eCommerce News New Zealand logo
The latest digital commerce news for Kiwi businesses
Story image

The secret sauce that makes Salesforce magic

By Sean Mitchell
Mon 10 Oct 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Salesforce is the undisputed leader in CRM and has branched into many other business software categories in recent years.

One of the keys to their approach has been allowing non-developers to make changes to the system or even develop new apps within Salesforce.

Clearly, this is carefully managed using permissions so that only those with the right knowledge and data access can make changes. The organisation's Salesforce administrator has full control in this area.

What is exceptional about this approach is that no longer do you need a serious developer to create a minor change, create a new report or a dashboard. Instead somebody much closer the business and those using the system everyday can do it.

There is an incredible arsenal of free online training tools to upskill people; we explain the tools here.

Ryan Ellis, Vice President of Product Management - Platform explained that there are "low code or even no code" options for business users and serious tools for coders too.

He heads up the teams that have reinvented these tools.

The basic building blocks

Using the ‘Objects & Fields' tool, you can make changes to the fields in each of the Apps. This could just be changing the label of a field, adding a new field or changing its type.

The last of which can be really handy to change a field from just text entry to a drop down list. It's a great time-saver for users and could help with data entry consistency.

In the same tool, you can create whole new databases (Salesforce calls these objects and geeks call these tables). These new databases could become separate tools, for which you'd need to set up an interface or they could be connected to one of the existing databases that come with your subscription.

There is also a visual version of the ‘Objects & Fields' tool which is called ‘Schema Builder'.

This is very useful for connecting two different databases together. For example, contacts to an account. Although that example is already set up for clients that choose the Sales Cloud version of Salesforce.

The visual side

Three years ago they introduced a new technology called Lightning. It's both a new modern & much cleaner user interface, plus a new development framework underpinning it.

The company realised that more and more of their users wanted mobile experiences and Lightning is designed for a ‘mobile first' approach to business.

After you've set up the basic database underpinnings of your tool, then you'll move over to the ‘Lightning App Builder' tool. It's a visual tool that you drag and drop the interface elements around to design your users experience.

It automatically handles everything from then on to enable full rich mobile and desktop user experiences.

More and more of Salesforce's own Apps are being moved from the original ‘Classic' development environment to the new ‘Lightning' technologies as I write this.

Those organisations that have already built or customised their tools for ‘Classic" have plenty of reasons to redesign them including:

  • Easy mobile device support.
  • A cleaner & faster user experience.
  • Amazing new calendar integration (enabling almost anything to be visually shown in your calendar).
  • Deep Office 365 or Gmail integration.
  • Support for offline or low signal usage.

All of these and any new advancements from now on are only available for ‘Lightning'. At last week's annual Salesforce conference Dreamforce, almost all of the hundreds of third-party tools for the platform were ‘Lightning' ready.

Once you've got your App setup and designed, then comes the real magic. You use a tool called ‘Process Builder' to make your app intelligent.

With it, you can set up monitoring of fields and databases, which then can trigger a huge number of actions.

For example, if a field gets left empty or if a discount percentage is too high you can then trigger an action like a new task being created for a team member or an email being sent.

Process builder and the real-time event processing engine called Thunder behind it handled over 30 billion decisions for clients last month.

It's genuinely where you turn a database into an amazingly intelligent business tool.

For the developers

Serious coders aren't left out of this picture either with backend & frontend coding tools and seriously good APIs.

Also, time-saving libraries full of prebaked components cover many common things like field validation, disability support and common external integrations.

Salesforce also owns an incredible technology called Heroku. It's a separate part of the platform which is incredibly popular with developers. It's a ‘polyglot' platform, which means that it can run lots of different types of coding languages together. For example, Java, Ruby, Scala, etc.

It then allows all of these to hook back into Salesforce to interact with data.

This enables a large enterprise who's invested heavily in their eCommerce platform to change to Salesforce without having to start again with their customer facing systems.

