Learning Objectives

 After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Setting up a sync to an Org
  • Navigate around the Elements Org Model
  • Understanding the analytics; Org Analytics report and in the Org Model

Getting started: setting up a sync

Before we can think about how this can be applied to client engagement, you need to understand, at a high level, the power of Elements Catalyst.  

Here is the 90 second summary. Then we are going to set it up in a Dev Org and have a mooch around inside the Org Model.

Use Elements Catalyst QuickStart to sync an Org

This video steps you through installing the managed package and running Quick Start to run this Trail.  Install the managed package in a a Dev Org. Here is the link to create a Dev Org.

Once you have installed the managed package, run QuickStart. It connects the Dev Org for an Elements user (username is an email address). Therefore, the Salesforce username you use to log into your Dev Org with needs to have the Elements username/email address associated with it (Just to confuse you. Salesforce usernames are not emails, they just look like them). QuickStart also creates a new Space called “Salesforce Documentation” and makes it a Pro Trial - 14 days, 3 Editors. It then makes the connections between Salesforce and Elements in both directions. Finally, you kick off the initial sync to the Org. This sync’s the Dev Org metadata into an Elements Org Model.

When sync has finished, you will get an email. Yay!!  
The time for the sync is based on the size of your Org. A Dev Org takes - 5-10 mins.  Sandboxes take longer than Production as Salesforce prioritizes API calls. An Org of 50,000 metadata items takes about 2 hours. 

Open up your Salesforce Org in the Elements Org Model 

You have sync’d your Org metadata to the Org Model in Elements.cloud. It uses the Tools and Metadata APIs. You can automate the sync to run nightly. 

The trial only syncs the Salesforce core metadata, but you can also add managed packages to the sync. 

Now all the metadata is in the Elements.cloud Org Model, the magic can happen.  

The Org Model may be the first time you’ve seen a this perspective of an Org. The reaction may be “WOW”, “OMG” or “Ahhh, that’s why…”.  

How big is the Org? We’ll give you a summary on the right panel.

Log into Elements. It runs on the AWS platform, not inside Salesforce.  Go to http://Elements.cloud or http://app.Q9elements.com/signin  You can login using your Elements username and password.

Now you have logged into Elements you need to open the Org Model. Make sure you are in the Salesforce Documentation Space. Click on Spaces in the left hand menu and select the Salesforce Documentation Space. You should also see your company Space and some public Spaces.

Then select Salesforce Orgs in left menu. You will see just one listed but there could be multiple Org Models each one sync’d to a different Production or Sandbox Org.  

Click on the name of the Org Model to open it in a new browser tab. It is a tree structure and you get a summary of your Org in the right panel.

Resist the urge to start opening up the tree structure. Instead, click on the “Launch Salesforce Org Analytics” in the top bar to run the report. It gives you some powerful insights into your Org. The report opens up in a new tab in the browser and can be run at any time as it builds the report from the latest Org Model data. Let’s look at that first.

The Org Analytics Report

Take a quick look at the contents on the left of the report to see what is currently provided. Click on any item in the contents panel to go to that section. The report is interactive. You can filter and sort the graphs. This is more detailed than Salesforce Optimizer and is focused on the configuration of your Org and how well documented it is. 

The analysis in the Org Model and the Org Analytics report has been designed to help support and focus the clean-up and documentation project. 

Later we will discuss what is in the analysis and what to focus on with clients. For now this is just a quick look to see the capabilities and the concepts.

Navigating the Org Model tree structure

Let’s go back to the Org Model in the other tab and start to drill into the Org Model.  You can see that it is a tree structure and if you click on the arrow alongside any item (we call them nodes) you can expand it to see the next level of detail (child nodes) and so on down multiple levels.

The node has the name of the customization (e.g. the Object name) and in italics the description field is pulled from Salesforce, if a description field exists for that type of customization. Not everything in Salesforce has a description field, such as Apex Classes or Lightning pages. 

The columns - Tags, Status, GDPR, # of links - can be dragged to change position and size.

