Ibrahim Sowunmi

Architects in the Salesforce ecosystem

An Architect. It’s an intimidating title. Salesforce architect just adds another level of abstraction. So let’s break it down and place some descriptions around what a Salesforce Architect actually looks like. If you’re on this post you are likely familiar with the Salesforce Architect Pyramid. If you’re new to the architect role read my previous post on architects. Let’s begin to piece all these bits together.

What is a Salesforce Architect?

The things mentioned in Introduction to Architects post but with a twist. They are responsible for leading Salesforce implementations and understanding Salesforce architecture.

When you google Salesforce Architect you come across The Architect pyramid. If you’re anything like me, you want an explanation. The pyramid is a Certification checklist. You can read descriptions of all the exams and piece together what it’s trying to teach you but who has time for that. You want a succinct summary.

Some people describe the two architecture paths, (Application Architect/System Architect) as being configuration focused (AA) or dev focused (SA). This is close conceptually. SA is more platform architecture or implementation focused.

Application Architect Role

AAs tends to be more configuration focused as stated previously.

The Salesforce definition of an Application Architect is

The Salesforce Application Architect has a deep understanding of native Salesforce features and functionality, as well as the ability to model a role hierarchy, data model, and appropriate sharing mechanisms.

AAs have a greater understanding of the limits and capabilities of the platform (Security, models, process automation, etc).

Typically AAs have:

  • Been around the SF block for a few years 3+<
  • Broad understanding of the standard data models
  • Complexity around sharing
  • Basic development skills
  • Solid understanding of the automation tools that make salesforce work

System Architect Role

SA tends to be more platform architect/implementation/dev focused.

The salesforce defintion of a System Architect is

System Architects focus on off-platform systems, integration, securing access between systems as well as managing governance and testing capabilities for deployment and ongoing Salesforce modification requirements.

Typically SAs have:

  • Been around the SF block for a few years 3+<
  • Deep understanding of the standard data models
  • Thorough understanding of how Salesforce fits with other ecosystems
  • Advanced development skills
  • Solid understanding of the automation tools that make salesforce work

With the CTA being a combination of both.

How does this map to actual job titles

That is a great question. Fortunately, Lucy Mazalon over at SalesforceBEN has done a fantastic writeup, and I don’t see much of a need to re-invent the wheel. Architect breakdown within the salesforce ecosystem.


We’ve very briefly gone over expectations within the Salesforce ecosystem. Broke down the Salesforce pyramid a little and I’ve pointed you to resources. I cannot recommend the SalesforceBEN article enough. This is more a supporting piece to that post. With the information across all 3 posts you should be equipped with a solid understanding of architects generally and within Salesforce.