Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Understanding Relative Date Values for Filter Criteria

Understanding Relative Date Values for Filter Criteria

In Salesforce you are able to build a report with a rolling or relative date range. Here are some examples of what that means;

All Opportunities closing in the next 60 days
All Completed Activities in the last quarter
Number of Accounts created last month
Contacts with no activity in the last 90 days
Number of Opportunities lost last fiscal year

Salesforce officially calls these types of date range filters Literal Filter Criteria, and has over 40 available date filters. Salesforce also refers to these filters as Relative or Rolling date filters. They allow you to write a dynamic report that looks forward or backward for a set period of time based on when you ran the report. For example, if you have a report to return all Opportunities created Last Month(based on the Created Date field) and ran that report in March, you’d see Opportunities created in February. If you ran that same report in February, you’d see Opportunities created in January. In many cases this type of dynamic date filter can be desirable versus hard-coding a date range.

You can use a literal date range filter on any date field available in your report. Keep in mind if the date field is filtered elsewhere in your report, you may get unwanted results. 

Dependent Picklists in

Dependent Picklists in Salesforce

Dependent picklists are used to help your users enter accurate and consistent data. A dependent picklist is a custom or multi-select picklist for which the valid values depend on the value of another field, called the controlling field. Controlling fields can be any picklist (with at least one and fewer than 300 values) or checkbox field on the same record.

To set-up a dependent picklist:

  1. Navigate to the fields area of the appropriate object. For this tutorial we’ll use a standard object. 
  2. Go to Setup, click Customize, select the appropriate object, and click Fields.
  3. Click Field Dependencies.
  4. Click New.
  5. Choose a controlling field and dependent field.
  6. Click Continue.

Use the field dependency matrix to specify the dependent picklist values that are available when a user selects each controlling field value.

I recommend you click Preview to test your selections. If your organization uses record types, choose a record type to test how it affects your controlling and dependent picklist values. The record type controls what values are available in the controlling field. The record type and the controlling field together determine what values are available in the dependent picklist. For example, a dependent value is only available if it is available in the selected record type as well as the selected controlling value.

Click Save and you're done!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MSCRM 2013: Change Password Expiration Policy

Too many passwords, so little time....
By default, Microsoft Dynamics is set to prompt you to change your password every 90 days.  If you have System Administrator or Password Administrator privileges, you can change this to a maximum of 730 days.  Here's how:

1. Login to the Office 365 Portal at
2. Navigate to Passwords and set the interval to the desired number of days:


MSCRM 2013: CRM for Outlook Behaviors

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customer Center has a great article detailing what happens when records that have been tracked with CRM for Outlook are deleted.  Here's an excerpt which details what happens when you delete tracked Contacts and Emails:
  • Deleting a tracked email message in Outlook does not delete the email message from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • Deleting an email message in Microsoft Dynamics CRM does not delete the tracked message from Outlook.
  • If you stop tracking an email message in Outlook, CRM for Outlook asks whether you want to delete the email message in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • Deleting a tracked contact in Outlook does not delete the contact record from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • If you are not the owner of the contact record, deleting a contact from Microsoft Dynamics CRM deletes the tracked contact from Outlook.
  • If you are the owner of the contact record, deleting a contact from Microsoft Dynamics CRM does not delete the contact from Outlook.
  • If you are the owner of the contact record, and you stop tracking the contact, CRM for Outlook asks whether you want to delete the contact record from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
  • If you are not the owner of the contact record and you stop tracking the contact, Microsoft Dynamics CRM deletes the contact record.
Click on the Link below for additional information- including information on Appointments and Tasks:


MSCRM 2013: Assigning Records

When changing the Owner field, it is very easy to accidentally end up in the User record of the Owner- frustrating!!  Why? The first step in changing this field is to click on the search icon (magnifying glass) to view a list Users to select from.  The issue- It is very easy to accidentally click on the User's name instead of the search icon.  Now you're in the User's record and need to navigate back.  Ugh!

Quick Tip: Use the ASSIGN command instead.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Salesforce - Creating Dashboards

Creating dashboards is simply a drag and drop job. One thing you do have to make sure of is that you have created the correct report type. Tabular reports are not going to work with the majority of components unless they have a row limit, then they can work with chart or table components. The majority of the time you are creating reports to work in dashboards you are probably going to be working with summary reports as you are summarizing a certain value and then displaying these values in a bar chart, pie chart, pipeline chart etc.

To start,  navigate to the reports tab and hit “New Dashboard” directly next to “New Report”. If you don’t have this button here you probably don’t have the correct permissions, you'll need to contact your System Administrator to have get access.

You will then see the layout design manager for your dashboard. On the left hand side you will be able to see the different components you can add to your dashboard. The top two starting from the left are bar charts, a line graph, pie chart, doughnut chart, pipeline funnel, scatter chart, gauge chart, metric and table.

