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We all want our users to be happy, right?

Sure, we may occasionally threaten to give them a read-only profile or lock them out altogether… but in all seriousness, ease of use is crucial if you want any kind of user adoption. And while you can’t just say yes to every single request that comes your way, it’s not hard to find a quick win here and there that will make things easier for your users. This post is about one of those wins.

I don’t know about you, but every org I have ever worked in has had multiple validation rules around setting opportunities to Closed Won. Here is a sample set of some common opportunity validation rules:

Now, put yourself in the shoes of a brand new sales user who is not yet familiar with the process and all of its rules. Imagine the frustration when this new sales rep tries to close an opportunity, but is immediately hit with a stack of errors like this:

 

To admins, those errors all make sense. We built them. We know how they work. But our users hate those big red errors more than anything! I’ve lost count of how many people have complained about my validation rules – and I honestly can’t blame them. Too many errors at once can be confusing, overwhelming, and at the very least, annoying.

From the point of view of a sales user… instead of closing your opportunity and just crossing your fingers and hoping that it will save without any errors, wouldn’t it be nice if you had an indicator that told you it was actually ready to close? Something like this?

Admins – this is where you can make magic happen.

If you have a large group of validation rules that are all based on a common criteria – in this example, setting an opportunity to Closed Won – you can save your users from all those errors with one simple checkbox!

First, start by creating a formula checkbox field. Then, combine all of your validation rules into a formula that will return a value of true if the record meets all validation criteria. Here is the field I created to replace the validation rules listed above:

Important: don’t forget to put specific details in the field’s help text! You don’t want to tell a user that their opportunity is no good, and then not explain why.

Once you’ve got a validation checkbox in place, you can deactivate that list of validation rules! Here’s what I did:

  1. Carefully evaluated my existing validation rules (you’ll see that I had one rule that was based on Probability, not on the Stage being set to Closed Won – so I left that rule active.)

      2. Deactivated the validation rules that were included in my validation checkbox.

      3. Created a new validation rule using only the checkbox.

This is a win for admins as well as users, because you’ll have fewer validation rules to look at when you are troubleshooting validation errors in code, from mass updates, etc.

Bonus: You know that terribly vague “Unable to Submit for Approval: This record does not meet the entry criteria or initial submitters of any active approval processes” error? Well, your users never have to see it again. A validation checkbox is also a great way to let them know if a record is ready to submit for approval! (Or we can keep voting up this idea for the rest of our careers…)

What else would you use a validation checkbox for? Case closure? Quote validation? Lead ready-for-conversion?

 

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9 Responses »

  1. avatar Nagesh Vattikonda says:

    This is great especially with Approval process errors

  2. avatar Adam says:

    Great post. The one thing I’d like to mention though, is that I try to have the validation rules tie to the field that needs to be updated. While it doesn’t give users one place to see everything that’s needed, it will walk them through each specific error that comes up.

    • avatar Celeste says:

      Good point, Adam! I am also considering the idea of a Visualforce component or a .jpg image – something that could go into more detail than a validation error or help text (with their character limits).

  3. avatar Sunil says:

    Really nice, and when it comes to bonus for approval processes makes it more great…

  4. avatar Michelle Grant says:

    I like this idea and will keep it in mind! Thanks!

  5. avatar Dan says:

    This is great! Also if you have the space on your layout you could have it display a jpg that shows what is needed. Then if you wrap it into and IF you could have it display a big check-mark or “Ready To Go” image once all data is ready to go.

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