My organisation has an experience cloud site for partners. We used to only have 1 partner per country, so we managed sharing as 1 ctriteria-based sharing rule per country/partner. However, we now increasingly have multiple partners per country, as well as sub-partners and zones (sub-sub-partners).

I've recently discovered that there is a feature that can be enabled called External Account Hierarchy. This seems perfect for managing a role hierarchy for the Partners and their subordinates. HOWEVER, I see in this documentation that there is a very important limitation to it:

"Note: Sharing rules can work along with external account hierarchies. Data shared by sharing sets doesn’t roll up in role hierarchies."

This is hugely problematic. Sharing Rules are not dynamic enough to share data (across multiple levels of parent-child custom objects) with hundreds of partners and subordinates. Using sharing rules would require us to write (and maintain) 1 sharing rule, and Public Group, for every partner-country combination. Furthermore, there is a limit of 300 sharing rules in a system, so we would hit this limit very quickly. Sharing Rules were created for the purpose of doing more dynamic and high-volume sharing in experience sites, so this really makes no sense to me.

How do other organisations using an External Account Hierarchy solve for this? Is there another (non-programmatic) option besides Sharing Rules? Am I crazy for thinking that this limitation is counter-ituitive and defeats the purpose of sharing sets for high-volume sharing in experience sites?

Side Note: We are using a managed package + custom objects for most of our data model. I realise that this might not be an issue if we were just using a smaller standard Salesforce objects.

1 Answer 1


Ok, I think ChatGPT may have clarified the limitation a bit more for me, thereby answering my question (wow):

"Yes, it is true that Sharing Sets do not automatically roll up via the hierarchy. This means that if you use an External Account Hierarchy to manage the sharing of data for partners and sub-partners, you will need to set up separate Sharing Sets for each level of the hierarchy. For example, you might have a Sharing Set that shares data with all Partners, another Sharing Set that shares data with all Sub-Partners, and a third Sharing Set that shares data with all accounts in the hierarchy."

This means I will probably have to construct and populate a couple of different lookup fields to Account (possibly using automation to ensure that Sub-Partners get automatically related and shared with Partners), but it should still be doable.

I am still quite surprised by this limitation of not rolling up sharing via the hierarchy, so if anyone has any insights into why this was done or how other people get around it, I'd to hear it.

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