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Thursday
Feb142013

Print to Cloud

Xerox's ConnectKey:

Printers nowdays can scan, email, and fax documents. So why not extend those capabilities to allow users to print documents to the cloud. That's the pitch that was made by Xerox on Wednesday. 

By using ConnectKey and 16 differnt other software programs, users would be able to link their printers to their DropBox, Google Drive, and Evernote accounts; in so doing allowing them to "print" to the cloud. 

 

That's not all, In June, Xerox is said to release App Studio: which is basically the business version of ConnectKey; a set of ConnectKey apps that run on multifunction devices that can be linked to ERP and CRM enterprise systems. 

Tuesday
Feb122013

Add a Signature to Your Salesforce Email 

in Salesforce, you can add a text signature to your emails by going to Your Name> Setup> Personal Setup> Email> Email Settings> Signature. 

This email signature, which will be inevery email sent out of SFDC,  is only text. Alternatively, you can add a signature section in HTML via an email template. 


 

Tuesday
Feb052013

Salesforce: Disable Inline Editing

Editing a record in Salesforce by using inline editing (as opposed to clicking the Edit button to edit) might be quick and easy, but the fact is, inline editing does not fire off assignment rules or workflows. 

 

You have two options here:

 

  1. You can set the assignment rules to be checked by default on page layout, which will then allow the assignment rules to be triggered. This is done by editing the Page Layout and clicking the "Layout Properties."This way, inline editing is generally allowed but is disabled for assignment.
  2. The other option is to globally disable inline editing in the org; Go to Your Name> Setup> Customize> User Interface> Uncheck "Enable Inline Editing"

and now you can rest assured that assignments and workflows are never going to be bypassed by inline editing in your Salesforce org. 

Update: Our friend Matt Lamb (SF guru) pointed out that part of this may have been fixed. I'll verify this and update the posting but the Assignment rules not firing is still an open item according to the Ideas posting. Matt thinks they may have fixed this for workflow rules (i.e. they fire when inline edits happen). Again, we'll check this and many thanks to Matt who wrote in with his comments. 

 

 

Friday
Feb012013

Salesforce to Build "Social-Wall" 

At the Word Economic Forum this year, held in Davos-Switzerland, Salesforce and Accenture collaborated to build a "social-media wall" displaying trending conversations on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

With more than 800 representatives active on Twitter at the meeting, this 8 meter wide Social Media Wall was said to scan more than 500 million conversations daily, according to Jeremy Jurgens, chief information and interaction officer at the World Economic Forum.

"We're in a social revolution, and social technologies provide an increadible opportunity for organizations to connect with their customers, employees or constitutents in entirely new ways, said George Hu, COO, salesforce.com. "The world leaders gathering in Davos now have the ability to see the conversations happening on social media about the important issues in the world today."

 

 

Tuesday
Jan292013

Chipper about Chatter Enhancements

Salesforce Spring '13 releases

There's a slew of new stuff coming to Salesforce Spring '13 release, and one of my favorite updates in the Chatter department. Here's a few of the highlights I thought you'd like to know about:

Chatter Tasks – This is great and seems a little bit more in line with how other task management apps work with inline tasks.  This functionality will...

1. Auto post your tasks related to Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, and more directly to the Chatter feed so you can have a better understanding of all communication and activity connected to that record 

2. Allow you to create a Task directly ( and quickly!) from a Chatter post.  Instead of filling out a complicated form, just type the gist and move along.  What awesome functionality!

 

Some Other Minor Chatter Enhancements – Easily search through Group posts, make posts to Public Groups even if you aren't a user and a smaller chatter messenger box has been made when minimized.

Thursday
Jan242013

Salesforce Tooling API

With the Salesforce Spring 13 release just around the corner, developers everywhere should be getting anxious for the new Salesforce Tooling API.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s pretty well known that easily sharing code and best practices with other organizations in an effort to create an open source ecosystem around Salesforce is difficult. This is often due to barriers to entry that make it tricky to export/import code into a Salesforce instance. In short, it’s just not easy to collaborate within the Salesforce Developer community…until now!

With the new Salesforce Tooling API, devs in the community can start to build tools for other developers that might make it easier to share code and ideas and increase the flow of best practices within the community.  The Tooling API allows for access to key building blocks of Force.com development, including Apex classes, triggers, and VisualForce pages.

