I recently used the Ant Migration Tool for deployment and loved it compared to the slow Change Sets. The Ant Migration Tool is a Java/Ant-based command-line utility for moving metadata between a local directory and a Salesforce org. You can use it to deploy from any org to any other org, related or not, and it’s way faster than Change Sets.
Before you can use the Ant Migration Tool, Java JDK and Ant must be installed and configured correctly on your computer. If you already have JDK and Ant on your computer, you don’t need to install them, so first verify this from a command prompt.
If you don’t have Java JDK installed, follow these steps:
- Download JDK from https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html
- Click on JDK and note the installation path during the installation. My path was C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_201
- After installing JDK, verify the version by typing this command: java -version
If you don’t have Ant installed, follow these steps:
- Download Apache Ant version 1.6 or later from http://ant.apache.org/bindownload.cgi
- Extract the downloaded Zip to a directory that will be used as the Ant home. I extracted the Zip to D:\ANT_HOME
After installing both JDK and Ant, make sure you have these Environment Variables set:
- Add ANT_HOME and JAVA_HOME variables::
- Right-click “This PC” – Properties – Advanced System Setting
- Click Environment Variables
- Add 2 new Variables called ANT_HOME pointing to your Ant installation folder D:\ANT_HOME, and JAVA_HOME pointing to the JDK installation folder C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_201. Also, add these 2 folders to the Path variables as shown in the second screenshot.
It’s time to install the Ant Migration Tool itself:
- Grab the Zip file of the Spring 19 release from here: https://gs0.salesforce.com/dwnld/SfdcAnt/salesforce_ant_45.0.zip
- Extract the downloaded Zip to a directory that will be used as the Ant home. I extracted the Zip to D:\ANT_MIG_Tool
- That’s it! Check the extracted Zip, you should get this structure:
- And the sample Folder contains:
- The files build.properties and build.xml are 2 critical files. We will see about these in a while.
Let’s prepare the Ant Migration Tool!
- To start using the Ant Migration Tool, we should first decide about the Source org, which will be used to get the metadata from, and the Destination org, which will be used to deploy the metadata to, from the Source org.
- The Source / Destination orgs can be of any edition (Developer, Production, Sandbox…), and they can indeed be not related at all
- Once you know the Source org, go to this tool https://packagebuilder.herokuapp.com/ to retrieve the manifest file package.xml. This file is an XML file that defines the metadata of the org.
- Specify the org type (Production or Sandbox), then click on LOGIN TO SALESFORCE WITH OAUTH, then enter your username and password.
- In my case, the Source org is a Developer org with this username below:
- Click on Allow access to give access to the Package Builder tool for it to get the Metadata manifest package.xml file
- Now choose the components you want, in my case, I will get all the components, excluding the managed ones, Then click on GET COMPONENTS
- Once you have the xml file displayed in the browser, select all its content, and copy it… then save it in a file named package.xml. If I can’t save an xml file directly from the browser, I save it as a txt file, then rename it using the “ren” windows command: ren package.xml.txt package.xml. This will rename the file from a txt extension to an xml one.
- Open the package.xml file using your preferred editor (I use VS Code to open my xml files), and go through it. You will notice that it is simply an XML file that contains tags corresponding to the different metadata components, just like when you choose components in a Change Set, but this is actually much faster! There is UI, and no need to wait 10 mins for the page to load!
- The type of the component is inside the name tag, for example
CustomApplication represents the list of all custom Apps components. MatchingRule represents the list of all Matching Rules components. You can choose to exclude all of the components of type MatchingRule by deleting the whole tag between <type>…</type> , including the corresponding opening and closing tags<type> and </type>. Also, you can delete individual components by deleting members tags instead and keeping the type and the name tags.
Here is the MatchingRule set of components between the <types> tag:
<types> <members>Account.Standard_Account_Match_Rule_v1_0</members> <members>Contact.Standard_Contact_Match_Rule_v1_1</members> <members>Lead.Standard_Lead_Match_Rule_v1_0</members> <name>MatchingRule</name> </types>
- Now, specify what metadata you want to keep – for example, in my case, I just want to deploy a custom App with its related metadata.
