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Amber Butler's Articles

Importing into Salesforce ... Which Tool should I Use?

The Salesforce platform is not lacking in ways to import new data into your organization. Is it an embarrassment of riches? Or too much of a good thing? The jury is still out … but understanding the benefits and limitations of each method is crucial before beginning any data import. To get you pointed in the right direction, we've outlined the high-level use cases of each import method, beginning with the most user-friendly and moving toward the more robust.

Salesforce Tip: Map a Lead Field to Two Places

On a recent Salesforce implementation, we identified a need to map a single lead field to two different fields - one on the contact and one on the opportunity.

My initial thought was to create a trigger to fire on lead conversion that would populate the second field. However, I always try to look first for a non-coding solution. Which brought me to the fairly simple idea of creating a second field that would use a workflow field update to copy the value of the original field. The new field would be hidden from the users, but would be used for the sole purpose of mapping to the second destination field. I thought I'd found the perfect "clicks not code" solution ...

until I realized my field was a lookup field, a field type that can't be updated by workflow. Drat.

A few pointers about Salesforce for Outlook

We've recently had a few questions from power administrators about how to enable Salesforce for Outlook for their organizations. There are two basic steps: - First, the administrator needs to create at least one Outlook Configuration by going to Setup > Administration Setup > Desktop Administration > Outlook Configurations. Additional configurations can also be setup, if groups of users within the organization should have different settings.  - Users can then download Salesforce fo ...

Chatter Super Bowl Commercials: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Salesforce debuted two Chatter commercials during halftime of the Super Bowl last night. The buzz leading up to the big game was pretty intense ... with most of us pretty excited (albeit surprised) at the idea of the $3 million dollar ad spots. If you missed them, click here and then here to check them out. So how did the ads fare? Let's break it down ... The Good: If you’ve used Chatter before, you know that the product itself is great. If you’ve used Chatter before, you know that the commercia ...

Setting a default value of a field in Salesforce

Over a year ago, I read about a feature on Salesforce and haven't been able to found where I read it, or another post about it so I decided to post here. 

In Salesforce, it's possible to configure the URL of a link in the application using a formula.  You can also override the existing functionality of the "NEW" button.  This is where this functionality is useful as it allows you to prepopulate values to be displayed on your entry form.

Users can't access Visualforce pages?

A coworker came to me yesterday with a frustrating question - why can't non-system adminstrator users see a new Visualforce page that had just been created? Instead they see the "Insufficient Privileges" error. I remembered struggling with the exact same problem when I first started working with Visualforce. The answer is available in the Visualforce discussion boards, but is difficult to find. So, here is a quick summary: Access to Visualforce pages and Apex classes is ...

Avoid them, void them or destroy them - Integration Nightmares?

Integrating your data across applications can be a challenge, particularly when crossing organizational and application boundaries.  A lot of the control that IT organizations take for granted is lost when going outside of the organization.  Below, I will outline a number of challenges you're likely to encounter in an integration effort and provide some guidenace to help you work through them. In a recent project, the biggest issue I faced was integrating Sales ...

Are you using Email to Salesforce?

I recently did an informal poll of a handful of users and realized that NONE of them were even aware of Email to Salesforce. Trust me ... it's something worth knowing about and, most likely, something you'll want to think about implementing in your organization. After enabling Email to Salesforce, you can add a Salesforce-provided email address to the bcc line of any email you send and the email will appear in the activity history related list of the correct lead or contact in Sal ...

Changing a document title

At times it is helpful to change the document title of a form. In case you aren't familiar with the term, the document title refers to the text that appears at the top of the tab or window (depending on your Internet Explorer preferences) of a form in MS CRM.

Getting Started with Summer '08 ... Cross-Object Formulas

Check out your new orange creamsicle logo in Salesforce! I'll highlight some of the updates in the Summer '08 release in the next few blog entries. One of the highest impact features is the ability to create Cross-Object Formulas - meaning you can use parent record fields on a child record. FINALLY! Prior to this release, various workarounds had to be used ... such as creating workflow to copy a value over, embedding an s-control, etc. Now cross-object formulas will solve the prob ...

Summer '08 is around the corner

Thanks to gokubi (a really great blog that I read often - it's written by a CRM consultant for non-profits, but has tons of good info for any user), I just found out that the Summer '08 landing page and release notes are live! Multiday calendar events, inline editing on list views, filtered lookups, and lead conversion improvements are just a few of the many highlights. More info to come ...

What are you missing out on?

The last two Salesforce releases - Winter '08 and Spring '08 - were rolled out in rapid-fire last November and February, respectively. Maybe because of the large number of new features in each release, or maybe because of the holidays in between, I've just realized during conversations with a couple of different clients that many folks aren't aware of some of the great new functionality. With the Summer '08 release right around the corner, I wanted to provide a couple of quick refresher cou ...

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