Salesforce Halloween Horror Stories and Solutions

You’re sitting there working in the comfort of your own home. You hear your inbox ping and realise there is nowhere left to run. You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination. The terror of seeing the result of lazy hacks and bad config is gonna thrill you tonight. Ok, less of the spooky dramatics. 

Salesforce, when configured using best practice, can be an absolute dream to use for Admins, Devs and Users alike. However, I’m sure we can all hold our hands up to doing lazy clicks and code at some point. The result? Hair pulling Michael Jackson Salesforce Thriller hallucinations with threats coming from all angles! Ok, I got carried away again.  More like hours trying to troubleshoot data issues, profile permissions and code! 

While I can’t promise that you won’t find lurking around your Salesforce Organisation some scary phenomena waiting to attack you from all Objects, it may delight you to know that you are not alone when it comes to those horror stories!


Horror Story One: Terrifying Triggered Emails

If sending out emails weren’t terrifying enough, imagine the blood-curdling moment when you realise that you have triggered 100s of emails to customers by accident. It’s almost a rite of passage for an Admin in your early days, thankfully you learn how not to repeat it pretty damn quickly! 

Solution: Check Email Deliverability. Always check the instance you are in. Make sure your Sandbox data has scrambled emails addresses. Double, no, triple check everything.


Horror Story Two: Frightening Field Frenzy

Is there anything more terrifying than finding 420 fields on a single page layout? *Screams heard across the Community*. Yes, this is way too much obviously, but terrifyingly it has been witnessed.

Solution 1) Streamline your process. This means chopping down those data fields, adding approval processes, validations and even workflow automation. 2) Introduce sections to your page layout. 3) Define different page layouts and record types and then 4) assign those to the correct profiles. This will ensure that users are only seeing information that they need to see.


Horror Story Three: Unnerving Unit Testing

As nice as it is to take the odd shortcut, in your code is not one of them. Here are some things that will make most devs snap your fingers off if they find the following in your code. You have been warned!

No-one knows what that does.

“It doesn’t even compile!” In a code review, these three definitions would probably just be deleted.


A very common naming pattern, but to people outside your own head it’s a bit like sending your friend to the shop to “get you four, please”.

And, probably the most common problem with lazy coders is utterly useless test code. Can anyone correctly guess what functionality this test was testing, and what change in conditions might cause it to fail?






Horror Story Four: Run for the hills

  1. When you get an error message in your org saying contact your system administrator…and you ARE THE SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR! 
  2. Finding Users have been given ‘Modify All’ access when they only need to edit one field. 
  3. Having to maintain or enhance an inherited App with no version control, while your customer states that this was working before and there is no code in the org for doing this or anything similar.
  4. The curse of a million processes for the same object! 

2020 may feel like a long-standing Halloween nightmare, however just remember, if you think you are having a bad working day, just think about these poor Admins and Dev!

By Jenny Bamber
20 October 2020
The Good Systems Blog

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