Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Trailhead: One Year (Almost) Later

rtaImageOne of many exciting announcements coming out of Dreamforce ‘14 was the introduction of TrailheadSalesforce introduced its new guided learning platform, which combined educational material with interactive tutorials.  Best of all, you track your progress through points and badges adding a gamification element to learning.

Trailhead is Born

Since its launch with three trail trails and a handful of modules, it seems nothing can stand in the way of Trailhead’s continued growth.  While its initial focus was on developers, the most recent update this week eliminates any doubt that Trailhead is the learning platform for all.  Newly released modules and trails cover CRM Basics, Accounts & Contacts and Leads & Opportunities.  While prior updates have included Administrator focused content as well Beginner and Intermediate, this update seems to be the start of something more.

Learning for All

Looking forward, I would not be surprised to see more content focused across a wider audience within Trailhead.  The first hints of this come with the new Dreamforce Trail which helps you get ready for Dreamforce ‘15.  In a year from now, we will probably be talking about Trailhead being the one stop shop for learning everything about Salesforce and bemoaning how tough life was BT (Before Trailhead).

My Trailhead Addiction

I have to admit, I am a certified Trailhead addict and try to jump on the modules as soon as they come out. There are a couple of mobile modules and project that I have yet to complete.  However, I have blazed all of the other trails, including the the new modules that were recently released.  Let’s take a deeper look at a module that I particularly enjoyed in the new release – Event Monitoring.

Trailhead’s Event Monitoring Module

The Spring ‘15 Release introduced a new Event Monitoring API that enables access to the same information Salesforce has to understand how your Salesforce Org is being used.  Access to the insight in these events makes it easy to identify abnormal patterns and help secure your data.  The module has three challenges to it. 

The first is Getting Started with Event Monitoring, which provides an overview of the feature, what can be tracked as well as several use cases for event monitoring.  Event monitoring provides tracking for over 29 different types of events including:

  • Logins
  • Logouts
  • URI (web clicks)
  • UI (mobile clicks)
  • Visualforce page loads
  • API Calls
  • Apex executions
  • Report exports

With all this detailed information at your fingertips, on possible use case is to monitor for data loss.  For example, when a sales person leaves, use event monitoring to look for any abnormal report export activity to prevent your customer list from landing with a competitor.

Query Event Log Files is the second challenge in the module.  Once you have the correct permissions to use event monitor, head over to Workbench to use the SOQL Query Editor or REST Explorer to take a look at events in your org.  While both SOAP and REST APIs exist to query event log file, there are key differences which the unit helps explain.  I especially like the REST examples and results presented in Trailhead. With REST you can query for a Log File ID and then return a CSV of the results.


The last step to earning your Event Monitoring Badge is the Download and Visualize Event Log Files challenge.  There are multiple methods to downloading Event Log files, including a browser app (check out the module for full details).  Once you have the data in hand, you can use your favorite tools to analyze and chart trends over time.

While I have no doubt Excel and Google Docs will be popular choices, I love the option to push the data into the Salesforce Analytics Cloud.  You have the benefits of a platform built to explore data and unlock insights.  Best of all, as another Salesforce cloud, it is easy to share results with the rest of the team.  For example, I pulled out the event log for API calls, loaded them into the Analytics Cloud and reported occurrence by IP address.


What Will You Learn Next

By now, I hope you are as excited as I am to learn something new.  Head on over to Trailhead, pick a module or trail and expand your knowledge today.

1 comment:

  1. Great tool, have seen alot of folks really use trailhead! Thanks for posting this.