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Year in Review

Posted January 3rd, 2018 by in App Review, News, Salesforce Apps, Salesforce Best Practices

Happy New Year! This month, we reflect back on 2017 and recap previous articles for those who might have missed them.

Salesforce Lending Apps & Best Practices

Online Applications
Bank Statement Imports
Risk Rating & Scorecards
Approval Processes
Document Checklists
Syndications
Portfolio Sales
Collections

Salesforce Infrastructure Best Practices

Lightning UI
Files vs. Notes & Attachments
Document Storage & Retrieval
Automated Communication
Backup & Recovery

2017 Highlights

Tamarack’s Lease & Loan originator is listed with a number of other great leasing and lending applications in this year’s ELFA 2017 Software Guide. This is an invaluable tool for companies looking to make major technology investments.

Mintaka Financial won the 2017 ELFA Operations & Technology Excellence award. They were able to leverage the Tamarack Salesforce Lease & Loan Accelerator to build a fully integrated solution with the broker affiliates.

Backup & Recovery

Posted November 7th, 2017 by in Salesforce Apps, Salesforce Best Practices

I know… This is not specific to lending & leasing… And talking about back-ups is boring when we could be talking about exciting stuff like multiple investment sinking funds and terminal rental adjustment clause leases… But, as more and more lenders are maintaining critical business data in Salesforce, it’s something we need to discuss.

When thinking about backups, it is important to understand the differences between data types that comprise your Salesforce environment. First type is the actual data, which includes accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, cases, custom objects, file attachments and chatter posts. Second type is metadata, which refers to all of your configuration settings like custom fields, page layouts, reports, dashboards and any custom code done for your organization.

You may ask why should I backup my data? Even with best intentions, users and administrators have been in situations where they have accidentally deleted or updated large amounts of data. With tools like data loader, it is very easy to mass delete records due to a simple mistake. It is therefore recommended to keep regular backups of your data, as well as point-in-time backups before proceeding with any major data project within your Salesforce org. In addition to data, you also should backup your metadata for the same reasons. Many configuration settings are not reversible and it is best to have a copy of this metadata to restore if needed.

Beyond using Salesforce Services for restoring data and metadata, there are 2 main options for handling backup and recovery of your Salesforce data and configurations to protect against accidental deletion. First option is to manage backup & recovery on your own, which requires having a data-savvy Salesforce Administrator in your organization to manage the backup & recovery process. Second option is to sign up with a service to manage the backups for you.

Option 1 – Manage Your Own Data Backup & Recovery
To avoid paying recovery fees to Salesforce and be able to recover your data whenever needed, it is recommended to use the following backup and recovery methods if you intend to manage data backup and recovery on your own.
Native Data Backup Options: the following options are available as methods to backup data:

1. Data Export Service: manual or scheduled exports of your data via the UI. See Exporting Backup Data for more information.
2. Data Loader: manual on-demand exports of your data via the API. See Export Data documentation for more information.
3. Report Export: manual on-demand exports of your data via reports. Build a new report containing the data you want to backup. Export the report and select Comma Delimited .csv for the Export File format

Native Metadata Backup Options: the following options are available as methods to backup metadata:

1. Change Sets: copy metadata from your production org to a sandbox or developer org. See Change Sets Overview for more information.
2. Sandbox Refresh: refresh your production org to a sandbox so that your configuration metadata is refreshed automatically. See Creating or Refreshing a Sandbox for more information.
3. Force.com Migration Tool: Java/Ant-based utility for moving metadata between local directories and a Salesforce org. See Force.com Migration Tool for more information.
4. Force.com IDE: Client application for creating/modifying/deploying Force.com applications. See Force.com IDE for more information

Option 2 – Third-Party Service Manages Your Backup & Recovery
There are several options for doing this, the most well-known options are listed on the Salesforce AppExchange. Some services are more comprehensive than others. You can search for current offerings on the AppExchange, using keyword ‘backup’. Third-party services are beneficial since they remove the need for someone on your team to manage a process that can be quite complex and time-consuming. You also get peace-of-mind that you have technical experts safeguarding your critical electronic assets.

Feature Showcase: Lightning UI – Our take….

Posted May 31st, 2017 by in Salesforce Best Practices

lightning-ui

Lightning is Salesforce’s newest user experience.  When we tried Lightning about nine months ago, we found many basic functions not working well: navigation, in-line editing, buttons, etc.   We switched back to classic view. Since then, Salesforce has addressed many of our initial concerns.  Tamarack has moved to Lightning for most of our new implementations.   The new user experience is better overall so we do recommend it.  However, a couple of things that are still a little annoying:

  1. 1. Performance – The loading of the list views is slower than classic view.
  2. 2. Setup features – Our developers are switching back to classic view when they need to do a lot of field updates or creations.  The same goes for the page layouts.
  3. 3. Apps – Some Apps don’t work that well.  E.g., even this App (ConstantContact) had issues uploading contacts using the Lightning UI.

The nice thing is end users can seamlessly switch between Classic & Lightning views very easily as a work around.  To learn more, check it out on the Trailhead.