What’s a Permission Set?

Q: What’s a Permission Set? What are they used for?

First, if you’re not familiar with profiles and roles and how they are used to manage access to objects and records within Salesforce, you probably aren’t ready to dive into Permission Sets. So start by reading the prior conversations about Profiles and Roles.

Okay, is it just us elite salesforce security experts now? Let’s move on. As recently as few years ago, Permission (“Perm”) Sets didn’t even exist.

New paragraph for dramatic effect! For people like you and I who worked to make the impossible possible on the Salesforce platform, this meant that we were constantly cloning profiles just to make small, minute changes. Luckily, the good developers at Salesforce gave us a solution, and they called them Permission Sets.

You can think of a profile as a massive permission set. A profile gives you access to read, write, create, and delete over entire objects, as well as system-based permissions like allowing you to send mass emails or collaborate on Chatter, for example. As such, if a profile is a massive perm set, then it follows that a perm set is just a mini profile. However there is a key different that makes perm sets infinitely more useful: you can assign more than one to a user. With profiles, not so.

In essence, Permission Sets are the crucial feature which provides administrators the flexibility to make exceptions.

So think of perm sets as providing flexibility, agility, allowing admins to enable features and access to users without making a large change to functionalities such as profiles or sharing rules or org-wide defaults which have wide-reaching implications.

Businesses are fluid, processes are ever changing, and people move around. Maybe a seasoned veteran support rep recently moved into a sales role, but still spends one day each week advising on tough cases. Although we recently reassigned his Profile from Support User to Sales User (and he doesn’t have access to the Case object anymore), we can create a perm set called “Case Access” that allows him to continue to create and read and write on the Case object for the time being.

That’s all, cheers! Check out the other Conversations here.

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