Salesforce Platform Basics

Get Started with the Salesforce Platform

Define the Salesforce platform. Describe the DreamHouse scenario. Create a Trailhead Playground. Explain the difference between declarative and programmatic development.

Salesforce is not just a CRM. It is also a platform for building business applications that are totally unique to the company using them.

  • Database: think of a giant spreadsheet that stores info in a very specific way
  • App: set of objects, fields, functionality that supports a business process
  • Objects: tables that store a particular kind of info
    • Standard objects: Accounts, Contacts
    • Custom objects: Property object, example shown in Trailhead
  • Records: rows in object database tables
  • Fields: columns in object tables
  • Org: short for organization, refers to a specific Salesforce instance. One company can have one or multiple orgs.
  • Declarative Development: developing using forms and drag-and-drop tools, without code.
  • Programmatic Development: uses things like Lightning components, Apex code, and Visualforce pages.
  • Trailhead Playground: (TP), a safe environment where we can practice. 10 available at one time. Similar to Developer Edition (DE) orgs.

Discover Use Cases for the Platform

Describe sample use cases for the platform. Discover reasons for using the platform across multiple departments.
  • Processes that have the following characteristics would be ideal for the Salesforce platform
    • Heavy email use
    • Spreadsheet reliance
    • Shared local documents
    • Time-intensive, manual, repetitive steps

There are advantages to having multiple departments of the same company using Salesforce. All users and their information are already there and a shared platform promotes collaboration.

Understand the Salesforce Architecture

Define key terms related to the Salesforce architecture. Find information related to trust. Explain at least one use case for Salesforce APIs.
  • Trust: visit to view performance data and get info on how data is secured
  • Multitenancy: large groups of companies get access to the same computing power, data storage, and core features. Salesforce is a cloud service, so no need to ever install new features.
    • Three updates/year
  • Metadata: metadata is data about data, but in the Salesforce context it refers to the structure of the Salesforce org. It includes things like objects, fields, page layouts, security settings, and other customizations.
  • APIs: allow different pieces of software to connect to each other and exchange information. It is like a contract.
    • When you add a custom object or field, the platform automatically creates an API name that serves as an access point between the org and the database. The core of the API’s power is that all of the data and metadata is API-enabled, which results in flexibility.
Locate Setup and identify its key elements. Identify important menus for customizing your org. Use Quick Find to access menu items.

Setup is the one-stop-shop for customizing, configuring, and supporting your org. It available after clicking the cog in the top right.

  • Most important Setup pages:
    • Company Information
      • At-a-glance view of your org
      • Find your org ID
      • See your licensing information (licenses available/in use)
      • Monitor important limits like data and file usage
    • Users
      • Reset passwords
      • Create new users and deactivate or freeze existing users
      • View information about your users
    • Profiles
      • Manage who can see what with user profiles
      • Create custom profiles
    • View Setup Audit Trail
      • See 6 months of change history in your org
      • Find out who made changes and when
      • Tool for troubleshooting org configuration issues
    • Login History
      • See 6 months of login history for your org
      • View date, time, user, IP address, and more login data
      • Use for security tracking and adoption monitoring

Power Up with AppExchange

Develop your own AppExchange strategy. Install an app from AppExchange.
  • Best practice is to develop a plan, including budget, timing, and key department use cases.
  • Apps can be installed in nonproduction environments like sandbox or Developer Edition orgs to try them out before installing into the “real” production org.
  • After installing an app, find it in Setup under “Installed Packages.”