Bird’s Eye View of your Salesforce Implementation at a Glance

If you are a Salesforce Admin and do not have a documented Salesforce System Landscape, here is a template for you to get started. Salesforce system landscape will serve as a quick reference to you and give you a bird’s eye view of your org, features, functionalities being used and other systems it is integrating with. This can be quite useful in

  • Providing an overview to the senior management
  • Onboarding new team members
  • Discussions with other divisions/departments
  • Discussions with 3rd parties for any new implementation
  • Etc….

Here’s how you can document your system landscape. Different sections of the picture are explained below.

Salesforce System Landscape

Click on the image to view it in a bigger size. The picture was created using LucidChart

And here’s the explanation of different sections on the picture

  1. These are the channels through which different users will be connecting to Salesforce. For example, internal users will connect through the core Salesforce app and Salesforce Mobile App (earlier known as Salesforce1), then you may have a separate community for customers and partners. If you have native/hybrid mobile app for internal or external users, mention that here

  2. This is the heart of your Salesforce system landscape – The Salesforce Org. Here you can mention the different features and functionalities that are being used. E.g Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Community Cloud & different AppExchange packages. My recommendation will be to keep it at a high level and mention only the important components. Don’t try to cram too many things here

  3. If you are using Marketing Cloud, then mention the marketing cloud and the features and functionalities of the marketing cloud that you are using. Show how Marketing Cloud will connect to Salesforce (usually through MC Connector)

  4. Just another example to show on the system landscape. If you are using Heroku, then mention Heroku in a separate box. Mention the main features and functionalities that Heroku is being used for. E.g. in the landscape shown above

    • I am showing that the Orders & invoices will be stored on Heroku and will surface inside Salesforce using Salesforce Connect.

    • I am also assuming that there is going to be a rules engine that will be built on Heroku Connect.

    • And the customers’ information will be synched from Salesforce’s Account & Contact object to Heroku using Heroku Connect

  5. If you are using an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) as a middleware to integrate Salesforce with other systems, then mention that in a separate box. Also, link ESB to all the backend systems that will be integrated with Salesforce. For each of the different systems, you may want to mention the main integration points with Salesforce. Keep in mind to show only the systems that will be integrated with Salesforce (as our system landscape is Salesforce focus)

  6. An ETL tool is generally used for data migration, data archiving and batch data synchronization integration pattern. If there is one at play in your company, mention that on the landscape and show the connection to the backend systems that it is being integrated with

  7. If you are using Single-Sign On (SSO) in Salesforce, then show that also on the System Landscape. With SSO, you will have an IdP (Identity Provider) and an Identity Store (e.g. Microsoft Active Directory (AD), LDAP etc.) You may have one or multiple IdPs and Identity Store. Mention that on the landscape

  8. Generally, with communities, companies enable Social Sign On through Facebook or Twitter etc. to make it easy for their customers to log in to the community. If you have enabled Social Sign On in your org, mention that on the landscape

Hopefully, this landscape picture gives you an idea on how to document your Salesforce system landscape. I will recommend to keep it simple so that it is easy to understand and digest. You don’t have to mention everything in one single drawing. If your landscape is complex with too many components, draw an overall picture at a high level and then break it down into multiple drawings, to drill down into specific areas.

And here is a quote from Steve Jobs to give you some inspiration

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs