General

A Force Guru Salesforce Training & 250k Students

‘A Force Guru’ has been more successful than I could ever believe since launching it earlier in the year, thanks SO MUCH for all those people and companies who have supported it!!

When we were planning the A Force Guru site last year we decided to have the AWS and Salesforce training as separate schools, each with a separate site focused on the specific cloud. But the underlying serverless platform would be the same, so users could log in to either school without an issue… BUT. We soon realised the cross-over between the two schools and the benefit of having the two schools together, and this far out weighted having them separate. Also, many customers just didn’t realise we did both Salesforce & AWS training. Also, we wanted to train in other clouds including  Certified CompTIA Linux+ & LPIC-1 Certification courses, would that be yet another separate site?

After helping run Serverless Conf and also the huge positive response to adding an AWS talk to London’s Calling, I realised the value of allowing our siloed communities to collaborate and learn best practice from all of us, across all the clouds. I’m a strong believer that multi-cloud approaches to architecting Cloud solutions will become more prevalent in the years to come, so lets start on the right foot…

So we made a decision…

Bye Bye A Force Guru, hello A Cloud Guru!

We decided to bring the Salesforce courses on A Force Guru into A Cloud Guru so we can teach the world to cloud in one ‘A Cloud Guru’ school.  Now our 250,000+ students can benefit from learning from each other, and learn industry best practice in a multi-cloud approach to learning cloud technologies.

 

http://ACloud.guru/

New Website

To celebrate the merger today we have launched the new look A Cloud Guru site, with the ability to see all the cloud courses in one place. All your course tracking and history remain exactly the same, so don’t worry about that. The only thing you may notice over the coming weeks is that the videos will be updated to the new A Cloud Guru branding. Now we are in a better position to teach the world to cloud 🙂

If you do find any bugs with the new website be sure to give us a shout, although I think most of them have been squashed now. You’ll also find a load more improvements to the platform including around tracking your progress! Let me know what you think!!

If you are interested in getting Salesforce Administrator Certified check out my latest course packed full of best practice and focused on giving you the training you need to pass the Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam!

Thanks so much to the 1000s of students who have supported A Force Guru over the past couple of months, I hope we continue our massive growth in cloud training!

 

Get Salesforce Certified

 

General

The Power of One: The best reporting trick of all time!

I had the honour of speaking at the Salesforce World Tour this year with the amazing Stefanie Bialas. She showed us the power of “The Power of One”, this is her blog on really how powerful it is!

Superpower Salesforce with the Power of One

Yeaahh, you’ve managed to build some excellent reports monitoring the pipeline of your company or also enabling marketing to contact all your prospects in the DB. And suddenly someone comes along and asks “How many opportunities do we actually have in the pipeline? The record count seems way to high” or “That’s awesome, now I can contact all our prospects. How many companies do we actually contacts?”. So how to address this in order to answer those questions?

You’ve probably noticed by then that the record count for reports like Opportunities with Products or Contacts and Accounts count the total number of child records associated with the parent record. So for opportunities, this is, for example, the sum of each product line item. Or a number of contacts associated with each account. How can you do this now to have a record count of the parent record, counting every record only ones? The answer is, use the Power of One!

Simply described the Power of One is a custom formula which you best create on each object and holds simply the value 1. When you sum it up in a report, 1 will be the result for each line item.
Here now a step by step guide helping you to setup the Power of One. I am taking the account and contact example to demonstrate this here but this works in the same way for all the other objects.
Go to your setup menu and select the object you’d like to count each record separately of. Create a new field:

 

For Step 2, fill in a name for your newly created field in “Field Label”. With tab, a field name will be created automatically. Number is what you should select as formula return type with zero decimals.

With next you will go to step 3. Now you get to write your formula which will be used to calculate the value you’d like to have displayed in your newly created field. Think again of what the purpose of this field is, we simply want to count the parent record only ones within our reports. And therefore all you need to insert into the formula canvas is 1 as a number:

That was easy, wasn’t it? Now save your newly created field and test it out. For the test go to your report tab and select for our example here “Contacts and Accounts” as a report type.  As usual first select the records you want to look at, then group the account field. Now your report will look like this:

As you can see the record count next to each account name counts the number of contacts associated with each account. That’s great to tell how many contacts we will have and can contact, but we won’t be able to answer the question of our Marketing Director how many companies we are contacting this way. Now your newly created superpower formula comes into place. Add it from the side panel with the quick find and drop it onto your report builder. Hoover over your field to open up the menu for the field and select “Summarize This Field”. You will get a window as shown below:

Check the checkbox “Sum” and click on apply. Now save and run your report to see the magic. When you scroll to the very bottom of your page you will now see two numbers. One being the classic record count as we know it, in this case counting each contact held in the report. And a second one which is the SUM of the Power of One for each individual account record. This number is logically lower (or the same) than the total count of the child records and gives you the total of accounts in your report. Yeeaahh!

