Top 8 Native Salesforce Terms from the Salesforce Certified Developer Exam

Passing Salesforce certification exams is tough, and unfortunately, you can’t only rely on common sense to get through them. To get ahead of the game, learn key naming conventions, or native Salesforce terms, to ensure you get the most out of your study time.

Expect a native Salesforce term to be used in almost every question in the Salesforce Certified Developer exam – and prepare for seeing fake terms throughout, for an added challenge. Below are the top eight native Salesforce terms you will need to know inside and out to pass your Salesforce Certified Developer exam.

SFDC workflow rules

Workflow rules

Workflow rules
Workflow rules are used to trigger an action on a record, based on a criteria. The criteria can use logic such as when a field is greater than a number, or when a certain picklist value is selected. Four actions are available to be triggered: a field update, a new task being created, an email being sent out or an outbound message; you can have one or more of these actions added to a workflow rule.

Formula fields
Formula fields are uneditable fields that are automatically calculated based on the logic that is input. Formula fields can show data in many formats – text, number, dates and checkboxes, to name a few. Use formula fields when useful information on a page can be derived from other fields, such as calculating how long a case has been open by subtracting the date and time the case was opened from today’s date and time.

Lookup relationship
A lookup relationship field is used to link two objects together. This field allows you to link to another record, which creates a relationship between the two. A related list is then created on the other object’s page layout; this allows you to view all the records that have been linked via this lookup field, and to the record you are viewing.

Master-detail relationship
A master-detail relationship field is very similar to a lookup relationship but with some extra characteristics. A master-detail field has a clear parent-child relationship, of which the parent controls the behavior of the child. Remember that if the parent is deleted, all the child records will go, too. Security settings for the child record are also inherited from the parent; they allow you to create roll up summary fields on the parent object.

Roll-up summary fields
Roll-up summary fields are uneditable fields, similar to formula fields, that allow you to perform calculations across objects that have a master-detail relationship. These can only be placed on the parent object, to calculate across the child objects.  You can do four calculations with a roll-up: count, sum, min and max. You can also filter the roll-up to only include records that meet a certain criteria, such as counting the total of all closed-won opportunities on an account.

SFDC roll up

Roll-up summary fields

Validation rules
Validation rules are used to ensure data integrity on a record. These can be created on any object in Salesforce and will restrict you from saving a record if certain criteria are not met. These criteria can be complex and span across multiple fields, across multiple objects, using many different functions.

Data loader
Data loading is the process of getting data into Salesforce that might be stored in another system or locally on your machine. Salesforce has two main data loaders: the Import Wizard and the Data Loader. You will have to know the advantages and disadvantages of both in order to pass the exam. There are a few different functions you can use to work with your Salesforce systems, including insert, update, upsert and delete. These are pretty straightforward, but upsert may catch you off guard. For reference, upsert is the process of inserting data into Salesforce that isn’t already there based on an ID.

Approval processes
Approval processes are used to make sure that approval is sought as soon as an object goes past a certain stage in a process, such as nearing closing a deal. The first step in creating an approval process is to create criteria, which could be when an opportunity enters the “closed-won” stage, and then specify an approver that these will be sent to. You can create actions associated to approval processes that are similar to workflows, such as when a record enters an approval process, relevant parties will be alerted by emails or updated fields.

The Salesforce Certified Developer exam is logical and will require you to know the features and tools available to you to perform a certain function or job. Salesforce breaks down each section of the exam so you know how important certain areas are. For additional information, download the Study Guide here.  Good luck, everyone!

Ben McCarthy, also known as Salesforce Ben, is a certified Salesforce admin and developer. Ben has a wealth of experience in the Salesforce ecosystem as a Business Analyst, Head of CRM and Consultant.


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