How to Pass Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification Exam

How to Pass Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification Exam

Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Rakesh Gupta

With immense pleasure, I would like to share that I passed by Platform App Builder certification Exam one month Back. It took me 50 minutes to review all the questions before I hit the submit button. After one more click of the ‘Continue’ Button, woohoo, the screen says Result: Pass.

After completion, I thought of sharing some of my experiences regarding my preparation for the exam. 

👉 As you are here, you may want to check out my new book Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification: A Practical Study Guide.

So, Who is an Ideal Candidate for the Exam?

The Salesforce Platform App Builder credential is intended for an individual with experience developing custom applications on the Lightning Platform, including practical application of the skills and concepts noted in the exam objectives below.

The Salesforce Platform App Builder generally has 6 months to 1 year of experience building applications on the Lightning Platform and/or on a similar technology platform.

The Salesforce Platform App Builder candidate has the experience, skills, and knowledge outlined below:

  • Familiarity with the capabilities of the Lightning Platform
  • Awareness of Salesforce license types and related considerations
  • Ability to design applications to support business processes and reporting requirements
  • Familiarity with capabilities and customization used to enhance the mobile user experience
  • Familiarity with the Salesforce development environments and the options available to deploy applications and manage changes on the Lightning Platform
  • Comprehension of the resources listed in this exam guide and the additional required study materials provided by Salesforce

A candidate for this exam is not expected to be able to administer Sales Cloud or Service Cloud, have programmatic development experience (Apex, Visualforce, etc.), design custom interfaces using Visualforce, or design custom Lightning components using Apex or JavaScript.

How to prepare for the exam?

The starting point for me with any exam is the Study Guide.  This gives you details of the purpose and format of the exam and then a point-by-point summary of the areas that you will be tested on and how much they count towards the overall mark.

  • 60 multiple-choice/multiple-select questions – 105 mins
  • 63% is the passing score
  • Exam Sections and Weighting
    • Salesforce Fundamentals: 23%
    • Data Modeling and Management: 22%
    • Business Logic and Process Automation: 28%
    • User Interface: 17%
    • App Deployment: 10%
  • The exam Fee is $200 plus applicable taxes
  • Retake fee: USD 100, plus applicable taxes as required per local law
  • Platform App Builder Certification Exam Guide
  • Schedule your certification exam here

What happens next depends on how you like to study – if you find videos the best way, the premier online training catalog has great material, including knowledge check questions to see if any of it is sticking.  If you don’t have access to that, there’s a huge amount on the Salesforce channel on youtube.

I’m a big fan of the written word, so I’ll usually head to the online help and go straight to the Printable Tip Sheets and User Guides section.  This collection of short documents takes you through setting up and using various aspects of the system. 

The following list is not exhaustive; so check it out and use it as a starting point:

  1. Discover the Salesforce Associate Certification: An Entry-Level Credential for New Trailblazers
  2. Trailmix: Prepare for Your Salesforce Platform App Builder Credential
  3. Module: Study for the Platform App Builder Exam
  4. Superbadge: Security Specialist
  5. SuperbadgeProcess Automation Specialist
  6. Superbadge: App Customization Specialist

What you Need to Know to Smoothen your Journey

On a very high level, you have to understand the following topics to clear the exam. All credit goes to the Salesforce Trailhead team and their respective owners.

