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Building a Custom Salesforce Integrated Portal: A Comprehensive Guide

In today's digital age, businesses rely heavily on seamless data integration, intuitive user interfaces, robust security measures, scalable performance, and ongoing maintenance and support to effectively manage their operations. Salesforce, a popular customer relationship management (CRM) platform, offers a wide range of features and integrations to enhance business processes. One powerful tool is building a custom Salesforce integrated portal to streamline data access and enhance the user experience.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps involved in building a custom Salesforce integrated portal. By following these steps, you can create a portal that seamlessly integrates with Salesforce, provides an intuitive user interface, ensures robust security measures, optimizes performance for scalability, and includes ongoing maintenance and support.

Achieving Seamless Data Integration

One of the key factors in building a successful Salesforce integrated portal is achieving seamless data integration. This involves connecting your portal to Salesforce's APIs and leveraging its extensive data management capabilities. Here are the steps involved in achieving seamless data integration:

  1. Identify integration requirements: Determine the specific data and functionalities you want to integrate with your portal. This could include accessing customer information, managing leads, or updating sales data.
  2. Utilize Salesforce APIs: Salesforce provides a vast collection of APIs, such as the REST API and SOAP API, to enable seamless integration with external systems. Familiarize yourself with these APIs and choose the one that best suits your integration needs.
  3. Implement data synchronization: Establish a real-time or periodic data synchronization process between your portal and Salesforce. This ensures that the data in your portal is always up-to-date and reflects the changes made in Salesforce.
  4. Leverage Salesforce data management capabilities: Take advantage of Salesforce's powerful data management features, including custom objects, workflows, and validation rules, to ensure data accuracy and integrity within your portal.

Designing an Intuitive User Interface

A well-designed user interface is crucial for an effective Salesforce integrated portal. It enhances user experience, improves productivity, and encourages user adoption. Consider the following tips when designing an intuitive user interface:

  1. Understand user personas: Identify the various user personas who will be using your portal. Understand their needs, preferences, and goals to tailor the user interface to their specific requirements.
  2. Leverage Salesforce Lightning: Salesforce Lightning provides a collection of pre-built components and design guidelines to create modern, intuitive user interfaces. Use Lightning components to build a visually appealing and user-friendly portal.
  3. Focus on simplicity: Keep the user interface clean and uncluttered. Prioritize essential features and information, and avoid overwhelming users with unnecessary elements or complex workflows.
  4. Ensure mobile responsiveness: With the increasing use of mobile devices, make sure your portal is optimized for mobile access. Use responsive design techniques to provide a consistent user experience across different screen sizes.

Implementing Robust Security Measures

Security is of utmost importance when building a custom Salesforce integrated portal. Protecting sensitive data, preventing unauthorized access, and ensuring compliance with industry standards are crucial considerations. Implement the following security measures:

  1. User authentication and authorization: Utilize Salesforce's built-in user management and authentication capabilities, such as single sign-on (SSO) or multi-factor authentication (MFA). This ensures that only authorized users can access the portal.
  2. Data encryption: Employ data encryption techniques to secure sensitive information stored in your portal. Salesforce provides mechanisms for data encryption at rest and in transit to protect data from unauthorized access.
  3. Secure APIs: Implement secure communication protocols, such as HTTPS, for data transmission between your portal and Salesforce. Use OAuth or other authentication mechanisms to ensure secure API access.
  4. Regular security audits: Perform regular security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify potential weaknesses in your portal. Remediate any identified vulnerabilities promptly to maintain a robust security posture.

Optimizing Performance for Scalability

To ensure your Salesforce integrated portal can handle increasing user loads and data volumes, it's essential to optimize its performance for scalability. Consider the following aspects when optimizing performance:

  1. Efficient data retrieval: Optimize data retrieval processes to minimize response times. Leverage Salesforce's query optimization techniques, such as selective queries and indexing, to fetch data efficiently.
  2. Caching mechanisms: Implement caching mechanisms, such as in-memory caching or distributed caching, to reduce the load on Salesforce and improve response times.
  3. Load balancing: Distribute incoming requests across multiple servers to balance the load and prevent bottlenecks. Use load balancing techniques such as round-robin or least connection to optimize server performance.
  4. Performance monitoring and tuning: Continuously monitor your portal's performance metrics, such as response times and resource utilization. Analyze the data to identify performance bottlenecks and make necessary optimizations.

