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I am new to Salesforce and have a design question.

I have very different types of users that will be interacting with Salesforce - some will want to see very different types of information than others. I have been modelling this in terms of Apps: One for a sales person, one for a person who deals with Donations, etc. Each app has different tabs relevant to that role.

This works just fine, but I have the nagging feeling that Salesforce isn't meant to be used this way and that I should be managing this through roles or permissions, or something like that. Is this true?

Thanks!

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    Salesforce role based access is quite complex to start with - you are correct in thinking that it will need to be based on a mixture of Roles, Permissions and the Apps available to the users. – Dave Humm Mar 16 '17 at 13:51
  • All apps are are a set of quick access tabs. Even if they do it have access to an app they could still access the tab. Think of it like the FM1-5 presets on your radio. Do use apps thinking it restricts access – Eric Mar 19 '17 at 7:01
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You should consider both Field-Level Security and Sharing Rules.

I would recommend go over the Data Security Trailhead module to learn all about salesforce security features.

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