Don’t bombard users with old data

04Jan08

I know I complain about salesforce.com a lot. Although it’s a solid product, I really wish they would pay more attention to some of the more mundane tasks, like adding and deleting users. My latest grievance: if you create a new user and the user has started using the site, you can never delete that user. Sure, you can mark them inactive, but their account info remains in your user list forever.

I’m guessing the technical reason for this is straightforward: Once the user creates any records in the database, there’s no way to delete the user without also deleting the records. So here’s a workaround: When deleting a user, just associate the orphaned records with “Deleted User”. Of course, this “user” wouldn’t appear in the users list — it’s just a dummy entry.

What if we assume that deleting old user data is impossible because of some other technical reason? There’s still hope. One simple approach is to automatically hide the inactive users from view, with a link to view them when desired. That way, even if users can’t get rid of the old info, at least they don’t have to have it staring them in the face.



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