Thursday 27 June 2013

Book Review: Salesforce CRM Admin Cookbook

Recently, I have been reading the "Salesforce CRM Admin Cookbook" by Paul Goodey. The book contains a selection of guides (or recipes) for solving common problems and adding additional functionality to your Salesforce org. Here are my thoughts....

Salesforce CRM Admin Cookbook

The book itself provides simple and effective remedies to many common problems I have experienced during my time as a Salesforce developer/administrator. The solutions themselves are presented in an impressively straightforward manner. There is no unnecessary waffle or fluff, just straight to the point step by step instructions on how to practically and quickly solve common bug bears and improve your org for your users.

The highlight of the book for me was a recipe that dealt with extending the standard input date calendar range. This is something that has always bugged me, I can't speak for the majority of company's out there, but most of my contacts were born before 2012 :) . The proposed solution is simple and maintains consistency across the whole org. Other personal highlights include validation rules for verifying UK and US postcodes, a step by step guide to email integration and creating buttons on related lists to carry out actions on multiple records simultaneously.

In my view the best way to get the most out of the book is to read through and try out a new recipe each day, rather than trying to find a solution for a situation when it arises. The individual solutions do not take a lot of time to implement, and will give you a definite appreciation of the tools available to you as a SF admin.

A slight drawback of some of the recipes is a dependency on the current Salesforce styling and specific component id names. However, Paul Goodey, the author, makes you fully aware of this, and the nature of the solutions means that if the standard Salesforce page components were ever to change, administrators could update the content to match the new HTML standard. What is important about the solutions described is not necessarily the source code or specific problem, but rather the tools, approaches and techniques used, which can be adapted to a wide range of other scenarios.

In summary, if you are a Salesforce administrator looking to explore some of the advanced features of the platform, or want to know how to alter some of the standard appearance and functionality of your org to suit your users needs, then the Salesforce CRM Admin Cookbook is a must have. I challenge any admin to read this book without having a "Oh, that's how you can do that!" moment or six.

The book can be purchased online at Amazon


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