• Lauren O'Brien

My Favorite (possibly underrated) Summer '19 Released Feature

I know we are onto the Winter '20 Release but I simply cannot stop shouting from the rooftops about row-level formulas which were released (in beta) in Salesforce's Summer '19 Release especially because it appears this functionality has flown under the radar for a lot of users.

If you have not heard of row-level formulas, in short, they allow you to evaluate every record (or every row) in a Salesforce report. Now, I get that this might not initially sound groundbreaking but with this seemingly small feature but consider the following -

  • To accomplish this functionality in a report previously, your only option was to create a formula field on the object directly and pull that formula field into a report. This method often results in a plethora of formula fields that may only be utilized in a single report but with row-level formulas, the formula can be built directly into the report if/when needed.

  • As an off-shoot of the above scenario, now users themselves can create these formulas directly on reports without needing to have a System Administrator (or similar) create the formula field on the object.

  • Within Salesforce, users can use row-level formulas directly in the report builder versus having to export the report to Excel and use formulas in that program.

Hopefully you are getting excited about row-level formulas and are ready to try them out but please note that this feature if only generally available so check the update in the Winter '20 Release Notes to see if you can utilize this feature in your Org(s). From my understanding, this feature is only available in Lightning so if you are still solely in the Classic UI then this is yet another reason to consider making the switch.

Let's say you have confirmed that you have access to row-level formulas, all you need to do to start trying them out is create, or open, a report in Lightning and under Outline -> Columns click the down arrow button and select "Add Row-Level Formula" -

A new window will appear which is similar to Summary Formulas in reports where you designate the name of the row-level formula column, a description (optional), the output of the formula (options are Number, Date, Date/Time, and Text), and number of decimal points if the output is a number. Below these fields is the space to create your formula which allows for the same functions available when building Validation Rules, Workflow Rules, and Process Builder criteria.

As an example, let's say we want to add a row-level formula in a Lead report to calculate how many days it has been since each Lead was created. Here is what the row-level formula creation could look like -

Similar to building formulas elsewhere in Salesforce, you can validate your formula to ensure that the syntax is correct but please note that this does not guarantee that the formula will provide you the output intended/expected so even if your formula is confirmed as valid do some investigating to ensure it is working as needed.

I double checked the above formula and confirmed the output was accurate so here it how a row-level formula displays on a report -

As much as I love row-level formulas, currently there are a few limitations to be aware of including -

  • Only one row-level formula allowed per report

  • Row-level formulas cannot be summarized

Given that this is a fairly new feature, am hopeful that Salesforce will expand its capabilities and will be reading further release notes carefully for updates on row-level formulas but if you want a better understanding of current limits and limitations then would recommend this help guide from Salesforce.

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