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Salesforce Trailhead + Advanced Formulas = NOT (anything_to_fear__c)

Written by , | Dec 29, 2015

I apologize for the title, but we all need to embrace our inner nerd sometimes. Let’s just move on…

Formulas, particularly advanced formulas, on the Salesforce platform are near and dear to my heart. Why? Let me tell you:

  1. The power of formulas (and related functions) in Salesforce was one of the reasons I immediately loved working on the platform back in 2010. I came from a fully custom platform that was horrifically frustrating to work with and the ease of working with formulas in Salesforce was like 10,000 breaths of fresh air.
  2. Formula fields, validation rules, and assignment rules lived at the core of my consulting work from 2011 to 2015. I was able to deliver success to many clients over that span by combining well-documented requirements, the Salesforce platform, and a good ol’ fashioned dose of personal creativity.
  3. I gave up any semblance of a home or personal life for months to write about the how to properly build and apply Salesforce formulas in real-world scenarios. While that year of my life is mostly a blur, I am very happy to be able to share the fruits of that hard work: Practical Salesforce.com Development Without Code, a book on declarative development (i.e., building a lot of cool functionality without a line of code) in Salesforce. A significant portion of the book focuses on advanced formulas. Take a look an excerpt from Chapter 2 below (Figure 1).
Weinmeister Chapter 2: Formula Functions

Figure 1: An Excerpt from Chapter 2 of “Practical Salesforce.com Development Without Code”

Hopefully, I’ve made my case for why Salesforce formulas are a wonderful and meaningful entity in the world of CRM, development, and business in general.

Now, for the main announcement…Trailhead has once again stepped up and provided a free, fun, and easy way to learn how to build advanced formulas within Salesforce. Presenting…the new Advanced Formulas module!

Salesforce Trailhead Module Advanced Formulas

Salesforce describes this module as a means to “Learn how to write clean, easy-to-understand formulas for complex use cases.” The module is broken up into the following sections:

  • Using Basic Logic in Checkbox Formulas (~ 20 mins)
  • Using Numbers, Currency, and Percentages in Formulas (~ 25 mins)
  • Using Date and Date/Time Formulas (~ 25 mins)
  • Using Picklists in Formulas (~ 25 mins)
  • Using Text Formulas (~ 25 mins)
  • Leveling Up with Advanced Formulas (~ 30 mins)
  • Troubleshooting Formula Errors (~ 25 mins)

I am halfway through the module and it is great so far; it’s definitely a good way to get your hands dirty and produce something complex in Salesforce without diving into the world of code. If you’re an admin, analyst, or a developer looking to leverage the platform’s tools even more, I would absolutely suggest checking out this module on Trailhead. Happy Trails!

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