Best Practices for SalesForce

Creating a case

  • Asset: Choose what best covers the part of the ULMS affected by the issue

    • Alma: Issues affecting Alma functionality, bib/item records & holdings and other back-end functionality
    • Primo: Issues affecting search, retrieval of results, front-facing UI configuration and similar issues
    • Alma Data Services: Issues with specific electronic collections, portfolios, and other components of the knowledge base
    • Primo Central: Issues affecting article search results
    • bX: Issues with bX recommender results
  • Priority: Use Ex Libris definitions to determine priority level

  • (Only relevant for Alma Data Services) Database Collection : Report what e-resource isn’t working here

  • Title: Use a brief but descriptive title here – this makes it easier to find among the crowd and makes it easier for locating like issues throughout the CSU

  • Description:

    • Describe what’s happening, including what was expected and what happened instead. (Examples provided by Lauren Magnuson)
      • THIS:  
        • In Alma under purchase order lines > Search for a PO Line, if I perform a search (for example, POL) and then click the Tools > Excel button, nothing happens.  No waiting icon appears in the center of the screen and the Excel file does not download.
      • NOT THIS:
        • “Excel downloading is not working in Alma”.  Why not? It may be the case that Excel downloading is working elsewhere in the system, so you need to be very specific about how and where you encountered the problem.
      • Example of describing what was expected:  I would expect an Excel file containing all of the PO Lines to download to my computer, but no file is downloaded.
    • Describe scope and impact of the issue
    • Describe frequency- does this happen every time, randomly, or just once or twice?
    • Have you made any changes to the system that might be related?
    • Describe steps taken to troubleshoot the issue:
      • Example: I’ve already tried logging in and out of Alma, trying multiple browsers (FireFox and Chrome), restarting my computer, and using another computer with a different user account, and the problem is not resolved. To check permissions, I checked with colleagues to see if they were experiencing the same issue. They verified it is not permissions.
    • Provide a test patron or test proxy user that ExL can use to troubleshoot and replicate the issue
      • Also provide info to help reproduce the issue: Examples: provide MMS IDs of record examples, item barcode, PO line number, screenshots, transaction numbers, job IDs, permalinks in Primo, etc.  For particularly complex examples, you may want to record a quick Jing screencast to provide evidence of the problem you are seeing.
    • Include screenshots or files that illustrate the issue
  • Additional Information: Tied to your Asset choice

    • Category: General system functionality related to the issue – Please choose appropriate options here as searching on category in SalesForce acts as a great filter.
    • Subject: sub-category
  • Additional e-mails:

    • Add anyone at your campus who will need to track progress of the issue
    • Include CO staff to help them track the issue:
      • Brandon for Alma issues
      • David for Primo issues
      • Jessica for ERM issues
      • Mallory for CSU+ issues
      • Brandon for anything high priority or in need of careful watching

Managing cases

Things to know:

  • Normal status cases should have a response within 2 business days (High = 1 business day, Low = 3 business days)
  • Note that opening multiple cases for the same issue is unlikely to generate additional attention for your issue – in fact, it is more likely to split attention. Adding more examples or escalating the case is a better bet.
  • Similarly, assigning a “High” priority to a case that doesn’t meet Ex Libris’ description of priority is unlikely to get extra attention for the issue. You can always bring this case to Brandon’s attention for extra monitoring.
  • You request an update by adding a comment to your open case. This lets the assigned support rep know there has been an update to the case.
  • If you don’t get a response to a request for an update, you can email Brandon and ask him to escalate

Description of case statuses (from ExL Knowledge site):


What does it mean?


A New Case.

Tier 1 Analysis

Tier 1 Support is investigating the Case.  If it's a customer question, they are working to provide an answer.  If it is a problem report, they are working on providing a diagnosis (for example: determine if the problem is a local configuration problem, a known issue, a product defect, or an enhancement request).

Pending Customer Reply
(Formerly: Pending Customer Response)

Support has requested that the customer provide additional information to help us investigate the Case.  Further work on the Case is pending a response from the customer.

After two weeks in this Status a reminder email is sent to the Customer.  After two additional weeks, the Case is put into Closing status.  After two more weeks in Closing status, the Case is Closed.

Update Received
(Formerly: Waiting for Process

When customers respond to a request for additional information, this Status notifies Support that you are waiting for us to process the new information and continue our investigation.

Tier 2 New

The Tier 1 Team may hand off the Case to Tier 2 for deeper analysis under the following conditions:

Tier 1 is consulting with a Tier 2 product expert to assist with the investigation;

The problem requires deeper analysis by an Analyst with greater product knowledge and experience;

Tier 1 has identified a product Defect, and is sending the Case to Tier 2 to verify that a defect exists.

Tier 2 Analysis

A Tier 2 Analyst has been assigned the Case, and their analysis is underway.

Tier 2 W4I

Tier 2 has contacted Tier 1 with an internal request for additional information from the Tier 1 Analyst.

Tier 1 Answer to Tier 2

Tier 1 response to an internal request from Tier 2 for more information.

