Filed under: Administration,Implementation February 2, 2011

Here is a tip sheet for new Salesforce.com administrators.  The context is that a consultant is working on the implementation, therefore system configuration tips such as creating fields are not covered.  The following list focuses on basic items that first time administrators should know as well as common questions encountered during numerous implementations.  Data loading and email integration are examples.  You will need to use the search in Help & Training for many of these (upper right of the screen).  The inner workings of Help & Training makes direct URL links difficult.

  1. Setup can be found by clicking your name in the upper right of the screen.  This will open a drop down menu with the Setup link.
  2. Salesforce has multiple Editions.  Your Edition is embedded in the browser page title.  Typically the entire title can be seen by hovering over the browser tab.  Each Edition has limitations and they can be found by searching the Help for “Salesforce.com Editions and Limits.”  Pay particular attention to the number of custom fields that can be defined.
  3. Licensing information such as number of licenses can be found by going to Setup, Administration Setup, Company Profile, Company Information.  The licensing data is near the bottom of the page.
  4. Importing Account/Contacts is typically one of the first steps in an implementation.  Usually, the consultant will perform the import, but there are some things the administrator should know.  The import wizards can be found at Setup, Administration Setup, Data Management, Import Accounts/Contacts.  The page has links to Help articles.  Also, please see the attached document, “salesforce_import_cheatsheet.pdf” and read the sections on duplicate records in particular.
  5. Depending on the Edition, Apex Data Loader is available for importing and exporting data.  Data Loader is a Windows application and uses the Force.com API.  More information can be found at http://wiki.developerforce.com/index.php/Data_Loader.  If the Edition does not support the Force.com API, an Account Executive can have it enabled it temporarily.
  6. An alternative to Apex Data Loader is the free Informatica Data Loader available from the AppExchange (http://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N300000016cUTEAY).  It is a cloud based version, although it does have a small desktop component that must be installed.  It also supports more Editions.
  7. It is important to understand the role of the Record ID field type which acts as the primary identifying field for records and particularly useful for updating existing records (http://www.salesforce.com/us/developer/docs/api/Content/field_types.htm#i1435616).  If you view any record in Salesforce, notice that the URL simply has a code such as https://nax.salesforce.com/00XX000000nPXYX.  That is the Record ID for the record being viewed.
  8. Some Editions have Sandboxes available.  These are copies of the production org intended for testing configuration changes and data loads before implementing them in production.  Search for “Force.com Sandbox” in Help.
  9. Salesforce offers a free Developer Edition which is a completely independent instance roughly equivalent to Unlimited Edition.  For administrators without Sandboxes it is a good place to experiment with features and test data loads.  Be aware that it may have features that your production org does not support.  Sign up at http://www.developerforce.com/events/regular/registration.php.  When entering your Username, it simply has to be in the form of an email address and does not have to actually work.  For the actual Email Address field, be sure to enter a functioning one.
  10. There are two Outlook integration options.  Salesforce for Outlook is the latest version and supports Outlook 2007 and later.  Connect for Microsoft Outlook is an older implementation but supports Outook 2002 and later.  Search for their respective names in Help for more information.  The two implement the integration is very different ways. Search Help for “Connect for Outlook vs. Salesforce for Outlook” for a comparison table.  Also note that Salesforce for Outlook does not support syncing Tasks, but it is easier to use in my opinion.
  11. Google Apps email, contacts, and calendaring (i.e., Gmail) is supported.  Go to Setup, Administration Setup, Google Apps for more information.  Contact and calendar sync uses free utilities from Appirio which is an AppExchange Partner.
  12. For any contact syncing, consider how to handle unclean data such as account names that are spelled differently and non-business contacts such as grandmothers and the soccer team.
  13. For an email only integration, Email To Salesforce is an option.  This uses a forwarding email address to capture emails and assign them to records based on the To: and CC: fields.  It actually is the underlying technology for Salesforce for Outlook and Gmail To Salesforce.  Search for “Enabling Email To Salesforce” in Help for more information.

Please use the comments, go to the CRMVERSE Facebook page, or use the Contact form if you require any clarifications or feel additional items should be added.

Tags:
  1. Hayata says:


    Please note Salesforce for Outlook now supports synchronizing Tasks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2009-2015 Hayata Takeshita