- So, here is my final package.xml file that only includes what I want to retrieve
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <Package xmlns="http://soap.sforce.com/2006/04/metadata"> <types> <members>CourseRegistrationHelper</members> <members>CourseRegistrationHelperTest</members> <members>CourseRegistrationTriggerHandler</members> <members>FlowClass</members> <members>FlowClassTest</members> <members>StudentHandler</members> <members>StudentHelper</members> <members>StudentHelperTest</members> <name>ApexClass</name> </types> <types> <members>CourseRegistrationTrigger</members> <members>StudentTrigger</members> <name>ApexTrigger</name> </types> <types> <members>LOGO</members> <name>ContentAsset</name> </types> <types> <members>College_Cloud</members> <name>CustomApplication</name> </types> <types> <members>Building__c.Description__c</members> <members>Classroom__c.Building__c</members> <members>Contact.Languages__c</members> <members>Contact.Level__c</members> <members>Course_Registration__c.Course__c</members> <members>Course_Registration__c.Student__c</members> <members>Course__c.Classroom__c</members> <members>Course__c.Name__c</members> <members>Course__c.Number_of_Students__c</members> <members>Student__c.Active__c</members> <members>Student__c.Date_of_Birth__c</members> <members>Student__c.Email__c</members> <members>Student__c.First_Last_Email__c</members> <members>Student__c.First_Name__c</members> <members>Student__c.Gender__c</members> <members>Student__c.Last_Name__c</members> <members>Student__c.Mailing_City__c</members> <members>Student__c.Mailing_Country__c</members> <members>Student__c.Mailing_Postal_Code__c</members> <members>Student__c.Mailing_Province__c</members> <members>Student__c.Mailing_Street_2__c</members> <members>Student__c.Mailing_Street__c</members> <members>Student__c.Phone__c</members> <members>Student__c.Summary__c</members> <name>CustomField</name> </types> <types> <members>Building__c</members> <members>Classroom__c</members> <members>Course_Registration__c</members> <members>Course__c</members> <members>Student__c</members> <name>CustomObject</name> </types> <types> <members>Building__c</members> <members>Classroom__c</members> <members>Course_Registration__c</members> <members>Course__c</members> <members>Student__c</members> <name>CustomTab</name> </types> <types> <members>College_Cloud_UtilityBar</members> <name>FlexiPage</name> </types> <types> <members>Building_Flow_calling_Apex_Class-1</members> <members>Building_Flow_calling_Apex_Class-2</members> <members>Building_Flow_calling_Apex_Class-3</members> <name>Flow</name> </types> <types> <members>Building_Flow_calling_Apex_Class</members> <name>FlowDefinition</name> </types> <types> <members>Building__c-Building Layout</members> <members>Classroom__c-Classroom Layout</members> <members>Course_Registration__c-Course Registration Layout</members> <members>Course__c-Course Layout</members> <members>Student__c-Student Layout</members> <name>Layout</name> </types> <types> <members>Building__c.All</members> <members>Classroom__c.All</members> <members>Course_Registration__c.All</members> <members>Course__c.All</members> <members>Student__c.All</members> <name>ListView</name> </types> <types> <members>Building__c.Flow_calling_Apes</members> <name>QuickAction</name> </types> <version>43.0</version> </Package>
- Create a folder that clearly specifies the project in the D:\AND_MIG_Tool folder. In my case, I created a folder called PD2__Shark. This folder will be used to retrieve metadata from the PD2 org, and deploy to another org called Shark – which is a Trailhead Playground org 😀
- Inside this Folder, create another Folder called codepkg
- Copy the package.xml file in this folder D:\ANT_MIG_Tool\PD2__Shark\codepkg
- Copy the 2 files build.properties and build.xml from the sample Folder to the Folder D:\ANT_MIG_Tool\PD2__Shark. We will rely on when retrieving and deploying the metadata
- Open the build.properties file, and replace as per the below:
- sf.username is the username of the Source org, sf.password is the password followed by the Token, and sf.serverurl depends on whether the Source is a Production (or Developer) edition or a Sandbox.
