Welcome to my site. My name is Bill Greenhaw. I am a salesforce.com geek and MVP.

I am not the greatest writer around. Not even close. But hopefully you will enjoy what you do read, maybe laugh a bit, and hopefully learn something along the way.

Some say I think outside of the box but I don’t like thinking there is even a box to think outside of. In my mind only a solution exists. This might not fit with some people’s business philosophy  and I understand this. My mind works this way, though, and this is how I will write here.

I am completely transparent on this site. I don’t try to hide anything. I don’t try to play any games. I am who I am and it is that simple.

Sarcasm might be used often on the site.

If you have anything you would like me to write about contact me. My services are also available, even though the amount of time might be limited.

Dreamforce 2014 Parties


Dreamforce 2014 is fast approaching. And that means it is my annual time to start following and listing all the awesome night life parties at Dreamforce. After a long day of brain overload at Dreamforce the parties at night are a great time to unwind and network.

Remember to RSVP for the ones you want to attend. Some of these fill up quickly, so sign-up early.

NOTE: This list will be updated often. So keep checking back

All Days/Multiple Days

The Oasis – At the B Restaurant and Bar on Mon 9am – 3pm, Tue 8am – 2pm, and  Wed 9am – 3pm. Enjoy some coffee, tea, and snacks; recharge your phone; and even get a free back massage.

Cotap Cupcakes –  Cotap will be giving away, in partnership with Kara’s Cupcakes!, themed cupcakes (the Marc Benioff, The Hillary Clinton or The Bruno Mars) for free to all Dreamforce attendees.  10/14 and 10/15 from 11AM to 3PM –  70 4th Street, across from the Marriott Marquis on Mission St. Cotap will also be donating $1 to the Salesforce Foundation for every cupcake selfie shared on Twitter.  Follow Cotap and use them in your tweet.

Sunday, Oct. 12th

 Salesforce ISV nextLevel Welcome Party – When you arrive to San Francisco, we would like to invite you to check-in, drop your bags, freshen up and get ready to party nextLevel style!
5pm-10pm, La Mar on the Embarcadero

Pre-Dreamforce Kick-Off Reception – A great way to start off the night before Dreamforce is with some fine wine and food, thanks to Jobscience and RingLead | Broadlook.
6pm-8:30pm, Press Club

Monday, Oct. 13th

Dreamforce Kick-Off Party with ServiceMax – Start the first day of Dreamforce off with ServiceMax. Food, drinks, and networking.
4pm – 6pm, Great Room, The W Hotel

Roller Disco! – Break out the roller skates and have some fun doing some Roller Disco.   Brought to you by AdRoll.
8pm–12am, Mezzanine

Xede Dreamforce Kickoff – Join Xede for food and drinks at the award winning Bar Agricole.
6:30pm-?, Bar Agricole

What the Tech? – Join Salesforce, Apttus, Box and Deloitte in the Green Zone for the first annual WhatTheTech? Dreamforce launch party.
6:30pm-8:30pm, Apttus Quote-to-Cash Green Zone 201 3rd St. #1

Small & Medium Business Blastoff Party – If you are a SMB then start off Dreamforce night with a party exclusively for you.
8pm-11pm, Jones Bar

The Opening Night Soiree – Join InsideView for The Opening Night Soiree at Novela, the #1 rated event venue during Dreamforce.
9pm-12am, Novela

OutForce LGBTA Dreamforce Party – OutForce is salesforce.com’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & Allies (LGBTA) Employee Resource Group (ERG) for employees who wish to participate in outreach and collaboration on workplace practices promoting and celebrating diversity in all forms within our global workforce.
7:00pm-10:00pm, Audio Nightclub

The Dreamforce Elite Experience – Join Domo and Magnet 360 for cocktails and food.
8pm-11pm, Marriott Marquis San Francisco

B2B Marketers Roaring 20s Party – Kick off Dreamforce in “Roaring 20’s” style and network with top notch B2B Marketers.
9pm-12am, Manor West

Tuesday, Oct. 14th

DF’ 14 Newbie “Reunion” Breakfast – Not a party but a great event to meet new people and have a great breakfast. Great way to start off the day.
6:15am – 8:00am, Sears Fine Foods

Meet the Salesforce MVPs at Dreamforce – Come meet Salesforce and Force.com MVP’s (I will be there). Food, drinks and tons of awesome stories.
4pm-5:30pm, Admin Zone – Moscone Center

