Get Excited About Lightning Experience!

Change is hard, but if everything stayed the same, we would never grow.

Salesforce released a fresh and modern looking user interface called Lightning Experience in 2015, but most businesses didn’t make the switch to the new UI right away, and instead chose to remain in the Classic UI. Many of us were held back from a full Lightning launch because of dealbreaker features missing. It has taken a few years to get the Lightning UI close to parity with the Classic UI, but if you’ve been keeping track of what’s been in recent releases, switching to Lightning is looking like more of a should than a could.

As many of you know, Salesforce does three major releases per year, and you may have noticed that the major innovations in those releases have been in Lightning: Einstein (AI) Opportunity & Account Insights, Einstein Activity Capture, Einstein Automated Contacts, the Kanban view on List Views for almost any Object, Path for Standard and Custom Objects, Key Fields and Guidance for Success, Highlights Panel, Favorites (goodbye Chrome bookmarks), Smart Search, Utility Bar, Homepage Assistant, News, user customizable Navigation Bar. I have noticed that many of these new features even get unexcitable end users excited about Salesforce! I could go on and on about these new features, but I’ll just give you some visuals to hopefully get you invigorated or reinvigorated about the idea of Salesforce Lightning.

Kanban view on List Views for almost any Object:

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Kanban view (drag and drop to new stages/status in the Kanban view as long as validation rule & required field/criteria are met)

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Path for Standard and Custom Objects. Highlight Key Fields that are essential for that stage/status (dependent picklist functionality gap was resolved in Summer ’18). Guidance for Success is another cool feature of path, a great use case is giving Sales links to documentation they need or training tools.

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Highlights Panel. This is an excellent way to highlight key fields at the top of any object (up to 6 including your top level Opportunity Name in the example below). No more scrolling for days to find frequently consulted fields.

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Favorites! There are so many things to favorite and so little time: list views, reports, dashboards, any record, chatter group, calendar. You can organize them, remove those you do not need anymore, etc. Just hit the star, wherever you are, and make a favorite.

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Smart Search. Select your object first to make your search work for you (Summer ’18 release). This is also handy for searching for reports/dashboards since there is no search bar inside Reports in Lightning like there was in Classic.

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Utility Bar is built through the App Manager. If configured, it is a fixed footer that can be used to to boost productivity (think Macros, History, Chatter Feed, and so much more).

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To this day, there are still some gaps between the two interfaces, but more businesses are feeling comfortable with making the switch. Salesforce has also invested heavily in demystifying Lightning for Admins and Developers, not only with Trailhead but also the Lightning NOW tour across many major cities with *free* full day training for Admins and Developers on the Lightning UI.  In fact, after much communication, preparation, and configuration, we released Lightning at RetailMeNot in June, and as of today, almost all our Salesforce users are Lightning enabled in Production.

I’ll admit the new Lightning UI was a little intimidating at first because there are some differences in how you have to think about configuration. Firstly, there is this alien ‘Lightning App Builder’ that is confusing at first, not to mention the ‘App Manager’. Yes, those are totally different things!


Record Types vs. Page Layouts

When I was first learning Salesforce, I feel like Record Types vs. Page Layouts was glossed over pretty quickly, so I thought maybe breaking it down in the way that I found useful could help others on their learning path.

I think it’s easiest to think of Record Type first in terms of record creation. When you create a new record (i.e. a new Opportunity, a new Case, etc.), and you have access to more than one Record Type, you will get an option page that pops up to have you select the ‘type of record’ you wish you create (pictured).

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Each of these Record Types can have multiple Page Layouts associated to it, but each Profile will only have one Page Layout assigned/viewable per Record Type. For example, if I am on the Customer Support team, and I am assigned to the ‘Customer Support’ profile, then I will always see the same arrangement of fields and related lists (Page Layout) on every ‘Internal Requests” Case Record Type I am viewing.

Your Record Types are the foundation of the ‘type’ of Object (Object being Opportunity, Case, Account, etc.), meaning I have Cases of type = ‘Customer Requests’ vs ‘Internal Requests’ in the example pictured above. One of the big things you can do with different record types is vary your picklist values (on picklist fields) and have different Support Process (Cases), Sales Process (Opportunities), and Lead Process (Leads) statuses. Your Support Process in Cases are the statuses your Case will go through: New, Working, Resolved, Closed, etc. These can vary depending on the Record Type, and a new Record Type is the only way you can have a different Support Process, Sales Process, or Lead Process.

