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How to tame the Salesforce ‘technical debt’ beast

Previously I raised the issue of technical debt, which is an issue that can easily impact any Salesforce org.

Trying to find out just where to start can feel like trying tame a wild beast.  We’ve all been there…  Questions like, is it really a problem?  Where do I start?  How to I gather the information I need?

Help is at hand, when you are scoping size of the problem, there are some amazing free tools you can use to really zone in on your org’s problem areas.

New Salesforce features

The last two Salesforce releases have also brought new features to support you in checking your org.  Let’s take a quick look at them both.  Please keep in mind, to use both of these new features you will need to check your permissions and license edition of your org.

Salesforce Optimizer

Spring ’17 has brought with it the new Salesforce Optimizer.  It is a great new feature giving you an easy to understand PDF report.  Which focuses on some of the key areas within your org where Technical Debt might be hiding.  The report will highlight key areas including:

Salesforce Optimizer
Sample of a Salesforce Optimizer report

 

  • Fields
  • Apex triggers
  • Page layouts
  • Report types
  • Validation rules
  • Workflow rules
  • Sharing rules
  • Administrator permissions

To access Optimizer right now, jump to Setup -> Optimizer.

 

Salesforce Health Check

In the previous release, Winter ’17 also introduced Salesforce Health Check.  This one is very much aimed at reviewing your org’s security policies, and as a result is a little more ‘techy’.

The report will give you an overall baseline score, recommended areas of focus and suggested actions covering:

Salesforce Health Check
Salesforce Health Check
  • Certificate and Key Management
  • Login Access Policies
  • Network Access
  • Password Policies
  • Remote Site Settings
  • Session Settings

It is very helpful and useful in performing an audit on these key security areas.

To find this within your org, head on over to Setup -> Security Controls -> Health Check.

 

Other Resources

Salesforce Toolkit

Another great resource I have used is the Salesforce Toolkit.  It is a must-have suite of free Heroku apps which allow you to analyse, diagnose and configure a variety of Salesforce items.  It does offer up to seven different tools (at the time of writing), and I have used a number of them personally across various orgs of Salesforce.

Org Doctor

I found this tool before the Spring ’17 release came out, and introduced Salesforce Optimizer.  However this tool still provides some additional information that is helpful when diagnosing any technical debt within your org.  Particularly helpful in highlight potential problem areas in your Apex (like API versions and number of test classes) and additional details about your role hierarchy.

The report it generates once again if very helpful and even contains a brief summary as to why each metric is important to the overall health of your org.

Schema Compare

Another fantastic app from the toolkit.  This one presents an extremely helpful report comparing multiple instances of Salesforce.

Yes, you read that right! Compare two orgs side by side in a single report, which breaks it down object by object.  The two orgs can be a mix of Production <-> Sandbox, Production <-> Production or Sandbox <-> Sandbox.

An example use case could be to compare a development sandbox with production to see what are the differences object by object.

Perm Comparator

The final app I want to share with you today is the Perm Comparator.  Another simple Heroku app which allows you to easily compare Profiles, Permission Sets & Users within an org.  Genius!

Say for example you wanted to see how two Profiles within your production org actually differ.  This app makes it so simple to view the profiles side-by-side, showing how the user/object permission vary between them.

 

Now go forth and slay the beast!

There is never a better time than now to start slaying the technical debt beast, and with these tools you should make short work of it.  Of course, there will still be other areas that may need analysis.  But this should give you an idea of where you are starting from.

My next post will look at setting a roadmap, which will help you prioritise and deliver improvements for any identified areas from above.

As always, feel free to share in the comments below.  Do you know of any other free tools that can help in analysing and defining where an org’s pain points are?

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Adam Gill

I have been working with the Salesforce platform for over seven years now. My background includes a variety of CRM projects and experiences (both greenfield and legacy), covering a variety of industries. I currently have 4x certified, though always looking to increase that count! :-)

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