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Getting Started - Get Familiar with Terminology
Getting Started - Get Familiar with Terminology

This article defines the most commonly used terms in the platform and where they are used.

Robert Merrell avatar
Written by Robert Merrell
Updated over a week ago


Context or Location


A360 (Analytics 360)

Org Analysis

This is a module within the Elements "Salesforce Orgs" component, that provides analysis and insights about the selected Org. When you have connected an Elements space with your Salesforce Org and you have completed the sync, you can get a complete view of your Salesforce Org across different dimensions.

Analytics 360 is meant to give you a complete view of your Org's configuration status across the following dimensions:
-Configuration overview
-Automaton health
-Technical debt
-Adoption (requires Production Org or full Sandbox for insights)
(requires Production Org or your Pre-Production Sandbox for most accurate insights)
You can learn details about all of the dashboards here.
Here's another Elements support article describing the Metadata Analytics features:

Access Analyzer

Access Analyzer is a feature that allows you to understand exactly which permissions are granting specific levels of access for each user. Access Analyzer is a powerful feature that delivers actionable access insights to 16 different Salesforce metadata types. See this article for more details.

Architecture Diagrams

Elements Home

In Elements, there is a feature called "Diagrams" which allows users to create several types of diagrams: Generally Salesforce architects use two types of diagrams: A business process diagram, and a technical landscape diagram. You can use the Diagram component to draw either type, as well as a detailed entity relationship diagram (ERD), which is a graphical representation of an information system that depicts the relationships among people, objects, places, concepts, and events in that system. Read this article for more information about Salesforce diagramming standards
Here is a Salesforce article describing their standard approach to diagrams;
Here is a Salesforce video that explains their standard approach to diagrams;


Properties Panels

Links to notes, URL links, images and data tables


Elements Home

A feature in Elements that allows users to manage changes to business processes using Stories and Requirements. "Changes" is a collective name for business requirements, user stories and end-user feedback.

The "Changes" feature displays a grid of all changes which can be filtered by type (Requirement, Story or Feedback).

The change grid allows you to filter and sort stories by any standard and custom field. You can also resize the column widths.

Corporate Management


Corporate management allows management, policies and user visibility across all Spaces in a corporate domain. You can assign any number of Corporate Admins. Corporate Admins do not need to have a paid Editor license.

Dependency Tree

Salesforce Orgs - Metadata View

The feature that provides a visual representation of all the dependencies on a metadata node. For example, if you wanted to find out where a custom field was used throughout the entire Org (without searching through Salesforce Settings) the dependency tree will display a visual representation of all the metadata nodes where the custom field is used and referenced. See this article for a demonstration and more details.


Architecture, Maps, General Terminology

Diagram with activity boxes, images, free text, sticky notes and lines

Documentation Package

For Consulting Partners & Alliance Partners

Documentation packaging allows our partners to create pre-built sets of documentation that the selected clients can then import into their Org models. It means that with the click of a button, a client can import hundreds or even thousands of documents that will be associated with the target metadata and easily available contextually in the client Org.

Elements Academy

Home Page Nav

Element's training and enablement portal. You can enroll in the Academy and take any courses for free, as long as you are a registered Elements user. The Academy also contains the certification exams and other knowledge checks where you can earn points and badges to show off you shiny new skills!!

Elements Chrome Extension

General Terminology

The Chrome extension allows the Elements insights to be displayed in the Salesforce UI: The insights are visible in the right panel when viewing Setup and Record Pages. It also enables end users to see pop-up, in-app help in Record Pages and leave feedback for the Salesforce Admin. Here is an Elements support article with more about the installation, setup and troubleshooting
Here's an article about exposing Elements help & feedback in Salesforce UI for end users.

Followed Items

Home Page Nav

On the home page, the default page lists recent and followed items. If you select (click) the FOLLOWED ITEMS tab, you see the items you are following. You can follow Diagrams, Reference Model nodes, Requirements, Stories and URL library links.
When following, any updated items you haven't yet seen are indicated with a pencil icon. Any new comments will be shown by a comment icon .
You can also mark any item as favorite and it will bring these to the top.
To follow an item, click on the clear STAR next to its name in the RIGHT PROPERTIES PANEL of the item (Process, Diagram, Org, etc). The star will turn blue and the newly followed item will add to your home page. . See more details in this article:


Home Page Nav

On the home page, the default page lists recent and followed items. If you select (click) the FOLLOWED ITEMS button, you see the items you are following. You can follow diagrams, requirements, stories, reference model nodes and URL library links to have quick access to all of them from the dashboard and spot if any of them has been changed or commented on. To follow an item, click on the clear STAR next to its name in the RIGHT PROPERTIES PANEL of the item (Process, Diagram, Org, etc) To mark an item as your favorite, click on the star again - it will turn gold. See more details in this article:


General Navigation

The landing page when you log into All followed and favorited items are displayed in the second tab along on the home page menu bar, under "Followed Items". They are initially ordered by the date you started following them. If any of them are edited, they will move to the top of the list. The home page also lists items shared with you, such as as spaces, diagrams and processes.