Once you have chosen your selected component you can simply drag and drop it to your chosen column. This is the first step. The second step is to populate that chart with some data. On the tab next to components you will see data sources. This is a list of all your reports in Salesforce. Just a tip; if you are building a big dashboard it is best to create a new folder so everything is contained in one place. Once you have found your selected report you can simply drag and drop it onto the component and you’re done. 

The last step is to simply customize your dashboard.  If you click on the wrench (circled in the image below) within the component you will be direct to a page with two tabs. 

You can change the Component data and formatting here as well as a change of graph type.

Salesforce - Creating Reports

You should be familiar with the Reports tab, if not its along the top as a tab. Once there you can click on New Report and you will see the following screen. Here you can select which Objects you would like to report on, you can see a few examples below. You can only report on Objects that are related to one another, if you cannot find the particular report you would like to work on then its you should ask your administrator.

Once you have selected your report and hit next you will see the report screen. Once you understand what the different sections of this screen do, its easy to create a report in less than 5 minutes and give you exactly what you are looking for. 

1. The first section is straightforward. This is a list of the available fields that you can report on from your selected objects. You can drag and drop these fields into different areas on the report page to add in filters and columns.. The icons next to the fields indicate what kind of field it is. The “a” represents text, the “#” a number and the calendar symbol is a date/time field.  If you cannot find a particular field then you might not have permissions to view it or you might need to ask your administrator. 

2. The second section is the filter section. This is where you can filter your report to only show the records that you need. We’ll use Opportunities as an example as this has the most variables. In the image below you can see the different filters available, from the drop down this is where you can filter whose records you see; everyone’s, your teams or just your own. You can also filter by Probability Percentage, for example below or above 80%.  Also Opportunity Stage (Open, Closed, Closed Won) you can also drag and drop Opportunity Stage into the section below if you want to report on more stages. Lastly you can report on the date ranges. You have two choices here, a fixed value which you can input manually or create a report, which is a bit more dynamic, if you click on the drop down which in the picture has Current FQ you can choose between values like Today, Yesterday, Last Week, Month, Year.

3.  This is the preview section. This area will give you a preview of your report if it is over 50 records, if it’s fewer than 50 records it will pretty much show you your whole report. You can interact with the preview area by dragging and dropping fields in from section 1 in the place where you would like them to appear. You can also interact by the fields by hovering over them and clicking the drop down menu, here you can sort the fields, group the fields and also summarize.

There are four types of reports you can create in Salesforce; Tabular, Summary, Matrix and Joined Reports.  

Tabular – The images in this post have all been from a tabular report. This is the simplest of reports and is suited to just showing lines of data and nothing else. 

Summary – Summary reports are probably the most commonly used and are great for showing groups of data. For example, if you want to see your recent account opportunities they will be grouped by account and you can see each opportunity under the account. From then you can do calculations, you can see the total amount of sales under an account, you can see the maximum, minimum and also average amount. 

Matrix – Matrix reports are very similar to Summary but they allow you to group by rows as well as columns to see different totals. Matrix reports aren’t commonly used unless you have to display lots of complex data. 

Joined Reports – Joined reports allow you to create two separate reports so that you can compare data. 

Salesforce - Creating Custom List Views

List views are ways of displaying small bite size chunks of data that are instantly accessible for different Objects (Leads, Accounts, Opportunities, Custom Objects etc).  The first thing to check is that you actually have the permissions to create custom list views. Salesforce Administrators have the ability to turn this ability on and off for certain users depending on their profile. There is no reason I can see to not let you create your own views so if the “Create New View” link you see below you is not there, talk to your Salesforce Administrator before continuing.

The first step is to name your list view. You want to give it a name so you can recognize it but it also needs to be pretty descriptive. It could be as simple as Tracy’s open opps to Tracy’s opps closing next month over $1M.

The next step is to choose you filter criteria. The objective of a filter is to include a field name an operator and a value. The field name is the field name in your object that you wish to filter by, the operator is the type of filter you wish to perform and then the value that the field should be tested against. There is also a filter by owner option at the top which makes your life easier, as the majority of the filters you will be creating will be your own records.

The field is very simple but the operator can be a bit confusing if you have not dealt with them before. Essentially you are defining how you want Salesforce to test the value against the Field. For example, if you want to exclude a specific Industry then you can say Industry NOT EQUAL TO Public Utility. 

After you have selected a field and how you would like to be tested you will need to enter a value. If the field is a text field you will have to enter your values manually. If you are selecting a field with a finite amount of values, for example a Picklist, then you will be presented with a lookup icon (Magnifying glass), here you can select one or more value.

The final part is to add in the fields you want to see. These are the fields that will appear in the columns of your list view. You want to have enough fields that the list view gives you all the information you need but not so many columns that its overwhelming. These columns can be adjusted to the order they appear in by using the buttons on the far right.

The final part before you have completed your list view to choose who you want the list visible to. “Visible to just me” is the option most of you will only see.