Now share this with your manager and make yourself a well-deserved coffee.

Stefanie Bialas | ステファニ ビアラス
@schdaephyie

Marketing Operations Europe | NTT Europe

 

 

 

Slides from the World Tour London:

General, Videos

Time for a tech implant?

A couple of weeks ago I was at CeBIT one of “the largest computer expo’s in the world”. At its height during the dot-com boom around 800,000 people would descend to Hanover in Germany to see the latest tech. Since then things have changed and people generally get their dose of tech via the internet rather than going to big tech events so now CeBIT has reduced to around 300,000 people.

Anyone for an Alexa implant?

Salesforce was there in full force running their German Salesforce World Tour, BUT in one of the adjoining rooms, there was a stand where you could get a RFID chip injected … yes injected! into your hand, so you could unlock your phone with a wave of your hand, or even unlock your front door? (check out the video above!)

Yes, this isn’t new but what was interesting to me was that there was a steady stream of people wanting this done to them. It’s interesting to see how attitudes to tech have changed over the years and how something in the 80s was a thing of horror is now becoming more acceptable…

General, Videos

The Future of Salesforce Lightning

So Monday night was a big night! We had none other than Mike Rosenbaum (@mike945778) who is in charge of the Salesforce platform including Sales, Service and Lightning. We asked him a load of questions that the community had come up with and here are some of his answers. I’ll be putting the full video up shortly:

  • Performance; We had a lot of questions around Lightning performance, Mike said that for the forthcoming release all Lightning developers at Salesforce have been working on performance and you will see big improvements!
  • Components Roadmap; Mike has committed to releasing the component roadmap so developers are not developing components that Salesforce is as well! (makes sense!)
  • Next release feature (Safe Harbor): Declarative component visibility; I’ve been waiting for this! and Mike announced it’s coming out in the next release! This puts page layouts in the dark! Think of being able to declaratively change which components appear on the layout based on the data on the record you are viewing! This is one of my “Lightning Game changer” features that I spoke about at the Sydney user group.
  • New Report builder; The next release will see a new Lightning Report Builder! which is much much better and more usable. But also with a focus on general users being able to create reports rather than being siloed in a particular team etc.
  • More Wizards / Setup Flows; At the moment there are around 20 of these wizards but Mike is expecting there to be a load more to make it easier to setup things like single sign on, cloud console etc
  • Classic is not going way; There is no secret date when the classic UI is going to be switched off. Although he did say that he maybe switching it on for all Salesforce employees in their own Salesforce org 🙂

Mike would love your feedback! Just tweet him at @mike945778 (he even said why his twitter has the crazy number)

https://twitter.com/Salesforce_Tom/status/848952112574758912

 

It was Salesforce Developer evangelist John Stevenson’s birthday as well but he didn’t say a word until the very end of the evening!! Now that’s dedication to the job.

General

S-Controls are coming back to Salesforce!

Salesforce has announced that S-Controls are coming back to Salesforce classic. For those who don’t know what S-Controls are, they were the technology before VisualForce and allowed you to create webpages and use the Salesforce JavaScript APIs to communicate with Salesforce (hence the S in S-Controls). Around 10 years ago Salesforce stopped Salesforce customers from creating new S-Controls as VisualForce had replaced the need for S-Controls, but I still find S-Controls in customers orgs. You can still edit and make changes too… well that was until this announcement!

Why are Salesforce re-enabling S-Controls?

It’s all due to Lighting! Lightning is a JavaScript framework and by bringing back S-Controls, Salesforce will allow developers to develop JavaScript based Lightning apps directly in Salesforce classic without the need of VisualForce. S-Controls are much lighter than VisualForce so you can illuminate the need for an Apex controller or even VisualForce markup! It also means new developers coming to the platform with a client who is still using the Classic UI can skip learning VisualForce/Apex and jump straight into the JavaScript world that is Lightning & S-Controls.

New ‘Add Lightning Component’ Button

New ‘Add Lightning Component’ Button

So Salesforce as expanded the S-Control functionality to allow you to easily add Lightning Components into your S-Control using the ‘Add Lightning Component’ Button (see pic).

Adoption, Adoption, Adoption

I think also another reason for re-enabling S-Controls is to allow developers & businesses a softer introduction into Lightning components & development. Lightning components/apps can be created directly in the Classic UI using S-Controls or just using regular old JavaScript. It also means that those orgs still using S-Controls can refactor the controls into Lightning components/apps more quickly without the need for VisualForce.

Click here for some AWESOME examples!!

