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[GLOSSARY] Salesforce Community Cloud Terminology Explained

Nearshore Agile Teams

Active communication is a vital component to a successful technology implementation, and speaking the same language (figuratively and literally!) helps keep all members of a team on track. To ensure you (and your team) are on the same page when discussing your Salesforce Community, use this glossary of key Salesforce Community Cloud terms and their definitions.


Answers is a feature of the Community application that enables users to ask questions and have community members post replies. Community members can then vote on the helpfulness of each reply, and the person who asked the question can mark one reply as the best answer.


The AppExchange is a sharing interface from Salesforce that allows you to browse and share apps and services for the Lightning Platform. See our community apps for employees and customers.

Best Answer

When a member of an answers community asks a question and other community members post a reply, the asker can mark one of the replies as the best answer. The best answer then appears directly under the question (above the other replies). Identifying the best answer helps other community members with the same question quickly find the most relevant, useful information.

Category, Ideas

Categories are administrator-defined values that help organize ideas into logical sub-groups within a zone. The View Category drop-down list on the Ideas tab allows users to filter ideas by category, and the Categories picklist on the Post Ideas page lets users add categories to their ideas. For example, if your ideas zone has the focus “Improvements to our clothing line,” then you might set up categories such as “Shirts,” “Jackets,” and “Slacks.” Each organization has one common set of categories that can be added or removed from each zone. An administrator defines separate categories for their ideas and answers zones.

Category Group for Answers

In an answers zone, a category group provides one or more categories that help organize questions for easy browsing. If the category group contains a hierarchy, only the first-level categories display on the Answers tab. For example, if you’re a computer manufacturer you might create a Products category group for your Products zone that has four categories: Performance Laptops, Portable Laptops, Gaming Desktops, and Enterprise Desktops. Zone members can choose one of the categories to assign to a question. Administrators create the category group and categories and then associate the category group with their answers zone.An administrator defines separate categories for their ideas and answers zones.


A channel refers to the medium by which an article is available. Salesforce Knowledge offers four channels where you can make articles available.

  • Internal App: Salesforce users can access articles in the Articles tab depending on their role visibility.
  • Customer: Customers can access articles if the Articles tab is available in a community or Customer Portal. Customer users inherit the role visibility of the manager on the account. In a community, the article is only available to users with Customer Community or Customer Community Plus licenses.
  • Partner: Partners can access articles if the Articles tab is available in a community or partner portal. Partner users inherit the role visibility of the manager on the account. In a community, the article is only available to users with Partner Community licenses.
  • Public Knowledge Base: Articles can be made available to anonymous users by creating a public knowledge base using the Sample Public Knowledge Base for Salesforce Knowledge app from the AppExchange. Creating a public knowledge base requires Sites and Visualforce.

Channel Manager

Channel managers are the internal users that manage your partners.


Chatter is an enterprise collaboration platform from Salesforce, a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) vendor. … Employees can “follow” both people and documents to collaborate on sales opportunities, service cases, campaigns, projects, and tasks.


Communities are customizable public or private spaces for employees, end-customers, and partners to collaborate on best practices and business processes.

Community Application

The Community application includes the ideas and answers features. The Community app is available in the app menu.

Community Builder

Community Builder and community templates for self-service let you create, brand, and publish a custom community that looks great on any mobile device! Choose a template to quickly start your community, and then style the pages to match your company’s branding.

Community Expert

A community expert is a member of the community who speaks credibly and authoritatively on behalf of your organization. When community experts post comments or ideas, a unique icon () displays next to their name. The Salesforce administrator can designate as many community experts as necessary.

Community Workspace

Community Workspaces offers a streamlined area to access all the tools that you need for building, managing, and tracking your community. Access quick links to frequently visited pages, catch up on release notes, and dive into Help & Training.

Customer Service Template

Allows users to set up a community that includes point-and click-customizations with Community Builder, collaboration, autocomplete search, self-resolution of cases through knowledge and case creation, sharing Salesforce records (with all the security checks in place, of course), recommendations, profile-based access, topics and topic email notifications, gamification, and rules to weed out trolls and bots.

Data Category for Answers

On the Answers tab, data categories allow users to classify questions in an answers zone. For example, if you have a zone for hardware products, your data categories may include laptops, desktops, and printers. Zone members can quickly browse within a specific category to find answers to their questions. Administrators can use data categories to control access to questions.

Data Category for Articles

In Salesforce Knowledge, data categories are a set of criteria organized hierarchically into category groups. Articles in the knowledge base can be classified according to multiple categories that make it easy for users to find the articles they need. For example, to classify articles by sales regions and business units, create two category groups, Sales Regions and Business Units. The Sales Regions category group could consist of a geographical hierarchy, such as All Sales Regions as the top-level, North America, Europe, and Asia at the second level, and so on up to five levels. Authors assign categories to articles. Administrators can use data categories to control access to articles.


If you dislike an idea, you can click demote to subtract 10 points from its overall score and decrease the idea’s overall popularity ranking. You cannot demote the same idea more than once, and after you demote an idea you cannot promote it. An idea can have negative overall points if more users demote the idea than promote it.

