Understanding Your Salesforce Data Model with SentryOne Document

Tyler Lynch

Published On: April 2, 2020

Categories: Data Lineage, Database Documentation, Documentation 0

Salesforce is the customer relationship management tool of choice for a whopping 150,000+ companies. Analyzing customer data helps business leaders make informed decisions to improve relationships, and ultimately drive retention and sales growth. A Salesforce implementation, however, is only effective if it's properly managed and can be used by all necessary stakeholders within a company.

Businesses grow, companies are acquired, and business sectors merge. As such, a Salesforce instance accumulates more data, and more members of an organization can manipulate the data models, making it difficult to manage. So, how do you manage the system that manages your customer data?

SentryOne Document Now Supports Salesforce

SentryOne Document is our SaaS solution that takes the hassle out of database documentation and makes it easy to understand the lineage of your data in complex data estates. Now, SentryOne Document can capture information from your Salesforce implementation to provide a holistic picture of your CRM data. Let's dive into what that looks like.


Automating documentation in your ever-changing Salesforce environment can be crucial to on-boarding new users, understanding changes over time, and streamlining knowledge transfer across an organization. With the documentation you produce, you can view organized Salesforce metadata for the following:

  • Objects
    • Leads
    • Contacts
    • Cases
    • Users
    • Accounts
    • Opportunities
    • Campaign object
    • Organization specific custom objects
  • Processes
    • Approval process
  • Analytics
    • Dashboards
    • Reports
  • Data Management and clean up
    • Files and folder
  • Flows
  • Workflows
  • Triggers
  • Historical snapshots
Documentation of Salesforce flow

Documentation of Salesforce flow

Tracking Salesforce Data Lineage

The data in your Salesforce instance likely interacts with other systems or data stores in your network. Whether you're feeding a Power BI dashboard to share sales leaderboards or loading Salesforce data into a data warehouse, tracking your data integration and movement can become difficult to manage—but it's crucial. Understanding the dependencies and impact of changes upstream and downstream in your environment saves you time, money, and headaches. Not to mention, with the increased prevalence of data privacy regulations, identifying which systems contain personally identifiable information (PII) can help you become—and remain—compliant to avoid hefty fines.

Also, understanding the data lineage within your Salesforce implementation empowers users to better understand internal architecture and dependencies that might be difficult to grasp otherwise. This is particularly useful when defining which objects will be used in a flow, and especially in understanding which objects are currently being used by a flow.

Salesforce flow data lineage

Salesforce flow data lineage

Creating a Salesforce Data Dictionary

Sure, most Salesforce instances likely have some similarities—leads, accounts, contacts, and opportunities are all probably tracked. But let's be frank—even the most seasoned Salesforce veteran will encounter a steep on-boarding curve as they're brought up to speed on an unfamiliar Salesforce environment. Custom objects/fields and company-specific implementations create endless variation across companies and environments.

SentryOne Document's data dictionary allows you to customize and annotate your metadata documentation to record the details that matter to your users. With the data dictionary, you're able to capture the nuances that aren't explicitly spelled out in your metadata—for instance, as a Salesforce admin, I could annotate the documentation to:

  • Depict which territory belongs to which sales rep(s)
  • Show greater detail in sharing rules and access privileges
  • Describe revisions in record ownership due to updates in job responsibility or territory coverage
  • Identify fields that are no longer actively used but required for historical reasons
  • And much, much more

When paired with documentation and data lineage, the data dictionary empowers users to take command of their distributed data systems and ultimately better serve their customers.

Documentation annotated with data dictionary values

Documentation annotated with data dictionary values

Try SentryOne Document Today

Interested in checking out SentryOne Document for yourself? You have two options.

We now have a live demo environment set up for customers to interact with—no sign-up or configuration required! Take a look here.

If you're ready, start your 30-day trial to see how SentryOne Document can help you take control of your Salesforce environment.

As always, we love your feedback. Let me know what you think!

Tyler is a Product Manager, assisting in the development and delivery of the SentryOne Data DevOps product portfolio. After working as a software developer for almost two years, he transitioned to Product Management with a desire to be more directly involved with SentryOne customers and to leverage the technical experience he's gained to understand the problems and solutions in the industry better. He is thrilled to be a part of the next generation that is committing to improving the lives of the Microsoft Data Professional.