Welcome the second edition of the Back to Basics series! The Back to Basics series comprises the topics that will help get you to get started in your Salesforce journey but will also serve as a reminder for seasoned users who want to revisit Salesforce core functionality.
Last week I wrote about Chatter and some of the wonderful functions it has. This week’s edition is about Page Layouts and how you can create and customize multiple Page Layouts for your various teams of users [note: for Personal, Contact Manager, Group and Professional Edition Orgs, every user views the same layout. Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited, Performance and Developer Edition orgs can create different page layouts for use by different Profiles and Record Types and set field-level security settings to further restrict users’ access to specific fields]. Page Layouts control the organisation of Fields, Related Lists, Standard and Custom Buttons, Sections and many other functions. The topics covered in this edition are:
- The Scenario
- Creating a Page Layout
- Field options
- Assigning Page Layouts
- Force.com quick access menu
The scenario for this example is:
ACME Corporation have created a bespoke Sales team to sell a specific product to existing clients. In order to capture the information they need to contact the client and add all related information, the team have requested a new Contact Page Layout specific to them and to be used only by them.
Creating a Page Layout
As with all Salesforce configuration, to access the Page Layouts for your object start in the Setup area [Setup link next to your name on the top right hand corner]. From here, choose the object you want to create a Page Layout for. For this example, I will be creating a new Page Layout for the Contact object using the Enhanced Page Layout Editor [Setup / Customize / Contacts / Page Layout / New].
Once you’ve clicked New, you will be asked if you want to clone an existing Page Layout and if you want the Page Layout to be Feed-Based. A Feed-Based Page Layout puts the Chatter on a separate tab within the record giving you a Feed tab and a Details tab.
I want to create a brand new Feed-Based Page Layout so I type the name of my new Page Layout and check the Feed-Based Layout checkbox then click Save.
The Sales team provided me with a list of the Sections, Fields, Buttons and Related Lists they wanted to appear on the Page Layout so using the Enhanced Page Layout Palette I can now drag and drop each of these items onto the layout [note: to add elements, drag them from the palette to the layout Valid drop locations show up in green. To remove elements, drag them off the layout and back to the palette].
Once you’ve added all your elements, click Quick Save  and then Preview As…  to get a quick view on the layout. [note: I always add the History Related List to all my Page Layouts so I have quick access to view all recent changes users have made to the record]. You can make further changes if required.
A requirement for the Sales team is that Fields key to them are mandatory. To do this, as a Salesforce Admin you can make these Fields “Required”. By hovering over the field and selecting the Properties icon you can make the Field Required or Read Only. If you make the Field Required, it means that a user cannot save the Record until data has been entered into that field. However, if you make a field Read Only it means that the field is visible to users but they cannot edit it.
In my scenario, I want to make the Email field Required [note: when you make a field Required, a red asterisk appears to the left of that field] and the Contact Record Type field Read Only.
If you are happy with the layout click Save to return to the list of Contact Page Layouts in Setup.
Next, I want to ensure that only the Sales team have access to this custom Page Layout. To do this I need to assign the Page Layout to their Profile.
From the Setup area I go to Administer / Manager Users / Profiles, select the relevant Profile and in the Find Settings box type Contact. Once I’m in the settings page for Contacts, I click Edit to assign the Sales Team Contact Layout to the relevant Record Types [note: in this scenario, I am assigning the Sales Team Contact Layout to both the Main Record Type and the Master].
I can check that the correct Page Layout is visible for the Sales team by logging in as one of the members of the team. To do this, enter the name of the user in the Search box in the Navigation Menu and click Enter.
From the user record, I can then click Login and am able to see the Record Types, Page Layouts and overall views that user has of the Salesforce Org. It’s a great way to check the changes you have made are all working as expected!
Force.com Quick Access
I find that once I’ve created a Page Layout, if I want to make small edits to it then the quickest way to do this is by using the Force.com Quick Access Menu. You can access this menu while you are using the record. Click the small blue arrow on the right had side of the page to expand the Force.com menu .
It allows you to quick make changes to the Page Layout and to view the Object in more detail.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks Back to Basics edition. Look out for the next Blog of this series titled “Account and Contact Record Merging”.