Tier 2 Closed

Tier 2 response to an internal request from Tier 1 for information or troubleshooting assistance.

Pending Work Plan

Tier 2 has presented a defect to Development for evaluation, and Development has determined that the issue is still under consideration to be included in a future work plan for the relevant product. 

Cases in Pending Work Plan status will be reassessed by Support and Development periodically.  If the assessment results in the issue moving into the work plan, the Case status will change to Development.  If the Case is not moved into the work plan after 24 months, the Case will change to Closing status. 

This Status will only be used for Cases where the customer defined the priority as Normal or Low, and will not be used when an issue affects several institutions.

Pending Development 
(Formerly: Development)

Tier 2 has reviewed the Case and transferred it to the Development Team for one of the following reasons:
- Tier 2 is requesting assistance from Development in diagnosing a problem or validating a defect report;
- Tier 2 has validated a product defect, and is sending it to Development to create a fix.

Pending Release

When a defect fix has been embedded into the code of a future release, the Ex Libris Support Analyst that owns your Case will change the status to Pending Release.

Pending Customer Testing

Two weeks after we release a defect fix via a SP/release, Cases resolved by the release will have their status changed from Pending Release to Closing.  However, if you are not yet ready to have the Case close, customers can change the Status to Pending Customer Testing.  This Status indicates that the customer is applying the fix and/or reviewing it to confirm the problem has been fixed.  Cases in Pending Customer Testing status will automatically close after 11 months.

Shared with PQ

To ensure the most efficient case handling and that cases are assigned to the most appropriate support expert, this case was transferred to the ProQuest Support Center for further analysis. 
All updates and future activity will be completed from the ProQuest Support Center. 

Pending  Vendor Input
(Formerly: Waiting for Vendor Input)

The KB Team is working on a Case that is waiting on necessary information or intervention by a third-party Vendor.

Pending Product Review
(Formerly: Product Manager Review)

The request in the Case has been identified as a product enhancement, and referred to the Product Manager for review.  Because Product Management is primarily tracking enhancements via the Idea Exchange and the ELUNA/IGeLU NERS enhancement voting process, this status name change is mostly relevant only for Cases previously created that are already in Product Manager Review status.

(Formerly: Closing)

Support has provided a response to the Case that we believe answers your questions, or addresses a problem that you reported.
If you feel that the response provided by Support does not address your problem or question, please add a Comment to the Case to indicate what further inquiry is needed.  Cases in Closing status will automatically switch to Closed after 14 days.

(New Status)

Previously when a Case was in Closing status and a customer added a new comment, the status would change to Waiting for Process.  

As of October 21 2018, we are implementing a new Status called Reopened, which will apply whenever a customer adds a new comment to a Case that is in Resolved (formerly Closing) status.  This will allow Support to differentiate between customer comments for Cases still under investigation (which will trigger the status Update Received), and customer comments for Cases in Resolved status. 


The Case has been Closed.  If you are still experiencing the problem described in the Case, or you have experienced a reoccurrence of the problem, please submit a new Case, and reference the previous Case number in your Case Description.

Things to look out for:

  • W4I (Waiting for Information) Flag: Indicates which cases are waiting on an update from you in order to continue – should be checked daily
    • Should encompass “Pending Customer Response” and “Pending Customer Testing” statuses
    • Check and respond to these regularly to keep movement on addressing the issue going
  • Clicking on header reorders your case list either alphabetically or from earliest to latest date
    • Reorder the list by “Last updated” heading to look for cases that have not been updated in some time. You should ask for updates for these cases and escalate to Brandon if no response is received
  • Cases that have been resolved should be closed using the “Close Case” button. Leaving these open creates more work for everybody and takes time away from other cases that are still open.

Publishing Cases - Best Practice:

We recommend publishing your SalesForce cases in order to better exchange information with the Alma and Primo user communities. Publishing allows other institutions outside the CSU to find information contained in your case when searching SalesForce - this helps others define their own issues and even find resolutions to issues already reported to Ex Libris. You can enable this within your SalesForce account via the Publish tab:

Read the "Publication of Support Incident Reports Terms and Conditions." If you agree to the terms and conditions outlined, select an option for publishing cases and click Save Publish.

Once you decide to publish your cases, all new cases opened from that point forward will be published by default. You can un-publish individual cases at any time by unchecking the Publish to All checkbox.

Civility and tone

Dealing with systems issues is a frustrating experience. Understandably, emotions can run high after running into roadblocks keeping you from performing your work. Often, these feeling are compounded by the experience of troubleshooting functionality or data that should just work.

Understandable as these feelings are, expressing them through comments in a case is not helpful or additive to the process. Please keep your case description and comments factual and relevant to the case – this will facilitate quicker understanding of the issues and therefore more efficient actions undertaken to resolve the root issues. Not to mention, it is demotivating to assist others who are taking their frustration out on you, something we have all experienced in our lives. You can always reach out to Brandon to express your frustrations and concerns about the system.