So you can see that Ellis and his colleagues in the platform teams have done an incredible job of making Salesforce one of the most customisable and development friendly enterprise platforms available.

Although before starting a major development project, organisations would be best served having a hunt through Salesforce's App Exchange, where third party tools to solve almost any requirement are conveniently stored. A large number of which are free and installed easily

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cyber resilience
NZ’s Cyber Resilience Framework to be evolving and potentially automated
The government's already putting $2.4 million into the Cyber Resilience Framework in its initial stages, what is it and why is it important?
Story image
CDC hyperscale data centres now open in New Zealand
CDC Data Centres (CDC) says two new, state-of-the-art hyperscale data centres are now open for business in Auckland.
Story image
CM Group recognised as Best Overall MarTech Company
MarTech Breakthrough has ranked CM Group as the Best Overall MarTech Company for the third year running and Cheetah Digital as Best Overall Marketing Campaign Management Solution.
Story image
Contact Centre
Treasure Data launches new customer experience functionality
Treasure Data has introduced a new strategic vision and product positioning for Customer Data Cloud, reflecting the company's focus.
Story image
NZ program recovers and recycles more than 177 tonnes of e-waste
The TechCollect NZ pilot program says its milestone of recovering and recycling more than 177 tonnes of ICT e-waste recognises the efforts of many.
Story image
OfficeMax NZ sees significant growth through Seismic partnership
OfficeMax New Zealand has announced it has seen a significant increase in customer and sales confidence as a result of Seismic’s digital enablement software.
Story image
BNZ launches first tap-on-phone point of sale app in NZ
Bank of New Zealand has launched BNZ Pay, an innovative mobile app for retailers that transforms an Android device into a contactless payment terminal. 
Story image
Freshworks integrates with Google's Business Messages
"The integration with Freshworks makes it fast and easy for businesses to have conversations with their customers within the Google apps."
Story image
Financial results
Facebook NZ financial report reveals notable revenue increase
Revenue from contracts with customers increased by $NZD 1,089,292 compared to 2020's figures.
Story image
Google Cloud
Google Cloud to open first cloud region in NZ - among others
Google Cloud has announced plans to bring three new cloud regions, one each in New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand.
Story image
Digital key for smart investment in public infrastructure for NZ cities
Major public infrastructure projects can better manage risks of cost overruns and delays if they deploy data and digital tools at the earliest planning stages.
Story image
Google NZ numbers show strong comprehensive profit increase
The latest financial report from Google New Zealand Limited has revealed an increase in total comprehensive profit of over $NZD 7 million.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Oracle unveils AI-powered application to automate sales
Oracle has unveiled the next generation of Fusion Sales, an application that automates sales and identifies the opportunities worth pursuing.
Story image
InternetNZ appoints new chief executive. Will take over in October
InternetNZ has announced the appointment of its new chief executive, with Vivien Maidaborn taking over the role from interim chief Andrew Cushen in October.
Story image
Customer experience
BillingPlatform introduces new enhancements to revenue management services
Some of the new developments include hosted payment pages, and new and updated connectors to Salesforce, NetSuite, OneSource, Avalara and other enterprise systems.
Story image
Forter and ShopBack enhance partnership to further prevent fraud
Forter and ShopBack have enhanced their partnership with the addition of better eCommerce security solutions for customers.
Story image
New Zealand
Research finds Kiwis prefer real backdrops in video calls
New research from Natural Paint Co. has found that 74% of Kiwis prefer seeing a natural background behind people during video meetings.
Story image
Comedy legend Jimeoin fronts Epson advertising campaign in NZ and Australia
According to Epson the company’s EcoTank models now account for 74% of all printers sold in the category in New Zealand, alone.
Story image
Marketplacer and Intelligent Reach to help retailers sell online
Intelligent Reach can now support Marketplacer marketplaces that want to sell their products through other places, such as Google and Facebook, eBay and Amazon.
Story image