Pre-Gala Happy Hour – The Gala is always an amazing event. Before the Gala/Concert begins, grab a drink and network with NewVoiceMedia.
5pm-?, The Terrace at the Westin

Preact Pre-Party for the Dreamforce Gala – Join the Preact team for some pre-Gala drinks at food.
5pm-8pm, Soluna Lounge

Dreamforce Gala & UCSF Benefit – The biggest get together/party at all of Dreamforce. This year it outside at the Convention Center (same as two years ago for Red Hot Chili Peppers).
6:30pm-10:00pm, Civic Center

Wednesday, Oct. 15th

Cirrus Insight Happy Hour 2014 – At one of my favorite spots around Moscone, ThirstyBear, this will be a fun one from 4pm to 8pm. Beer and swag, what else do you need?
4pm-8pm, Thirsty Bear

Rush @Roe – Great party atmosphere here. Music, food, drinks, and entertainment abound.
7:30pm-1:00am, Roe Nightclub

Party with Pardot – Come to connect and stay to party at the Pardot Masquerade. This looks like a fun one.
9:00pm-12:00am, Vessel

The Engagement Party – Awesome party for non-profits.
8:00pm-?, Supper Club

Just Say Yes – Yesware is hosting this party that goes until 1am. Don’t know much about it yet but I will post more when I find out more.
7:00pm-1am, The Box SF

Wednesday Night Happy Hour – Hosed by Cloud Sherpas, CipherCloud, and Birst Happy Hour at the B Restaurant & Bar.
5:30pm-8:30pm, B Restaurant & Bar

AppBash – Multiple companies sponsor this yearly party. I believe it will be at the Metreon this year. You need to get a stamp of all the sponsors in the Expo area to get into this party.

Urban Cabana – Join Bluewolf and Apttus for a lively evening of music, cocktails, and networking at Natoma Cababna.
6:30pm-10:30pm, Natoma Cabana.

Zuora Block Party – This is an annual party put on by Zuora.  This year it will be held at the Mint.
7pm-12am, Mint Plaza

The In Party – Take a break from the chaos and speak easy with your peers.
8pm-12am, Bourbon and Branch

Acumen Solutions’ Cloud Octane Party – Grab a drink from Bartendro, enjoy an interactive gaming experience, and wrap up the evening with a rockin’ surprise guest performance.
7:30pm-11:30pm, 111 Minna Gallery

Ultimate 80’s Blowout – 80’s party including networking, drinks, food and entertainment. San Francisco’s premier Bay Area band Tainted Love will join us as we throw back and celebrate some of the greatest songs of the ’80s.
9pm-11:30pm, The Exploratorium

Thursday, Oct. 16th

Rehab – After a long week everyone will need a little rehab. FinancialForce will help with your rehab from 8:30am to 1pm. Enjoy a sparkling mimosa or spicy bloody mary.
8:30am-1:00pm, B Restaurant & Bar

4th Annual michaelforce.org Cigar Shindig – Go enjoy a cigar with the one and only MichaelForce. Always a great time.
6:00pm-9:00pm, Cigar Bar and Grill

Difference between 15 and 18 character ID’s and history of why they both exist


If you have any data updates, integration, formulas using something like ProfileID, or just simply noticed a bunch of characters in your salesforce.com URL when you are reviewing a record then you might know there is a 15 character ID and an 18 character ID. But what is the difference? And why two ID’s?

The 15 character ID is what you will see when you view the URL. Go to an Account and you will see this; for accounts they start with 001. This ID is case-sensitive (I will go more into that later). The 15 characters are completely unique in your salesforce.com instance, when case-sensitive.

The 18 character ID is seen when you, for example, use a tool like Data Loader to extract your data. The first 15 characters are exactly the same as what I wrote above, but with an additional 3 characters. This ID is case-insensitive. The 18 characters are completely unique in your salesforce.com instance, when viewing as case-sensitive or case-insensitive

What does all this case-sensitive or case-insensitive mean? Basically case sensitive means that ABC, aBc, and abc are seen as unique. Case-insensitive means that ABC, aBc, and abc are seen as the same. Databases are can be setup to be case-sensitive or case-insensitive.

