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Intro to App Building with Salesforce


Girl Develop It is here to provide affordable and accessible programs to learn software through mentorship and hands-on instruction.

Some "rules"

  • We are here for you!
  • Every question is important
  • Help each other
  • Have fun


Start Time End Time Topic
10:00 10:30 Intros
10:30 11:00 Salesforce Overview
11:00 12:45 Hands On – App Framework & Data Modeling
12:45 1:30 LUNCH
1:30 3:10 Hands On – User Interface & Business Rules
3:10 3:25 BREAK
3:25 4:35 Hands On – Analytics & Mobile
4:35 5:00 Wrap Up



Salesforce Overview

Salesforce is...





End User View

End User View Screenshot End User View Screenshot mobile menu End User View Screenshot mobile

Setup Home

Setup screenshot

What Will We Build?

Business Requirements

  • Your battle station was destroyed. You need to build another.
  • As the construction project manager, your primary goals are to:
    • manage the construction of the Battle Station
    • live longer than your predecessor
  • You decide to manage your project with Salesforce. This way everyone on your team can collaborate, be successful, and stay alive.
Battle Station App Logo

Why No Code?


Metadata screenshot

Demo: Battle Station Construction App

Battle Station App (desktop) Battle Station App (mobile)

Project Management app to track Battle Stations we’re building, Supplies we need to build them, and Resources (aka People Working on the Project)

Demo: Setup

Setup screenshot

Let's Get Started!

Trailhead logo

We’re using Salesforce’s free learning platform, Trailhead, for all our hands-on exercises

Trailhead playground

We’re using Salesforce’s free offering, Trailhead Playground, as our database

Sign Up for Trailhead (Part 1)

Signup screenshot
  1. Open your web browser and go to Chrome or Firefox is best.
  2. Click Sign Up
  3. Choose a social media account (Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn). Log in.

Sign Up for Trailhead (Part 2)

Signup screenshot Signup screenshot
  1. Click Allow
  2. Complete the “Just a few more questions” form (choose any role) and click Continue

IMPORTANT: Enter ILOVEGDI as your Company Name!

Demo: Trailhead

Trailhead demo

Step 1: App Building

Open your Trailhead Playground

  • Build a Battle Station App project
  • Step 1: Create the Battle Station App
  • Scroll down and click Launch your hands-on org
Trailhead Playground

#ProTip 1: Trailhead & Setup Side-by-Side

Trailhead screenshot Setup screenshot

#ProTip 2: Open Trailhead and your Salesforce Org in Separate Browser Windows

(in Chrome: use Command + ~ to swap windows)

Let's Develop It!

  • Build a Battle Station App project
  • Step 1: Create the Battle Station App
Battle Station App Logo

20 Minutes

Let's Verify It!

Verification screenshot

+ 50 Points

You Made (the bones of) an App!

Basic application screenshot

Salesforce Terminology

  • App: collection of tabs
  • Tab: how users navigates to data (aka records)
  • Records: anything you can make a list of (e.g., battle stations)
  • Object: a place to store records + metadata

The Battle Station Construction App

We need to define more metadata for our app.

Data Models

Step 2: Data Model

A Database is Like a Spreadsheet

Spreadsheet screenshot 1 Spreadsheet screenshot 2 Spreadsheet screenshot 3

Relational Databases have Relationships

Database diagram Tables diagram

Images based on Twitter data model from

Data Modeling Terminology

  • Standard Objects: objects included with Salesforce to store data (records) about things like Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities
  • Custom Objects: new objects you create to store data (records) – custom objects are unique to your company
  • Fields: place to store an individual piece of data for a record – similar to a column in Excel or in a relational database
  • Relationships: special type of field that connects objects

Data Model for Managing your Battle Station Construction Projects

Data model for your project

Data Model for Managing your Battle Station Construction Projects

Custom Field Wizard

  1. From Setup, enter Object Manager in the Quick Find and select Object Manager.
  2. Select Battle Station.
  3. Scroll down to Fields & Relationships, and click New.
Custom Field Wizard

Let's Develop It!

  • Build a Battle Station App project
  • Step 2: Build the Object Model
Battle Station App Logo

40 Minutes

You Made a Place to Store Data in the Database, AND a way to enter that data in the User Interface

Create Battle Station screen


Take a walk around

Think about what you've all learned

Get to know a fellow classmate

Join the Salesforce Community!

Step 3: User Interface

Let's Keep Developing!