Ensuring Continuous Maintenance and Support

Building a Salesforce integrated portal is not a one-time project; it requires continuous maintenance and support to ensure its smooth functioning and adaptability to evolving business needs. Implement the following measures for ongoing maintenance:

  1. Version control: Maintain a version control system to track changes made to your portal's source code and configurations. This enables you to revert back to previous versions if needed and ensures proper change management.
  2. Regular backups: Backup your portal's data and configurations regularly to prevent data loss in case of any unforeseen events. Store backups in secure locations and test their restoration process periodically.
  3. Bug tracking and resolution: Implement a bug tracking system to capture and prioritize reported issues in your portal. Define a process to address and resolve bugs promptly, ensuring minimal disruption to users.
  4. Continuous improvement: Regularly evaluate and gather user feedback to identify areas for improvement. Implement enhancements and new features to enhance user experience and address evolving business requirements.

By following this comprehensive guide, you can build a custom Salesforce integrated portal that seamlessly integrates data, offers an intuitive user interface, implements robust security measures, optimizes performance, and ensures ongoing maintenance and support. This portal can become a central hub for your employees, customers, and partners, enhancing productivity and driving business growth.

Unleash the Full Potential of Your Salesforce Platform with Custom Development Solutions

Salesforce is a powerful platform that offers a wide range of features and functionalities to help businesses streamline their processes and drive growth. However, out-of-the-box Salesforce may not always meet the unique needs and requirements of every organization. That's where custom development comes into play.

Custom development for the Salesforce platform involves building tailored solutions and applications that are specifically designed to address the individual needs of a business. This can include creating custom objects, fields, workflows, and user interfaces that align with the organization's processes and goals. By leveraging the power of custom development, businesses can unlock the full potential of their Salesforce platform and achieve greater efficiency and productivity.

The Benefits of Custom Development for the Salesforce Platform

There are several key benefits to implementing custom development solutions on the Salesforce platform. Firstly, custom development allows businesses to optimize their workflows and automate repetitive tasks. By creating custom fields, objects, and workflows, businesses can streamline their processes and reduce manual effort, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

Secondly, custom development enables businesses to create a user interface that is tailored to their specific needs. With out-of-the-box Salesforce, users may have to navigate through multiple screens and tabs to access the information they need. Custom development can simplify the user interface by creating a single, intuitive dashboard that provides all the necessary data at a glance, improving user experience and saving time.

Additionally, custom development allows businesses to integrate their Salesforce platform with other applications and systems. This integration can enable seamless data flow between different systems, ensuring that the right information is available at the right time. By leveraging custom development to integrate Salesforce with other tools, businesses can achieve a holistic view of their data and make better-informed decisions.

Understanding the Limitations of Out-of-the-Box Salesforce Features

While Salesforce offers a wide range of features and functionalities, it is important to understand its limitations. Out-of-the-box Salesforce may not cater to every business requirement, especially those that are unique or complex. This is where custom development comes in, allowing businesses to bridge the gap between their specific needs and the capabilities of the Salesforce platform.

One common limitation of out-of-the-box Salesforce is the lack of flexibility in data modeling. Businesses may require custom objects and fields to store and manage data that is unique to their industry or processes. Custom development enables businesses to create these custom objects and fields, ensuring that their data is properly structured and organized.

Another limitation is the inability to automate certain processes or workflows. Out-of-the-box Salesforce may not provide the necessary automation features for complex business processes. Custom development can address this limitation by creating custom workflows and triggers that automate these processes, saving time and reducing errors.

Furthermore, customization of the user interface is often limited in out-of-the-box Salesforce. Businesses may require a more intuitive and user-friendly interface that aligns with their specific needs. Custom development allows businesses to create a customized user interface that provides a seamless experience for users, improving adoption and productivity.

