Salesforce Spring 13 release is almost here. Salesforce provided the release notes today. There are definitely some interesting functionality in here and I will provide my overview of what I think is the most interesting.
Chatter Tasks – This is great and seems a little bit more in line with how other task management applications, such as Asana.com work with inline tasks. This functionality will 1) Auto post your tasks related to Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, etc directly to the Chatter feed to have a better understanding of all communication and activity related to that record and 2) Allow you to create a Task quickly and directly from a Chatter post. Instead of filling out a complex form, type a few words and move on. Great functionality.
Other Minor Chatter Enhancements – Ability to search through Group posts, ability to make posts to Public Groups that you might not be a user of, smaller chatter messenger box when minimized.
Connect in APEX – Basic concept, but important. Previously, if you wanted to build complex Chatter-based UIs, you really needed to implement complex HTTP calls via the Chatter REST API. Now, Connect in APEX is providing native APEX components to build this functionality in a much simpler way.
Forecasting improvements – Now users can setup their past and future forecasts on a quarterly basis. Forecasts can also be implemented for partner opportunities.
Salesforce for Outlook Side Panel – I really like this feature. It is a big improvement and it seems like Salesforce is trying to catch up with some of the features of other CRM Outlook plugins. This side panel is starting to look a lot like the Pivotal CRM plugin. Salesforce’s version is much prettier now, though. This side panel allows for viewing the Contacts, Accounts, Opportunities, Activities directly in Outlook. Users can take an open or sent email and with one click, associate this email as a Task to all of these records. Users can also search through the SFDC database for other records to associate the email to. Salesforce calls it “viewing the Salesforce World” directly in Outlook. One thing to remember is that this functionality is going to remove the old “Send and Add to Salesforce” buttons that you are currently used to.
Email Restriction Setting – Previously, in Sandbox orgs, you might have been affected by a ton of workflow emails / scheduled report emails and other emails to the users from your test system. This has been very confusing, annoying, and cumbersome to deal with. Salesforce has now provided functionality to restrict the levels to “No access” (no emails), “System email only,” and “All Email.” This is another simple, but useful feature.
Salesforce Touch Generally Available – The Salesforce mobile HTML5-based Touch Mobile app is now available for all users. This is a great application, but one thing to remember is that this does not provide offline access like the old mobile application provided. This is unfortunately only available for iOS and not Android All apps, standard objects, custom objects, Cases, Leads, Person Accounts, and more are all available for viewing in the mobile interface. Remember that is is a mobile version of the full website. It is not meant to be a full-fledged replacement. Some functionality will not exist, e.g. Copy Billing Address to Shipping Address hyperlinks, etc.
Touch Mobile Dashboards – All dashboards are now available in the Touch Mobile app, but there are some minor limitations, such as not allowing Visualforce components, filters, source reports, etc.
Sunlight Search for SharePoint data in Salesforce – Salesforce provides the Pilot capability to connect to SharePoint via external objects, similar to custom objects, to expose this to users.
User record sharing – Now you can use traditional sharing components within Salesforce to share visibility of actual User records. This could be very useful for some of the more private organizations.
Additional useful features:
-Workflow rules for Opportunity Teams
-Add single Contacts to Shared Activities
-Formula fields to access Person Account Contact fields
-Email reports related to Cases available as custom report types
-Multiple Data.com enhancements (see release notes)
-Site.com improvements – e.g. Caching for performance, enhanced Offline capabilities, CSS3 support, extended field support on forms
-Force.com enhancements – e.g. Connected Apps available for Developers, Force.com Canvas enhancements for Developer editions
Tags: release notes, salesforce release, spring 13, spring 2013
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It’s official. After 1 month of waiting to hear about my results from the review board, I am now a Certified Salesforce.com Technical Architect. I am very proud. It was quite a bit of work to get to this point, but it has been well worth it. This journey included the individual self assessment, the online multiple choice exam, the customer case study (and having to build it and get it approved by the customer at the last possible minute), as well as the 4 hour in-person (San Francisco) review board, including the complex hypothetical case study implementation and presentation.
