Displaying a Calendar in Salesforce 1

Salesforce1 is a great tool for road-warriors; it lets them see key contact and account information anywhere, update opportunities in real-time and add notes, photos and other updates from meetings. There is one big thing missing though–the ability to see a calendar of activities.

Until Salesforce gets this functionality added, I have created a workaround using Visualforce and Activity List Views to create a new Salesforce1 calendar view accessible from the Navigation menu.

Here’s how to add a calendar view to Salesforce1 in 3 easy steps:

Calendar Views in Salesforce1

 

Step 1: Start by creating Activity List Views

  1. Start by going to the following url https://naX.salesforce.com/007 (be sure to replace the X with the number assigned to your org).
  2. Then click on “Create New View” and create a list view per normal.
  3. Filter on “My Activities” that are not closed. Use Due Date to add your time range. <TIP>You can use relative date values, such as “This Week” or “Next 14 Days”  in your filters.
  4. Since this will be loaded on mobile devices, I recommend a max of four columns; due date, subject, (contact) name, and related to.
  5. After you save the list view make note of the list view ID. This is shown in the url on the screen that appears after you click “save”. You’ll need the list id for step 2.

Calendar List View Setup

Note: You can create multiple list views such as “This Week” and “Next Week” or larger time periods like “Next 30 Days”. Views can be combined into one tab or create separate tabs. Be sure to keep download speed in mind when designing list views.

 

Step 2: Create a Visualforce page to display the activity view

  1. This is real easy to do! Go to “Setup” and search for “Pages”.
  2. Once on Pages, click “New”. Give your page a label, name and description. Calendar Page Setup
  3. Check “available for Salesforce mobile apps”
  4. Delete the sample code and replace with the following code.

<apex:page >

<apex:enhancedList type=”Activity” height=”600″ listid=”00BM0000000OKQp” customizable=”FALSE” rowsPerPage=”10″/>

</apex:page>

Note: This list view is set for 600 pixels, the majority of phones have a screen resolution of 320 pixels high; adjust accordingly for your users.

 

Step 3:  Create a Visualforce tab and add it to Salesforce1

Now that the page is created you’ll need to create a tab to display the results. Here’s step by step how to do that.http://help-jupiter.sfdro.com/apex/HTViewSolution?id=000188546&language=en_US

Be sure to check “Mobile Ready” and add the tab to your selected list under “Mobile Navigation”.

 

That’s it! Now log into Salesforce1 to test out the new navigation option. In this example, clicking on “Activity View” in the left side navigation will take the user to the list view for “This Week”.

Calendar Views in Salesforce1

Now your mobile users can see more than just “Today”. They can see any list view that you configure for them. You can even combine list views in one view or create a separate navigation link for different views.

Now  if a sales rep is on the road, they can easily glance to see who they are meeting tomorrow and when. If you create a list view for “Next 30 Days” they can even check their calendar in Salesforce1 and schedule follow up appointments with confidence knowing that they are available.

-ST


Dreamforce 13 Highlights

Whew! Just got back from an action-packed week at Dreamforce where I was able to test-drive many apps, learn new tricks and see the roadmap for Salesforce.com.

Here are the top 5 new items covered at Dreamforce 13.

1. Salesforce 1. Salesforce 1 is the latest mobile app from Salesforce. I’ve been playing with it since it was released and really like it on my Android phone. It’s got Chatter, Cases, Opportunities and a consolidated “Today” calendar with a handy map/phone feature. For my iPad, I’m still partial to the browser solution but with a few enhancements I can see me using the app a lot more.

2. Salesforce A Like many Admins, I lugged my heavy laptop with me over 1500 miles to Dreamforce–just in case there was an emergency admin issue that my iPad could not handle. Next year it stays at home thanks to Salesforce A. SalesforceA is the new mobile app for Admins Only that makes it easy to see Users records to freeze users and reset passwords. It even has the release notes and quick access to the success community.

3. ExactTarget Marketing Cloud Okay, so those familiar with ExactTarget and Pardot really didn’t see anything too new but what was so exciting for marketing geeks like myself was the passion and emphasis that was placed on the Marketing Cloud at Dreamforce. The future of sales and marketing is digital and social. Seeing the case studies of the possibilities was amazing.

4. Mobile The mobile emphasis started with Salesforce 1 and Salesforce A but continued well beyond that. Salesforce was also busy this year developing an improved Dreamforce app that kept your session schedule, notes and chatter feed at the palm of your hand.

The mobile hackathon featured a one million dollar prize–the largest ever for a hackaton. Some great new mobile apps were developed that hopefully will be on the market soon.

