Unveiling Success: A Comprehensive Guide to Salesforce Winter 17 Maintenance Exam

Every candidate needs to take Salesforce maintenance exams to keep their credentials valid. This ensures that your knowledge is up-to-date and in line with the Salesforce platform that continues to evolve. 

Staying updated in the Salesforce ecosystem lets you access the latest modifications, improve your performance, enhance user experience, and much more. Let’s learn more about this exam. 

Understanding the Winter '17 Update

In the Winter ‘17 update, several features are easier to use than before. You have more options for managing partner and customer communities, keeping your users and data up for security, and running your business from your phone. 

Key Features Introduced

Here are some key features introduced in the winter ’17 update:

  • Open CTI using Lightning Experience

    The open CTI is now available for Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience.  This option is available without installing adapter programs on machines for users.

  • Sync your social accounts.

    The new update lets you sync 2000 social accounts faster and provides 500 accounts that can be viewed on each page. This feature is only available for Salesforce Classic users.

  • Top Results page

    If you search for a record, beginning with a wider-angle view is helpful before you zoom in. Users are redirected to the Top Results page, no matter where they are. Users only get this feature in Lightning Experience.

  • Personalize calendar with different colors

    The new update lets you choose a color, add your own texture, and even lets you create your calendars in Lightning Experience.

  • News for Contacts

    The functionality related to news on contact records operates similarly to other objects. News items are chosen based on the contact's associated account, executives, and industry. These news items are sourced from entities within the United States.

  • Global Instant Results

    This feature helps users quickly access a record before performing a full search. The global instant results are only available in Lightning Experience only. 

Implications for Salesforce Professionals

Here’s how the Winter ’17 update impacts Salesforce professionals:

  • Helps with ineffective marketing campaigns

    The Salesforce marketing cloud helps create, track, and automate targeted marketing campaigns. This helps segment user audiences based on different demographics and optimize each campaign.

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

    The Salesforce Winter ’17 release helped CRM to integrate AI and enhance the predictability of analytics. It’ll help Salesforce professionals to take customer relationship management to another level.

  • Service Cloud

    Since CTI (Customer Telephony Integration) is available in Lightning, it can easily integrate third-party CTI systems with Salesforce. This will allow Salesforce professionals to resolve issues faster for customers.

  • Sales Cloud

    Predictive Lead Scoring provides another dimension to Sales. It takes historical lead information from titles and industries to provide insightful information. It removes the guesswork to nurture leads and helps sales professionals to avail the best opportunities.

Exam Preparation Essentials

Exam preparation materials ensure your knowledge is up-to-date and aligned with the Salesforce requirements. Let’s look at the exam format and study materials you can use to prepare for the exam.

Overview of Maintenance Exam Format



Salesforce Administrator Passing Score

The passing score is 65%, requiring 39 correct answers out of 60 questions.

Question Format

60 multiple-choice/multiple-select questions.

Time Limit

105 minutes allotted for the exam.

Exam Delivery

Option to take the exam in a test center or remotely on your computer.

Negative Marking

No negative marking.

Scoring System

Each question is scored equally.

Open Book Policy

Not an open-book exam.

Study Materials and Resources

Here are some study materials and resources you can use to study for the exam:

1.    Official Documentation

Salesforce | Developers Documents

These are a list of documents, tutorials, developer guides, API references, and tutorials you can use when preparing for the exam.

Salesforce | Trailblazer Community

You can join this group to share problems, discuss the latest product enhancements, and get all the released information for all Salesforce Cloud.

2.    Recommended Online Courses

Coursera | Salesforce Fundamentals Specialization

This course discusses the fundamentals of integrating the world’s most powerful CRM with any organization. It’ll help you learn concepts like managing user permissions, object creation, and data security.

Udemy | Salesforce 101

The Salesforce 101 course gives an overview of the products Salesforce offers and helps you understand the Salesforce Certifications.

3.    Video tutorials

YouTube | Salesforce Product Center

This YouTube channel discusses the latest updates to the Salesforce exams. You can browse through the different videos to expand your learning.

4. Helpful books and Guides 

Amazon | Salesforce Administration Certification Exam-Prep Book

This book explores diverse concepts for the Salesforce exam. It prepares you with practical and real-world insights with different tips and strategies to ace the exam.