Let’s use the Ant Migration Tool!
- Now, everything is set to retrieve the actual metadata from the source org:
- package.xml is ready
- build.properties is modified with the source org credentials
- The folder structure is built
- Open Command Prompt, and go to the project folder D:\ANT_MIG_Tool\PD2__Shark
- Issue the command
- This will fetch the metadata from the source org, and add them to the folder D:\ANT_MIG_Tool\PD2__Shark\codepkg
- Now, to deploy this metadata to the Destination org, we need to change the credentials in the build.properties file. We need to replace the username / password+token and server URL with the right Destination values
- Issue the command: ant deployCodeCheckOnly
- This will Validate the deployment without actually deploying it on the Destination org. Just like your standard Change Set validation. In fact, you can see the validation result on the Destination org as well on the Command Prompt
- Finally, to deploy the components, we will issue the command:
Here is a list of all commands that can be used with Ant:
Retrieve all the items of a particular metadata type
Retrieve an unpackaged set of metadata from your org
Retrieve metadata for all the packages specified under packageNames
Deploy the unpackaged set of metadata retrieved with retrieveUnpackaged and run tests in this organization’s namespace only
Deploy a zip of metadata files to the org
Upload the contents of the “codepkg” directory, running the tests for just 1 class
Shows deploying code with no TestLevel sepcified
Shows deploying code and running tests only within the org namespace
Shows removing code
Retrieve the contents listed in the file codepkg/package.xml into the codepkg directory
Shows check only; never actually saves to the server
Shows quick deployment of recent validation.
Shows cancel deployment of deploy request either pending or in progress
Retrieve the information of all items of a particular metadata type
Retrieve the information on all supported metadata type
Finally, here is the Ant Migration Tool implementation Guide from Salesforce.
Great News! I just finished recording and uploading the Complete Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I Course on Udemy.
This is a 14-hour course that I have designed and built to be 100% aligned with the official exam Study Guide of the Spring 17 Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I release, and I will be updating it on each subsequent release if necessary. I am currently running a promo during July with a heavy discount on this course. Just click on this LINK to access the discount course page.
The official Study Guide has the following Sections, and each Section has many Topics within it:
- Salesforce Fundamentals – 10%
- Data Modeling and Management – 12%
- Logic and Process Automation – 46%
- User Interface – 10%
- Testing – 12%
- Debug and Deployment Tools – 10%
Each topic mentioned in the Study Guide under each Section above is covered in this course, and each topic has at least a video lecture that is divided into a presentation, and a demo on the Salesforce environment. Some topic have up to 5 lectures, like the SOQL, SOSL and DML topic that is under Section 3!
I am sharing all the slides in PDF so that you could download them and read them offline, and I am also sharing a lot of reference links in each lecture. These reference include links to Trailhead modules, links to the sources I have used to build the slides, links to official Salesforce documentation related to the topic, and links to official Salesforce guides and eBooks.
This course also contains more than 100 quiz questions, none of them are from dumps. I HATE dumps, I have never used them in my IT certifications, and I don’t want you to pass this exam based on a bunch of questions from dumps! The questions in this exam are 100% dump free, and they are all designed based on the course content and on real-life scenarios.
Finally, I have been there, I spent hours and hours preparing for this exam, I dissected each and every topic of the Study Guide, and took tons of notes, just like I did when preparing for my other certifications. I guarantee that after completing this course, and after practicing on the Salesforce environment, you will pass this exam, and you will become Salesforce Platform Developer I Certified!
- By default, when you convert a Lead to an Opportunity, an Opportunity gets generated.