  1. Salesforce Fundamentals: 23%
    1. Salesforce provides standard objects and fields for common business record types, such as accounts, leads, and contacts. But every organization is unique and needs a way to tailor how data is stored. Custom objects and fields allow businesses to manage and store data to best fit their needs.
    2. A Lightning app is a collection of items that work together to serve a particular function. In Lightning Experience, Lightning apps give your users access to sets of objects, tabs, and other items, all in one convenient bundle in the navigation bar.
    3. So what things can you put in a Lightning app?
      1. Most standard objects, including Home, the main Chatter feed, Groups, and People
      2. Your organization’s custom objects
      3. Visualforce tabs
      4. Lightning component tabs
      5. Canvas apps via Visualforce tabs
      6. Web tabs
    4. You can see in the App Manager that there are two types of apps: Classic and Lightning. A checkmark in the Visible in Lightning Experience column means that the app is accessible in Lightning Experience via the App Launcher and is fully functional.
      1. Classic apps that don’t have a checkmark in the Visible in Lightning column are enabled only for our Salesforce Classic UI. Because you’re working in Lightning Experience, you won’t find those Classic-only apps in the App Launcher. Classic apps marked as visible in Lightning Experience are fully usable in Lightning Experience, but they don’t take advantage of the app enhancements that Lightning Experience offers.
    5. Compact layouts control which fields your users see in the highlights panel at the top of a record. They also control the fields in the expanded lookup card you see when you hover over a link in record details and in the details section when you expand activity in the activity timeline.
      1. Compact layouts help make your team more productive by presenting them with key record information so they can easily manage their work. For example, show phone numbers and regions on an account. Or show stages, amounts, and ownership fields on an opportunity. With compact layouts, you can highlight whatever your users need to see at a glance when they look at a record.
    6. Lightning pages are a collection of Lightning components arranged in regions on the page. You can customize the page’s structure and components’ position with the Lightning App Builder (learn more in the Lightning App Builder module on Trailhead).
    7. Custom links can link to an external URL, such as, a Visualforce page, or your company’s intranet. Custom buttons can connect users to external applications, such as web pages, and launch custom links.
      1. There are three primary types of custom buttons and links that you can create.
        1. List button—Appears on a related list on an object record page.
        2. Detail page link—Appears in the Links section of the record details on an object record page.
        3. Detail page button—Appears in the action menu in the highlights panel of a record page.
      2. A custom list button is a button that you can add to a related list. When you create a list button for an object, you can add that button to that object’s related list when the related list appears on other objects. Because Energy Audits are tied to accounts with a lookup relationship field, an Energy Audits related list automatically appears on account records.
    8. Actions let your users quickly do tasks, such as creating records, logging calls, sending emails, and more. With custom actions, you can make your users’ navigation and workflow as smooth as possible by giving them quick access to information that’s most important.
      1. Quick actions come in two different flavors.
        1. Object-specific actions have automatic relationships to other records and let users quickly create or update records, log calls, send emails, and more, in the context of a particular object.
        2. You create global actions in a different place in Setup than you create object-specific actions. They’re called global actions because they can be put anywhere actions are supported. Use global actions to let users log call details, create records, or send email without leaving the page they’re on.
    9. Service Cloud is an easy-to-use customer service application that can help you provide and track excellent service. It keeps your customers happy and your support team sane, whether your customers reach out to you by email, phone, social media, or other channels from desktops, mobile devices, or apps.
    10. Benefits of the Service Console
      Benefit Description
      (1) Split views From the start, you can see a list of cases alongside your workspace to quickly work through incoming customer issues.
      (2) Related record and related list components Right out of the box, you can see information related to a customer to get a well-rounded picture of their issue and who they are. Jump to lists of similar cases, and work off lists to keep your cases organized.
      (3) Highlights panel component Without configuring a thing, spot exactly what you need front and center to respond to customers quickly.
      (4) Compact case feed Understand case progression and case history at a glance with a news-like feed and preconfigured pages. Colorful icons help you distinguish between people and interactions instantly, and you can add a quick comment to help your customers or team.
      (5) Knowledge component See suggested articles from your knowledge base to solve cases faster, search articles to find exactly what you need, and attach common solutions from similar cases. (You must enable Lightning Knowledge first.)
      (6) Preconfigured utility bar Increase productivity with tools, such as Notes to jot things down, or History to go back to recently viewed records.
    11. Case management means organizing customer cases into one place and making sure they go to the right person, for the right answer, by the right time. Service Cloud does all that behind the scenes with automation tools. Service is easier, faster, and better with a little automation.
      1. Case Management Tools in Salesforce
        Queues Automatically prioritize your support team’s workload by creating lists from which specific agents can jump in to solve certain types of cases.
        Assignment Rules Automatically assign incoming cases to specific agents so that the right people work on the right cases.
        Escalation Rules Automatically escalate cases to the right people when the cases aren’t solved by a certain time.
        Auto-Response Rules Automatically send personalized email responses to customers based on each case’s details.
    12. Plan for Case Automation – The answers determine which tools you will use to automate case management.
      Question Answer Tool
      Do support agents work as a team on specific issues? Yes, some agents work off a list of emails as they arrive from customers. Queues
      How is the support team structured? We have Gold and Platinum support teams. Platinum support shares a workload. Queuesor

