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Quick question -- I'm new to salesforce but I tried to dig around and want to 1) check if my understanding is correct and 2) see if something is possible.

Basically, I have a schema that I built using Salesforce and loaded in my data successfully using Data Loader.

Now, I want to build a front-end app that will let a user query that pre-existing data and get information about it.

So in a very simple sense, they might ask "how many of X things did this person order" and it'd just spit out a number. Or, they might ask, "what is the total number of units sold from these different vendors?" in which case the readout could be a table or a bar-graph (this would be fancy and awesome, but I would like to learn how to display both for the sake of learning).

Do I need to do this programmatically or is there a built in or pre-existing library/App I can use that anyone is aware of? I kind of chose to play with Salesforce because 1) I wanted to learn it and 2) I thought I could get do this without having to code (I've done something similar already in Java where I coded it manually with a separate DB).

Sorry if this is a stupid question -- I'd appreciate any advice. Don't hesitate to let me know if anything is unclear!

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This can be achieved by Reports and Dashboards in Salesforce without having to write code. However, I won't be able to explain how to use reports and dashboards in this answer - it will simply be too long.

You can go through this trailhead: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/module/reports_dashboards for how to use reports and dashboards in Salesforce.

Since you already got the data from data loader, so I am guessing you understand how data is stored in Salesforce. Then report and dashboard should be the way to go.

  • Thanks for your reply! I saw the reports & dashboards feature earlier but that means that the user has to go to the Reports (or Dashboard) Tab and manually select what they want. That's where it ends right? So designing it such that the user doesn't have to go through those menus but has a nice front-end UI letting them more conveniently select/filter fields of interest would require a programmatic approach, right? – shishy Nov 29 '16 at 6:02
  • @shishy You can create a dashboard and display that dashboard at the home page of the user. So the user don't need to go to the reports. – Lance Shi Nov 29 '16 at 6:04
  • Right, this might be a stupid question - I'm reading your link right now but the main question I have is this: dashboards basically pull on data from pre-made reports and just display them to the user. But let's say there's a bar graph showing sales for 10 different vendors, and they say, "oh I want to see it for a different 10 vendors" -- can they, through dashboard, specify the specific info they want or are they stuck to the reports I create (i.e. is it static or can they dynamically query for what they need)? Sorry for the probably basic questions -- appreciate your feedback! – shishy Nov 29 '16 at 6:11
  • @shishy You will need to update the report IMO. Reports does contain visualization so you don't always have to go to dashboards. But you still need to go to the reports tab and find the specific report to change the filter, columns, etc. – Lance Shi Nov 29 '16 at 6:13
  • Oh I see. I guess what I'm imagining is something mega sophisticated like Tableau haha. So in this case, the user would see the reports and if they wanted to query for something else, would basically open the settings for that report and adjust the info as needed yeah? – shishy Nov 29 '16 at 6:19

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