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SalesForce.com reports can be created with fairly complex criteria. Some standard criteria include the time period (‘current fiscal quarter’, ‘current and next fiscal year’), and the user’s relationship to the object (‘my opportunities’, ‘my team’s opportunities’). In creating or customizing the report, you also have the opportunity to specify up to 10 ‘advanced filters’:

Each filter allows you to specify

  • A field on which to filter

  • An operator (equals, not equal to, starts with, …)

  • A value (or values, separated by commas)

Five filters are shown. You’d click ‘Add Row’ to show up to five more.

I could define a report for each combination of filters someone might need. For example, my auto dealership sells four makes, and I have managers for each. So I could create four nearly identical reports.

But what happens when I need to update the report? Suppose that I’ve decided to add the customer’s phone number so I can follow up to ensure their satisfaction. I’ve now got four reports to update. This issue of proliferating reports could be far worse… I might need views for each model sold, reports by lead source, etc.

Instead of creating a bunch of nearly identical reports, I could instead maintain this single ‘masterreport that shows all opportunities, and apply dynamic filters just by changing the URL. The report I’m looking at right now has a URL of https://na5.salesforce.com/00O70000001tMH5 (sorry; you can’t click the links to see the results. SalesForce security won’t allow you to log in to my SalesForce account). Suppose that I want that report for my Ford manager. I can achieve that by changing the URL to apply an additional filter.

My new URL: https://na5.salesforce.com/00O70000001tMH5?pc9=00N700000026joT&pn9=eq&pv9=Ford. When I enter that, I only get back the 67 opportunities for Ford sales even though the report is designed to show all opportunities. The dynamic filter comes from the part of the URL beginning with '?'; but how did I compose that extension?

Let’s consider it in pieces. First, I have to decide what filter number to add. The existing report has a single advanced filter (‘Probability not equal to 0’). When you review the report definition (see the image above), you see the existing filter is labeled ‘1’. SalesForce actually treats it as number 0. (The

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