Trailhead: Event Log Monitoring

 

trailhead_module_shield_event_monitoringSay what?  Event Monitoring?  What’s that?

Winter ’15 delivered a little hidden gem – Event Log Monitoring (ELF).  ELF enables the ability to see a lot of the things that are happening in your org behind the scenes that you just could not answer before – such as:

“Did [x] download my customer list before quitting?”

“How fast is my Visualforce Page loading?”

“Who clicked on a record?”

“Holy moly!”

That’s honestly the only phrase that comes to mind when I’m staring at the new ELF files that I can access.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked just that first question above by my customers…and up until now all I’ve been able to do is offer future-looking convoluted technical solutions to prevent it from happening in the future.

Ok Andy – I’m not a developer and what I’ve read so far is full of something called “Workbench” and “JSON”.

That’s the best part!  Even though this is really an API-only feature, Salesforce and the community at large have created some great tools (even free in some cases) to help anyone take advantage of this critically important new feature.  *cough* Trailhead *cough*

Ok Andy – enough beaming, let’s get down to brass tacks.  How do I use this?

trailhead-emblemOk.  First things first – let’s start with the new Trailhead module on ELF!  Click here to get started.  “Why would I do Trailhead before just jumping in?” do you ask?  In my opinion, Trailhead is becoming the de facto “first stop” for Salesforce training.  The biggest benefits that Trailhead gives you with ELF are:

  1. Well written content
  2. Real-world examples
  3. In-depth yet contextually appropriate knowledge bullets
  4. “One step further” with great tools and visualizations for ELF

Let’s face it – ELF is not declarative-friendly; this is an API-only feature.  There is no standard UI interface for ELF, you download this data as an array of data and then have to make it useful through a number of visualization tools.  Trailhead takes this situation head-on and gives you INCREDIBLE tools such as Salesforce-ELF to easily retrieve the data you want without needing to write scripts and decipher REST in Workbench, and then visualization tools such (free) Cloudlock Event Monitoring Viewer to actually get you answers to burning questions.

Honesty time:  I read about ELF in the Release Notes, but I saw raw JSON responses and immediately shelved this as “wow, that’ll take some time to visualize…I’ll do that ‘later’.” When Trailhead released their module on ELF – I learned more in 45 minutes than I ever would have by following the release documentation and stumbling around on my own.

So, what are you waiting for?  Head over to the ELF module on Trailhead and start now!

How are you using ELF?  Sound off in the comments below or hit me on Twitter – @andyboettcher!

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