HEDA Architecture with Non-Profit Starter Pack

Installing Salesforce.com HEDA Framework when Non-Profit Starter Pack is already installed.

We find a lot of Colleges and Universities that have potential to utilize the Higher Education Data Architecture (HEDA) Framework for their instance of Salesforce.com. The first question I tend to hear from our clients in the Higher Education sector seems to always be, “We already have the Non-Profit Starter Pack (NPSP) installed in our instance of Salesforce.com, could we still install HEDA?”

The short answer is yes.

There are a few things that you need to consider before making the jump to HEDA. The biggest hurdle is going to be the data migration.

The simple fact that the Household Account record type needs to be renamed (both the label and the API) before the installation of HEDA can proceed, requires a data migration of all of the Household Accounts within the Account Object. This can be a daunting undertaking depending on the amount of records that are active in your org. This step should be repeated with any contacts associated with these household accounts.

After you complete the export, the next step would be to rename the existing Household Account Record Type that was installed with the NPSP. I would suggest labeling it specific like “Household Account NPSP” or “Household Account1” or “Household Account Original” for the label and “Household_Account_NPSP” for the API.

That is the only thing that will prevent the installation ofHEDA when NPSP is already installed. When you are finished updating the household accounts.

Here are a few helpful tips to watch out for.

  • The Relationships Object exists in both instances, but the HEDA Object comes with a unique API name. So if you are currently utilizing this Object, a data migration might be needed
  • Courses seem to be a common custom object with Higher Ed Orgs that are using NPSP. If you are using a Course object, or an object to hold your courses, you would want to migrate this data as well.
  • Since HEDA is an entire architecture, you will need to rethink your current process and structure on how objects talk to each other.

So even with all of these hurdles and considerations, why make the jump to HEDA at all if you already are using the NPSP?

The biggest reason is that this is a package that is managed by Salesforce.com and will continue to expand its functionality & investment in the Higher Education Sector.

The Non-Profit Starter Pack will most likely never be customized or expanded to fully integrate with the Higher Education Sector. So unless your org is completely customized with over 10 Custom Objects with Apex Triggers and VF Pages, making the switch sooner rather than later is probably in your best interest.

John Romano Jr.
Sr. Salesforce.com Consultant