      Assignment Rules

      Do support agents work on specific products or have special skill sets? Some agents work on solar panel installation while others work on solar panel performance. Assignment Rules
      Do cases need to escalate to someone if they’re not solved by a specific time? Yes, we can’t have customers waiting more than 5 hours to get their issues solved. Escalation Rules
      Should customers receive automatic responses? Yes, we want customers to know that we received their issue and that we care about them. Auto-response Rules
    13. Plan for Digital Engagement
      Question Answer
      What is the maximum size of email attachments to support? Under 25 MB is fine.
      Should outgoing emails from Salesforce route through Ursa Major Solar’s email servers for security or compliance reasons? No, outgoing emails can route through Salesforce.
      Does customer service use email templates, and if so, are there branding requirements? No, we don’t use email templates, but we should in the future for consistency. We should also add our logo to email templates at some point.
      Can we add a code snippet to our customer website to display a web form? Yes, no problem.
      Do we need to create any custom case fields to capture information for the web form? No, not now. Let’s see how this thing works first.
    14. Digital engagement options with Service Cloud.
      Voice, Call Center, and Open CTI Boost phone productivity by integrating Salesforce with third-party computer-telephony integration (CTI) systems. See Salesforce data for incoming calls, make outgoing calls directly from the console, and report on call outcome, duration, and more.
      Self-Service Help Center Help customers find answers, log cases, and update orders on their own from self-service web experiences. Customize, create, and brand help centers with easy-to-use templates, components, and apps.
      Social Customer Service Help support agents listen, respond, and log cases for customers on social platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and more. Use keywords, classifiers, and language detection to make sure that agents find the right posts and work the right issues.
      Chat & Embedded Service Engage with customers browsing the web with real-time, live chat. Quickly embed unobtrusive chat capabilities on company websites for both desktop and mobile browsers to let customers chat with agents and deflect cases before they get logged.
      Snap-ins for Mobile & Visual Remote Assistant Add service to mobile apps so that customers can get help from apps on phones and tablets. With an SDK (software development kit), developers can let customers create and manage cases, live chat with support agents, video chat and screen share with agents (Visual Remote Assistant), and view knowledge base articles on the go.
      Messaging Engage with customers using messaging apps like SMS text and Facebook Messenger, so that they can connect with support agents instantly from anywhere. Help agents manage multiple text conversations at once and see each text alongside relevant Salesforce data.
      Field Service Support onsite visits out in the field with mobile solutions like job schedules, van inventory, and more—with or without web connections.
    15. AppExchange solutions are the fast and easy way to extend core Salesforce functionality. There’s something for every business challenge. 
      Type Description
      Apps Complete, specialized applications
      Components Building blocks used to add functionality to pages, apps, and Bolt solutions
      Bolt solutions Industry solutions paired with partner services
      Lightning Data Third-party data to enrich your CRM data
      Flow solutions Flow actions: Stand-alone elements that add functionality to process flows
      Flow templates: Prebuilt, end-to-end, configurable, business processes tailored to match specific industry use cases
      Consultants Experts who possess deep industry knowledge and proven Salesforce skills
    16. AppExchange solutions have several things in common. They:
      1. Extend Salesforce functionality.
      2. Can be distributed to others.
      3. Run on the Salesforce platform.
      4. Accelerate solution development.
    17. All AppExchange solutions share a few important qualities.
      1. Easy to install: Thousands of solutions install in just a few clicks.
      2. Seamless to set up: Integrate and configure solutions with clicks not code.
      3. Peer reviewed: There are more than 80,000 peer reviews of AppExchange solutions.
      4. Tested for security: To get listed on AppExchange, every solution passes a rigorous security review.
    18. You can manage record-level access in these four ways.
      1. Organization-wide defaults specify the default level of access users have to each others’ records. You use org-wide sharing settings to lock down your data to the most restrictive level, and then use the other record-level security and sharing tools to selectively give access to other users.
      2. Role hierarchies give access for users higher in the hierarchy to all records owned by users below them in the hierarchy. Role hierarchies don’t have to match your organization chart exactly. Instead, each role in the hierarchy should represent a level of data access that a user or group of users needs.
      3. Sharing rules are automatic exceptions to organization-wide defaults for particular groups of users, so they can get to records they don’t own or can’t normally see. Sharing rules, like role hierarchies, are only used to give additional users access to records. They can’t be stricter than your organization-wide default settings.
      4. Manual sharing allows owners of particular records to share them with other users. Although manual sharing isn’t automated like org-wide sharing settings, role hierarchies, or sharing rules, it can be useful in some situations, such as when a recruiter going on vacation needs to temporarily assign ownership of a job application to someone else.
    19. Auditing provides important information for diagnosing potential security issues or dealing with real ones. Someone in your organization should audit regularly to detect potential abuse. Look for unexpected changes or patterns of use.
      1. Record Modification Fields – All objects include fields to store the name of the user who created the record and who last modified the record. This provides some basic auditing information.
      2. Login History – You can review a list of successful and failed login attempts for the past six months. For more information, see Monitor Login History.