Metadata User Interface


  • A user interface (UI) is how people interact with the apps you create.
  • User Experience (UX) is how a person feels about your product

Page Layout Editor

Page Layout Editor screenshot

Page Layout Editor

Rollup Summary Fields (RSFs) allow you to aggregate data from multiple child records and store it on the parent record.

  • Only available in Master-Detail relationships
  • Improves the Usability and User Experience by having the system do the work for your users, making their life easier!

Let's Develop It!

  • Build a Battle Station App project
  • Step 3: Modify the User Experience
Battle Station App Logo

20 Minutes

Step 4: Business Logic

The Battle Station App

Metadata Business Logic

What is Business Logic?

  • All organizations have processes. Some are well documented. Others, not. Business logic in your app is a way to enforce and automate those processes.
  • Validation Rules: Enforcing business processes improves data quality. If it’s not valid to have an invoice without a dollar amount, then don’t let people save one.
  • Process Builder: Automating business processes increases productivity in your organization. If the next step is always to send the customer an email, then let the system do that.

What is Business Logic?

  • Enforce data quality
  • Are associated with an object
  • Are run when a record for that object is created or updated
  • Use formulas to express when data is invalid


  • A formula is an algorithm, similar to a macro in a typical spreadsheet program, that derives a value from other fields, expressions, or values.
  • You can use formulas in many contexts in Salesforce, including Validation Rules and Process Builder processes.

Demo: Validation Rules

Validation rules flow

Process Builder

  • Process Builder allows you to automate business processes using a graphical representation of your process.
  • Processes are associated with an object. Processes are run when a record is created or updated for that object.
  • Processes consist of criteria that determine whether or not to execute actions.

Demo: Process Builder

Process builder flow

Let's Develop It!

  • Build a Battle Station App project
  • Step 4: Add Business Logic
Battle Station App Logo

40 Minutes

Now you’re making the app do the work, not the project manager!

Process builder results

Step 5: Analytics

Let's Keep Developing!

Metadata Analytics

Why Reports & Dashboards?

“If you can’t report on it, the app doesn’t matter.”

– Mike Gerholdt, Salesforce Admins Podcast co-host

Metadata Analytics

Getting quality data into the database is important, but getting it out is even more important.


A report is a list of records that meet the criteria you define. It’s displayed in Salesforce in rows and columns, and can be filtered, grouped, and can include a graphical chart.

Report Builder

Report Builder screencap


  • A Dashboard is a visual display of key metrics and trends for your business.
  • The data for each Dashboard Component comes from a Report.
Dashboards screencap

Demo: Reports and Dashboards

  • End user view
  • Report Builder
  • Dashboards

Let's Develop It!

  • Build a Battle Station App project
  • Step 5: Create Reports and Dashboards
Battle Station App Logo

15 Minutes

Now you can see the costs for all Battle Stations – do you need a bigger budget to control the galaxy?

Budget report screencap

Step 6: Mobile

#1 Job Skill for Salesforce Admins

“I can’t log in! Can you please reset my password?”

Reset Password

If you forget what I said...look here:

Reset Password screen

Let's Keep Developing!

Metadata Mobile

Every App is a Mobile App

Mobile screens

Quick Actions

  • Actions let users perform tasks on the go from the Chatter feed, and from the detail and edit pages.
  • Global Actions can be put anywhere actions are supported.
  • Object Specific Actions can only be put on the object, and they know about the context of that object.
Quick Actions screen

Demo: Global Actions

Add/remove Global Actions via the Global Publisher Layout.

Global Actions screen

Let's Develop It!

  • Build a Battle Station App project
  • Step 6: Make the App Mobile
Battle Station App Logo

20 Minutes

Now your boss can enter new Battle Station records from anywhere!

Mobile results screen

Let's Verify It!

Battle Station App Logo

+ 50 Points

Your Trailhead Profile

Trailhead Profile

What's Next?

Interested in Admin?

Admin trail

Interested in Dev?

Dev trail

Trailhead logo Follow these trails on

Other Next Steps

Salesforce User Groups

Get Connected

  • Developer Groups & User Groups
  • Success Community (
  • Twitter #askforce
Trailhead logo

Keep Learning

  • Articles, Toolkits, Events, Forums
  • Webinars, Blogs, Podcasts
Salesforce Certified logo

Get Certified

  • Study Groups (in Success Community)
  • Salesforce U classes

Tell Us What You Think!

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Please complete this short survey:

Class Photo

Thank you!

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Careers landscape