I have asked a functionality and design level question on the site and rapidly got downvoted for the same. I am not able to understand the reason for it. Thus, trying to get an explaination here.

link to question:

How does Salesforce handle organization hierarchies?

Thanks in advance!

  • I'm glad you brought this up. Voting is essential in helping shape an early site like this one. Since this is a site in private beta, though, please do leave comments or participate in a meta discussion about the question. Did you downvote because the question is too broad? Poorly worded? Do you feel it's off-topic? All of these are valid opinions, but it's difficult to establish community guidelines with votes and no discussion.
    – Laura
    Aug 1, 2012 at 14:27
  • 1
    Thanks for asking this here on meta. It's a hugely important question and it's nice that it's come up during the private beta as it lets us think about expected behaviour. I'm glad you didn't just pack your bags and leave. Aug 12, 2012 at 7:43

7 Answers 7


Sure, let's break down your question, and analyze why it was probably down voted.

I have a sales force application(not related to force.com) which I am trying to integrate with the force.com.

What do you mean by a Salesforce application not related to Force.com? What is the nature of this "integration"?

I have organizational hierarchies, user hierarchies and even campaign hierarchies. Now I want to know what options do I have on integrating this functionality into force.com.

How can know we what options you are looking for when we don't know the nature of your integration? or why do you differentiate between a Salesforce application and Force.com? Do you mean a Salesforce org and a seperate Force.com application? Does this application reside on a site, or a seperate org?

I know that I can add an attribute of the same kind of object on an object so that a hierarchy can be maintained but like to know if there is any inbuilt functionality in the force.com that support hierarchies.

Maybe it's just me, but I have no idea what you are asking for here.

You have to understand that the way you understand your application no one else does. That includes the underlying assumptions and "your" terminology. You have to be explicit when you ask these questions by providing detailed information and description for us to be able to answer your question.

We are not trying to be difficult, but just raising the bar in terms of the quality of questions, and answers where applicable. This is not a discussion forum but a Q&A site, where the question asked has to be clear and explicit and the answer provided should be concrete and accurate.


  • I only think that these comments about my questions had been in the comments section of my question
    – MozenRath
    Aug 1, 2012 at 18:14
  • btw, Hope you know that salsforce.com is not the only salesforce application. You might have heard the short form SFA Application.
    – MozenRath
    Aug 8, 2012 at 20:47
  • MozenRath, in your case, I would suggest the term "a non-Salesforce.com SFA application" as a less ambiguous descriptor of your external application. Easy mistake to make, but in the world of Salesforce.com, the term, "Salesforce" in any form tends to be taken as shorthand for Salesforce.com. I've also worked with CRM for 12 years, and to be honest the abbreviation SFA is a much more widely accepted term.
    – pchittum
    Nov 5, 2012 at 14:34

I also recommend that in terms of community conduct, down-votes should be considered a second-tier (or later) response. Poor questions are most likely to come from new, unfamiliar users. A down-vote may be interpreted as "you're not good enough for this space," rather than as an invitation to improve. So I think a better path is comments on the question to help the OP clarify language and needs, only resorted to down-votes if they're unresponsive and don't update the question.

  • 3
    i agree with Benj, i have wondered many times as to why the question was downvoted. And have felt it as" you are not good enough for this" . We definetely need downvotes as it increases the quality of site, but only if the user doesnt update the question
    – Prady
    Aug 8, 2012 at 13:26

Questions get downvoted when they "Do not show an research or effort, are unclear or not useful".

Your question is extremely unclear and not very useful to people searching for solutions. That is why it is getting downvoted.

Try providing an example of your situation and what you would like to accomplish.

  • 1
    I hate to disagree. check answer from @ebt
    – MozenRath
    Aug 8, 2012 at 20:48

I don't see the point in yanking the op's chain about the scope of the question. Seems clear he wants to know how to create tree structures with a number of different sobjects. Wilburn's answer is sufficient. Create lookups that relate the object to itself. done.

  • Exactly, That's what I wanted to know. You explanation seems to clarify thatthere are no in built functionalities that show a visible tree structure of items(correct me if I am wrong).
    – MozenRath
    Aug 8, 2012 at 16:29

I've been back and forward on this for 30 minutes trying to work it out. At one point I thought your question was clear enough (but only just) but that was mainly because I'd read comments here and on the original question as well as answers over on the question.