      3. Field History Tracking – You can turn on auditing to automatically track changes in the values of individual fields. Although field-level auditing is available for all custom objects, only some standard objects allow it. For more information, see Field History Tracking.
      4. Setup Audit Trail – The Setup Audit Trail logs when modifications are made to your organization’s configuration. For more information, see Monitor Setup Changes.
    20. Salesforce Identity lets you give the right people the right access to the right resources at the right time. You control who can access your orgs and who can use apps running on the Salesforce Platform, on-premises, in other clouds, and on mobile devices.
    21. The main features of Salesforce Identity. 
      1. Single sign-on
      2. Connected apps
      3. Social sign-on
      4. Multi-factor authentication
      5. My Domain
      6. Centralized user account management
      7. User provisioning
      8. App Launcher
    22. Here are the three protocols that Salesforce and other identity vendors follow to implement identity solutions.
      1. SAML
      2. OAuth 2.0
      3. OpenID Connect
    23. Lightning Experience Reports & Dashboards Specialist
    24. The Salesforce mobile app is an enterprise-class app that provides your users with instant access to your company’s CRM data from a phone or tablet. Here are some of the reasons why the app is so awesome.
      1. The mobile app is included with every Salesforce license. Yup, you heard us correctly—it’s free. Procrastinating on your mobile rollout is basically like setting piles of money on fire.
      2. The app is plug-and-play, which means users just download it from the App Store® or Google Play™— and go. It works out of the box with no setup required. It’s lightning fast—seriously. In the time it took you to read this paragraph, you could have already installed the app and logged in.
      3. The app is cross platform, so it runs on Android and iOS operating systems. Like, automatically—without you having to do any development work.
      4. The app has offline capabilities. Your mobile users won’t be affected by capricious cellular signals, FAA regulations, subway commutes, or bunker-style buildings.
      5. It works seamlessly with the desktop version of Lightning Experience, so users can switch between the two without missing a beat.
      6. It isn’t just an app. It’s a platform. Because the Salesforce platform powers the mobile app, it’s infinitely customizable. You can use point-and-click tools to make it your own.
    25. Three features you can use to customize the mobile app.
      1. Quick actions
      2. Compact layouts
      3. Mobile navigation, for Lightning apps and the Mobile Only app
  2. Data Modeling and Management: 22%
    1. Leads are people and companies that you’ve identified as potential customers. You find leads in several ways. Many of your leads can be referred to you by other happy customers. You can also gather leads when customers contact you on your website, stop by your booth at a conference, or through information exchanges with partner companies. In Salesforce, information about leads is stored in Lead records.
      1. Some big advantages to using leads. You can better track, report on, and target marketing campaigns to prospective customers. Leads can help you concentrate on the potential deals most likely to close. 
    2. Use the workspace to track interactions with leads, check campaign history, and plan future activities.
      1. If the lead is involved in any marketing campaigns, they are listed in the Campaign History for the lead.
      2. Review the lead’s Details tab to find and update information about the lead.
      3. Use the lead’s Activity tab to log your calls and emails to help you remember what you talked about and how the lead responded—plan for the future by creating Tasks or Events.
      4. Use the lead’s News tab to check the latest news for the lead’s industry. Sign in with your Twitter account to find and follow the lead’s Twitter feed.
      5. Connect with your coworkers to ask questions, seek advice, or provide information on the lead’s Chatter tab. The Chatter feed for the record also shows when you create activities.
    3. You can convert the lead record into an opportunity when you qualify a lead. You then work your opportunity until you close the deal either by completing it or canceling it.
      1. When you convert a lead, Salesforce uses the information stored in the lead record to create a business account, a contact, and an opportunity. If you’ve enabled person accounts and the lead record didn’t include a company name, the lead is converted into a person account and an opportunity.
    4. Schema Builder is a tool that lets you visualize and edit your data model.
    5. Salesforce offers two main methods for importing data.
      1. Data Import Wizard—this tool, accessible through the Setup menu, lets you import data in common standard objects, such as contacts, leads, accounts, as well as data in custom objects. It can import up to 50,000 records at a time. It provides a simple interface to specify the configuration parameters, data sources, and the field mappings that map the field names in your import file with the field names in Salesforce.
      2. Data Loader—this is a client application that can import up to five million records at a time, of any data type, either from files or a database connection. It can be operated either through the user interface or the command line. In the latter case, you need to specify data sources, field mappings, and other parameters via configuration files. This makes it possible to automate the import process, using API calls.
    6. Use the Data Import Wizard When:
      1. You need to load less than 50,000 records.
      2. The objects you need to import are supported by the wizard.
      3. You don’t need the import process to be automated.
    7. Use Data Loader When:
      1. You need to load 50,000 to five million records. If you need to load more than 5 million records, we recommend you work with a Salesforce partner or visit the AppExchange for a suitable partner product.
      2. You need to load into an object that is not supported by the Data Import Wizard.
      3. You want to schedule regular data loads, such as nightly imports.
    8. Follow these steps before you start importing any data.
      1. Use your existing software to create an export file. You’ll use this exported data file to now import the data into Salesforce. 
