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Salesforce Limitations

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Community Customer Roles - Elusive Configuration and Gotchas

Salesforce Communities are quickly becoming one of the most requested products for our clients. Price points on Community Cloud licenses have been steady coming down and its become a very viable solution for non-profits, who receive deeply discounted licensing.

Recently I've been working on a community based counselor portal solution, that will allow counselors from different nonprofits manage their cases in Salesforce. As we were exploring licensing solutions, we needed to implement some sort of role hierarchy, where cases and records are visible to counselors within the same nonprofit, and nonprofit groups could see data across the board. I knew that Community licenses don't offer role hierarchies, but Community Plus licenses do. I wanted to be able to test this out, so I spun up a partner org in order to investigate.

Elusive Community Roles Configuration

Communities can support up to 3 customer roles. You can configure the number of roles by going to SETUP -> Feature Settings -> Communities -> Communities Settings -> Community Role and User Settings | Number of Customer Roles.

Communities Settings.png

Setting the number of customer roles is an org wide setting, which will impact all communities you have in that org. Once you have set the number of customer roles that communities can have you'd likely head over to the Roles Setup Page to define those roles, but you'd be heading in the wrong direction. Queue the frustration.

After a lot of searching, I found that you don't have much control over the Customer Roles or its hierarchy. When you enable a customer for community access, and a user is created, Salesforce will automatically create up to three roles for the given contact's account: Executive Role, Manager Role, User Role.

For example, if you've configured your org to have 3 Customer Roles, then a contact, or more formally the community user, under Acme Account can have an "Acme Customer Executive", "Acme Customer Manager", or "Acme Customer User" role. When you create the user for the first time, it will auto assign the lowest level Role - the Customer User role. During the user creation process you will not see the Role field at all; its only visible once the user has been created. Once the record has been saved, you can click on the customer user Role Name, to see the newly created Role Hierarchy. This view of the hierarchy is only available through this navigation and Community Roles are not visible in the main Roles Setup Page.

Customer Role Hierarchy.png

Community Customer Roles Limitations

Here's the summary of the limitations for Customer Roles, so far:

  • Customer Roles are limited to a max of 3.
  • You can't edit the names of the 3 roles (Executive, Manager, User)
  • When enabling a customer user from the contact screen, they are assigned the lowest role on user creation. You can then edit them accordingly.
  • The roles are account specific but you can't really change the way that each role behaves.
  • You must visit a user and click on their role to see the Role setup page for that role, though there is nothign to configure in them.

Next up, I'll be playing with the sharing settings to explore any limitations that Customer Roles might have .

5 Features of Salesforce We Are NOT Thankful For
We all love Salesforce for many reasons but there are just a few things that we wish we could change. Take a look at five features of Salesforce we do NOT love.

While we all know and love Salesforce, the platform is by no means perfect. Certain actions take just a little too long and some features don't make a ton of sense if you haven't been using Salesforce for many years. We're very thankful that Salesforce exists and is thriving, but if we're being completely honest, here are a few things that we would change within Salesforce.

1) Can't use Dynamic Forms on Standard Objects

Dynamic forms is one of the more impressive and more powerful features that Salesforce has released quite some time. It allows you to create intuitive page layouts that present just the right information at just the right time. It's wonderful but for some reason you can only use it on custom objects and not standard objects. This limits how powerful dynamic forms can be, and this is something we hope changes very soon.

2) Too Many Clicks

This is an easy one, but Salesforce is very mouse-centric. Easy actions and modifications sometimes requires click after click to do what you need to do. Need to modify a field — click the pencil icon, modify the field, then click save. If you need to modify a lot of fields, you will certainly feel the clicks start to add up.

3) Better Merging for Non-Standard Objects

If you work with a large multi-developer team, then you are bound to face the issue of having to merge multiple objects for data cleanliness and efficiency. Salesforce makes this pretty easy for standard objects but a lot harder for non-standard objects. You can either write your own logic, or use one of the many apps in the AppExchange to accomplish this, but neither is ideal.

4) Customizing Role Layouts is a Pain

We love the ability to customize lightning pages and layouts for different roles, but if you get upwards of ten or more roles, it can be a chore to manage these correctly. Keeping all layouts in sync to ensure each user has the right experience is a tedious task and one we wish was just a bit easier to manage.

5) Not Auto-Saving

We've all been there, you spend upwards of 30 minutes updating a page layout or editing a few records and then work gets the better of you and you get distracted. By the time you remember what you were doing, you've been logged out and all your precious Salesforce work is now gone. It's 2021 and it's about time Salesforce autosaves you work in progress instead of waiting on you to hit the save button.

While the good still far outweighs the bad in the Salesforce world, nothing is perfect. At Relay, we fix all of your Salesforce issues no matter big or small. If there is something that you are not thankful for in Salesforce, get in touch and we will gladly correct it.

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