I don’t know the exact number, but one of the Salesforce employees mentioned that there are less than 100 of us in the world. Does anyone know the specific details?
Time to celebrate!
Tags: certified technical architect, salesforce technical architect
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Cloud Sherpas posted today that they are offering “Social Audits” this year at Dreamforce. If you are attending Dreamforce and are looking to enhance your social footprint, it might be worth looking into.
- How is my company as a whole preparing themselves to move to the social enterprise?
- What are my peers doing to move them to the social enterprise that I’m not and what impact is it having?
Through the adoption of the social enterprise, you can streamline and enhance nearly every part of your company. From marketing, sales and customer support to product development and human resources, there are endless possibilities. So where does your organization stand today, and what progress do you need to make in the next year?
To help answer that question, I suggest you take a good look at your organization, what your goals are for moving to the social enterprise and what you will do when you get there. You might be surprised at what you find. Conducting a brief discovery and planning process prior to attending will help you make sense of what the social enterprise means for you and your overall strategy, and will help you identify where to focus your time and your team’s resources while at Dreamforce. We have been conducting this simple exercise with our clients for years and have heard how it helps them gain insight into the steps to take, both short and long term and helps them better plan for Dreamforce and their move to the social enterprise.
If you would like to learn more about the simple direction we give our clients when conducting a social audit, reach out to us directly at SocialAudit@cloudsherpas.com or visit booth 528 at Dreamforce.
Tags: chatter, dreamforce 2012, social, social audit
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I passed “Step 2″ for the Technical Architect certification. Step 1 was to take a self assessment to ensure that I had enough experience to go through this process. Step 2 was a proctored exam with 60 questions in 120 minutes. This test really put a lot of emphasis on security, identity management and single sign-on, integrations, and large data volumes. As usual, the test was somewhat tricky, due to the “multi-answer, multi-choice” questions (e.g. 2 answers are correct), but overall it was pretty straight-forward and I finished it with a lot of time left over.
Step 3 should get interesting:
Review Board Presentation
- Presentation and discussion of the architecture solution for a hypothetical scenario and a customer case study
- 4 hours allotted to complete the exam
- No hard-copy or online materials may be referenced during the exam
The Salesforce.com Certified Technical Architect Review Board Presentation: The third and final step to earning the credential is to complete an in-person or video-enabled, proctored presentation and interview with a panel of judges, offered at scheduled times throughout the year. The review board presentation is comprised of:
- Hypothetical Scenario Presentation and Discussion—A hypothetical scenario and instructions will be provided to the candidate upon arrival to the review board meeting. The candidate will be given an hour to read, evaluate, and document a high-level architectural solution for the hypothetical scenario.
- Customer Case Study Presentation and Discussion—Detailed instructions for developing and presenting the customer case study for the review board will be provided to the candidate. The candidate will have a fixed amount of time to complete the customer case study presentation in advance of the scheduled review board presentation time. The case study presentation is completed at the candidate’s own pace and does not require working at a proctored site. However, the candidate will be required to submit the case study five business days prior to the scheduled review board session.
The case study presentation, in combination with the scenario discussion, will be evaluated and scored by the review board judges as the final step of the Salesforce.com Certified Technical Architect certification program.
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Let’s add another certification to the books. On top of the dev, admin, sales cloud certs, I received the Certified Service Cloud Consultant certification today. This was actually surprisingly easier than the sales cloud exam. It focused a lot on portals, knowledge and basic call center business process. Next stop, Tech Arch.
Tags: certified service cloud consultant, salesforce.com certifications, service cloud
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A couple of notes here. This code is certainly not optimized and certainly not prettied up. A lot of the functions need to be merged into cleaner functions. The memory usage could probably optimized a little better. There are a couple of other things to play with as well. This is basically a way to help you learn how to implement different features using Salesforce.com in HTML5 with JQuery mobile, such as querying profiles and dynamically populating a form picklist and displaying lists of users on the screen and activating/deactivating users, etc. Take what you will from this, but it is a fully functional mobile app for you to hack and place into PhoneGap if you would like.