      2. Clean up the import file for accuracy and consistency. This involves updating the data to remove duplicates, delete unnecessary information, correct spelling and other errors, and enforce naming conventions.
      3. Compare your data fields with the Salesforce fields you can import into, and verify that your data will be mapped into the appropriate Salesforce fields. You might need to fine-tune the mapping before starting the import. For details, see Field Mapping for Data Sources in the online help.
      4. Make any configuration changes required in Salesforce to handle the imported data. For example, you might need to create new custom fields, add new values to picklists, or temporarily deactivate workflow rules.
    9. Salesforce offers two main methods for exporting data.
      1. Data Export Service—an in-browser service, accessible through the Setup menu. It allows you to export data manually once every 7 days (for weekly export) or 29 days (for monthly export). You can also export data automatically at weekly or monthly intervals. Weekly exports are available in Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited Editions. In Professional Edition and Developer Edition, you can generate backup files only every 29 days, or automatically at monthly intervals only.
      2. Data Loader—a client application that you must install separately. It can be operated either through the user interface or the command line. The latter option is useful if you want to automate the export process, or use APIs to integrate with another system.
    10. This information can help you integrate your imported data into Salesforce.
      1. New Values for Picklists and Multi-Select Picklists—If you import a picklist value that doesn’t match an existing picklist value:
        1. For an unrestricted picklist, the Data Import Wizard uses the value that’s in the import file.
        2. For a restricted picklist, the Data Import Wizard uses the picklist’s default value.
      2. Multi-Select Picklists—To import multiple values into a multi-select picklist, separate the values by a semicolon in your import file.
      3. Checkboxes—To import data into a checkbox field, use 1 for checked values and 0 for unchecked values.
      4. Default Values—For picklist, multi-select picklist, and checkbox fields, if you do not map the field in the import wizard, the default value for the field, if any, is automatically inserted into the new or updated record.
      5. Date/Time Fields—Ensure that the format of any date/time fields you are importing matches how they display in Salesforce per your locale setting.
      6. Formula Fields—Formula fields cannot accept imported data because they are read-only.
      7. Field Validation Rules—Salesforce runs validation rules on records before they are imported. Records that fail validation aren’t imported. Consider deactivating the appropriate validation rules before running an import if they affect the records you are importing.
  3. Business Logic and Process Automation: 28%
    1. Let’s say you wanted to take two numeric fields on a record and divide them to create a percentage. Or perhaps you want to turn a field into a clickable hyperlink for easy access to important information from a record’s page layout. Maybe you want to take two dates and calculate the number of days between them. All these things and more are possible using formula fields.
    2. While formula fields calculate values using fields within a single record, roll-up summary fields calculate values from a set of related records, such as those in a related list. You can create roll-up summary fields that automatically display a value on a master record based on the values of records in a detail record. These detail records must be directly related to the master through a master-detail relationship.
    3. You can perform different types of calculations with roll-up summary fields. You can count the number of detail records related to a master record, or calculate the sum, minimum value, or maximum value of a field in the detail records. For example, you might want:
      1. A custom account field that calculates the total of all related pending opportunities.
      2. A custom order field that sums the unit prices of products that contain a description you specify.
    4. There are a few different types of summaries you can use.
      Type Description
      COUNT Totals the number of related records.
      SUM Totals the values in the field you select in the Field to Aggregate option. Only number, currency, and percent fields are available.
      MIN Displays the lowest value of the field you select in the Field to Aggregate option for all directly related records. Only number, currency, percent, date, and date/time fields are available.
      MAX Displays the highest value of the field you select in the Field to Aggregate option for all directly related records. Only number, currency, percent, date, and date/time fields are available.
    5. Validation rules verify that data entered by users in records meets the standards you specify before they can save it. A validation rule can contain a formula or expression that evaluates the data in one or more fields and returns a value of “True” or “False.” When the validation rule returns a value of “True”, this confirms that the data entered by the user contains an invalid value. Validation rules can also include error messages to display to users when they enter invalid values based on specified criteria. Using these rules effectively contributes to quality data. For example, you can ensure that all phone number fields contain a specified format or that discounts applied to certain products never exceed a defined percentage.
      1. You can create validation rules for objects, fields, campaign members, or case milestones.
    6. Which Automation Tool Do I Use?
    7. An approval process automates how Salesforce records are approved in your org. In an approval process, you specify:
      1. The steps necessary for a record to be approved and who approves it at each step. For example, when an employee creates a time-off request, have Salesforce automatically send an approval request to the employee’s manager.
      2. The actions to take based on what happens during the approval process. For example, if a time-off request is approved, update fields on the employee’s record. But if the request is rejected, send a notification to the employee.
    8. Here’s a list of places where you can put a flow with a screen so users can get to it.
