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With warmer weather slowly approaching, you’ve probably already started your spring cleaning activities. But have you considered cleaning up your Salesforce instance as well? Even with Salesforce’s unlimited potential (and maybe a bit because of it), we recommend performing an annual cleanup. Going for too long without one can result in several issues such as hitting limits, slowing down your system, and causing a mess in the long run.

The goal of an annual cleaning is to make sure that you are not overcrowding Salesforce and that every component still has a purpose. If any customizations become obsolete or unused over time, it is a good idea to get rid of them. This will not only simplify your user and admin experience, but it will also streamline your processes and keep you from surpassing any technical limitations.

Salesforce Limits To Consider

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Within Salesforce, there exist limits on several different components. For instance, if you are on Enterprise Edition:

  • Objects in Salesforce have a 500 field limit
  • Out of these 500 fields, only 25 can be rollup fields
  • Objects have a 300 field limit when it comes to app-related fields
  • Processes and Flows have a limit of 50 versions

For a full list of Salesforce limits, refer to https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=overview_limits_general.htm&type=0.

Evaluating Your Customizations

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In order to determine whether you are close to exceeding any of the above limits, you need to discover which areas are at risk. At Ntegro, we recommend checking the System Overview page or using the Salesforce Optimizer Report, which is built into the platform. The report will scan through Salesforce to identify issues classified by the following colors:

  • Red – This issue requires immediate attention. It indicates that Salesforce best practices are not being used or you are approaching a technical limit.
  • Orange – This issue requires your attention, and the color indicates that a best practice is not being followed.
  • Yellow – This issue may not require immediate attention, but it is something to note. It signifies that a best practice may need to be implemented.
  • Green – There is nothing wrong with this issue.
  • Purple – This color indicates that there is a feature you can activate to improve your implementation.

The Optimizer Report provides a good starting point on which areas need attention and can potentially bring up a lot of red flags with your Salesforce Instance. Before reviewing this, we suggest getting together with you Salesforce Admin or your Salesforce Consultant so they can point out which items need immediate attention. 

In most cases for companies that have been using Salesforce for a longer time, your spring cleaning will be related to field cleanup, as many companies add fields that end up becoming underutilized or obsolete.

Helpful Apps

Applications

Determining What Fields Need To Be Deleted

After you’ve figured out the issues, the next step is to make a plan for fixing them. For the purpose of this section, we will be focusing on cleaning up objects that are nearing their field limits. In order to help you determine which fields you can delete, you can use apps like Field Footprint and FieldPro. At Ntegro, we use a combination of these two apps and try to work off of their strengths and weaknesses.

Field Footprint will list out all of the fields underneath any object along with some additional field information. You can then run reports based on this information to identify underused fields or even fields that have never been used! You can also use data like who created the field, when it was created, and when it was last modified to help you determine if the field is necessary or not.

FieldPro looks through Validation, Workflow rules, Flows (Process Builder and Flow), and Apex Classes to determine if the fields are being used there. This is helpful because you will have to delete these references before you can delete the actual fields.

Before making any of these system changes, we recommend that you make a list of what you think is unnecessary and consult with several teams of Salesforce users to make sure that your judgments are correct. And as always, keep best practices in mind!

Replacing Rollups

If you have run out of rollup fields, you don’t necessarily have to delete them. Apps like Declarative Rollups or Rollup Helper can help you achieve the same goals. We always recommend using the Salesforce standard rollup fields, as they are simpler to work with, but the apps above will help you achieve the same end result. 

Notes on Apps

As part of any cleanup process, checking your installed apps is always a good idea. When an organization has gone through different Admins, it is likely that a lot of older Apps will be in place. Even once the cleanup exercise for fields is complete, we recommend removing FieldPro. You can see the installed apps by going to Setup and selecting Installed Packages. 

Best Practices

best practice

We’ve already established that a good spring cleaning is useful for any organization, but how do you do it right? Some Salesforce environments are complex, and one small change can lead to a snowball of events later on down the line. Many different pieces are connected, and removing even a single field can cause issues. Before starting any cleaning initiatives, we recommend 

  • Always creating sandboxes to backup your metadata. Fields can be restored but there are many elements that are gone forever after they’ve been deleted like processes and flows. By creating a backup in your sandbox, you can cross deploy back to production if anything goes wrong.
  • Running a data export to have a snapshot backup of your production data. Again the idea is to have this safely stored in case any crucial data is lost during the cleanup. You should run this export off-hours and keep it saved with a timestamp of when it ran so you know exactly what data it contains.
  • Documenting everything you delete and change. If you lose track of the changes there is a chance you cannot undo the delete. Having the correct documentation in place allows you to review the actions you took if any problems emerge to troubleshoot where the issue is coming from.

NOTE: After 15 days, any deleted fields will be permanently removed from Salesforce and cannot be restored. At this point, your only course of action is to deploy the field from your sandbox backup and populate it with data from your data export. 

Deleting Unused Components

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When it’s time to actually delete fields, we recommend following these steps: 

  1. Update the field label to an easily recognizable format. This will allow you to sort through the fields and delete them all in one swift motion. For example, if we decide to delete a field called Interest, rename the field to TBD_Interest (To be Deleted).
  2. Remove all Profile access from the field. This way users will no longer be able to see this field. 
  3. Alert users and give them a timeframe before deletion. If someone notices a field that they were previously using is gone, request that they bring it to your attention.
  4. If you do not receive any feedback during the designated timeframe, delete the fields.
    1. Again, prior to deleting the fields, the references must be deleted or the processes removed. 
    2. Note that this only applies to processes and not to reports or report types.

We Can Help You Clean Up!

Ntegro logo

If you need some spring cleaning assistance, Ntegro is here to help! We have the tools and resources to look through your Salesforce installation and reliably identify areas to tidy up. We can help you backup your data and then delete unused components so you can keep everything simple and efficient. Get in touch with us online today to learn more about this process through a free consultation!