How to build custom applications on Salesforce
Salesforce can be an exciting platform for building custom applications on. With its powerful tools, you can transform the way you work and make a real impact on your day-to-day operations. However, before you dive into the exciting process of creating your custom app, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to ensure you end up with an application that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.
In this article, we will outline all the key steps necessary to build a custom application on Salesforce.
Consider your requirements carefully
When building a custom app, it's essential to consider the end results you want to achieve, rather than just repeating your current processes. It's a great opportunity to think outside the box and explore creative ways of working that can improve efficiency and productivity. And while Salesforce is a robust platform, it may not be the right solution for every process. If you find that designing a specific functional process will add complexity, it may be a sign that you need to buy another tool and integrate it with Salesforce.
Check for existing solutions
After the early requirements phase, it is time for the design phase. During this phase, it's crucial to evaluate your current Salesforce configuration and possible solutions on the AppExchange. It is also necessary to consider if there are any existing apps that you can use to minimize customization and if there's a pre-built AppExchange app that performs the same task. Also, look for pre-built Lightning Components that can enhance your Lightning app.
Consider data security, visibility, and searchability
When developing a custom app, it's wise to think about how you want to control who can see and access the information in it. This includes things like what types of actions users can perform (such as creating, reading, updating, and deleting records), as well as what information they can see (such as fields and records).
When other people, such as members of a community, will be using the app, it's even more imperative to be careful about security. The way you set up relationships between different types of information can affect who can access what.
For example, if you set up a master-detail relationship, people who can see the master information will also be able to view the related detail information. But if you use a lookup relationship, you have more control over what people can see.
Before you use the app, it's critical to test it to make sure that the security settings are working the way you want. This includes testing the app for different types of users and making sure that reports and dashboards display the right information for each person.
Finally, if you want to be able to search for information in the app, you may need to add tabs for certain types of information. This is even if you don't plan to include them in the app's main navigation. This is because only information with its own tab will appear in search results.
Integration with other systems
In this step, it's crucial to consider how it will integrate with your existing systems.
When using common objects in your app, try to utilize existing fields whenever possible. You can add new options to dropdown fields and only use them with a specific type of record.
However, be careful not to change the help information or other details of the standard fields. Making a field required, for example, can cause problems with the test code, so it's better to make it needed for the page layout.
If you're using objects like Accounts and Contacts in your app, you may need to create brand-new record types and layouts to separate the new types of these objects specific to your app.
You might also need to update existing reports to include filters based on record type or other conditions.
Check the triggers, validation rules, processes, and workflows on the objects you're using, and make sure to add a condition based on the record type if necessary. Remember to follow your company's naming conventions and standards.
For connections with external systems, decide if you want to store the data in Salesforce or if you want to get it in real-time using something like Salesforce Connect. This will allow you to access and report on the data without storing it in Salesforce.
Maintaining data integrity
Salesforce provides tools to enforce data integrity and prevent duplicate data in custom apps. To stop inappropriate data from being added to your Salesforce apps, you need to:
Use validation rules to check data is correct before it is saved
Use default values to make sure data is always entered in the right way
Use duplicate rules to stop duplicates from being added to the app
Use a unique number or code when connecting to other systems.
Keep it simple
When building your app, it is best practice to keep things simple. Don't try to add too many features or handle every situation. A straightforward and well-designed app will be easier to maintain and will likely be more popular with users.
In summary, building custom applications on the Salesforce platform can effectively improve your business processes and meet your unique needs. Salesforce provides many tools and resources to make it easy for developers to create functional and user-friendly apps.
If you find this article helpful and have further questions, our team at Nuage Concepts is here to assist you. We specialize in CRM implementation and support services for businesses of any size. Call us on 818 388 2778