Database periscope: an alternative to custom fields, Igor Chtivelband, 401 level

Business decisions taken by Salesforce users are often made based on data coming from other systems (e.g. data submitted by customers through the company website). To facilitate these decisions Salesforce teams have to configure additional custom fields and plug them into data pipelines. This is a tedious process that might be frustrating, not only for developers, who have to maintain myriads of custom fields but also for the end-users, who have to wait weeks until a new field with the desired data appears in their layout.

Recently I have realized that there are two types of entity attributes in our Salesforce organization: those that trigger automatic events (e.g. email dispatch) and those that are observed by human eyes only. The latter attributes do not have to be BROUGHT into Salesforce, it is enough if they are only SHOWN there.

That is why in Billie we have developed a generic Lightning Web Component, named “Database periscope”, which is placed on an Account/Contact/Opportunity object and which shows data directly from the backend database to the end-user. When a record is opened in Salesforce by a user, this component issues an asynchronous call-out with the data request, receives JSON with all the available attributes and presents them in a grid.

This component saved us many hours of development and gave internal stakeholders access to data in real-time.

In my presentation, I would like to explain step-by-step how a similar solution can be built and discuss its advantages and limitations.

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