How Custom Development Can Enhance User Experience

User experience plays a crucial role in the success of any software application, and Salesforce is no exception. Custom development can greatly enhance the user experience by creating a user interface that is intuitive, efficient, and tailored to the specific needs of the users.

With custom development, businesses can create a user interface that provides a simplified view of the Salesforce platform. Instead of navigating through multiple screens and tabs, users can access all the relevant information in a single dashboard. This not only saves time but also reduces the learning curve for new users, improving their overall experience.

Custom development also allows businesses to add additional features and functionalities to the Salesforce platform. For example, businesses may require advanced analytics or reporting capabilities that are not available out-of-the-box. Custom development can address these requirements by integrating third-party tools or creating custom reports and dashboards that provide the necessary insights.

Furthermore, custom development can enhance the mobile experience of Salesforce. With the increasing use of mobile devices in the workplace, businesses need a mobile-friendly Salesforce platform. Custom development can create responsive user interfaces that work seamlessly across different devices, allowing users to access and update information on the go.

Key Considerations When Implementing Custom Development Solutions

Implementing custom development solutions on the Salesforce platform requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Business Requirements: Clearly define your business requirements and objectives before starting any custom development project. This will help ensure that the solutions align with your specific needs and goals.
  2. Scalability: Consider the scalability of your custom development solutions. Will they be able to accommodate future growth and changing business needs? It is important to design solutions that can scale with your organization.
  3. Security: Pay close attention to security when implementing custom development solutions. Ensure that proper security measures are in place to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access.
  4. Testing and Quality Assurance: Thoroughly test and QA your custom development solutions before deploying them in a production environment. This will help identify and fix any bugs or issues early on, ensuring a smooth implementation.
  5. User Adoption: Consider the impact of custom development solutions on user adoption. Provide proper training and support to users to ensure a smooth transition and maximize the benefits of the customizations.

Best Practices for Salesforce Custom Development

To ensure successful custom development on the Salesforce platform, it is important to follow best practices. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Utilize Salesforce Documentation: Salesforce provides comprehensive documentation and resources for developers. Make use of these resources to understand best practices and guidelines for custom development.
  2. Follow a Development Lifecycle: Implement a structured development lifecycle that includes requirements gathering, design, development, testing, and deployment. This will help ensure that all aspects of the development process are properly managed.
  3. Use Version Control: Implement version control for your custom development solutions. This allows you to track changes, roll back to previous versions if needed, and collaborate with other developers effectively.
  4. Implement Code Reviews: Conduct regular code reviews to ensure the quality and maintainability of your custom development solutions. This will help identify any issues or potential improvements early on.
  5. Stay Up to Date: Stay informed about the latest updates and releases from Salesforce. This will help you leverage new features and functionalities in your custom development solutions and ensure compatibility with future upgrades.

Finding the Right Salesforce Custom Development Partner

Implementing custom development solutions on the Salesforce platform requires expertise and experience. Finding the right Salesforce custom development partner is crucial for the success of your projects. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a partner:

  1. Experience: Look for a partner with a proven track record in Salesforce custom development. Check their portfolio and client testimonials to assess their experience and capabilities.
  2. Industry Expertise: Consider a partner who has experience working in your industry. They will have a better understanding of your specific needs and challenges, allowing them to deliver tailored solutions.
  3. Collaboration and Communication: Choose a partner who values collaboration and maintains open communication throughout the development process. This will ensure that your requirements are properly understood and implemented.
  4. Support and Maintenance: Ensure that the partner provides ongoing support and maintenance for the custom development solutions. This will help address any issues or enhancements that may arise in the future.
  5. Reliability and Trust: Select a partner who is reliable and trustworthy. Check their reputation and credentials to ensure that they will deliver on their commitments and protect your business interests.

Wrapping Up

Custom development is the key to unlocking the full potential of your Salesforce platform. By leveraging custom development solutions, businesses can address their unique needs and requirements, enhance user experience, and achieve greater efficiency and productivity.

However, implementing custom development solutions requires careful planning, consideration, and expertise. It is important to understand the limitations of out-of-the-box Salesforce and follow best practices for custom development. Finding the right Salesforce custom development partner can also greatly contribute to the success of your projects.

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of your Salesforce platform? Contact Relay at to get started today.

Why your sales team needs to start using Scratchpad
If Salesforce is getting in the way of your sales team actually selling, you might want to take a close look at Scratchpad.

What is Scratchpad

Scratchpad at its core is Google Chrome extension that syncs data from Salesforce into a customized, stripped down interface. It’s gaining rapid popularity in the Salesforce world and for good reason. While we know and love Salesforce for its breadth of features and complexity, we sometime know it can be a little too complex. That’s where Scratchpad comes in, as it basically strips out the externalities of Salesforce and hones in on what makes Salesforce so powerful in the first place — the ability to stay on top of your entire pipeline. Scratchpad offers an intuitive interface that gives you a daily home base where you can keep track of notes, tasks and get a birds eye view on your entire pipeline. The best part is that all this can be shared with your entire team and then synced back to Salesforce so you and your colleagues are not working in a silo. Let’s take a deeper dive into what Scratchpad can do for you and your Salesforce organization.

What makes Scratchpad so powerful

When you first open up Scratchpad and connect your Salesforce account, you would be warranted in thinking “that’s it?” The interface is very simple, and you will only see four tabs,  “Home”, “Notes”, “Tasks” and “Pipeline” and two icons, “Calendar” and “Inbox”

Your “Home” tab will give you a little moment of zen with the time and a friendly greeting.

The “Notes” tab will give you a very familiar notes experience, especially if you have ever used Apple’s built-in Notes app. Take notes as you go about the day and then selectively link the note to Salesforce where it can be saved to any record. On top of that, you can also share notes with colleagues within Scratchpad or turn any note into a template where you can customize it over and over again.

In the “Tasks” section, you will find just that - tasks. Daily tasks, overdue tasks and pending tasks not actioned yet. All directly synced from Salesforce. This means that you can confidently close and update tasks in Scratchpad without ever opening Salesforce, knowing that they will be synced with the correct records.

Finally you have the “Pipeline” tab, that is inarguably the most powerful tab in Scratchpad. In Pipeline, you can access pretty much every bit of information held within Salesforce. This includes Opportunities, Accounts, Contacts, Leads and Events. If you have ever used Notion or Airtable, this extremely customizable interface will be very familiar. Choose which fields you want to see; filter, group and highlight records and most importantly save all of these table customizations so your colleagues can see exactly what you see. The real power of Pipeline emerges once you start creating and adding views. Views allow you to create a new table or even a new Kanban board. Then you can save these views for your entire team or select roles in your team.

Imagine a scenario where you have a new sales rep on your team and you want to hone in what they can and can not enter for an opportunity, just to avoid any issues of adding in extraneous information in the wrong area. Simply create a “New Sales Rep” view and pick and choose which fields they can read and write to. In Salesforce, this would be a little convoluted as you would need to modify permissions, roles and even their layout. In Scratchpad, all you need to do is share the view link and then ask them to save the layout in their own Scratchpad. That’s it…you don’t need to get your Salesforce Admin involved at all.

Why we love Scratchpad

Salesforce is a necessity to use Scratchpad, there’s no getting around that. We love that because at the end of the day, we love Salesforce! But we also know that it’s not the most beginner friendly interface for someone who’s bread and butter is sales but may be coming over from Hubspot or another competing CRM. We also know that sometimes sales teams struggle with using Salesforce that it could sidetrack them from their end goal of actually selling. That’s the beauty of Scratchpad, that it allows your team to focus on selling and only present them what they need and none of what they don’t need. This refined, focused approach not only allows new hires to get up and going in a third of the time, but allows your more advanced reps to focus on their clients instead of fiddling with Salesforce.

What we would change

While Scratchpad is revolutionary in its simplicity, it’s not perfect by any means. Relationships on how records are related to each other is not easily accessible. The home tab, while peaceful, seems like a missed opportunity for sales reps to customize and create their own meaningful dashboard. Then finally, we would unleash it from Chrome and have it be a standalone desktop app so team members can use it regardless of their browser choice. So while Scratchpad supplants and betters a lot of aspects of Salesforce, you will still need to creep in there every once in a while to do what you can’t do in Scratchpad.

What’s next for Scratchpad

Scratchpad is making waves and deservedly so, having raised over $50 million in funding since their inception in 2019. It essentially brings the admittedly clunky interface of Salesforce into 2022 and makes it accessible to everyone. We’re excited to try out Scratchpad Studio which brings automation, deeper integration with external apps such as Slack and more meaningful insights into the card views. This innovation on top of their rock solid core, indicates to us that this platform is going to become truly powerful very quickly. We can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Using Story Maps to Build High-Value Software Releases

Solution design and implementation strategy is integral to getting the most out of your Salesforce investment. We’ve used many frameworks and tools for solution design across the years, testing which methods produce the right solutions, at the right time, and the right budget. In recent years we’ve become very fond of tool called the Story Map.

As a client, a story map is one of the first things our Solution Architects will develop with you for your project, and it will provide the basis for planning incremental releases moving forward. What is a story map, why is it better than a traditional flat backlog, and what does the process of creating one look like? Let's dive in and take a look!

Story Map using Sticky Notes on a Whiteboard

What is a story map?

A story map is designed to map a user's journey across the various activities they undertake with your Salesforce software. It identifies all the potential user stories and considers the features that help those users along the way. In its focus on the workflow and complete experience, a story map helps break down releases into high-value groupings of functionality that can immediately benefit your users and business.

Why is story mapping better than just a flat backlog?

You're likely familiar with a flat backlog and its list of discrete features and competing priorities. The problem with a backlog is that it doesn't take into account workflow or dependencies. That is to say, you may end up correctly identifying the highest value story, but fail to see that it depends on a lower level feature. Backlogs simply aren't designed to convey that sort of interconnectedness of business workflows, and, as a result, you're left with a list of isolated features with no larger picture to make sense of it all. It's also easy to lose sight of what it is the application is actually doing when you focus exclusively on individual details.

Flat Backlog Compared to Story Map

Story maps, in contrast, are far more expressive than a flat backlog. They provide context for the various features by helping teams visualize activities and workflows from start to finish. Rather than a ranked to-do list of items, you have a more complete picture of all the various user stories and how they move through the software. A story map allows you to more easily identify the high-value stories and know exactly which features are required in order to put them into service. This, in turn, enables you to build releases that are immediately useful with all of the necessary moving parts.

A story map also makes it easier to communicate with stakeholders at all levels and in all areas of your business. Instead of a cryptic list of stories broken down into sprints, you have a more robust visualization of exactly how your application is being used that everyone can understand. This helps keep teams on the same page, and it also helps to manage expectations and gives discernible value to every release.  

How To Create A Story Map

A story map is particularly well-suited for building out applications in Salesforce, in which incremental releases can offer tremendous value across your business. Whether you have ten employees or a thousand, our Solution Architect will guide your team through the same process of crafting a story map to help you get the most bang from your buck and ensure your solutions are meeting every user's needs.

From start to finish, a story map is all about making sure your releases reflect the real needs of your users. You already know that Salesforce is a powerful business application development platform. Get even more out of it for your business with Relay's Salesforce Architect-as-a-Service offering. Our Solution Architects can help in-house teams and implementation partners deliver more effective product development roadmaps by crafting a robust story map for your business or client. Contact us to learn more today!

The Benefits of Creating Custom Salesforce Applications Using Lightning Web Components

Salesforce Lightning Web Components (LWC) is a programming model for building web-based applications on the Salesforce platform. It offers several benefits over other development approaches, making it a great option for creating custom Salesforce applications.

One of the main benefits of using LWC is that it is built on modern web standards, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This means that it is easier to learn and use for developers who are already familiar with these technologies. It also makes it easier for your team to maintain and update the applications over time.

Another benefit of LWC is that it is a part of the Lightning Platform, which is Salesforce's user interface framework. This means that applications built with LWC will have a consistent look and feel with the rest of the Salesforce platform, providing a seamless user experience for your team.

LWC also offers improved performance and scalability compared to other development approaches. It uses a state-of-the-art programming model that makes it easier to build high-performance applications that can handle large volumes of data. This can help improve the overall efficiency of your business operations.

In addition, LWC offers better security compared to other development approaches. It uses a secure coding model that helps prevent common security vulnerabilities, such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and cross-site request forgery (CSRF). This can help protect your business data and ensure that it stays secure.

Overall, the benefits of creating custom Salesforce applications using LWC are numerous. From its modern web standards and consistent user experience, to its improved performance and security, LWC offers a powerful and effective way to build custom applications on the Salesforce platform.

Scratchpad vs Dooly vs Laserfocus - Which one is right for your sales team?
If you're in the marketing to streamline you sales and rev-ops efforts and increase the focus on selling, you're going to want to take a look at three biggest names trying to revolutionize Salesforce.

The other day we took a look at Scratchpad ( we came away extremely impressed with how it’s trying to revolutionize the sales experience for all Salesforce users, regardless of experience level. While Scratchpad may be the fastest growing, it’s far from the only one in this space. We’re going to take a look at Dooly, perhaps Scratchpad’s biggest competitor and Laserfocus, a rather new entrant. At their core, all three apps are trying to streamline the sometimes convoluted Salesforce space and we’ll see if they are successful in their mission.


We already did a deep dive on Scratchpad in our last post, but essentially Scratchpad uses a Chrome extension approach to sync only the relevant data to the sales rep in a slick interface that lives outside of Salesforce. We love it’s streamlined and more importantly collaborative approach to note taking, pipeline management and task sharing. The UI is intuitive, familiar and doesn’t bog down your team with unnecessary fields or features that get in the way of the core goal — selling. While we wish there was a desktop or web component that didn’t tie itself to Chrome, there’s not much else to complain about. Scratchpad does everything it promises and more.


Dooly is Scratchpad’s direct competitor in this space, and for good reason. Dooly goes feature to feature with Scratchpad, including notes, pipeline management, collaboration and templates. In addition, it includes playbooks, a robust web and Chrome app and sleek LinkedIn and Slack integration integration. But one of the standout features is what they call Deal Vitals.

Deal Vitals give you a real time report card of every opportunity so you can see if it’s still in good health or needs a little nurturing. This a great way to make sure your opportunities are not wilting and the cleanliness of your Salesforce org is staying top of mind.

We also love the Playbook feature that intelligently bubbles up relevant information to your entire team through the notes section.  Say a new employee is on a sales call and the customer remarks about price concerns. As soon as the new employee marks “price concerns” in the notes, it will surface the playbook of what they should say and do in this exact situation.

Dooly is packed with smart, clever features such as this but perhaps there are too many features. The beauty of Scratchpad is in its simplicity and how it hones Salesforce down into a beautiful, focused interface. Dooly’s interface is great and a joy to use, but there’s a slight learning curve that could slow down new sales reps and often it can be a little confusing to decipher what is where.


Our last entrant into this growing space is Laserfocus. They’re the newest and perhaps the smallest of the three. Similar to Scratchpad and Dooly, Laserfocus takes the immense data that’s contained in Salesforce and filters it to a streamlined, simple interface. Though perhaps a little too simple for our tastes. While it does include tasks, notes, and pipeline management, there are no collaboration features to speak of. That means you can’t send contacts, opportunities and records in Laserfocus without having to go into Salesforce. While we love the approach to stacks, there is no intelligent notifications like in Dooly that would alert you to opportunities that are starting to wilt. With that being said, Laserfocus is still a pleasure to use and the foundation of what they are trying to build is rock solid.

Our Choice

We’re very impressed by all the options in this space and we expect the options to keep growing as Salesforce becomes more convoluted over time. The pricing is similar across the board (all offering a free tier and then starting at $35/user/month for Dooly, $39/user/month for Scratchpad and $30/user/month for Laserfocus) Our choice is still Scratchpad as it straddles the fine line between simplicity and features that allows sales teams to spend the majority of their day in Scratchpad without having to do too much in Salesforce itself. We do love Dooly and all it’s smart features, so if you’re looking for a tool a bit more feature packed, than Dooly would be a great choice.