Navigating Changes in Winter '17

Addressing Modifications in User Interface

  • Immersive home page

    The homepage provides an insightful view of synoptic view updates, performance insights, and customer accounts. The home page depicts the latest news, top deals, sales calendar, and the sales performance chart.

  • Lightning console apps

    The 2017 update assists in an enhanced Lightning Console app that provide more flexibility to users. You can now edit multiple records, view them, and more. This helps with effectively managing accounts, assign tasks, create events, and log sales calls.

  • Customizable lightning apps

    You have the option to select from a library of different templates to create new apps with different functionalities and customized features. This improves option that help you with choosing relevant tools and components that fit your reporting requirements.

Impact of Winter '17 on Customizations

Salesforce introduces exciting features for Admins. This includes the ability to call a process from another process, assign custom record pages in Lightning, and enjoy inline editing and mass actions in Lightning Experience.

Global picklists enhance data management, which allows admins to create, manage, and update values.

Focus Areas for Efficient Preparation



Configuration and Setup

Manage preferences, UI, user setup, security controls, and profiles/permissions.

Object Manager and Lightning App Builder

High availability, scalability, integration with other AWS services, and flexible pricing options.

Sales and Marketing Applications

Evaluate sales process, use productivity features, explain lead tools.

Service and Support Applications

Outline case management, identify automation scenarios.

Productivity and Collaboration

Explain activity, Chatter, Salesforce Mobile, and AppExchange use cases.

Data and Analytics Management

Manage data (import/export), data validation, reports, dashboards, and sharing models.

Workflow/Process Automation

Identify automation solutions, explain Flow and approval process capabilities.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

A. Misconceptions about Winter '17 Changes

  • Power Packed Navigation Features

    The Winter '17 release introduces Top Deals, News, Assistant, and Performance Chart on the home tab, enhancing Salesforce Classic with customizable dashboards and easy data access.

  • Browser Compatibility

    Winter '17 Lightning experience is compatible with Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome, but not with Microsoft Internet Explorer 11. Older Internet Explorer versions redirect users to Salesforce Classic.

  • Custom Apps Creation

    The Winter '17 release redesigns the app launcher, moving it to the left side of the navigation bar. Users can easily access and brand apps with custom colors and logos.

  • Reviewing Campaigns

    Salesforce Spring '17 Release consolidates marketing and sales data, offering snapshot views of key campaign metrics. This provides detailed insights to improve sales team effectiveness and address performance gaps.

  • Prioritizing Leads

    Lightning capabilities help prioritize sales leads based on values and utilize data analytics for insights, estimating industry conversion times and analyzing key metrics for better decision-making.

B. Typical Errors Made During Exam

  • Review concepts

    Review your answers if you have the time in the end. Reviewing will help double-check if you’ve chosen the best suitable option and helps to correct any anomaly you might have overlooked.

  • Eliminate answers

    Start by eliminating the obviously wrong answer. This process of elimination will help you choose the correct answer in the end and make it easier to choose the correct answer option faster.

  • Understand the question before you answer

    Many candidates make the mistake of not fully comprehending the question. Overlooking one small aspect can make or break your answer.

Success Beyond the Exam

A. Continuing Education Opportunities

You can explore further learning options on the Trailblazer community. This can include certifications like Salesforce platform pp Builder Credential, the Salesforce Advanced Administrator certification, and more.

B. Networking and Community Involvement

The Trailblazer community is a great platform to join with fellow Salesforce professionals. You can ask and get your questions answered to build your skills and network.

Case for Continuous Learning

A. Importance of Regular Certification Updates

Maintain active and updated Salesforce certifications to stay relevant. Take maintenance exams that happen multiple times a year.

This helps with proficiency and depicts your expertise. The continuous learning helps give a competitive edge in the Salesforce ecosystem.

B Staying Ahead in the Dynamic Salesforce Landscape

Business needs change continuously. Staying ahead with updated information helps to provide continuous support to ensure your Salesforce instance evolves with your business.

Focusing on regular updates and training sessions that align with your CRM system helps to keep p with your current and future goals.


The Salesforce Winter ’17 update focuses on features like wave analytics customization, integrates with Google Calendar to help book appointments and track them with the Salesforce app, enhanced browse capability, and much more. 

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of ITCertificate.org

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