool essentially tracks the recent setup changes that you and other individuals make to your Salesforce org. Audit history is especially useful in orgs with multiple admins. In addition, this tool can be helpful for CI (continuous integration) when you’ve forgotten to take notes on specific changes and need to stage them. 

Where do I find it?

To view the audit history from Setup, enter View Setup Audit Trail in the Quick Find box, then select View Setup Audit Trail. 

More information:

The view shows 20 of the most recent setup changes made within your org. It displays the date of the change, who made it and what the change was.

How do I view more than 20 changes?

In order to do this, you need to download your orgs complete Setup History which will span 180 days. To do this, simply click download. Note: After this 180 day period, setup entity records are deleted. 

Is there anything it can’t do?

The only thing the Audit Trail doesn’t accomplish is capturing the “why”. For example, why did Tom edit that workflow? This type of question cannot be answered by this tool. However, you will know who to ask because their username is displayed.

Click here for a complete list of all the changes the Audit Trail tracks.

Using Query Editor in Developer Console:

Our colleague Simon Boon-Hill is both a Managing Implementation Consultant and a Master of Queries. His top tip is using query editor in Developer Console to quickly obtain information about record volumes and records that meet specific criteria in a client’s org. This can be a quicker and more powerful way to gather information than using reports. 

  • In your Salesforce org, Navigate to Setup >> Developer Console and then in the panel at the bottom of the page you have the query editor panel. (See the screenshot below)
  • If you are familiar with SOQL, you can write your own query directly in there. If you are not, fear not. Developer Console will do a lot of the work for you.
    • In the top left of the window navigate to File>>Open>>Objects>>“<Desired Object Name>”. This will give you a list of fields that exist on the object you are interested in. You can select the fields you want to query (hold command and click on desired fields) and then click the Query button at the bottom left of the pane.
    • This will build the SELECT clause of your query for you, then you just need to add any other clauses you want (on an object with large data volumes, a WHERE clause (filter conditions) is definitely advisable).
    • When you are happy with your query, click the execute button and your results will be returned with one row per record, showing the fields in your SELECT clause as columns.

SOQL is a great skill to have and will give a basic understanding of how records are queried in code. If you are unfamiliar with it, but want to learn more, have a look at this trailhead challenge to start you off. 

These are just some of our favourite functions so far, we will continue to post new tips on a regular basis.  Let us know in the comments how you find these ones, or feel free to post your own Salesforce tips to share the knowledge with our Salesforce community. If you would like to speak to one of makepositive’s Salesforce experts about how you can improve your Salesforce experience please reach out to us at info@makepositive.com or complete the Contact Form on our website.

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