General Terminology

An Implementation is group of Org models - an Production Org and its related Sandboxes. If you want to connect to 2 different Production Orgs or 2 Sandbox Orgs that belong to different Production Orgs, you need 2 different implementations.


General Terminology

Collection of process diagrams. The top level diagram is Level 1

App Panel (Left Side)

General Navigation

In the Elements UI, the App Panel or Left Side Panel displays tabs & icons for each feature available in the platform.
The main menu bar icons are:
Processes (Business Process Maps)
Architecture (ERD Diagrams, Process Diagrams, Technical Diagrams)
Changes (Stories, Requirements, Feedback)
Salesforce Orgs (Connected Orgs and Analytics)
Ref Models (Hierarchical models of referenced artifacts that support the Org)
URL Library (Grid view of URLs used in diagrams and processes)
Releases (Groups of Elements items included in a scheduled release)


General Navigation

You will receive internal notifications about reports that have completed processing and ready to view, new spaces, invitations to view a shared space, diagram or process, replies to feedback, and other items which are shown next to your profile. You do not need to do anything to respond to or delete your notifications. Once you have viewed the notifications panel, the unread notifications are automatically marked as read. You will not receive emails that duplicate the notifications. See this article for examples and more information:

Main App Panel (Left Side)

Processes & Architecture

When viewing a Process Map or Architecture Diagram in EDIT MODE a vertical tab bar displays on the left side of the viewable space.


General Terminology

Salesforce metadata is the collection of information about the configurable components of a Salesforce instance.

Metadata does not contain any customer data, only the information about configurations and components of the Salesforce org such as objects, flows, apex classes, field properties, triggers, etc.

There are over 6000 metadata nodes, or components of configuration, in a standard Salesforce org. The amount of metadata expands every time a new component is added, such as a custom field, objects, flows, rules, etc.

Metadata Node

General Terminology

A metadata node is a component of the Salesforce org architecture. For example, the "account name" field is a node that has properties such as field type, length, dependencies, rules etc. Other examples are any standard or custom object, any standard or custom field, reports, listviews, flows, profiles, permissions sets, and just about anything you can create or manage in Salesforce Settings.


General Terminology

Any Salesforce org "instance". As defined by Salesforce an org is: "the virtual space provided to an individual customer of Salesforce, and includes all customer data and applications. It’s composed of Systems of Record (SOR) that store customer data and metadata such as:
Relational Database (DB)
NoSQL Database (HBase)
FileForce (Keystone)
In addition to these datastores there are other services that may store state for the org (search indexes in Solr, Domain Name System (DNS) for MyDomains, etc). This is not an exhaustive list of datastores and the list grows as we improve our infrastructure. For more information please refer to Salesforce architecture documentation.."
An Org has a unique ID, and it can be a production or sandbox org.
See the Salesforce definition here:

Org Models

General Terminology

An Org Model is a tree-like structure of the metadata nodes in your Org. It is created when you sync with your Salesforce Org (Production or Sandbox). You can connect multiple Orgs to your Space and hence have multiple Org Models


Elements Home

Business Process Maps that are used as the foundation for change management. The process maps are created using Universal Process Notation (UPN) which is a hierarchical, simple-notation approach to process mapping that allows for better communication, shared understanding and better insights.


General Terminology / Processes

An acronym for "Responsible Accouintable Support Consulted Informed". These are the responsibilities that can be assigned to a resource associated to an activity. For example, a Sales Manager may be Accountable for closing new sales, and the Sales VP may Support the process, and Sales Ops Manager is responsible for closing the sale. Best practices are to assign one responsibility to a resource. This article details how you can use RASCI notation in Elements to help create stories.

Recently Viewed

Home Page Nav

The home page shows you the last 50 items you recently viewed in Elements. These items are space specific, so each space will have its own collection of your last 50 viewed items.
Items that will appear in the recently viewed tab on the home page are:
-Business Requirements
-Reference Model Nodes
-Salesforce Org Analytics Reports
-Salseforce Org Model Nodes
-URL Library Links
-User Stories
See this article for more information:

Ref Models

Home Page Nav

Hierarchical models of referenced artifacts that support the Org and Space. Elements, you can create hierarchical structures called "Reference models". They are composed of "Nodes", or data items with customizable IDs, descriptions and the ability to attach any additional documentation.. FOR EXAMPLE: You can use Reference models to break down your policies, regulations and other compliance documents into separate chunks which you can then link to your processes to analyze, implement and show compliance.

Release Notes

Home Page Nav

A link to the Elements Support portal and all release notes regarding product updates, release information, and recent changes.