      1. Lightning pages
      2. Flow actions
      3. Utility bar
      4. Experience Builder page
      5. Custom Lightning components
      6. Visualforce pages
      7. Web tabs
      8. Custom buttons and links
  4. User Interface: 17%
    1. The Lightning App Builder is a point-and-click tool that makes it easy to create custom pages for the Salesforce mobile app and Lightning Experience, giving your users what they need all in one place.
    2. With the Lightning App Builder, you can build:
      1. Single-page apps that drill down into standard pages
      2. Dashboard-style apps, such as apps to track top sales prospects or key leads for the quarter
      3. “Point” apps to solve a particular task, such as an expense app for users to enter expenses and monitor expenses they’ve submitted
      4. Custom record pages for your objects, tailored to the needs of your users
      5. Custom Home pages containing the components and features that your users use most
    3. Lightning pages support these components:
      1. Standard Components – Standard components are Lightning components built by Salesforce.
      2. Custom Components – Custom components are Lightning components that you or someone else have created. You can configure custom Lightning components to work in Lightning App Builder.
      3. Third-Party Components on AppExchange – AppExchange provides a marketplace for Lightning components. You can find packages containing components already configured and ready to use in the Lightning App Builder.
    4. You can create different types of Lightning pages with the Lightning App Builder. We’re going to look at these three types.
      1. App Page – Use an app page to create a home page for a third-party app that you can add directly into the Salesforce mobile app and Lightning Experience navigation menus. Your users then have an app home page where they can quickly access the most important objects and items.
      2. Home Page – Create Home pages with features relevant to specific types of users, and assign the customized pages to different apps or app-and-user-profile combinations. Custom Home pages are supported in Lightning Experience only.
      3. Record Page – With a record page, you can create a customized version of an object’s record page, tailoring it to your users’ needs. Custom record pages are supported in Lightning Experience and in the Salesforce mobile app. 
    5. You can also customize the page for different types of users and assign custom pages to different apps and app-and-profile combinations.
    6. You have four options to activate the lightning record page.
      • Make the page the org default for the object.
      • Make the page the default object record page for specific Lightning apps.
      • Assign the page to a combination of Lightning apps, record types, and profiles.
      • Assign the page to a form factor, such as a desktop or phone.
    7. You can create a custom Lightning component using two programming models, Lightning Web Components and Aura Components.
    8. Your custom Lightning components don’t automatically work on Lightning pages or in the Lightning App Builder. To make a custom component usable in both, you need to configure the component and its component bundle so that they’re compatible with the Lightning App Builder and Lightning pages.
  5. App Deployment: 10%
    1. Salesforce provides various development tools and processes to meet the needs of customers.
      1. Change set development
      2. Org development
      3. Package development
    2. At a high level, all three development models follow the same ALM process. But the models differ in the way that they let you manage changes to your org. Controlling change is a big deal in software development, and you can choose the development model that best suits your situation if you understand your options.
    3. You can safely develop some kinds of new functionality in a production org. Customizations that don’t affect data are safe to create in a production org, such as developing new dashboards, reports, and email templates.
    4. ALM provides process and policies that help them build apps smoothly and therefore faster, without breaking things. Apps and tools can vary, but the steps in the ALM cycle apply to any Salesforce development project.The ALM cycle: Plan Release, Develop, Test, Build Release, Test Release, Release
      1. Step 1: Plan Release – Start your customization or development project with a plan. Gather requirements and analyze them. Have your product manager (or equivalent) create design specifications and share them with the development team for implementation. Determine the various development and testing environments the team needs as the project progresses through the ALM cycle.
      2. Step 2: Develop  – Complete the work, following the design specifications. Perform the work in an environment containing a copy of the production org’s metadata, but with no production data. Develop on Lightning Platform using an appropriate combination of declarative tools (Process Builder, the Custom Object wizard, and others in the UI) and programmatic tools (Developer Console, Source Code Editor, or Visual Studio Code).
      3. Step 3: Test  -Exercise the changes you’re making to check that they work as intended before you integrate them with other people’s work. Do your testing in the same type of environment as you used in the develop step, but keep your development and integrated testing environments separate. At this point, focus on testing your changes themselves, not on understanding how your changes affect other parts of the release or the app as a whole.
      4. Step 4: Build Release  -Aggregate all the assets you created or modified during the develop stage into a single release artifact: a logical bundle of customizations that you deploy to production. From this point on, focus on what you’re going to release, not on the contributions of individuals.
      5. Step 5: Test Release  – Test what you’re actually going to deploy, but test safely in a staging environment that mimics production as much as possible. Use a realistic amount of representative production data. Connect your test environments with all the external systems they need to mimic your production system’s integration points. Run full regression and final performance tests in this step. Test the release with a small set of experienced people who provide feedback (a technique called user-acceptance testing).
