This week saw the final piece in the Salesforce Certification puzzle, as I gained the Advanced Administrator Certification and now have the full set of 8. Unfortunately, one of these (the original Consultant Certification) retires at the end of March, so I only have a couple of weeks before the total drops to 7.
As usual, please don’t ask for or post any actual exam questions. Anything of this nature will be removed immediately.
The exam is 60 question with a time limit of 90 minutes and a pass mark of 67%. In a refreshing change from the last few exams I’ve taken, the questions tend to be short and snappy and quite a lot of them fit onto a single line. It was also unusual, in that I can’t remember any other exams where I had to know the difference between the editions, remember the permissions required for actions and identify the menu sections for various configuration items. Make sure that you read the questions properly - its easy to overlook a ‘not’ or a ‘false’ if you skim read - if you find that there are two valid answers, but the question only requires one, check that you haven’t got the wrong end of the stick.
The study guide is the first port of call when preparing for this exam - everything that came up was mentioned. Areas that you need know are:
- Privacy (sharing) and security - these come up in every Salesforce Certification exam - if you don’t fully understand this side of things they are all going to be challenging.
- Community setup - Ideas and Answers, along with their data categories.
- Territory management - how it differs from the standard role hierarchy, pre-requisites for enabling
- The various desktop tools - Connect for Office, Outlook Connector, Salesforce for Outlook, Offline Edition, Lotus Notes Connector, Apex Data Loader.
- CRM Content - luckily I’ve trained a few customers on this so I had plenty of resources to fall back on.
- Formula fields - best practice for efficient formulas, the various formula functions
- Buttons and links, overriding standard and creating custom
- Extending the platform using the web services API, Apex and Visualforce. You don’t need to know the syntax or reference details, more the concepts of when its appropriate to use them and what the pros and cons are.
- Capabilities conferred upon a delegated administrator.
- Forensic investigations - I’d not come across this prior to reading the study guide - another good reason to read it!
- How to author and deploy apex code and applications
- Sorage usage - what does and doesn’t count against storage limits, plus strategies to manage storage effectively.
- Workflow and approvals, how these can be used to automate business processes and where these fit into the order of execution along with triggers, validation rules, assignment rules etc
- What you can and can't do with the page layout editor
I think this exam would be a struggle if you tried to memorise the configuration information as opposed to working with the system for some time. Salesforce adds more and more functionality with each release, so there it would be a huge amount to remember. Plus as an Advanced Administrator you will be expected to know the limits of the ‘clicks not code’ approach and how you’d go about customizing and extending via the APIs. You will also need to know how to investigate problems and suspicious activity.
And finally a word for the blogger editor - this really excelled itself today. The contents of this post were deleted three times, HTML markup randomly embedded into text and continual failures to save. This made what should have been a simple job extremely painful.