App Builder Certification Study Guide

What Is Salesforce?

Salesforce is a cloud-based platform that provides customer relationship management (CRM) service. Salesforce is your customer success platform, designed to help you sell, service, market, analyze, and connect with your customers.

Salesforce has everything you need to run your business from anywhere. Using standard products and features, you can manage relationships with prospects and customers, collaborate and engage with employees and partners.

What Is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. This technology allows you to manage relationships with your customers and prospects and track data related to all of your interactions. It also helps teams collaborate, both internally and externally, gather insights from social media, track important metrics, and communicate via email, phone, social, and other channels.

In Salesforce, all of this information is stored securely in the cloud.

About the Salesforce Platform App Builder Credential

The Salesforce Platform App Builder credential is designed for individuals who would like to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in designing, building, and deploying custom applications using the declarative customization capabilities of the Lightning Platform. The candidate can create, manage, and update data models, application security, business logic, and process automation.

Here are some examples of the concepts you should understand to pass the exam:

  • How to design the data model, user interface, business logic, and security for custom applications
  • How to customize applications for mobile use
  • How to design reports and dashboards
  • How to deploy custom applications

The Salesforce Platform App Builder credential is intended for an individual who has 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 the social and mobile capabilities of the platform; accustomed to using and optimizing business applications on a mobile device
  • Familiarity with the Salesforce development environments and the options available to deploy applications and manage changes on the Lightning Platform
  • Study 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.

Exam Outline

The Salesforce Platform App Builder exam measures a candidate’s knowledge and skills related to the following objectives. A candidate should have hands-on experience developing custom applications on the Lightning Platform and have demonstrated the application of each of the features/functions below.

Salesforce Fundamentals

In this section, you need to be familiar with the capabilities of the base system objects and know the capabilities and use cases for declarative customization solutions versus programmatic. You should also know the use cases for using an AppExchange app.

Data Modeling and Management

The Data Modeling and Management topic has the second-largest weighting in the exam, so you should spend time to be familiar with topic objectives. In order to pass the data modeling and management section of the Platform App Builder certification exam, you must be familiar with a variety of topics related to data management. These topics include being able to determine the appropriate data model given a scenario, the different relationship types and implications of selecting one on the user interface, reporting, and record access.

You should be familiar with the use cases and capabilities of external objects and when it is appropriate to use them as part of your data model design. In order to work visually with the data model, you should know the capabilities of the schema builder. Finally, you should be familiar with the options for importing and exporting data into and out of Salesforce.


As part of declaratively building or customizing an application, you must always keep in mind the appropriate level of object, record and field access for different types of users. The security section will present scenarios and you will need to determine the appropriate access and sharing solution, using features such as profile object access, permission sets, role hierarchy, sharing rules, manual sharing, and field-level security.

Business Logic and Process Automation

The Business Logic and Process Automation topic is the highest weighted section at 27% so you should make sure that you are very familiar with all of the topic objectives. This topic requires you to know how to apply business logic to your application, using record types, formula fields, validation rules, and roll-up summary fields. You also need to understand the capabilities and use cases for the various automation tools, including Approval Processes, Workflow, Flow Builder and Process Builder. Finally, you should understand the potential for field updates to cause recursion.

Recursion is a valid programming technique, used when a method calls itself to solve a complex problem, however, it can cause a problem in Salesforce, if an update on one field triggers an update on another field which causes an update back on the first field, resulting in a recursive loop.


The social section has the lowest weighting of 3%, so you should only expect 1 or 2 questions on this topic. Salesforce can connect social profiles to leads, person and business accounts and contacts. Salesforce can currently connect social network profiles from Twitter and YouTube when in Salesforce Classic. Only Twitter can be accessed in Salesforce Lightning. The Salesforce Mobile App only supports Twitter to access social account features.

Social connection features are made possible once an Admin enables Social Accounts, Contacts, and Leads for the organization, but users can configure the feature in their personal settings as well. You should be aware of the social capabilities in the desktop site vs the Salesforce Mobile App and the role the Administrator has in enabling and options for controlling the feature.

Salesforce also offers Social Customer Service, which allows the creation of cases, contacts and leads from Social Media Posts. You need to be aware of the capabilities and use cases for Social Customer service.

User Interface

In the User Interface section, you need to understand how to declaratively customize the user interface and when and how to use custom buttons, links, and actions. You should also be familiar with how Lightning Components can be incorporated into and application.


The reporting section has a low weighting of 5%, so you can expect to only get a few questions on this topic, relating to the capabilities of standard vs custom report types, report formats and dashboards.


In the Mobile section, you need to know the various options and how to declaratively customize the Salesforce Mobile App. Global actions, object-specific actions, and action layouts are options that can be included in the Salesforce Mobile App user interface, you need to be able to determine which option is appropriate given a particular scenario.

App Development

In this section, you need to be familiar with the options and best practices for deploying an application from a sandbox through to production. This includes understanding the different types of sandboxes and when it is appropriate to use each type. It is important to understand the capabilities and role of unmanaged packages in app development and deployment. Changesets are one way of deploying metadata from a sandbox, you will need to understand the capabilities and use cases.

Recommended Training and References

As preparation for this exam, we recommend a combination of hands-on experience, training course completion, Trailhead trails, and self-study in the areas listed in the Exam Outline section of this exam guide.

About the Exam

Read on for details about the Salesforce Platform App Builder exam.

  • Content: 60 multiple-choice/multiple-select questions and 5 unscored questions*
  • Time allotted to complete the exam: 105 minutes
  • Passing score: 63%
  • Registration fee: USD 200, plus applicable taxes as required per local law
  • Retake fee: USD 100, plus applicable taxes as required per local law
  • Delivery options: Proctored exams delivered onsite at a testing center or in an online proctored environment.
  • References: No hard-copy or online materials may be referenced during the exam.
  • Prerequisite: None; course attendance highly recommended

*Please note: as of November 16, 2017, some Salesforce certification exams will contain five additional, randomly placed, unscored questions to gather data on question performance. The duration of each exam has been evaluated and adjusted to accommodate the inclusion of the unscored questions. These five questions will be in addition to the 60 scored questions on your exam and will have no impact whatsoever on your score.

Maintaining Your Salesforce Certification

One of the benefits of holding a Salesforce credential is always being up-to-date on new product releases (updates). As such, you will be required to complete the Platform App Builder certification maintenance modules on Trailhead three times a year.

Don’t let your hard-earned credential expire! If you do not complete all maintenance requirements by the due date, your credential will expire.

Bookmark these useful resources for maintaining your credentials: