Gorav Seth

Salesforce MVP (HOF) | Permaculture designer

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Using Picklist API Values IRL

I recently built an integration and decided to use the new-in-2017 functionality to customize picklist API values to store the external ID for the system I was integrating into. Per developer force, doing so would “protect your picklist integrations” by allowing “ admins to change what users see when they view and select picklist values on a record, without impacting code that references these values.” And who wants to practice unsafe integration?

Using picklist API values did make things a bit easier on a number of fronts
- no conversion table needed
- ux with picklist is better for users vs using a lookup against an object

And presented one minor challenge
- no easy way to add picklist values + api values in bulk (i pulled it off by creating the filed, exporting the metadata w/ workbench, tweaking the metadata using a text editor, and deploying back via the metadata...

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Using quick actions as a template in flows

Finally figured out a use case for using quick actions in flows.

They can provide consistency for when you need to do the same thing in multiple flows / processes, and want to ensure that specific fields are populated.

All required fields on the action layout are required when you use the action in a flow / process. Any optional fields on the action layout are available to be added if needed. But - any fields not on the layout are not available, so it is also a constraint.

Some use cases I can envision

  • creating a case on flow failure
  • creating contacts / leads
  • logging calls

My use case was a custom object called ‘integration request’ that I have setup to centralize a few callouts to external systems. Its like I imagine platform events could be used - if I understood platform events.

So there is a global action like so:
Screenshot 2018-09-04 at 1.59.25 PM.png

And in the flow, I can leverage the action like so:
Screenshot 2018-09-04 at 1.50.01 PM.png


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101 little things to make salesforce a lot better

A sporadically maintained list of coal seams smoldering deep in the caverns of salesforce.com that cause needless liver damage in many an awesome admin.

In honor of summer19, this post now has the subtitle of:

101 things that might be more helpful than confetti (which, for the record, is actually kinda fun).

Misc Nonsense w Fields and Reports and such

  1. parent case field not available on case close layout
  2. parent campaign field not available on activity with campaign report type
  3. primary contact not available on activity with campaign report type.
  4. primary campaign source not available on opp related lists - without formula field
  5. Amount and expected revenue not available on standard campaigns w opportunities report type, but available w formula fields
  6. cant load data to description field on campaign member?
  7. link to view hierarchy on case list view (why do i have to create a field for...

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Using flows as a form tool for external users

There are many good form tools that integrate with Salesforce. Salesforce even has their own surveys product now - which will be interesting to watch.

But i’m going to illustrate how to roll your own using visual workflow, embedded in a visualforce page, on a force.com (er, lightning platform) site.

If you just want to see the finished product, go here and try it out

And some caveats : Site external users cant update any standard objects, only insert. So you will need to use a custom object and a flow / process to update the contact. And i have no idea if this is in violation of any of the salesforce terms of service, since you are using a workaround to something that they have blocked. So…with that out of the way…onwards


  • a flow
  • a visualforce page
  • a site
  • a lightning application

You can build them yourself (recommended) or install all except the site from this...

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The Magic of Actions in Process Builder and Flow

The ability to use quick actions in process builder / flow has been around for a few years, but i’ve never seen a reason to use them.

I figured some out this weekend. Here are the use cases I see.

a) standardization :
if you will do the same thing (or almost the same thing) multiple times, building an action ensure standardization, and allows for easy updates if a change is needed. you can enforce required fields at the action level, even if the fields are not required at the object level. its a template / contract for creating an object. powerful stuff.

Note that this can be useful for doing the same thing on multiple nodes in a single process, or if processes on different records do the same action, say create a task or a case.

b) in process builder, quick actions can let you update unrelated records (as long as you know the record ID). so you dont need a lookup field to the...

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Creating a Global Picklist with custom API values

Global picklists are great. As is the ability to customize the API names separately from the label. But while you can create picklist values via copy/paste, you have to update the API values individually.

For small picklists its not that hard to do manually, but for large ones, there is another, better, way.

  1. create a temporary global value set via the UI
  2. retrieve it using workbench
  3. set the values in the xml
  4. insert the picklist via workbench

alternatively you could create the entire xml file manually and skip step 1 and 2, but that part is so easy via the ui that you might as well do so.

step 1 is covered in help and training

for step 2, this doc, has the info for the package.xml file you need (also copied below) and this article has a step by step for the retrieve process - just note you would use the package.xml as specified below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

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Spring 18 Release


Notes for DCNPUG Spring 18 Release Review from sales cloud user / admin perspective


  • flows are getting love
  • more parity / functionality for reports / dashboards in lightning
  • a lot of customization in lightning
  • strong productivity enhancements in lightning
  • some great new formula functions!!!


  • Release site has downloadable release overview pdf and lots of highlights
  • Release readiness live videos
  • Release Readiness Group on Trailblazer Community has lots of info and a new release ppt deck every release
  • Release notes
  • Release Demo Webinar - new? Just joined today and it was AWESOME, never have seen this before - high speed, lots of demos, little else. Highly recommended.

new functionality (classic + lightning) and feature

  • flow - lightning components, override header and footer, stages, upload files, launch from object specific action
  • lightning...

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Displaying a comma/semicolon separated list of emails

I’m doing this on a custom object, odds are you will want this on campaign member. So where you see ‘worker’, use ‘campaign member’.

4 steps

  1. lookup the records and add to sObject collection
  2. loop through them
  3. use an assignment element to add the loop variable email to a text variable
  4. display the text variable in a screen


most of the magic happens in the assignment element, where i add the email to a text variable with a semicolon, and use a constant to add a line break

assignment element


and here is the result


If you want to get fancy and let users select records from a list view and only export those, you can do that using the approach illustrated by Sir Andrew Fawcett here : https://andyinthecloud.com/2014/06/04/more-power-to-your-flows-in-summer14/

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NPSP Primary Contact Related List Label Override

on a post on the pub inquiring on how to view campaign members who have not donated to a given campaign, i noticed that one could not properly cross filter contacts against opportunities with the NPSP enabled, because there are TWO opportunity objects to select from.


one is the standard opportunity contact role relationship between contact and opportunity, while the other comes from the primary contact lookup on opportunity - but there is no way to tell them apart.

I believe these are kept in sync by the npsp, based on the primary checkbox on contact role, so the results may be similar - but if there are multiple contact roles on an opp the standard relationship would show ALL of them, as there is no way to filter only for the primary contact, while the custom relationship would only show the primary contact. So either way you need to know which one you are choosing!

So, enough of...

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Its 2018

Welcome to 2018 yall. There was a recent post on the hub that got me thinking about my long running list of random stuff that as far as i know you still cant do in salesforce, even in the year 2018.

So here they are, in no particular order. Some of these may be fixed in lightning already, which i will find out later this year when we launch!

  1. you cant remove the submit for approval button from the approval history related list. especially considering that you can now submit for approval via flow and process builder now, admins need to be able to remove the standard button. idea : 5120 points, 10 years old, ‘under consideration’

  2. the lack of a description field on public groups. public groups are used literally everywhere, and there is no easy way to extract the info on where they are used. i’ll take 255 characters, anything at all really, please? idea : 11 years old, 1550...

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