Our Takeaway

To be honest, you can’t really go wrong with any of these apps if you’re looking to introduce a new tool to your sales team’s arsenal. If you want simplicity and ease of use, Scratchpad is for you you. If you’re looking for more features and an app that lives outside Chrome, then Dooly is a solid choice. Either way, get back to focusing on sales and stop struggling with Salesforce.

Relay's Picks for Dreamforce 2021 Events You Should Attend
Dreamforce 2021 is here and it's going to be three full days of events and sessions. We'll run down which ones are worth your time.

Dreamforce is back, and in many ways, just as big and bold as you remember it. While this year's events will remain virtual, the sessions are as insightful and impactful as you may expect. But there are a lot of them! So how do you know which ones to attend and which ones are worth your time? We'll run down the sessions that we think will be most worth your while.

Day 1 - Tuesday, September 21st

Dreamforce Main Show: Welcome to the Trusted Enterprise with Marc Benioff and special guests (9:45 a.m. PT / 12:45 p.m. ET)

This will be a great taste to see how Slack-forward Dreamforce 2021 might be and should be a great start to the show.

Industry Success from Anywhere (11:30 a.m. PT / 2:30 p.m. ET)

Hear how Salesforce Industries solutions make it easy to succeed in a digital-first, work-from-anywhere world.

From Idea to Exit: Build a Thriving Business on AppExchange (12:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m. ET)

We love the AppExchange here at Relay, so this should be a great showcase as how others are leveraging the power of the marketplace.

Innovation from Anywhere with Salesforce Developers (3:30 p.m. PT / 6:30 p.m. ET)

Learn how Salesforce developers all over the world are using the Salesforce platform to collaborate and innovate.

Create User Experiences with Lightning Web Components (4:30 p.m. PT / 7:30 p.m. ET)

If you've ever been interested in the Lightning platform, this would be a great opportunity to see how it allows developers to deliver unique customer experiences across a variety of platforms.

Day 2 - Wednesday, September 22nd

Explore Slack & Salesforce's Successful Path to Integration (9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET)

This would be a great one to attend to see how closely integrated Salesforce and Slack might become for years to come.

Right Here, Right Now: The Power of Community (10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET)

The Salesforce Community has played a huge role in the rapid adoption of Salesforce, but attend this one to see how nonprofits, educators, and philanthropists are using the community to change the world.

Three New Rules Shaping the Future of Business (11:00 a.m. PT/ 2:00 p.m. ET)

Learn three rules that every leader should embrace to build Salesforce and their business for a whole new era of business.

Build Your Digital HQ with Salesforce Architects (12:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 p.m. ET)

If you're interested in learning how Salesforce can allign stakeholders and teams, then this is the session you will want to make sure you attend.

Health Cloud: The Solution for a New Era of Health (2:30 p.m. PT / 5:30 p.m. ET)

If you're in the Healthcare industry, this session will reveal why Salesforce is the number one connected platform for healthcare and life sciences.

Day 3 - Thursday, September 23rd

Digital-First Leadership: Balancing Service, Speed & Trust (9:30 a.m. PT / 12:30 p.m. ET)

Hear how global leaders are responsibly leveraging technology solutions to increase responsiveness and speed.

The Future of Health Is Connected (10:30 a.m. PT / 1:30 p.m. ET)

Learn from Salesforce and industry Trailblazers to see how they unify the healthcare ecosystem for seamless outcomes from any place and any device.

Success Tips to Help SMBs Find, Win, and Keep Customers (11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET)

If you're a small or mid-size business, this is the session you will want to attend. Learn how Salesforce can help you find the right customers, close more deals and keep your current customers happy.

We're very excited for the Dreamforce events to kick off and we think you should be too. Given the amount of content and type of content, this year's Dreamforce should be one to remember.

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 .

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