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True to the Core: A Quiet Point-and-Click Revolution at SFDC

True to the coreBehind all the flashy product launches and marketing blitzes, Salesforce’s True to the Core initiative has been quietly gathering steam over the last several years. True to the Core is a back-to-basics project that stemmed from a customer suggestion on the IdeaExchange back in 2010. It’s a renewed effort by Salesforce to improve the point-and-click CRM platform that dazzled everyone in the first place, back when Force.com, Chatter, and Marketing Cloud were just glimmers in Marc Benioff’s eye.

Do more with declaratives

Salesforce has been simultaneously fleshing out the “core” system and working their way down customers’ wish lists for more declarative tools, aka point-and-click features. (Some would say they’re finally delivering on the promise of the original Salesforce.) As a result, Salesforce is gradually shifting ever greater admin and custom development functionality from the “Coding Only” column squarely into the “Point-and-Click” column.

Business process automation that previously required a bunch of Apex code can now be done in a fraction of the time—and at a fraction of the cost—using point-and-click tools in Cloud Flow Designer, Analytics, etc. Even more improvements are coming down the pipe in future releases, cool stuff like “workflow to anything”, inline editing in reports, and headless flows. True to the Core is making declarative tools new and exciting again, putting even more customization power in the hands of administrators.

But with great power comes great responsibility…

A word of caution: Every new Salesforce release brings new declarative upgrades—so be careful! Before you know it, the controls in your SFDC cockpit could start to look like those of a jumbo jet. This vast collection of powerful tools can either help you 1. build useful business applications, quickly and without writing a line of code, or 2. crash and burn faster and more spectacularly than ever before.

To succeed with declaratives, you not only have to make smart decisions about how to use them but you also have to stay on top of how the tools are evolving. Be sure to read about the latest upgrades in each set of release notes, then do some research and (controlled!) experimentation to understand the significance of these changes.

Streamline the status quo

If you’re determined to use your newfound power wisely, now might be a good time to reevaluate all the Salesforce improvements you’ve been dying to make but couldn’t because they required expensive custom development.

Of course, if you don’t already have a list maybe now’s the time to make one. What are the day-to-day things that don’t make sense in your job? What’s needlessly repetitive? What’s redundant or annoying?

With Salesforce regularly rolling out new declarative tools, continuous improvement—real and meaningful stuff—is within easy reach, even on a small budget.

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