Posts filed under ‘functionality’

Salesforce for Google Apps Announced Today

There’s already been some coverage on the topic from Techcrunch, Mashable, and SalesforceWatch as well as on the official Salesforce Blog so I won’t rehash that here.  There will be a live webcast of the announcement at 3pm EST / 12pm PST that you can watch here, and in the meantime you can check out the quick videos on the basic capabilities:

ZD Net blogger Joshua Greenbaum has been skeptical since the start, claiming that Google’s terms of service make it nearly impossible for corporations to take any product integrations seriously.  Since my company already uses Google to host our corporate mail, having some of this new functionality certainly won’t hurt even if it doesn’t live up to the hype.

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April 14, 2008 at 8:51 am 1 comment

Salesforce AppBar vs. Firefox Plugin

I’ve been using the Salesforce Firefox Plugin for more than a year now and its been absolutely fantastic. I was just browsing some applications on the exchange and noticed a listing for The AppBar, which is a browser toolbar specifically for Salesforce.com. I’m not normally a fan of browser toolbars simply because of the amount of space they take up, but I think this one might really be a winner for Salesforce users.

The Firefox Plugin is really simple – once installed it adds a searchbox inside your browser and lets you perform an advanced search across any object in your organization. It actually works better than the default search on the homepage since it uses the “advanced” search, not a standard search.

firefox-search.jpg

The new Appbar developed by 3 Salesforce employees (although it doesn’t see to be an official Salesfoce app) goes way beyond the simple search functionality and creates a bunch of shortcuts into your application. When you complete a search you can choose from several options, even searching the appexchange. One of the big time savers should be the ability to directly link to add accounts, contacts, tasks, etc. The next big time saver are the views buttons. Each of these buttons lets you instantly link to any of your pre-formatted views, saving at least a few clicks each time.

appbar-1.jpg

appbar-2.jpg

appbar-3.jpg

I’m definitely going to try this out a bit longer to see if I hit any snags, but so far the only drawback seems to be the real estate I lose at the top of my browser.

I highly recommend trying out both of these if you haven’t already. If you’re stuck using IE as your only choice of browser, well then I really feel sorry for you….

October 1, 2007 at 9:00 am 4 comments

Salesforce Content Demo

Salesforce.com recently added some more information about the new Salesforce Content product coming out soon (late Q4?). You can check it out at Salesforce.com/content or view the demo here. This product was developed after Salesforce acquired the 9 person, San Mateo based Koral.com

The features look really nice – making it much easier to organize, find, track, and use documents but once again I’m left feeling that this should be an included upgrade to the sub-par document system we currently have rather than paying an additional fee for an add on service. I would hope that at some point this is rolled into the service levels much like Google Adwords product was but I’m guessing that will depend on how high the demand for the product will be.

This is definitely something we would use and would make our work more efficient (the product really does look good), but as a small business owner the price we pay for Salesforce is already a significant part of our overhead and this could increase it by an additional 30% – 50% if the buzz I heard about pricing is true. I understand that they would need to limit bandwidth but perhaps this is a product that could be based on usage or total storage rather than the standard per user / per month pricing we’re used to.

sf-content1.jpg

September 26, 2007 at 9:15 pm 3 comments

Timeline S-Control Is Very Cool – Too Bad I Can’t Use It.

Salesforce Labs just came out with the Timeline S-Control application that is incredibly easy to install and has some great functionality.  It allows you to place a visual timeline on any of your Accounts, Opportunities, Contacts, or Cases and quickly scroll through all of the items in a rich visual format.  The original application came out of MIT and is called Simile.  I was really excited by some of the examples and began to implement the application until I realized it is only for Enterprise editions and higher.  I really need to beg Salesforce to open up the API in some other pricing format.  It is still not practical for my company to invest thousands of dollars per year extra for EE when the only functionality I need is the API.  If you’re a professional edition user like me and want to cast your vote for API access please vote here or here
SF Timeline

January 31, 2007 at 1:28 pm 1 comment

Digging Out From Winter 07′ Release

It’s been a couple of days since our account was upgraded to winter 07′ and we’ve only touched a fraction of the upgrades. The feature that jumps out immediately is the related list hovers, making it much easier to navigate to the information you need on your account and contact tabs. The upgraded calendar view is very nice, and also comes with hover pop-ups to make viewing much quicker and clearer. The task pop-ups are great – I only wish there was an easy way to go back and “enable” all of the previous tasks created in our organization. I started playing around with the console, but so far I’m not seeing how this feature will benefit our company. I’m sure this is great for call centers and other high volume applications, but for now I’ll move it towards the bottom of the list of upgrades. The validation rules should be extremely helpful, I’m wishing we had these when we implemented our custom fields but we’ll gradually go back and put them in where most needed.

There are tons of new features, all of which can be found here: http://blogs.salesforce.com/features/winter_07_release.html. I highly recommend downloading the full 215 page user manual.

It’s been rather quiet on the blog front, myself included. I’m hoping all these great new features sparks some new discussions and creative implementations.

January 17, 2007 at 1:15 pm 2 comments

Winter 07′ Coming January 12th

winter 2007 Just got an email that the upgrade is scheduled for the NA4 server on January 12th at 6pm PST. If anyone else got a different date for another server, please let us know. Click here for all of the functionality planned for the new release.

November 21, 2006 at 9:21 pm 5 comments

Mapquest for Salesforce.com – Free Integrated Mapping

When I first saw Arrowpointe’s Google Maps Mashup for Salesforce.com, I was drooling over the functionality but I lack the technical skills to pull this kind of implementation off. When I met the folks from Mapquest at Dreamforce 2006, they promised a free and easy to install application that would give me the ability to map a contact or account and see others that are nearby.

While I don’t really “need” this functionality it sounded cool and I knew I wanted to give it a try. The application launched a couple of days ago so I sat down today to install it and see what it had to offer. After downloading the app from the exchange I didn’t see any of the buttons or functionality – what I didn’t realize is that there is a customization document with some instructions that you need to follow before this will work. At first the 37 page PDF was a little intimidating, but its filled with tons of easy to follow screen-shots (trust me – if I can do it anyone can). The only hiccup I had was when the instructions stated to copy and paste the code for the custom formula but the formula had some extra spaces in it that need to be removed first. When it wasn’t working for me I emailed their support and got an immediate response with how to correct it. Once you’ve created your custom formulas you’re pretty much ready to go. I think this would take most folks less than 15 minutes to get up and running.

Once you install the functionality you can let the fun begin. Go to any account or contact and you now have a Mapquest button that you can click to pull up a map of their area. Hover over the “dot” that represents your account and a callout flag pops up with the account information and links to show the details of that record, nearby accounts and contacts for that account. Click on the “nearby accounts” link and other “dots show up that you view by hovering over them. At this point you can see all of your accounts within the specified radius along with quick links to view their information.

Mapquest screenshot

Mapquest 2

For a non-techie like me, this is cool functionality that I never would have been able to develop on my own.  Some suggestions to make a good idea even better:

  1. Extend the mapping ability to leads
  2. Give users the ability to type in an address or zipcode and pull up accounts / contacts within the proximity rather than having to find the account first
  3.  Let users set a default address and add a link to directions to or from the specified account.

November 7, 2006 at 10:09 pm 25 comments

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