Here are some goodies from the API documentation:

  • Manage working copies of Apex classes and triggers and Visualforce pages and components.
  • Check for updates and errors in working copies of Apex classes and triggers and Visualforce pages and components, and commit changes to your organization.
  • Set heap dump markers.
  • Overlay Apex code or SOQL statements on an execution.
  • Access heap dump files.
  • Access debug log files.
  • Set trace flags to generate log files for yourself or for other users.

With a tool this great, I suspect that they’ll continue to build on this in the future, maybe even providing access to more metadata like reports and dashboards, which, of course can only benefit the Salesforce Developer community even more!

Tuesday
Jan222013

Configuring State & Country Picklists

in Salesforce Spring ‘13

Well, Salesforce finally did it. They’ve introduced State and Country picklists to their 2013 Spring release. Phew! No more messy (and often erroneous) text-entry fields. These picklists will allow you to choose a state and country based on a selection in a dropdown menu.

Hold onto your party hats though because it’s not as easy to implement as you might think. You’ll need to do a little behind-the-scenes work to configure state and country picklists so that they work in your organization.

First things first. You’ll need to configure the picklists in the Metadata API and then scan your organization to see where text-based state and country data is used. Next you’ll convert your existing data and fix the existing customizations so that they play nice with the new, standardized values. Finally, you can enable the lists for your users.

The State and Country Picklists page in the Data Management area of Setup is where you’ll spend most of your time preparing your organization to use the picklists. Thankfully, the process is outlined and most of the steps can be executed right there. You can also click “Help for this Page” to get the full documentation for the feature.

The most obvious step for administrators is configuring the picklists in the Metadata API. Using the Force.com IDE, you’ll need to edit the AddressSettings metadata component, which is new in Metadata API 27.0. AddressSettings allows you to control which picklist values appear in the Salesforce UI and how to map existing, text-based state and country values to new the picklist values, making the convert process using the address conversion tool in Setup a breeze. The AddressSettings component has four fields for each state and country you enable, and it will look pretty similar to this abbreviated example when you’ve configured them:

01

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

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<AddressSettings xmlns="http://soap.sforce.com/2006/04/metadata">

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<countriesAndStates>

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<countries>

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<active>true</active>

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<integrationValue>United States</integrationValue>

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<isoCode>US</isoCode>

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<label>United States</label>

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<states>

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<active>true</active>

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<integrationValue>Alaska</integrationValue>

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<isoCode>AK</isoCode>

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<label>Alaska</label>

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</states>

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</countries>

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<countries>

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<active>true</active>

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<integrationValue>Canada</integrationValue>

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<isoCode>CA</isoCode>

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<label>Canada</label>

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<states>

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<active>true</active>

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<integrationValue>Alberta</integrationValue>

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<isoCode>AB</isoCode>

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<label>Alberta</label>

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</states>

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</countries>

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</countriesAndStates>

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</AddressSettings>

 

Have fun with the new picklists feature and check back with us for more news soon!

Thursday
Jan172013

Avoiding Data Skew Situations

 

Prevent account data skew situations that produce unwanted lock contention and diminished database concurrency

You should always strive to recognize and avoid account data skew situations that produce unwanted lock contention and diminished database concurrency. Correcting a data skew can be painful because you’re changing ownership, which in turn triggers sharing calculations. Here are some tips to help you avoid account data skews.

  1. Design architecture to limit account objects to 10,000 children. Some possible methods include creating a pool of Accounts and assigning children in a round robin fashion or using Custom Settings for the current Account and the number of children.
  2. Consider a Public Read/Write sharing model in which the parent account stays locked, but sharing calculations don’t occur.
  3. If you have a skewed account, re-distribute child objects in chunks during down hours to reduce the impact of record-level lock contention.  Batch Apex or the Bulk API are useful ways to re-parent.
Monday
Jan142013

Salesforce: Leads Again

Salesforce has been identified as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers.

To determine the "leader" Gartner looks at vendors that are responding to the needs and challenges of "any channel" customer engagement. 

So what does being in the "Magic Quadrant" actually mean? It means that Salesforce's vision and level of execution are very high. It is worth mentioning that Salesforce's competitors in the leader's quadrant include sizable IT powerhouses, such as Microsoft and Oracle. 

It is said that over 100,000 customers worldwide are relying on Salesforce CRM apps to transform their business:

 

  • Agent productivity by 41%
  • Customer satisfaction by 33%
  • First contact resolution by 37% 
  • Customer retention by 31%