You can automate the sync to run nightly. If an item in Salesforce is deleted, then the next time the sync runs the Org Model shows the Status as deleted but keeps it in the tree structure along with any documentation you may have linked to it.

Whenever you select a node, the right panel gives specific information for that node. In the image below the custom object Project has been selected.

The Org Model right panel

Click on the top level of the Org Model (the top row of the tree “Salesforce Production”) and the right panel gives you an overview of all customizations in both the core and managed packages, if you have added managed packages to the sync. The right panel scrolls so you can see more information.  If you click on the SYNC HISTORY tab you can see the history of the previous syncs but you can also kick off a new sync from here.

For every node in the right panel there are DETAILS, DOCUMENTATION and COMMENTS tab.

DETAILS tab has the information that is available through the Salesforce APIs. It varies for each type of node in the Org Model. There is also a link to open up that customization in Salesforce Setup if a setup page exists for it.

DOCUMENTATION tab is where you can add documentation. This can be notes, URL links, Data Tables (metadata on metadata), process diagrams and requirements. More on this later.

COMMENTS is like a Chatter stream for every node where you can @mention colleagues.  BTW the free Viewer license allow users to post of comments for free - provided they have been give access to the Org Model.

Open up the Objects section. There will be a Standard Objects section and if there are custom objects then there will be a Custom Objects section. 

Click on an Object  - for example Account - and the right panel gives a summary of the object including the number of records by record type. Just keep scrolling down the right panel.

Objects have an additional tab USAGE. This shows which fields (system, standard, custom) have data in them. Click on USAGE and then filter the fields by Custom.

Fields have several additional tabs; 

  • USAGE shows how populated fields are by record type and also where fields are used. The analysis covers email templates, page layouts, reports, automation and rules. 
  • ACCESS tab shows the field access by user for permission sets and profiles. This needs to be requested on demand at a field level as it is a huge analysis task.  That’s why it is not done for every field in every object every time the sync is run. There is a link in the tab to kick off the analysis and collect the data which is done asynchronously. 
  • GDPR has the structure to collect the metadata required for GDPR assessment and compliance (outside scope of this trail - see other knowledge articles or engage with us at success@elements.cloud)

The USAGE and ACCESS analysis would be impossible to do manually and keep up-to-date. 

Every item that can be edited in Salesforce Setup will has a link which will open it in the specific page in Setup so you can work on that item. It is a blue cloud icon.  This saves so many clicks, so much time and frustration.

Drill down the tree structure in an Object to a Field.  

Look at the DETAILS tab and then the USAGE tab. Keep scrolling down the USAGE tab.

Open up one of the areas where the Field is used  e.g. page layout.  Click on the icon to launch Salesforce Setup to edit that item.  How many clicks and how much time did that save!!!

Managed packages

You can include managed packages in your sync. You add the managed packages from the Elements Space Management Connections page.  Once you have selected the managed packages, you will need to kick off another sync to get the metadata from Salesforce.

The metadata for each managed package is in its own tree structure. This is found below the tree structure for the core metadata. The right panel at the top level of each managed package gives the summary data. In the image you can see there are 6 managed packages.


QuickStart Setup video: https://vimeo.com/286013776

Manual Set up video: https://vimeo.com/249601674

Installation and Configuration Guide: https://app.box.com/s/47vuxaomiambyvtszni9hkk26c22g18i

Adding managed packages to your sync: https://support.elements.cloud/understand-your-salesforce-org-clean-it-up-and-document-it/adding-managed-packages-to-sync 



1. Where can you find the total number of objects in your Org?

A.  Top level of the Org Model in right panel

B.  Org Analytics Report

C.  Elements Org Model page

2.     Where can you launch a sync from?

A.    Top level of the Org Model in right panel

B.    Org Analytics Report

C.    Elements Space Management Integrations page

D.    Inside each object there is a partial sync

3. Elements.cloud Catalyst replaces Salesforce Optimizer

A.    Yes. It goes into more detail

B.    No. If covers different areas

C.    No. It goes into more detail in the area of documenting your Org

D.    No. It allows documentation to be added so is an ongoing resource




NEXT Unit 4 - Use Elements Catalyst to engage with clients (15 mins)

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