Now to a bit of a history lesson to show why salesforce.com has both 15 and 18 character ID’s. Salesforce.com is built on Oracle databases and Oracle is good as default to case-sensitive for databases. Salesforce.com has great developers and used this case-sensitive database approach. I do not know the math but I know the 12 unique characters (not 15, since each ID starts with 3 characters of the object they are in…ie: Accounts = 001) gives for trillions of records without issue of running out of unique ID’s for each object.

Wait, if I can have trillions of records on each object with the 15 character case-sensitive ID why is their this 18 character ID? When salesforce.com first started out there was no API yet. The API came, I believe, towards the end of 2002 / beginning of 2003 (I could be off a bit). Before the API existed ID’s were not that important to customers (a bit but not like now). When the API came out customers started integrated data with salesforce.com, led to running updates against data instead of just importing data, using Excel VLookups (don’t laugh, that is what we did a lot in the olden days) or external databases to match data for updates, deletes, analysis, etc… If you play with data you might be seeing where this is leading. Salesforce.com didn’t have an issue but external systems/applications did.

Many databases are setup as case-insensitive. Excel VLookup and other functions are case-insensitive. Some development languages are case-insensitive.  Etc…etc… The more data you have in a salesforce.com object you have a greater chance of have two ID’s that were the same when viewed as case-insensitive. I encounter this often. Because of this salesforce.com had to add something so people/tools/applications that were case-insensitive could see each ID as unique and able to update data to the correct ID. So salesforce.com added the 3 extra characters to the end of the ID, and now every 18 character ID is completely unique when case-insensitive.

So that is about it. This is why you see both a 15 character ID and an 18 character ID. All about case-sensitivity.

TIP: If you export data from reports and you want to make sure the ID’s are unique you can use the CASESAFEID() function. Basically create a custom formula field on your object.You don’t need to display the field on your page layout. All you will do is use this field when exporting or needing the 18 character ID instead of the 15.

How many days to Dreamforce 2014?


I again added a countdown to salesforce.com’s Dreamforce ’14 conference. Come back often and look at the sidebar on the right to see just how quickly Dreamforce is approaching. If you have never been to Dreamforce before then you need to! Anyone involved with using salesforce.com at all needs to experience this awesome conference.

Healthy Road to Dreamforce ’14


Are you going to Dreamforce 2014? Looking to get a bit healthier before then? Well there is a group on the salesforce.com Success Community site that you should join – Healthy Road to Dreamforce ’14.

Last year I started a group on the Success site that named “Dreamforce Weight Loss Challenge”. It was great, as many people joined. The average person in the group lost about 12lbs. We also had some awesome sponsors that gave away some cool goodies to everyone who participated.

Because last years group was a success then I decided to continue it for the next upcoming Dreamforce. This year it is all about simply being healthier. This can be weight loss, more exercise, eating better, etc… And we are starting already! No better time to get healthier than now.

So come join this awesome group. You can click the link above to go check out the group. You can also officially sign-up via this force.com form. Make sure you post and say hi to the group once you join.

Using Roll-up Fields for better List Views


Using salesforce.com list views correctly can save people a lot of time and make users more productive than reporting. Reports have a purpose and list views have a purpose. Unfortunately many do not use list views enough. I will try to give some tips to make list views work better for you by using roll-up fields.

Currently salesforce.com doesn’t allow you to do multiple objects in list views, unlike in reports. List views only allow you to use the one object you are on. You can vote for cross object list views on Success Community site. Until this Idea is implemented, if it ever is, we need to find workarounds. I will give a few examples below. Of course there is more you can do and I surely do not know of everything but I feel these can be salesforce.com time savers.

These list views are just some examples of what you can do. Since everyone’s business is a bit different you can use these are more of a tutorial and then create your own to suit your needs.

Accounts without Opportunities

Using custom report types you can create a report that shows accounts that have no opportunities. But with list views this cannot happen….unless you create a roll-up summary field.

First you will create the new roll-up summary field.

  • Create a new custom field on the account object.
  • Choose Roll-up Summary as the data type, then click Next.
  • For the field label type in Number of Opportunities, then click Next.
  • For Summarized Object choose Opportunities
  • Click Count, then Next.
  • Choose who you want to have the ability to see this new field, then click Next.
  • It is up to you if you want people to see this field on the page layout or if just to be used in views. So either check or uncheck what fits your need. For this example check all the boxes so the field shows on all page layouts.
  • Click Save

Now you have a new field that simply counts all opportunities under an account. If there are no opportunities for an account then the number will be 0.

So knowing that you now have a count of opportunities we can create the list view.

  • Click on the Account tab
  • Click the Create New View link
  • Name the view Accounts without an Opportunity
  • Under Filter by Additional Fields choose Number of Opportunities EQUALS 0
  • Click Save

Now you have a list view that will only return you account that do not have an opportunity. This can help you find potential missing revenue.

Accounts without Won Opportunities

So now we will take the example above and add to it. For this we want the same account view to only show accounts that doesn’t have any won opportunities. So they can have opportunities, just none that have been won.

  • Go back to your roll-up summary field on the account object. Click Edit by the field
  • Choose Only records meeting certain criteria should be included in the calculation
  • Make the criteria Won NOT EQUAL TO True
  • Click Save

That is it. You are done. Now your list view, since it always is referencing this field, will only show you accounts that has never had a closed and won opportunity.

Accounts with Opportunities in a certain year

Now lets look at changing the above list view to only show you accounts that have an opportunity in 2013 (as an example). Salesforce.com usually allows you to use relative date values, such as CURRENT YEAR, LAST YEAR, etc…. For this example I wanted to make a point. Unfortunately you cannot use relative dates in roll-up summary fields. I assume this is for performance reasons as relative dates change constantly.

So if you want to do a list view of something like Accounts with Opportunities from last year you will have to put the in two filters….1) Close Date greater or equal to 1/1/2013 and 2) Close Date less than or equal to 12/31/2013.

It is a bit of a pain but if you create the views with names that include the year instead of using “Last Year”, for example, then you are fine. You just have to remember to create new views each year.


So you can keep going on and on. My point of this was to try and make you think outside the box most stay in. Get creative and don’t stop using list views because of cross object limitations. List views are great in many ways. You just need to be creative in using them.

Spring ’14 Release Notes – My Top List


Salesforce.com Spring ’14 Release Notes are out. I always love the new releases. What is there not to love? You get to learn and play with new “stuff”.

Here is my top list from the release notes. Others will probably have different favorites. These just are things that interest me. There are a lot of nice stuff coming in Spring ’14.

  1. Post Announcements in Chatter Groups

    I have been waiting for a feature like this for a while. This is definitely one of my top new features, if not the top. When I found it about this new feature my day got much better.

    I needed this while trying to promote the Dreamforce Weight Loss Challenge for DF13.You will be able to have a post in a Chatter Group this is prominent. This is a much-needed feature. Many times you are trying to promote something but the post gets lost when it is pushed down.

  2. Email to Post to Chatter Groups

    This was in beta before and with Spring ’14 it will be generally available.Each Chatter group will have a unique email address. You can send an email to this address and have it automatically posted to the group. This will be a great addition to Chatter groups.
  3. Salesforce1 Support for Communities

    The description says you can view and switch between your communities and your internal org. This will be a nice addition, as accessing communities via a native mobile client is much needed.
  4. Find and Endorse People Knowledgeable about a Topic

    This one really intrigues me. I will have to wait to see it in action before I can say it is something I really will like or not.Sounds like you can mark people as knowledgeable on certain topics and skills (other features of this release). Then others can endorse you if they feel you are knowledgeable.  The most knowledgeable people per topic look to be shown.

    My major concern on this will be people “gaming” the system. Communities with lots of users can possibly be “gamed”, so we will have to see how this will work. Hopefully this won’t be easy.

  5. Multiple Forecast Types

    Users will be able to choose up to four different forecast types. This will allow for greater analysis of forecasted data. The trend continues to enhancing forecasting with each release. And that is a great thing.
  6. Export Reports Without Footers

    After over 13 years of always having salesforce.com copyright and other information always export with reports you will be able to suppress this!!!! Yes, four exclamation marks. This right here might be my #2 favorite new enhancement of Spring ’14.
  7. Flexible Sorting in Reports

    You will have the ability to sort within groupings. If you have ever tried to sort within groupings and cussed out your monitor now you will smile.
  8. Accounts and Contacts for Customer Community Users

    This is a personal one for me. I am in the middle of a Community development. I was trying to think of the best way to go about allowing access, editing, and creating new contacts within the contacts account. Now I won’t have to build any Visualforce pages for this. Life is good.

Do you have any new features or enhancements you are really looking forward to seeing?