Email Alert

Email alerts are actions that send emails, using a specified email template, to specified recipients.

Email Template

A form email that communicates a standard message, such as a welcome letter to new employees or an acknowledgment that a customer service request has been received. Email templates can be personalized with merge fields and can be written in text, HTML, or custom format.

External User

External users are users with Community, Customer Portal, or partner portal licenses.


An icon that users can click on a question or reply to report it as spam, hateful, or inappropriate.

Guest User

Guest users can access public and Salesforce sites, and public pages in Communities, via the Guest User license associated with each site or community. Guest users’ access to objects and data is controlled by public access settings on the Guest User profile.

High-Volume Portal Users

Limited-access users intended for organizations with many thousands to millions of portal users. Unlike other users, high-volume portal users don’t have roles, which eliminates performance issues associated with role hierarchy calculations. High-volume portal users include both the High Volume Customer Portal User and Authenticated Website User license types.


Ideas are suggestions posted by the members of an ideas community and are organized by zones. For example, if the focus of a particular zone is “Ideas for car features,” an appropriate idea for that zone might have the title “Insulated cup holders that keep your beverage hot or cold.” Or, if the focus of a particular zone is “Ideas for our company’s employee benefits,” an appropriate idea for that zone might have the title “On-site daycare.”


A file repository in Salesforce CRM Content.

Library Permission

A group of privileges that determines user access within a Salesforce CRM Content library.


A nickname is a name used to identify this user in a community. Up to 40 alphanumeric characters are allowed. Standard users can edit this field.


Partners are the companies with which you collaborate to close your sales deals. For each opportunity or account you create, the Partners related list allows you to store information about your partners and the roles they play in the opportunity or account. A partner must be an existing account within Salesforce. Selecting a partner role automatically creates a reverse partner relationship with the associated account so that both accounts list the other account as a partner.

Partner Accounts

Partner accounts are Salesforce accounts that a channel manager uses to manage partner organizations, partner users, and activities when using a partner community or a partner portal.

Partner Relationship Management (PRM)

PRM helps you better manage partner relationships by connecting your existing CMS, delivering AI-powered content recommendations, and automating your channel marketing

Partner Role

Selection for an account on the Partners related list of an individual account or opportunity that specifies the role that the account has in related sales deals.

Partner User

Partner users are Salesforce users with limited capabilities. They are external to your organization but sell your products or services through indirect sales channels. They are associated with a particular partner account, have limited access to your organization’s data, and log in via a partner portal.

Personal Settings

Settings and customization options to help users personalize their Salesforce experience. All Salesforce users can edit their own personal settings. Depending on an organization’s user interface settings, users can access their personal settings from the Personal Setup area of the Setup menu, or from the menu under their avatar or name.

Popular Ideas

On the Popular Ideas subtab, ideas are sorted by an internal calculation that reflects the age of an idea’s positive votes. Regardless of an idea’s static total number of points, ideas with newer positive votes display higher on the page than ideas with older positive votes. This allows you to browse ideas that have most recently gained popularity, with less precedence given to long-established ideas that were positively voted on in the past.

Popular Questions

Each question’s popularity is based on the number of users who Like it within a certain amount of time.


If you agree with or like an idea, click promote to add 10 points to the idea. You cannot promote the same idea more than once and you cannot promote an idea that you have already demoted. Salesforce automatically adds your promote vote to any idea you post.


An issue posted to an answers community. When a community member asks a question, other community members post replies to help resolve the question

Question, Private

An issue posted to an answers community but marked Private so that only support agents can view and respond to it.

Recent Activity

Your Recent Activity page contains a summary of all the recent activity that relates to your participation within a zone. For example, this page lists all the ideas and comments you have posted to a zone as well as the ideas you have voted on. You can view your Recent Activity page by clicking your nickname located


Self-service is any activity where the customer performs work on their own behalf without the assistance of company staff.

Share Group

A set of Salesforce users who can access records owned by high volume portal users. Each Customer Portal has its own share group.


An idea’s status helps zone members track the progress of the idea. For example, “Under Review”, “Reviewed”, “Coming Soon”, and “Now Available” are common status values an administrator can define and assign to ideas.

Vote, Reply

In an ideal community, a vote means that you have either promoted or demoted an idea. After you vote on an idea, your nickname displays at the bottom of the idea’s detail page to track that your vote was made. You can use your Recent Activity page to see a list of all the ideas you have voted on. In an answers community, a vote means that you either like or dislike a reply to a question.

You can see most of these terms and more in the Salesforce Glossary

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Marisa Lather, Marketing Manager

Marisa Lather is the Employment Branding Marketing Manager at Perficient and is proudly dedicated to developing the Perficient culture. Known as @MarketerMarisa, she is a data-driven design thinker who specializes in creating aesthetic brand experiences that delight. With an inbound marketing specialization in multimedia content creation and engagement, she develops and executes omnichannel campaigns, blending online and offline worlds to create data-informed content and affinity-building experiences for brands. She is actively engaged in the national marketing community, blogs about modern business, personal development, marketing, and more at, and speaks at conferences around the country. Connect with Marisa on LinkedIn and follow @MarketerMarisa on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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