Plus many of the vendors in the Cloud Expo demoed mobile solutions. Even the session check-ins featured magic scanners that they just waved in front of your badge.

5. Women Last but not least, Dreamforce was focused on the FemmeForce to encourage more women in IT and leadership roles. Need evidence of the lack of women? Just look at how the line for the men’s room is twice as long as the women’s. Keynote speakers featured Marrisa Mayer from Yahoo! and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook. I for one was very moved by Sandberg’s talk about her book Lean In and encourage everyone to read it. It is very eye-opening.

 

DF13 may have just ended but now the real work begins to test and implement all the new ideas and apps that I discovered. What fun!

ST

 


There’s a Tab for That

If you’re like me you might be working on one Salesforce task when someone calls you to work on something else. Instead of clicking away from what I was working on (and risk forgetting) I just open a new browser tab. It’s one of the beautiful things about working in the cloud. You can have dozens of items in flight at once.

Because Salesforce is web based not only can I use multiple browsers but I can also use multiple tabs to truly help me multi-task. As you can see by this screenshot, by default each tab is labeled  so I can quickly jump between one item to another.

Salesforce Tabs with Title tags

To open up a new tab you can right-click and select {Open Link in New Tab} but when you do that dozens of times a day it can get old fast. Fortunately there is an easier way – just configure your mouse so clicking on the middle button or mouse wheel opens a new tab. If you don’t have a middle button you can also open a new tab by holding the CTRL button and left-clicking. Either way will save you a few clicks each time which will add up to some serious time-savings.

Opening new tabs is a great tip for both admins and end users. For example, end users can use it to look up a new contact while still keeping the first contact window open.

Word of advice though, be sure you save any critical information before leaving a tab. Also keep in mind that the related lists will always reflect the most current state when ever the window is refreshed.

>>SMT

 


IE, Chrome and Firefox for Salesforce

Sometimes I wonder if the M in my middle name stands for “Multi-tasking” as I find myself oftentimes doing a million things at once. As evidence, just take a look at my computer while I’m working and you’ll find not one but three browser open every time.

Over the years I have found three browsers helps me stay organized.

  1. I use Internet Explorer for tabs for my Salesforce Production org.
  2. I use Chrome for tabs for my Sandbox org.
  3. I use Firefox for tabs for miscellaneous tasks and orgs.

That third browser let’s me log in as another user for testing purposes while simultaneously logged in as myself in either Chrome or IE to make real-time changes based on the testing results.

Without having to think or scroll up to see the black Sandbox identifier found in the top right, I can easily avoid confusing production and sandbox by knowing if I am in Chrome I am in the sandbox.

And for an added level of confirmation I also downloaded a handy app that puts an “S” favicon on sandbox tabs. Here’s a screenshot of the Sandbox tab, with the “S” favicon next to my standard Production org tab.

Salesforce Sandbox Tab Favicon

Sandbox tab with a favicon next to production tab

Click here to get it yourself.

Finally, if you don’t have two monitors you MUST request another one immediately-having two screens to compare side-by-side will make you extremely more efficient. I use my right monitor for Sandbox and my left for Production.

Bottom line, pick a consistent strategy for managing your Salesforce instances and it will make your job easier.

>>SMT


Checklist for Saleforce.com Admins to Prep for 2013

Another year is quickly coming to an end. And what a year it’s been–Chatter improvements, Touch released and even Analytics updates. You might have been so preoccupied this year with staying up with release enhancements that you haven’t even thought about year-end tasks. But time is running out so here is a short checklist of year-end items for Salesforce.com Admins.

1. Dashboards. Take screenshots of dashboards and reports that contain YTD and PYTD information before the year switches.

2. Reports. Run a “Report Last Run” report and get rid of reports that have not been run by anyone in some time. Rather than just deleting, I like to add them to a private folder called “Reports to Remove” for future deletion—just in case someone comes asking for it in a month.

3. Custom Fields. Do you have any custom annual fields such as “2012 Ranking” or “YTD Sales” that need to be updated or replaced? For YTD fields consider running a report and archiving before the year ends.

4. Campaigns. Deactivate any campaigns from the year that are no longer generating activities.

5. Email Templates. Review your email templates to see if there are any old ones that are no longer being used.

6. Fields. Got any fields that aren’t being used? There is a great app on the AppExchange called Field Trip that can help answer that question. Remove any unused fields from the page layout and consider deleting.

7. Copyright. Do you have a force.com site or other website that needs the Copyright updated to include 2013?

8. Leads and Contacts. A new year is a great time to review and archive old leads that might not have current contact information. Consider sending Stay In Touch requests for contacts.

