Advanced Training: Admin

Site Layout and Design - Overview

  • How to create your own individualized record layouts.
  • How to set up custom data fields and their associated options.
  • How to assign users to a specific layout design group appropriate for their role.

Practical Scenarios

  • Create a custom layout with distinct "view" and "edit" components.
  • Designate specific permission groups that can use the layout.
  • Incorporate custom fields, colors, field labels, and placement in the layout.
  • Remove extra fields from the layout.

Getting Started

With your users created and permissions in place, two of the biggest site "pre-design" elements are already in place. The next step is update the physical appearance of your system site to better meet your needs.

As you discovered in the previous chapter, permission groups control which site areas are available to a given user. Now we're going to modify the record layouts, or physical presentation of the data.

Layout Design

We've said it before, but designing your site layouts will be much easier if you have a concrete plan developed ahead of time—create a list of fields, sketch out the form design, decide on specific options for dropdown fields, etc.

For new Sysadmins, we highly recommend sticking to the basics. Use data fields and options that you know are critical for your users' work, and report metrics—and nothing else. This will speed up the transition to the new system.

Furthermore, many Sysadmins discover they "don't know that they don't know" when they first start. As you gain experience with the system, you'll discover ways to improve processes and workflows. Keeping the system simple at the outset helps prevent doing the same work twice as you make site changes.

If you're certain that you need a more advanced, granular approach from the start, that's fine too. Just pay attention to key areas that will require fine-tuning. Work with your Implementation Specialist to get your system up and running quickly and smoothly.

The Design Tools

If you've looked through the Admin tab, you might have noticed a number of links for system design: Manage Dropdowns, Manage Fields and Labels, Manage Sublists, Manage Layout Groups, Manage Tabs, and so on.

For the ISCA Administrator Certification, we're only going to look at two of them:

  • Manage Tabs
  • Manage Layout Groups

The Manage Tabs Tool

The Manage Tabs tool is simple enough that we've included it here.

When you looked at the permission group settings at all, we showed you the checkmark for enabling and disabling an entire object type (e.g., if the Accounts general permission mark is unchecked, the Accounts tab doesn't appear in the system at all).

So if the availability of a particular tab is controlled by the permission groups, what does the Manage Tabs tool do?

Basically, the Manage Tabs tool lets you make minor changes to the visual order, appearance, and labeling of the standard navigation tabs.

Keep in mind that you can change the label of a tab to whatever you want, but it doesn't change the basic functions of that object type. For example, if you re-label the Leads tab to say “Prospective Partners” tab, it doesn’t change the basic functionality of Lead record objects.

Notice that Manage Tabs uses a six-digit hexadecimal string (such as "1717E7" for dark blue) for colors. Since most of us don't memorize hexadecimal color labels, if you want assistance in picking the colors, click on the color container next to the label. A pop-up window with a basic color palette will appear, where you can select the color you want.

Finally, when you set up your permissions groups, you might have noticed a “Custom” tab area. This tab acts as an iFrame window, basically acting as a link to an external Web site. If you're using the Custom tab area, put the URL (for example, into the provided area in the Manage Tabs tool.

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