The question isn't clear.

  • You begin by talking about "sales force" which throws up red flags everywhere. We assume you're talking about salesforce.com (SFDC) but I'm still not sure.

  • Then you say it isn't related to force.com. I'm not sure what that means still. Do you mean you haven't yet written any code and everything is in your SFDC standard install?

  • Next you say that you have hierarchies. This confused me at first because it sounded like you'd already set something up. But from reading comments and answers, I'm guessing you mean SFDC has hierarchies for particular objects already.

(At this point, I have a fair idea how to help you: a custom lookup relationship field)

  • But now it turns out that you know that already

  • But you want to know if there's anything inbuilt in force.com that support it. Now I'm frustrated because you seem to know how to set up hierarchies. I don't know what you mean by force.com supporting it.

What is the question?

I think I found it! Your comment on @ebt's reply on meta suggests I've work out what your actual question is: you want a way to visually represent the hierarchy?

That being the case, let me ask your question again:

Is there a way to visually represent hierarchies I've created in SFDC? I have a custom field in my object that's self referential, thus creating a hierarchy, but I would like to have that represented on the View page for the object.

  • Also, as a new site, we're probably a little harder on question quality as we want to honor the maxim: 'start as you wish to continue' Aug 12, 2012 at 7:25
  • your rephrase of the question is much better than mine. I understand that it could be better. but just to clarify things a little more, by my sales force application, I meant my homegrown SFA application which is in no way related to SFDC except that they do the same thing. My application has a tree view to represent hierarchies. However, The UI of my application is really old and thus, we were trying to integrate the application such that the back-end functionality is handled by my application and SFDC UI can be used as we have similar objects and workflow.
    – MozenRath
    Aug 12, 2012 at 13:27

Let me be more "meta" on this question and speak in general about community standards on sf.sx.com ..

I believe we should have a community standard of "downvote in public". We can't enforce it, but it helps whoever got downvoted -- be it a question or an answer.

Example comments:

Downvoted: I don't find your question clear. Please consider rewording it. It can be helpful to talk in terms of what you're trying to achieve rather than asking about the way you're trying to achieve it. (But please still talk about how you're trying to achieve it)

Downvoted: Your answer uses a deprecated feature due to be removed in Summer 12. You can read about deprecated features here: hxxp://blah

Downvoted: Your question is off topic / belongs in meta / ...

Doing this forces the downvoter to carefully consider the downvote. They have to be able to properly explain it rather than just clicking the button and moving on.


Justified or not, I think the reasons for the downgrades were the quality of the question.

The questions demonstrated a lack of familiarity with Salesforce nomenclature (which can be a huge source of confusion), and seems to have been written in a haphazard, on the fly, manner.

The importance of contributing high-quality, well-written questions during the Private Beta stage of this community is vital, and though a comment to the question asking for a re-write would have been more useful, I can see where users would simply want to avoid a "clarity is needed"/"what needs clarity" loop and decided in stead to click the down button and be done with it.

  • so basically beginners are forbidden? I think this is utter elitist thinking!
    – MozenRath
    Aug 8, 2012 at 20:40
  • I think that attitude of the users is what might make the site pay in the end rather than getting users to improve quality of questions by adding comments and discussing the issue. You should know that this kind of alienating downvotes(that are not accompanied by comments) will only hurt the site be it in private/public beta or even after release.
    – MozenRath
    Aug 8, 2012 at 20:46
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    @MozenRath: I don't think the answer alluded in any way to an elitist attitude or that beginners are forbidden. If anything should be "forbidden" it should be inflammatory comments. Flame wars are a sure way to turn new users off from using this site.
    – pdxjake
    Aug 8, 2012 at 21:21
  • I'm not saying downvoting is what should happen in this case. I don't downvote questions, as I agree with the "No stupid questions" adage. I'm simply trying to explain what the situation might be, and, moreover, why having a "style guide" link might be a handy when a reference is needed.
    – pdxjake
    Aug 8, 2012 at 21:23
  • 1
    Who downvoted this? Please downvote in public .. especially on this thread! I'm confused about why it's downvoted. It's not a wrong answer as it's an opinion. Whoever downvoted, please explain. Aug 12, 2012 at 7:28

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