9. Fiscal Calendars. If using Fiscal Calendars this is a good time to add another year.

10. Travel budget. Now is the time to get that Dreamforce conference on the 2013 budget.

11. Users. Do you have any licenses that are no longer being used? Take an audit of last log in and inform users and managers of any seats that have not been used recently.

12. Salesforce.com Releases. Now is a great time to review the 2012 releases to see what you might have overlooked or postponed. And with Spring ’13 right around the corner take a look at what’s coming.

13. Year in Review. Take an hour or two and review your accomplishments for the last year and type them up for you next performance review (or resume). Have you added any custom objects, workflow rules, formula fields, new reports, conducted any training? These are all impressive items to add to your list of 2012 achievements.

Happy New Year!
-ST


Data is King

We’ve heard it all before…you’re only as good as your data. But users get creative and sometimes they will put things like a contact’s nickname and mobile phone in the zip code field. Which, for some reason, the post office doesn’t seem to appreciate their resourcefulness.

So what can you do to ensure consistent data that is easy to report and filter on? Validation Rules!

With validation rules, Salesforce admins can specify which values make the cut and get saved and which ones are rejected.

Going back to the postal code example, as an Admin you can specify that a postal code must be either 5 numbers or 5 plus 4 numbers if the country is USA. When your user tries to put in a 10 digit phone number in the postal field they will receive an error message that tells them it can only be in the 5 digit or zip plus 4 format.

Pretty cool huh? Here are some other common validation rules that many admins use:

  • Opportunity Close Date Must be Current Month
  • Opportunity Name Format
  • Mailing Address is required
  • Account Number must be a specific size
  • US Phone has 10 digits

Salesforce has put together this handy little cheat sheet filled with hundreds of useful validation rules.

http://login.salesforce.com/help/doc/en/fields_useful_field_validation_formulas.htm

 

There are a lot of powerful things you can do with validation rules to make sure your data stays squeaky clean.


What do I do when…

Sure you’ve read the Salesforce.com help docs, you’ve even tried calling Salesforce support but, for the life of you, Salesforce still won’t do what you want it to do. Don’t fret it happens to the best of us.

Of course, you can search the posts here on CRMology but chance are you have a real specific question. What do you do then? Take it to the cloud! That’s right–to the cloud.

There is a whole community of Salesforce experts answering your most pressing salesforce questions. Go to http://success.salesforce.com/answers and ask away. As someone who personally answers a lot of questions in the community here are some helpful tips to remember before you post:

1. Do several detailed searches first before you post. Chances are good someone else has already asked a similar question. Within minutes you can have the answer you were looking for–or at least enough information to start heading in the right direction.

2.  Give your question a detailed, meaningful title. Avoid generic ones like “New to Salesforce” or “Sending Emails”.

3. Take some time explaining your situation in a clear and concise way. Too often I’ve seen people leave important information out or ask too confusing of a question because they were in a hurry. This can lead to a lot of back and forth clarifying emails.

4. Include screenshots. This can greatly help with solving your problem. If you have sensitive information just black it out using basic image editing tools.

It couldn’t be easier to get your salesforce questions answered! When you get the right answer be sure to mark it as the best answer so others can learn from your experiences. And when you become a salesforce guru yourself be sure to pay it forward and start answering questions.


Reporting Accurate Record Counts

If you’ve created a report in Salesforce you’ve no doubt noticed that sometimes the record count that is shown doesn’t quite jibe with the one you were expecting.

In this example, let’s say you wanted to know how many Accounts there were on the report, the Grand Total shows 7 Records. But wait, if you look closely there are only 3 accounts and 7 contacts. So how can you report on the TRUE count of Accounts?

Inaccurate Salesforce Record Counts

For a small report like this you could hide the contacts and count the Accounts by hand or you could export it to Excel but I have a better solution.

Simply add a custom formula field to each object with the value of 1 and sum that field. I know, I know, it sounds crazy. I personally scoffed at this idea the first time I heard about it at Dreamforce a few years ago. But trust me, it works. Add the formula and voila! you get this instead on your reports…

Accurate Salesforce Record Counts

Look how nicely it counted the Accounts for me. She’s a thing of beauty.

Here is what the formula looks like. The value of the formula is “1”–yes, literally the number 1 in the formula field. Salesforce gurus call this “The Power of One“.

Pro tip: When creating the formula there’s no need to add it to a page layout since it is for reports only.

Salesforce Power of One Formula

The Salesforce Power of One Formula is Super Easy to Create

If you’re like me you’re probably still a bit skeptical but give it a go anyway, I know that once you try it you’ll be using it all the time and adding it to additional objects. Trust me, you’ll love it.

>>ST