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B2B Solution Architect: Commerce and Integrations

Salesforce B2B Solution Architect

I took and passed the Salesforce B2B Solution Architect exam last week. 🎉

What is the topic of this certification exam and curriculum, you might ask.

Salesforce B2B Commerce is a cloud-based platform that enables businesses to streamline their sales and operations processes while providing a seamless buying experience for their customers. The platform offers a range of features and functionality designed to help businesses of all sizes manage their sales operations effectively and efficiently.

One of the key features of Salesforce B2B Commerce is its ability to provide a personalized buying experience for customers. The platform allows businesses to create custom catalogs, pricing, and promotions for their customers, based on their unique needs and preferences. This personalized approach helps build stronger customer relationships and increase customer loyalty.

A Salesforce B2B Commerce solution also integrates a range of Salesforce products (a multi-cloud setup): The products that often come to play are:

  • Sales Cloud
  • Service Cloud
  • Revenue Cloud (CPQ and Billing)
  • Digital Experience
  • B2B Commerce Cloud
  • Marketing Cloud
  • Tableau
  • Einstein Capabilities
  • CPQ and B2B Commerce Connector
  • External System Integrations

These integrations enable businesses to create a seamless customer journey across multiple touchpoints, from initial lead generation to final purchase.

The exam was a fun exam that mainly consisted of scenario-based questions. The passing score is 58%, but don’t let that number fool you. Most of the questions are looking for a selection of 2 correct answers out of 4 choices. This makes passing more difficult compared to the classic one-choice out of possible alternatives method.

This post was originally made to LinkedIn August 1st, 2023.

Read the previous post: Datatable Component – Salesforce Screen Flow

Read the popular post: One Big Record-Triggered Flow or Multiple?

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Newsletter

What Can Flow-Builders Do With Pen and Paper?

I attended Southeast Dreamin’ last week. This was my fourth event in Atlanta. I cannot be sure; the dates are blurry at this point.

I presented last year and delivered a hands-on training session this year. I was scheduled to give a hands-on training long ago, but Southeast Dreamin’ got canceled that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I have been a fan of the event for a long time. The hands-on training sessions make this event very unique. There are things you cannot do in a 20 min or a 40 min session. Sometimes you need 1.5 – 2 hours to teach a topic in a certain way.

I have been trying to get a session approved that does not involve the participants looking at their notebook screens the whole time. I submitted a session proposal on Diagraming/Mapping last year, but it was not approved. I delivered a different version of that session at Florida Dreamin’: It could not be very interactive due to its limited duration (40 minutes).

Before this year, Southeast Dreamin’ was held at another hotel. This year it was moved to the Georgia Tech Conference Center and Hotel. I liked the location a lot. The hotel was good, and the area was pleasant for walking in. The expo room was suboptimal, but I will leave that to the sponsors to evaluate.

Architect Flow Solutions Session

I delivered a session titled Architect Flow Solutions. I had about 25 participants. I divided them into four subgroups. I brought large Post-its, flip-chart paper, and markers. I gave them scenarios and 20 minutes to talk with their team to design their solutions. They had approx. 3 minutes to present to the other groups. I prepared four scenarios but did not expect us to go through all of them. We completed two scenarios. It was a very interactive session. We debated the advantages and disadvantages of each solution without passing judgment.

Group 2 Solutioning

I truly enjoyed delivering this session. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Participants said they wanted more; they wanted longer.

Group 3 Diagramming

I am torn on whether I should attempt this on Zoom with breakout rooms because we need to be in one room to do this best. What do you think?

Group 4 Presenting

Result

I prepared a one-minute-long YouTube Short with the little clips I recorded in the session. I showed it to my daughter, and she said, “Where is the punchline?” Anyway, here it is if you want to see it:

https://youtube.com/shorts/w9FFiKwEJt8

Next, I have Midwest Dreamin’ coming in August: I will deliver a session titled Sometimes Later is Better; Async and Scheduled Flows.

I thank all Dreamin’ organizers, sponsors, speakers, volunteers, and participants.

This post was originally made to LinkedIn on July 6th, 2023.

Read the previous post: How to Build a Screen Flow to Complete Virtual Standup on Slack

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Flow

One Big Record-Triggered Flow or Multiple?

I will revisit one of the most popular debates on flow: Do we create one giant record-triggered flow or multiple flows? And should we use subflows?

Here is a little disclaimer: It depends. I’m not too fond of rigid rules, and I am not here claiming you are doing something wrong if you do things differently.

Now that I got that off my chest, I do have an opinion on the topic:

Asking the right question is very important. Is “How many flows should we build per object?” a good question? Generally, I don’t think so. We should ask ourselves: How can I build automation that does not waste system resources, is easily readable, and is easy to maintain?

