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De-mystifying Metadata to design a secure Salesforce Org

Why is Metadata the secret sauce in Salesforce recipe?

Metadata is "data[information] that provides information about other data". It is used to summarize, retrieve basic information about data which can make tracking and working with specific data easier. In the Salesforce context, Meta data a data base structure to store data components such as Apex classes, Apex triggers, Visualforce pages, components, objects, flows and workflows.

Salesforce provides metadata types and components to represent org configuration and customization. As a Salesforce developer, we feel there are three key focus areas where we can use metadata API add value to our SF Org:

  1. Assess and control the health of the Salesforce org

  2. Security Assessment through Metadata

  3. Tool for effective administration of the org

Health report and level of customization

Organizations using Salesforce are always trying to get the best ROI for their investments in their Salesforce ecosystem. Yet, one of the largest obstacles for this is Technical Debt. Technical debt happens when organizations use data-heavy solutions which are deployed in a short period of time. As developers or architects, we do not think technical debt or the health of the org while building the solution. It's not until it shows up in the form of extra work or a point where the application's technical load has become unmanageable and the platform has stopped working at peak performance.

It is important to keep a track of the level customization and health of the org. For example, the allowed objects/fields are as below.


Metadata of the Salesforce is a very useful to analyze the health of the org and keep a check of the level of customization added to the org. We have leveraged the metadata API of Salesforce to build a comprehensive Health report which gives you a view of number of standard and custom objects, apex classes, visual force pages, triggers and total lines of code in your Org which helps you to keep track of Org's customization.



One Click Metadata Customization

Standard salesforce functionality allows you to create objects and fields where in it involves multiple clicks and information entering. With the help of metadata API, we have built a UI where in administrators/developers can create objects , fields and edit fields in just one Click. This has improved the productivity in the ecosystem and reduced the level of manual errors


We feel it is important to incorporate downloadable Configuration workbook info - Object wise field name ,type  , Security Modal info - FLS , Permission sets, profiles and roles , and Customization report so that the developer gets all the important info such as field types , FLS at one single repository rather than different sources involving multiple navigations.

Users/developers can download these metadata reports in excel for analysis purpose.



What next in Metadata API

As mentioned above - with metadata API - Level of customization can be tracked and minimized efficiently and metadata customization can be done on a single click . Metadata API can also be extended to do various other functionalities to make tasks easier for developers. For example : it can be used for metadata deployment from one salesforce Org to other , profile and permission set deployments, compare and modify metadata permissions(classes,pages etc) and many more.  

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