This code goes into the usermanager.resource static resource (after the break).
Read more »
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Second certification this week I am now a Salesforce.com Certified Sales Cloud Consultant. These tests can be tricky, because they test some of the most obscure things that people do not really work with on a day to day basis. As I have read before, a lot of questions are looking for the “best right” answer, not just “a” right answer. It has a strong push from using declarative functions over programmatic functionality, which makes sense for a consultant offering the “best” solution for their client. I’m looking forward to the Technical Architect certification test and review board.
Tags: certification, sales cloud consultant, salesforce certification
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Salesforce released the Winter 13 release notes today.
Here are some of the more interesting features to expect:
Chatter Polls – similar to Facebook polls allowing users to collect data on users’ thoughts and opinions. Might be a bit easier than corporate surveys with a simple 1 click response.
Chatter Reporting – now available are 2 Chatter custom report types to report on Chatter Activity statistics (comment counts, like counts, post counts, “influence” score, etc) and hashtag usage.
Google Talk no longer supported – just like the Google Adsense plugin for web 2 leads, there goes Google Talk as well. I guess you don’t need 2 messenger clients in one tool, do you? :)
Customizable Forecast custom report types – allowing more granular overviews of exactly what is happening within forecasts (e.g. value before manager overrides/user overrides, owner only amounts, etc). Chime in here if you use customizable forecasts and not just reports/dashboards? Most of the people I work with only use basic reporting without adding in forecasting. I feel most organizations requiring this typically already have their own quota management tools and use them in combination with SFDC reports.
Opportunity Teams (previously Sales Teams) enhancements – Now this enhancement is a bit interesting. Opportunity teams will now be an entirely new entity with their own page layouts, custom fields, custom buttons, links, validation rules, reports, APEX Triggers, their own related lists, and more to allow better automation of sales team assignments. There will now be a brand new Opportunity Team Member page. You will need to go back and “disable team selling” to remove the old sales teams and do some picklist adjusting for the existing roles.
You can now create custom reports that will report on “team” performance and success. You can also assign teams to specific Accounts and report on them this way as well. Definitely a different way of thinking from the traditional “this is the salesperson and THIS is THEIR opportunity.”
Salesforce for Outlook enhancements – This is also a nice feature. This is essentially embedding additional details, such as recent activities (emails, calls, meetings) and recent opportunities about the contacts / leads that you are emailing directly in a side panel in Outlook. If you are an “Outlook” shop that essentially lives in Outlook, this can be a great tool for saving time.
Also, if you use Social Accounts, Social Contacts, the pictures that you have chosen from Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn will show up as well.
Draft Emails in Cases – Salesforce is now becoming a full Chat / Email / Communication client. As least they are getting close. Now case agents do not need to send an email immediately. They can start an email, draft it, continue to work on the case, and send the email when ready. This is a much needed feature for users that use only Salesforce for customer service.
Tags: winter 13, winter 2013
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In addition to my Developer cert from the other day, I just received my Administrator certification today. Maybe I completed those in reverse order. Next stop will be Sales/Service Cloud as well as Tech Arch.
Tags: certification, salesforce.com administrator, salesforce.com certifications
Posted in Announcements, Salesforce.com Certifications | 1 Comment »
I am developing some PHP code that requires displaying Chatter photos on a web page. The code does not maintain an active browser session with something like OAuth. It simply logs in with the SOAP API, accesses the data, and displays data. Since Chatter photos are stored internal to Salesforce.com and require an active session, this causes an issue. Well, I found a great blog posts that solves this problem. Take a look here if you ever run across this problem.
Tags: api, chatter, Integration, php, security, soap, tutorial
Posted in API, Chatter, PHP, SOAP | No Comments »