      6. Step 6: Release – When you’ve completed your testing and met your quality benchmarks, you can deploy the customization to production. Train your employees and partners so they understand the changes. If a release has significant user impact, create a separate environment with realistic data for training users.
    5. Releases typically fall into one of three categories
      1. Patch Bug fixes and simple changes – Simple changes include reports, dashboards, list views, and email templates.
      2. Minor Changes with limited impact, such as a new workflow rule or trigger impacting a single business process.
        1. These releases typically require testing, but only limited training and change management. Typically, a team delivers the changes for a minor release within a few weeks.
      3. Major Changes with significant impact, including changes with one or more dependencies. Because these releases can greatly affect the user experience and data quality, they require thorough testing, training, and careful change management. Major releases are typically delivered once a quarter (Salesforce does it three times a year).
        1. Release on a consistent schedule.
    6. In package development, you manage different customizations as separate packages, not as one big release of changes to the org. Remember how in change set development you manage a set of changes from multiple projects as though they’re going into one container? When releases become so complex that it makes sense to manage the org as multiple containers, it’s time to move to the package development model. If your team is already building modular release artifacts on other platforms, they’ll find some similarities working in package development.
    7. As you plan a release, make sure your release participants can access the environments they need at each step in the ALM process. If you are using the change set development model, so they use sandbox environments optimized for the tasks in each ALM step. Remember, a sandbox is just a copy of your production org in a separate environment. Some sandboxes don’t contain any production data, while others hold varying amounts. Here’s how you can use sandboxes in each step of ALM.
      1. Develop and test steps: Each team member has their own Developer sandbox to create their assigned customization. Developer sandboxes contain no production data.
      2. Build release: Each team member migrates their customizations from their respective Developer sandboxes to a shared Developer Pro sandbox for integration. Developer Pro sandboxes don’t contain production data, but you can seed them with testing data.
      3. Test release: For user-acceptance testing, the team uses a Full sandbox to create a complete replica of production. A Full sandbox includes production data.
      4. Release: After the release is in production, the team can use the Full sandbox created in the last step to train users without exposing production data.The steps in the application lifecycle: develop and test with deverloper sandboxes; build release with a developer pro sandbox; test release with a full sandbox; and release to production
    8. Org development, a model that uses some different tools that provide
      1. Greater flexibility and scalability
      2. New ways to track and manage change, and
      3. A different method of deployment
    9. The org development model uses a source control repository to store changes and project files. A source repo can help to mitigate the pain point of keeping environments in sync. By externalizing the changes for each release, the team knows that the source repo reflects what they are delivering and isn’t affected by environment differences. This consistency ensures a smoother process as they move through the different development, testing, and staging environments.
      1. The team accesses the same development and testing environments they’ve used before. You can use sandboxes in each step of the application lifecycle.
        1. Develop and test: Each team member has their own Developer sandbox to create their assigned customization. Developer sandboxes contain no production data.
        2. Build release: Each team member migrates their customizations from their respective Developer sandboxes to a shared Developer Pro sandbox for integration. Developer Pro sandboxes don’t contain production data, but you can seed them with testing data.
        3. Test release: For user-acceptance testing, the team uses a partial sandbox to create a complete replica of production (without production data).
        4. Release: After the release is in production, the team can use the full sandbox to train users without the risk of altering production data. A full sandbox includes a copy of production data.The steps in the application development lifecycle: develop and test with Developer sandboxes; integrate with a Developer Pro sandbox; test and validate with a Full sandbox; and release to production. All changes are stored in the source control repository.
    10. Salesforce CLI is a powerful command-line interface that you can use for every phase of the org development lifecycle. It improves productivity by providing a single interface for all your development, test, and automation use cases. You can:
      1. Authorize sandboxes (headless or web flow)
      2. Create and manage DX projects
      3. Import and export test data
      4. Retrieve and deploy metadata
      5. Run and automate tests
    11. The development team installs the Salesforce Extension Pack so they can use these VS Code extensions:
      1. Salesforce CLI Integration—interacts with Salesforce CLI to provide core functionality.
      2. Apex—uses the Apex Language Server to provide features such as syntax highlighting and code completion.
      3. Apex Replay Debugger—enables VS Code to replay Apex execution from Apex debug logs.
      4. Aura Components—supports Aura component bundles.
      5. Visualforce—supports Visualforce pages and components.
    12. The package development model streamlines the entire development lifecycle, with benefits like:
      1. Improving team development and collaboration.
      2. Modular development process with specification of dependencies among packages.
      3. Versioning to help with change management
      4. Facilitating automated testing and continuous integration.
      5. Making the release cycle more efficient and agile.
      6. Improved version control system (VCS) synchronization through change-tracking of Setup features
      7. More fine-grained visibility and clarity into the change management of your production org