- You can stop the creation of an opportunity by checking the checkbox “Do not create a new opportunity upon conversion”
- This Tip is to allow users to have a Button that converts Leads without creating an Opportunity
- On the Lead Object, on the Lead Conversion page, create a new Button “Convert without Opportunity”
- This Button will automatically check the box “Do not create a new opportunity upon conversion”
Get the default Lead conversion URL by opening a Lead and clicking on “Convert” Button
- Copy the URL part after the domain name:
- Go to the Lead Object page: Setup | Build | Customize | Leads | Buttons, Links, and Actions – click on new Button
Fill as per the below
- Note that we changed the actual ID of the Lead with the Merge Field “Lead ID”
- We have also added “&nooppti=1” after the second Lead ID Merge Field. This is the argument that automatically checks the checkbox
- Save and add the Button to the Page Layout (new buttons are not automatically added to the page layout)
Open a Lead, and click on “Convert without Opportunity”, you will get the checkbox “Do not create a new opportunity upon conversion” checked by default:
That’s it! J
Still studying for the Sales Cloud Consultant certificate. Chapter 8 of the Study Guide is about Communities and Site Management, so why not dig deeper into this subject and build a Community!? Here we go!
The first part of this post is mainly about Communities, its License models
- Communities are branded online spaces that allows you to connect with your employees, customers and partners
- It is a way to leverage the information that your customer and your employees have to work together
- Example of a well-known Community: Salesforce Customer Success Community… I am sure many of you are already contributing to it!
- A Community can target your Customers, your Partners or even your internal Users. It can also target more than 1 of these user types.
- An example of an internal Community is a company intranet portal, where Employees can use chatter, ask questions, check Articles, share ideas, open internal Cases… etc.
An example of a Community for your Customers:
- Support community: where customers can check your Articles, ask questions, open cases…etc. (Customers and Employees can be part of such Community)
- Event Registration Community: chatter, events, Registrations, Q&A, Articles, Ideas…
Steps to build Communities:
How Communities work?
- Communities live inside Salesforce org, and allow you to give external members access to subset of yoru date.
- Access is controlled through community profiles and roles that integrate with your Security model
- The external contact will also be Users of your Org.
- Community Licenses are a special type of Licenses. They are listed below.
- Developer Edition has 5 License count of the below Community licenses
– Named User based
– Login count based
|B2C Communities with high volume of users
– Max 10M Users
|Communities where you can access knowledge articles, or QA for Products and Services|
|Customer Community Plus
– Named User based
– Login count based
|B2C or B2B Communities for Support and non-sales scenario
– Max 1 M User and 500K Account Roles
|All above +Role Hierarchy +Sharing +Delegated Admin +Reports & Dashboards|
– Named User based
– Login count based
|B2B Communities with Access to CRM Data and PRM features
– Max 1 M User and 500K Account Roles
|All above +CRM
Max Community Users:
Login vs. Named Users Licenses.
- Member based (Named Users): Each user consumes a License
- Login based: monthly pool of Licenses – you are paying baed on the number of Logins you consume!
Login based is based on a 12-month usage, if 100 logins per month, you can have months more than 100.
- To know the logins, install AppExchange package: Salesforce Community Management.
- Another App: OSF License Optimizer to re-assign user to the right license based on usage, if you have a mix of license types.
- Careful: No Migration across license Type! Make sure to pick the right license from the start!
Make sure you choose an adequate Domain name:
- once you choose a domain name, it cannot be changed
As part of my study for the Sales Cloud Consultant certificate, I cam across Multi-currency, how to enable it, how to configure it, the difference between the Corporate currency and the different currencies that you add, what about the conversion? What currency show in the Reports? In the Dashboard?… Lots of stuff to worry about. Initially I thought it was a complex thing, but then after studying it,it is very simple! And here I am, summarizing this topic in this post.
Initially, when you create your Organization in Salesforce, you choose a single currency, and work on your Records using only this currency. This is the standard approach. What if your company has many branches in many countries? What if your company requires multiple currencies? Here comes multi-currency!
Before enabling multi-currency, check the implications of enabling this features:
- After being enabled, multiple currencies can’t be disabled for your organization
- Enabling this feature needs lockout duration that depends on the data space used by your organization.