+

Yes, well I couldn’t resist! 🙂 S-Controls have been consigned to history and now with Lightning replacing VisualForce there is NO CHANCE S-Controls will see the light of day again.

So in conclusion, I think it makes a lot of sense it. Let’s make S-Controls great again! 😉

General, News

New European Salesforce MVPs

Twice a year Salesforce looks for worthy people to become Salesforce MVPs. MVPs are people from the community that have demonstrated Salesforce expertise, leadership, responsiveness, and advocacy and with around 160 worldwide and it’s a growing group! There are currently around 160 MVPs worldwide and I was lucky enough to become an MVP back in January 2012, it is always an honour to be renewed in such an amazing group of people. The platform and associated products in Salesforce are so large now it’s impossible to know it all, knowing that there are guru’s around the globe focused in their own specialisation is awesome.

Salesforce has a rigorous process for evaluating MVPs, it starts first with someone nominating a potential MVP, anyone can do this here when the nominations open. Information is compiled and reviewed by a number of different teams within Salesforce as well as existing Salesforce MVPs before awarding with new MVPs or renewals. The MVP only lasts one year and if have kept up with the core tenants of being an MVP (Expertise, Leadership, Responsiveness, and advocacy) then you may be renewed for another year.

The New European MVPs!

What makes me most excited is seeing new MVPs appearing in Europe. Not to mention existing MVPs being renewed which includes myself, Jodi WagnerAgustina GarcíaAlex TennantChris EdwardsChristopher LewisFabien TaillonJoshua HoskinsKeir BowdenMichael GillMohamed El MoussaouiPhil WaltonSamuel De RyckeSimon Goodyear.

The full list can be found here.

Sergey Erlikh (@sergeyer)

Sergey Erlikh

Twitter: @sergeyer
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sergeyerlikh/

Based in Amstelveen noord, Netherlands Sergey is our first European Non-Profit MVP!!! and also co-leader of The Netherlands Salesforce nonprofit user.

Louise Lockie (@LouiseLockie)

Louise Lockie

Twitter: @LouiseLockie
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/louise-lockie-a8250115/
Website: louiselockie.blogspot.co.uk

Louise runs the Women in Tech user group in London and has talked at a number of Salesforce events including London’s Calling this year. Checkout her talk on Tackling the “We’ve always done it this way”.

Fabrice Cathala (@fcathala)

Fabrice Cathala

Twitter: @fcathala
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fcathala/
Website: saas-components.com

Fabrice is a Technical Architect working for CLOUT! His blog is filled with great advice on Salesforce Architecture and he also presented at London’s Calling on ‘Migrating to Lightning

Sunil Sarilla

Sunil Sarilla

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sunil-sarilla-4a49533/
Success: https://success.salesforce.com/profile?u=0053000000AJ82FAAT

Currently Ranked 5th in Success for answering Salesforce answers he has answered 11,885 questions so far! Based in London as well? I think but I’ve never met him, so hopefully we will meet soon!

Dreamforce, General, News

My 2016 Salesforce year in review

This time last year I don’t think I could ever have imagined that I would have the time to write a blog post. It was our first London’s Calling with event which involved huge amounts of work, guides to create, banners to be printed, sponsors to coral, bags to stuff, menus to choose, finances to manage, t-shirt to design. We were all maxed out! but the largest community-led event for Salesforce Professionals is back bigger than ever on Feb 10th! (well last year anyway).

What I’m most excited about for this year is our keynote speaker. Those eagle-eyed of you may have spotted some clues around the place. I’m really hoping that they go down well as it’s a little bit different than last year, but I’m staying tight-lipped until we announce… tomorrow! 🙂

For me, LC2017 will be a change in direction for me. But I have to say 2016 was although frustrating on a number of different fronts, the Salesforce front was really quite fun 🙂

My 2016 in Salesforce

Well, I think 2016 was quite an epic year all in all. My main theme for 2016 was vegetables so hopefully, people saw that 🙂 and somehow I found some room to be trustee of a theatre company & get married?!

User groups from London to Sydney & New Zealand!

We had 7 user groups in London at the beginning of the year…

.. and in 2016 another was born. The Pardot user group:

I managed to connect with community members across the globe talking at the Sydney user group, and here’s a pic from the Auckland user group:

Our London Admin user group had its 2yr old birthday!

We had #TrailheadDX Live!!

Salesforce meets AWS

Salesforce announced that it was investing $800m into AWS and moving its core platform over to AWS and with AWS setting up a new London region this is going to be huge. The future is Serverless, in my opinion, and we have Ryan Kronenberg talking all about serverless technology & AWS at London’s Calling.

London World Tour

I spoke on Securing your Salesforce org from your employees and also a talk on how I thought people were missing the point on Salesforce Connect. As well as helping out at the trailhead zone.

and had some great feedback… I did say my 2016 theme was vegetables! Did anyone else spot them?