Additional Resources

A few blogs help you prepare for the Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder exam.

  1. Book: Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification: A Practical Study Guide.
  2. Sign up for Salesforce Certification Days Webinar for – Platform App Builder Certification
  3. Instructor lead training by Trailhead
    1. Trailhead Virtual Bootcamp for Platform App Builder (TVB403)
    2. Prepare for your Platform App Builder Certification Exam (CRT403)
    3. Declarative Development for Platform App Builders Extended (DEX-403E)


If you have basic experience with all the above topics, passing the exam will be a cinch, and you will be able to earn the much-coveted Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder certification exam! However, if you do not have enough experience (6-9 months) with the Salesforce platform and plan to become a Certified Platform App Builder. I suggest you draw a 6-9 months plan (finish the above Trailhead to prepare for it).

I hope that you find these tips and resources useful. If you put the time and effort in, you will succeed. Happy studying and good luck!

Formative Assessment:

I want to hear from you!

Have you taken the Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder exam? Are you preparing for the exam now? Share your tips in the comments!

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10 thoughts on “How to Pass Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification Exam

  1. Hi Rakesh

    This is very helpful.I have been preparing for this exam from a while.I want to give the exam next week.My question is the exam is for winter 2013 release but I studied Developer Certification Handbook (DEV401) which is Aug 12 relaese. Does it make any difference?If so, what new questions I may expect for winter 13 release.All the dumps have some old release questions.can you please help me…

    1. Hi Rakesh.

      This is Srikanth.

      Can you please send me the winter 13 certification questions..i have booked my slot on 28th march 2013 and taking Spring 13 release exam..I am not getting previous release sample exam questions in internet.Can you please help me out on this.

      Thanks in advance!

  2. HI Rakesh,
    So far i have just completed Developer Certification Handbook (DEV401).
    Next I am planning to go therough all the available dumps on the internet and give the exam this sunday.

    Can you please tell me if this preparation would be sufficient?

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