Home Page Nav

The Releases component provides the ability to organize process diagrams and stories into groups to track and collaborate with other stakeholders on the status of changes to be implemented. Diagrams, business requirements and user stories can be added to a Release. When releases are published the diagrams are published and the status of the business requirements and user stories are updated



Business requirements are a tool for documenting your business needs for driving higher value in your company. The Requirements component allows you to view all requirements in a grid view. Requirements have a status and can be associated to business process activities in a business process map in the Diagrams panel. You can add requirements (or stories) directly from the process map by right clicking on the activity box.
Here is an Elements support article detailing how to capture business requirements:

Permissions Explorer

Salesforce Orgs, A360

The Permissions Explorer marks a significant advancement in this area. With its innovative core tools (Access Analyzer, Permissions Comparison, and Compliance Reporting) Permissions Explorer will transform and simplify the way you manage Salesforce permissions.

Properties Panel (Right Side)

General Navigation

When viewing a component in Elements, such as a Process Map, Architecture Diagram, Salesforce Org, or any other component, a right panel displays properties of the component that a user has selected (clicked). For instance, if you click an activity box on process diagram, the right properties panel will display this information via Icons or Tabs within the panel.

Salesfore Orgs

Home Page Nav

This component in Elements displays a list of Salesforce orgs that have been connected to your Elements space. There can be one or many Salesforce orgs connected to a space. Metadata is synchronized daily by deafult for each org connected as long as the connection is configured correctly and the Salesforce userID used for the syncrhonization proccess has the correct permissions assigned in Salesforce set up.

Shared With You

Home Page Nav

The home page lists items shared with you, such as as spaces, diagrams and processes.


General Terminology

A space is your secure working environment inside the Elements application. It is essentially similar to a physical work space that has all the content and tools you need to complete your tasks for a project. It contains process maps, requirements and stories, data tables, Salesforce org models, reference models, themes, documents, users, user groups and all other kinds of content.


Home Page Nav

A user story is a tool used in Agile software development to represent the required feature or change from the end-user perspective. A user story consists of these three components: "As a <<beneficiary>> I want to <<perform an activity>> so I can <<achieve a goal>>. In the Elements platform, Stories are used to capture changes to a business process and can be associated to activities in process diagrams. There is a default lifecycle of status values: "In Design, Ready for Implementation, Being Implemented, Ready for Release, Will not be Implemented, Released". If you have integrated JIRA or a Dev/Ops app, then the status of stories can be synchronized with stories and releases in the JIRA app as well.
Here's an Elements support article with more detailed information about process changes.
Here's an Elements support article about creating and managing stories:



A THEME is a set of UI properties that can be applied to several different components of a space, such as the activity box border color, fill color, as well as font styles and colors. To enhance the view of diagrams or maps, the components can be color-coded to distinguish new vs. current activities or designs. See this article for more information about creating and managing themes, and applying thems.

Tree Navigation


This feature will help you visualise the structure of your process maps and prevent lengthy explanations to your users. Located on the top-left sub-menu bar, when selected it displays a hierarchical view of the process map. The tree contains all sub-levels (Drill downs) of a map and can be expanded or collapsed without leaving the current level (screen).
See this article for more details and examples;


General Terminology

A hierarchical, simple-notation approach to process mapping that allows for better communication, shared understanding and better insights.

URL Library

Home Page Nav

URL Library is a feature (available on PRO/Enterprise license type) that allows you to define a link once in your Space and reuse that link in multiple places. Also, if a URL changes, or you want to update a title, tags, or other information, you can do so in one place. All links and references to the URL across the Space are instantly updated.
URL Library can only be managed by a user with URL Library Manager permission on a PRO/Enter space

Metadata View

Salesforce Orgs

You can use Elements org model to slice and dice your Salesforce metadata however you want. You can create custom, configurable, and pre-filtered list views with ability to take mass-actions on selected metadata.

Org Model

Salesforce Orgs

Once you have connected your Org and synced your metadata, the system will create an Org Model.

Org Model is the general name for the application within Elements that holds and organizes your Salesforce Org's metadata.

Org Model can support different 'views' of metadata. It is a hierarchical tree composed of "Nodes" which represent your Salesforce metadata configuration.

The Org Model is the primary tool for your Org clean-up, documentation and impact analysis. In order to open your Org Model, go to

Custom Metadata View

Salesforce Orgs

If you have Org Model Editor permissions, you can create custom list views of metadata. View this article for a demonstration on how to create a custom metadata view.

Custom views allow you select the attributes (Columns) to show and add filters to focus on a specific set of metadata. For instance, you can create a list of FLOWS with a HIGH complexity score, and display columns for Flow Name, Complexity Score, Created Date, and API version.

  • There can be up to 15 custom views of metadata present in an Org model at a time. If you want more, you will need to delete one of the existing views.

  • List views are shared by everyone in the Org model. The view you create will be visible to other users with access to the Org model.

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