KICKS CREW selects Forter to help scale global eCommerce operations
KICKS CREW has selected Forter to help scale its global digital commerce operations.
Story image
Cisco NZ revenue declines by over $18.5 million - report
Cisco NZ has released its latest financial report, showing the company's total revenue has declined by more than $18.5 million year-over-year.
Story image
Tranxactor Group to build customer loyalty with Oracle
Tranxactor has chosen Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with Enterprise Database Service to allow it to provide brands with immersive customer engagement and loyalty programs.
Story image
IBM NZ sees significant revenue increase in latest report
IBM NZ has posted revenue of $172,449,000 for the financial year, according to its latest report, a year-over-year increase of over $47.5 million compared to $124,904,000 in 2020.
Story image
9 in 10 retailers prepared for economic challenges this year
Some 9 in 10 retailers (86%) are prepared for continued inflation, higher interest rates and potentially lower consumer spending, according to new research.
Story image
SAS is a leader in anti-money laundering - Forrester
The latest Forrester report revealed that SAS received the highest score in the anti-money laundering category of 15 vendors.
Story image
Microsoft and Auckland Transport announce new cloud agreement
Auckland Transport (AT) and Microsoft have announced a new cloud agreement aimed at promoting innovation, reducing costs and improving sustainability in transport services.
Story image
OpenText launches new solutions on Salesforce AppExchange
Included in this latest launch is OpenText Core Content, a Content Services platform that customers can leverage to effectively manage their content.
Story image
Social Media
ActiveCampaign reveals consumers seek trusthworthy content
Consumers will engage with new brands across all channels, including online, in-store and social media, as long as the content is relevant and trustworthy.
Story image
Visa launches Eco Benefits solutions in Australia and NZ
Eco Benefits is a suite of sustainability-focused solutions that will help Visa cardholders better understand the environmental impact of their payments.
Story image
Tablets & laptops
Chromebook and tablet shipments see another rapid decline for the year
According to research from Canalys PC Analysis, Chromebook and tablet shipments have fallen for the fourth quarter in a row for Q2 of 2022.
Story image
Commerce Commission
The NZ TCF endorses move by ComCom to promote TDR dispute scheme
The New Zealand Telecommunications Forum has welcomed the move by the Commerce Commission to further promote customers' access to the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution Scheme (TDR).
Story image
Facial recognition
Māori data specialists not consulted on facial recognition technology - data sovereignty expert
Māori data specialists are accusing the government of ignoring them while going ahead and expanding the reach of facial recognition technology.
Story image
Airwallex launches an online payments app on Shopify
Airwallex has launched an online payments app on Shopify, allowing merchants to integrate a gateway plugin on their online store to accept payments from their global customers.
Story image
Akamai research finds PayPal security measures utilised in new phishing scam
New research from Akamai has found that a new threat actor is parasitising benign WordPress sites to execute an extensive PayPal phishing scam.
Story image
eCommerce fraud increasing pressure on businesses margins
It is vital for businesses to maximise the value of every dollar by turning away as many fraudulent actors as possible without blocking good customers."
Story image
Infobip’s SMS and WhatsApp services are now available through Microsoft
Infobip has integrated its WhatsApp and SMS channels through Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Cyara rolls out comprehensive, automated chatbot feature
Cyara has unveiled new chatbot testing features with the latest release of Cyara Botium, creating a solution for comprehensive, automated chatbot testing and assurance.
Story image
Sitecore caters to modern marketing teams with CMS cloud launch
"Sitecore's move towards a composable SaaS offering for creating and delivering digital experiences is in line with what marketing teams are looking for.”
Story image
Remote Working
Mantel Group continues NZ expansion with Auckland office
"Our desire is to offer real understanding to our New Zealand clients, and help provide solutions that better their business.” 
Story image
Forrester names Pega a Leader in CRM Solutions 2022 report
Forrester Research has named Pega a Leader among 11 competitors in The Forrester Wave: Core CRM Solutions, Q3 2022 report.