Salesforce Architects are one of the most important and highly sought after functions in the Salesforce ecosystem. Given the complexity of the Salesforce platform, there are a variety of different skill sets that fall under the 'Salesforce Architect' umbrella - we help breakdown the difference between each, the job they do, and the Salesforce skills you should be looking for when hiring an Architect.
Typically, the Salesforce Architect will lead the strategy across end-to-end implementations and a key piece of that role is managing both Business and Technical stakeholders. The value of a Salesforce Architect comes from the fact that they are able to help optimize business processes, while translating those into technical solutions on the Salesforce platform, and bringing all of your systems & data together in one place.
A Salesforce Architect knows the capabilities and limitations of what the platform can do - they are versed in multiple Clouds and understand when to use configuration vs. custom Apex development, how to use out of the box integration tools or work with APIs and custom integrations, and they are able to guide both Technical and Functional Delivery teams.
Depending on the Salesforce platforms being deployed and complexity of the broader systems environment, degree of difficulty with integrations will vary. Salesforce offers a 'native' integration platform - Mulesoft - that requires technical expertise but is a simple way to connect Salesforce with other applications being utilized. The methods will vary but Salesforce Architects can identify the right integration / middleware platform and design the integration roadmap.
As part of platform architecture and integration strategy, Salesforce Technical Architects will build a security and data model to ensure company data isn't vulnerable. Particularly when dealing with Health Cloud, Financial Services Cloud, and other industries with compliance requirements, this is a key element to the Architect's skill set.
In addition to leading the strategy, a Salesforce Architect will often manage the day-to-day Deliver team. Technical Architects will write technical requirements, lead Scrum meetings, and manage the Salesforce Engineering team while Solution Architect will play a similar role over top of Business Analysts or Administrators.
In general, think of a Solution Architect as the Business Strategist that understands Technology but isn't as well versed on the technical limitations of what Salesforce can do. Their knowledge of customization is typically centered around configuration / "point-and-click" but they aren't able to write Apex code from scratch.
The Technical Architect is a combination of a Solution Architect and a Salesforce Developer. Bringing much of the business savvy you'll get from a Solution Architect, they are able to get hands-on with programming in Apex or building Lightning Web Components, managing Engineers, and leading technical solutions discussions with CTOs or CIOs.
The term 'Application Architect' is typically used to describe the more functional discipline and concentrates on things like complex configuration and workflow automation, sharing & visibility, and basic platform app development. This side of the Architect pyramid is the less technical aspect and more about the basic concepts and components of a Salesforce implementation like developing and building data architecture tools and applications for enterprises.
The knowledge that serves as the building blocks for an Application Architect, include: Sharing and Visibility Designer (understanding sharing structure, who see what in Salesforce ecosystems etc.); Platform Developer and Platform App Builder – ability to navigate complex configuration and declarative development on the platform; and Data Architecture and Management Designer.
The more technical side of the Architect pyramid is someone that can manage the development lifecycle and deployments on Salesforce, while also understanding how to work with outside systems. This is a step beyond just application architecture and involves data security models, integration architecture, and solutions design on Salesforce.
You will typically see a Identity & Access Management Designer background as well as Integration Architecture Designer accolades with a Certified System Architect.
While a System Architect focuses on both Salesforce platform architecture and integration strategy, an Integration Architect is more heavily concentrated on the middleware layer used to build enterprise-grade, scalable, highly secure integrations between Salesforce and other applications.
An Integration Architect works with a variety of tools, including Integration Cloud (formerly Mulesoft), Boomi, Jitterbit, and a number of other applications built specifically for creating two way syncs between Salesforce and other enterprise SaaS products.
As described by Salesforce, the Salesforce Application Architect has a deep understanding of native Salesforce features and functionality, as well as the ability to model a role hierarchy, data model, and appropriate sharing mechanisms.
The Salesforce B2B Solution Architect is well-versed in working across multiple 'Clouds' and leading functional solutions design that deliver business value for the customer - typical focus will be around core products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, CPQ, Marketing Cloud, and others.
The Salesforce B2C Solution Architect designs multi-cloud solutions on Salesforce that delivered powerful customer experiences - Salesforce Architects focused on B2C digital experiences are typically working with Experience Cloud (formerly Communities) and Lightning Web Components.
The Salesforce B2C Commerce Architect has experience designing global eCommerce experiences that support multiple brands and channels using standard design patterns within Commerce Cloud.
The Heroku Architecture Designer credential sits a bit outside the 'core' Salesforce product offering and is reserved for Architects with knowledge architecting scalable solutions, deploying and managing apps, and managing teams and build-workflows on Heroku.
System Architects focus on off-platform systems, integration, securing access between systems as well as managing governance and testing capabilities for deployment and ongoing Salesforce modification requirements.
This is the highest accreditation an Architect can receive in their Salesforce career.
The Salesforce Technical Architect possesses broad knowledge across multiple development platforms and draws on their skills and experience to assess customer requirements and architecture in order to design secure, high-performance technical solutions that maximize the potential of the Salesforce platform.
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