In creating a new Record Type, you will want to make sure that is warranted: do different teams work these, do they need different picklist values visible on fields, or do they follow a unique process (in terms of status changes)? If you just need a particular Profile to see different fields, then you may just need a different Page Layout or even use Field Level Security to limit visibility of fields on the same Page Layout. Think about whether this is truly a different kind of Case, Opportunity, Account, etc. Do you have different types of Cases needed or do you just need a different page layout for the same type of Cases for different people?

Break it down:

  1. Different Profiles have access to different record types (which types of cases can you create and edit?).
  2. Note, that all Profiles with access to an Object can view all Record Types, but cannot necessarily edit or create records of that Record Type.
  3. Different Profiles have access to different page layouts (You may see different fields and related lists on the same Record Type based on your Page Layout assignments at the Profile level. You cannot use Permission Sets to assign a Page Layout.
  4. For each Record Type and Page Layout combination, you have one Page Layout assignment per Profile. In other words, each person can only have access to one Page Layout per Record Type of a particular Object.

I’m super excited to build out this blog and hopefully help others on their journey in the Salesforce ecosystem. I welcome all feedback and questions as well!

The Purposeful Admin

Hi, my name is Lindsey Fivecoat, and I love Salesforce! As my dear friend Martin told me, how to succeed in Salesforce Fivecoat style: fall in love with Salesforce, never stop learning, and become a Salesforce swag hag (truth).  I’m not going to tell you an accidental admin story, I will explain to you how I purposefully chose to dive into the platform and find my way to professional happiness at a level I didn’t know was possible.

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a professional singer. Instead, I graduated from The University of Texas with a Liberal Arts degree, a 4.0 GPA, and not a single clue what I wanted to do with my life. I’ll be honest, I floundered for a little while.

I first met my friend Ezra Kenigsberg in 2012, and that was the first time I was introduced to Salesforce. Ezra is a brilliant Salesforce architect, and when I met him, I had no idea what Salesforce or an architect was outside of building things in the physical world. We just happened to live in the same apartment building briefly, but he spoke so passionately about the platform that it really stuck with me. I didn’t see Ezra for nearly a year, but in 2013, I was very fortunate to be hired on in an HR & Recruiting role at a tech company called Bazaarvoice. I walked in on my first week, and who did appear, but Ezra. I did not have the confidence at that time to even fathom that I could consider a career in the technical space.

I continued to grow in my career at Bazaarvoice, being promoted to team lead and then manager, but something was missing. I started to notice that I was happiest when I was working on technical projects: helping with large Workday HRIS projects to overhaul our onboarding and automate manual payroll practices. I came back to Salesforce. I used it as an end user, and something finally clicked that maybe I could give this Salesforce Admin thing a go.

In early 2016, I started researching how I could grasp this mystical cloud creature they call Salesforce. I stumbled upon Mike Wheeler’s courses on Udemy and I was off. I was able to go at my own pace in the evening while my then 5-year-old daughter was sleeping. Later that year, a Salesforce position opened up at Bazaarvoice, and I was determined to make the switch. I interviewed against Admins with actual on-the-job experience, but I got the job, and I felt like I had won the lottery. There was not a chance I wasn’t going to make the most of this opportunity.

I really did hit the lottery it turned out because I was given the opportunity to work with the most generous and technically savvy guys on this planet. It was intimidating at first, because each one of them had years of technical experience, and my little imposter syndrome voice was telling me, “are you sure you can do this?”. Finally, I said to her, “who asked you?”, and I just kept working away and striving to do more and know more each day. To this day, every time I understand a concept about Salesforce that seemed insurmountable just a moment before, I feel a sense of pride in myself and adoration in the platform. Even though most of us have moved onto other companies now, my teammates and I still have our own Slack Workspace where we communicate daily and have a free forum to communicate about any Salesforce questions. I truly feel blessed to call each one of them a mentor and a friend (you know who you are!).

I started this blog because I want to give back to my Ohana that has been so generous to me. If you are just starting on the platform, be patient with yourself and just do a little something each day, even if it is just 10 minutes. Consistency is the key here. You are not going to learn all of Salesforce in one day. To quote my dear Ezra, “There is no such thing as a Salesforce expert”. You could see this as intimating, but I find it exhilarating. That means I get to learn something new each day, and it turns out that was what was missing from my life, that continual sense of learning and evolving. So go get yourself a Trailhead Badge: earn one trailhead badge at a time and suddenly you’re a Ranger. #ProudSFDCRanger

A little note about this photo below. This was my first Dreamforce in 2016. My wonderful friends I mentioned above dared me to go pinch Astro’s tush, and yes, I totally did. I realize this is a ridiculous photo, but it makes me incredibly happy, so that’s why I chose to feature it. Live long and Salesforce! ~ Lindsey

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.”  — Sheryl Sandberg