Also… there was a Star Wars invasion at the London World Tour, thank’s Phil!!

London’s Calling

We ran the first and largest Salesforce community event in Europe! It made some of us… well quite strange… 🙂

 

 

Dreamforce

Had an epic time at Dreamforce. This year Salesforce went “Trailhead all in” with 170,000 attendees!! I did two talks “Admin’s Guide to Developer Console” and “Salesforce Connect custom adapters”, although bizarrely after getting one of the highest session scores for the dev talk Salesforce has berried the talk video? hmm… maybe my talk was a little to radical 🙂

But The Admin’s Guide to developer console talk went down equally as well:

I helped out at the Security Expert booth and as I walked up to it what did I see but Ben Edwards SF Tools, if you haven’t seen them check them out!

At the awesome people party I had a caricature created of me 🙂

Was one of the presenters at the Dreamforce SMB DemoJam:

Yes, a grew a tail! Maybe I had been hanging out in the Trailhead zone too long? 🙂

MidWest Dreamin

I had the honour of running the DemoJam at MidWest Dreamin. Was great fun! and we’re doing it again at London’s Calling with 13 sponsors!

Salesforce year in review

As Salesforce comes to its year-end the company has continued its growth up 25%. But it’s interesting to see over the past year or so Salesforce has really started looking at vertical growth through the finance cloud and health cloud offerings. It’s a nice start and hopefully if these are successful more will follow, but still no-where near SAPs 25 odd verticals. Salesforce has also focused its Health cloud around patient records but it will be interesting to see how this develops in 2017.

AI & Automation

I believe we are now in the age of automation. The landscape is changing and Salesforce is pushing that envelope around automation and AI for companies. Salesforce’s acquisitions into AI I think are a great step forward. But with AI comes collaboration of data to allow machine learning so for me there are still hurdles to overcome around privacy as well as cost.

Summary

It’s been a fun year, including all the other things I got up too, getting married, honeymoon and not to mention the charity work I’ve been doing as trustee of Baseless Fabric Theatre.

But, 2017 sees a change in direction for me which I’m announcing at London’s Calling on the 10th Feb. Onwards and upwards. Let’s make 2017 great again 😉

 

Events, General, Videos

Event Financing and Sponsorship, learning the hard way

We had no money, no experience running tech events, no speakers and 4 months to get the event up and running. But before reality set in we were sitting on a pier in San Francisco just before Dreamforce 2015 thinking it would be oh so easy!… or maybe it was the champagne that was talking?

I was invited to do a talk on Financing and sponsorship. I had only just got off the plane from New Zealand so I am a little jetlagged but hopefully, it’s useful for other people running tech events. Thanks to the rest of the winning LC2016 team: Jodi, Simon and Kerry

francis-tech-speaker

General

Why isn’t this Salesforce Working!? #Dreamforce Sessions

Sometimes when you work with Salesforce it can make you mad! But there is one part of Salesforce that Admin’s seem to avoid which can REALLY help you out. I can understand why they avoid it, but I think it’s one of the most useful parts of Salesforce. Salesforce is on a continual mission to reduce code and increase declarative development, but with that comes added complexities. Why didn’t my workflow or process run? Why did I update an account only to get an error from a completely different object?! In my Dreamforce session “An Admin’s Guide to the Developer Console” I lift the lid on what Salesforce is doing under the hood and how you can see what Salesforce is doing! Want to come along? I did this talk in London as a practice and this was the response: Read more

General

Serverless Technology is growing & Salesforce is joining up

The boasting of Dev & network operations has changed. They ask the question “How many servers do you have?” looking for an answer to see if they manage more servers than the other guy. The question has stayed the same, but the response has been turned on its head. Now if you are managing zero servers, you are some genius. This is the birth of Serverless and maybe the end of for physical and virtual servers for all of us (except for those in data centres).

Salesforce’s jump on to the AWS bandwagon

Back in May Salesforce announced that it had selected Amazon AWS as their preferred public cloud infrastructure provider. For me, this event was incredibly exciting as I work in both the Salesforce and AWS worlds (in fact as well as my Salesforce certifications I’m also an AWS Certifed Architect). They said this was to aid their international expansion at the launch, for their core services including Sales, Service, App Cloud, Community Cloud and Analytics cloud. Salesforce isn’t new to AWS; they have Heroku, Marketing Cloud Social Studio and SalesforceIQ all running on AWS (although mostly through acquisition). But the bread and butter of Salesforce is its core Force.com platform that powers the Sales and Service Clouds. This platform is all currently hosted in traditional data centres on their hardware and infrastructure. But now based on their statement, I’m thinking they are looking at moving to Serverless!

Salesforce invented “Platform as a Service.”

Read more