Dynamic Forms

If you haven’t already read about Dynamic Forms or began testing them out in a Sandbox, we highly recommend you check it out, as it’s the biggest improvement to the User Experience since Salesforce moved to Lightning. Now your Salesforce record can be more “business process” centric, instead of being limited to “this is the section for the record detail” and “these are the sections for related lists.” Before, if you needed to add some related records as part of your business process, before you added the next section of fields on the record,  you had to stop mid-process and either scroll to the bottom of the record, or off to the side or an entirely new tab - not very efficient! Now you can make your Lightning page better reflect how and when your users enter data, so it’s more intuitive, like reading a page from top to bottom.

At BackOffice Thinking we’ve found that breaking down your page into tabs that reflect steps in your business process ensures that users not only enter data more quickly, but can get back to the relevant data in the most efficient manner.

So what exactly are Dynamic Forms? Quite frankly, it's a fancy way to say you can now break up your fields into individual components and move them anywhere on a Lightning Record Page. That means:

  • You can add additional components in between your field components (hello single related list in between groups of fields!).
  • You can manage the fields on your page directly from the Lightning Record page, without ever having to touch the page layout editor.
  • You can reduce the number of page layouts you need by leveraging component visibility rules.
  • You only need to assign Lightning Record Pages, instead of assigning both page layouts and lightning layouts - one less thing to worry about when it comes to Salesforce security.

We’re currently setting up Dynamic Forms for several of our Land Conservation clients to use in conjunction with land acquisition tracking. Tracking data related to the acquisition of land Salesforce tends to be very “process centric,” with lots of required steps and due diligence. Not only are there typically many, many, many (did I mention many?!?) date and checkbox fields related to an acquisition, but the acquisition also needs to be related to multiple Interests, funding sources, partnering organizations, people in different roles, or approval processes… all of which can begin to “bloat” the record detail (meaning, a lot of scrolling). Instead, we create tabs to reflect each step in the business process. The first tab is called “Intake,” and has only the basic information fields necessary to get the project started. Then the next tab could be “Acquisition,” with the fields you track before going to the board for approval; and the last tab could be “Board Approval” where you not only document the approval process within Salesforce, but additional details such as the board resolution number, a link to the document, etc. This also breaks down your record into “bite size chunks” so that your users aren’t trying to fill out data fields that aren’t even relevant for several more weeks or months!

We have found a few limitations however, so keep this in mind:

  1. Most critically, Dynamic Forms cannot currently be used on standard Salesforce objects (think Accounts, Contacts & Opportunities) -- they can only be used on custom objects. Good news for LOCATE users though, as Salesforce treats LOCATE objects as “custom” -- which means you can dynamic form away!
  2. If you or your users are fond of the “ctrl+F” functionality, that will only work for the tab you are currently viewing. So if the field you are looking for is on a different tab and you hit “ctrl+F” to find it, it won’t appear.
  3. The more components you add to a page, the longer the page can take to load. So we recommend leveraging the accordion component as well, to speed up loading times.
  4. You cannot add custom links or blank spaces on Dynamic Forms.
  5. To configure the fields you want displayed in a related list or the quick actions you want on your page, you must still do this from the standard page layout editor.

To enable Dynamic Forms, simply open / create a Lightning Record page for a custom object, click on the Record Detail component, and in the component detail pane (right side) click “Upgrade Now.” The wizard will help you walk through migrating your existing page layout to the new Dynamic Form version. That’s it! If you’re already familiar with editing layouts in Salesforce, it should be fairly intuitive to navigate around and make additional changes to your Lightning layout.

Dynamic Forms are a great addition to your tool belt in ensuring you provide your users with the best possible experience in Salesforce. It provides you tremendous flexibility while staying true to the Salesforce Admin fundamental motto, “clicks, not code.”

Are you interested in learning more about how Dynamic Forms can boost your organization’s productivity? Check out this Salesforce Help Doc for more information, or give us a call and we can set up a consultation today!

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