Salesforce was first designed as a technology platform for sales teams at commercial businesses. Since that inception, Salesforce has expanded its offerings to provide a flexible platform that accommodates business processes for medicine, financial services, nonprofits and education customers. Below are resources specifically for Higher Education users of Salesforce.
The Educational Data Architecture (EDA) is a managed package maintained by Salesforce that adds custom metadata (including custom objects, fields, and apex code) to a Salesforce Org. As a managed package, EDA is routinely updated and new features are added. EDA has broad support in the Salesforce Higher Ed community and the ITS Salesforce Center of Excellence (SFCOE) recommends educational business processes always begin by assessing how they might fit into EDA. Several Salesforce Orgs at U-M utilize EDA to varying degrees.
Although managed packages cannot have their code exposed in Salesforce, EDA’s apex code is maintained on a Github repository, which is a significant benefit to those who want to further understand the automations available.
- Education Data Architecture (EDA)
- GitHub: SalesforceFoundation/EDA: Education Data Architecture
- Manage Your Education Data with EDA | Salesforce Trailhead
Power of Us Hub
Salesforce's efforts for non-profits and higher education are run out of the Salesforce.org entity (as opposed to their commercial efforts being run out of the entity Salesforce.com). This difference is in name only; all Salesforce customers use the same Salesforce platform and have access to the same editions and features.
The Power of Us Hub is an online community for Salesforce.org customers. The Hub is a place to post messages, read support articles, and connect with users in higher education who are using Salesforce. To join the online community, you will need a Salesforce account. Members of the SFCOE are active in this community and see it as the primary method for connecting with Salesforce users at other educational institutions.
Beyond the Power of Us Hub, which is targeted specifically for higher education users, Salesforce has the Trailblazer Community where individuals can join discussion groups specific to all Salesforce products and business processes.
The Trailblazer Community is significantly larger in scope than the Power of Us Hub, but individuals who use Salesforce in a greater capacity than specific higher education business processes (such as using Marketing Cloud or Experience Cloud) will benefit from discussing Salesforce with the larger community of users. The Trailblazer community will also connect individuals with resources such as free webinars and product announcements of upcoming Salesforce enhancements.