My priority when I build my flows is that my build should not run unnecessary automation. My most important objective is not to trigger automation when it does not need to run.

In a complex Org, you quickly realize that yields multiple flows per object. When you look at the three tasks that can be performed in one big record-triggered flow, they rarely need to run all in the same scenario.

Now that I told you I heavily use my start element criteria, do I use the formula entry criteria or the line editor with AND/OR operators?

Here is my experience: I often see record-type usage in fairly complex Orgs. I’m not particularly eager to hardcode RecordType Ids in my start element criteria. I prefer to use DeveloperName or Name over Id. And these are only available in the formula editor. So I often end up using the formula entry criteria.

Some of these formulas get very big. But I will give you a simple example:

AND

({!$Record.RecordType.DeveloperName}=”Sales”,

NOT(ISBLANK({!$Record.ContactId})),

   OR(

ISPICKVAL({!$Record.Status},”Scheduled”),

ISPICKVAL({!$Record.Status},”Confirmed”)

      )

    )

 Now let’s get to the other popular topic: Subflows. I recently inherited work that another Salesforce partner did. They did a good job but used subflows in many of their flows. I found the outcome very hard to read and understand. The back-and-forth review left me confused and tired.

I only use subflows if I know I will reuse the logic in another flow.

This post was originally made to LinkedIn on June 19th, 2023.

Read the previous post: Emojis ❤️ and Dreamin’ Events 👌

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Video

Diagramming Salesforce Solutions – Matthew Morris – Video

Matthew Morris, Salesforce Innovation Director at Capgemini, presented about “Diagramming Salesforce Solutions” for the Jacksonville Florida Architects Trailblazer User Group on 10/13/2022.

I would like to thank Matthew Morris for this wonderful presentation. Please find the YouTube video and the presentation file in pdf format below.

This topic was presented originally by Matthew at London Calling 2022, the community-led event in the UK; therefore, I would like to give them a well-deserved shout-out as well.

Youtube video:

Presentation slides:

Enjoy

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The Importance of the Data Model

Hello folks,

I wrote this several times before:

If you want to attempt Actions and Related Records flows, you need to know the schema very well. This can be easily done with the schema builder in your Org.

There is another good way for reviewing the data model. The Architect’s site by Salesforce has the data model diagram posted for the most popular Clouds. You can go there and view and download the diagrams in pdf, png and Lucidchart format:

Click here for the Architect’s Site by Salesforce.

You can see the Sales Cloud example image from the Architect’s site above. Please click on the image to see a bigger version.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 06/27/2022.

Read the previous issue of the newsletter here.

Subscribe to the weekly educational Salesforce Flow Tips newsletter here.

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Advanced Topics & Resources

Hello folks,

Let’s talk about advanced topics around flow automation this week.

I want to highlight two sources of information that Salesforce recently published.

One of these resources is the blog post titled “Your Guide to Determining the Flow Running User and Its Execution Context” by Jennifer W. Lee.

It has been a mystery for many flow builders what context different flow types run. For example, if I create a record-triggered flow, can it update all records in my Org? What happens when I activate and run an event-triggered flow. All these questions have been answered in this blog post.

One interesting observation for me is the information that Jen published on screen flows. I built a few screen flows that run on public community (digital experience) pages, and even when I set the flow to run in system context without sharing, it would not see the related records in the Org it would need to see. So I would have to set up sharing rules to share the records I need in advance for the guest user to see. This phenomenon is explained in this blog post: The lookups in your screen flow do not run in the system context without sharing. Please read the blog post here.

Another source of information is the Architect’s guide to record-triggered automation. I should clarify and say that this has actually not been recently published. There was an earlier version of this page. This is not merely an update. The whole thing has been rewritten, and it is immensely more helpful than the previous version. There is good information for any level, but I would like to emphasize that some parts of the post are very advanced. Do not be alarmed if you don’t understand everything. This is expected.

If I had to highlight one point out of this document, it would have to be the use of formulas. There is an interesting bit of information, and it essentially says that the use of complex formulas does not scale well in high-volume flow execution scenarios.

This is the reason I often use a formula field and refer to it in my flow when I deal with a very complex formula. The best architectural solution will depend on the type of flow you are building, how often it will be executed, and how frequently the object records are pulled up and viewed in the Org.

I wanted to go into this topic also to emphasize this point: Capable flow builders are not that uncommon, and there are many great admins on the platform, but a flow builder who is very knowledgable on the platform’s capabilities and can harness both sides to come up with a great solution, is a rare gem. Read the architect’s guide here.

Recently published resources:

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 04/10/2022.

Read the previous issue of the newsletter here.

Read the next issue of the newsletter here.

Subscribe to the weekly educational Salesforce Flow Tips newsletter here.

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