- The currenct Currency Locale will become the default currency stamp
- Upon enablement, existing records are stamped with a default currency code that you provide in your enablement request
- After enablement, all currency fields display the ISO code of the currency before the amount. For example, $100 displays as USD 100
- If you have only one currency in your multi-currency organization, you can set a preference to display currency symbols instead of ISO codes: Go to “User Interface”, and then select “Show currency symbols instead of ISO codes”
To enable Multi-currency, you should:
- In Setup, select Company Information and click Edit. Ensure that your selected currency locale is the default currency that you want to use for current and future records.
- Check the checkbox “Allow Support to Activate Multiple Currencies”, and then save your changes.
- Open a case with Salesforce support, and mention your Org. ID and your confirmation that you understand the implications of enabling multi-currency
When you enable Multi-Currency:
- Go to company Profile – Manage Currency:
- Click on New. Enter the Currency, and the conversion rate.
A table is one of the components that you can add to a Dashboard. It is not that much used, as Dashboards are intended to be “Graphical”. I had a requirement to add a table that displays 3 columns to a dashboard. First, I thought that should be easy, just do the report, then add a table to dashboard with the created report as a source. I was wrong, as it is not that straight forward. Let me explain how I did it:
The table in the dashboard should display the top 10 Closed (Booked) opportunities with these columns: Account Name, Opportunity Name and Amount.
First, I created a standard report with the appropriate filter(s), that had the 3 columns I wanted listed in the dashboard:
Now, Let us try to add this report as a source to a table in a dashboard. Go to the Dashboard, add the Table component, and the Source report. Note the error we get! We need to add groupings in the report in order to be a valid source report to this Dashboard table component.
Now, let us try to add the Grouping and Summary to the report:
- Account Name Group
- Opportunity Name Group
- Summarize by the Amount field (Sum)
We will get the 2 Groupings and the 1 Summary in the source report:
Back in the Dashboard:
My name is Walid El Horr, I am a Systems Engineer ans Salesforce Admin, I just passed my Salesforce Administrator and Platform App Builder certifications in July 2016.
I started working with Salesforce as a customer: at the beginning of 2015, our company decided to use Salesforce and I was selected to be part of the team responsible of deciding-on and passing the functional requirements to the Salesforce Consulting Partner. We had a lot of meetings and workshops with the Consulting Partner, it started with Webex calls to better align and understand the solution, and later on, bi-weekly workshops to tackle and agree on the requirements of specific Objects:
- Accounts and Contacts
- Opportunities (including Approvals)
- Activities and Outlook Integration
- Case Management
- Reports and Dashboards
- Workflow Rules
After these Workshops, I had a much better understanding of Salesforce and its functionality, and the most amazing thing was that everything is on-demand in the Cloud. We can start with the out-of-box Sales Cloud functionality in literary just few days, we can start with only the required licenses and add more on the go! I think this was the reason why Salesforce is the top CRM tool out there today. It was founded in 1999, without any support for on-premises model; this means that to use Salesforce, your only option was to use their subscription model and, again, this was in 1999, way before the cloud era where everything is “in the cloud”!
The next phase after the workshops and validating the requirements was the UAT (user acceptance testing). We were given 2-3 weeks to test the system and all what has been agreed-on during the Workshops.. To login, I was given a login ending with .uat, I did not know its reason until I took the Platform App Builder course.
The final phase was something called TTT… What on earth could TTT be? Train The Trainer! I was told that I was selected to train our staff (mostly Sales Reps) on how to use the system. This was music to my ears as I was already falling in love with Salesforce! We spent 3 full days working again on the concepts above, but this time going deeper. Of course, nothing too fancy there, it was just a training on how to use Salesforce and how to train the users later on, no Admin stuff here.
Salesforce Certified Administrator notes
During my preparation for the Admin certification, I took tons of notes that I gathered from different excellent internet resources: Youtube videos, paid Udemy courses, paid independent courses, free blogs…etc. (all references will be listed) I started taking notes on Excel, then moved to Doc because it proved much more convenient as the notes were getting more detailed with tons of screenshots. Finally, after passing the Admin cert exam relying on these notes, I decided to share them for Free, and here comes SFDCnotes.com!
Let me know your feedback and feel free to contact me using the form on the Contact page.
September 20, 2016