Salesforce’s Help Site Beta is Da Bomb

Salesforce Help Beta Screenshot

This is a brief (in the extreme) write up with some lovely, lovely visuals. Click on the image below to launch the Sway.

Salesforce Help Site Beta
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Nifty Thing About Salesforce Anywhere Chats

Production and Sandbox orgs link to the same Quip/Salesforce Anywhere org. So when you’re knee-deep in testing triggers and flows in a sandbox, when one of your core change management colleagues messages you via an Anywhere chat, it appears in the Sandbox user interface as well — alerting you to the fact that some attention likely must be paid.

My Sandbox with Salesforce Anywhere

For my part, I appreciate this immensely.

The Same Salesforce Anywhere message in Production

More on Podio, Globiflow & Procfu Scripts

An old sway and a new sway.

Some growth would appear to have taken place.

Go figure. Here’s the new one.

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And this next one from 3 years ago is worth it if only for the tall schema shot towards the end.

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Anything You Can Do I Can Do Meta

photo of ethel merman

A Sway about Meta Management Triggers and Actions Across the Major Codeless Integration Platforms

It would only be a matter of time before the API economy set sights upon itself. See what it means in this Sway.

Screenshot of the Sway
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Adding Workato to my List of Code-Less Integration Platforms

Just started a long-term project with a consulting firm specializing in integrating Salesforce to Sage Intacct Accounting. And they wrote a custom connector on Workato, whose $10,000 annual starter pricing suggests the difference in customer strategy from, say, Zapier.

User interface for the design canvas is crisp, even if the display optional fields part takes some getting used to.

Testing a Workato Recipe– look at all those JSON objects waiting to be Expanded

The dependency visualization is a particularly nice trick and should prove useful in team collaboration contexts beyond 3 or 4 members.

I was perhaps the tiniest bit taken by surprise by the way that all your Recipes are shared with the community unless you explictly opt-out. (Need to see whether there is a global configuration setting to address this).

Still, this is a good development.

My client’s book of business is quite full, so this looks to be a rewarding long-term relationship with some crisp people on top of their game. In the meanwhile here are some screenshots, and one can definitely see the enterprise targeting of their offering through features like lifecycle management with manifests and common data models.

Take a look in the gallery.

More soon when I can say more.

Azure Logic App: Iterating Through New York Times Comments

screenshot of azure logic app dashboard

I’m a diehard New York Times reader. It’s been a life-long habit, and one that’s grown more emotionally fraught these past few months. This cloud automation is one near and dear to my heart: for an article or op-ed piece I find particularly interesting (or whose user-contributed comment corpus strikes me), I paste that article URL into an Office 365 Form as the trigger, and then SharePoint and Logic App go and gather the comments and log them in SharePoint.

Click on the image or here to launch the Sway.

Podio + Globiflow & Procfu: Extracting PDF Content for Subsequent Analysis & Automation

screenshot of Globiflow automation

My biggest client these days is a real estate investor who monitors Open Data feeds for investment ideas to add to the funnel and evaluate on the basis of reported information.

We’re using Podio to house all the data, and Globiflow, Procfu Scripts, and integromat to acquire, transform, and move data around.

Open the Sway below for more…

Click here for the Sway.

And I guess it’s about time to update this Podio Overview from a few years’ back. How much I’ve learned since then.

Thoughtful and Shrewd: How Salesforce Supports Its Varied Userbase

Salesforce is arguably the most customer-centric company. Regardless of how one would measure that across contexts, it’s clearly overwhelmingly central to the brand. And philosophical quibbling at the margins aside, it’s far from an empty brand promise.

As they run their own business on their own platform, you get to participate in their success. When you configure Community Cloud, it’s such an awesome product because they support their own customers on it – and that is a large community.

Key to that is not treating users as one undifferentiated mass. They segment things, and you can see the differences in the users each segment is tailored to from the language and often times also the visual gestalt. This happy state of affairs leads to positive feedback loops that drive the impressive quarterly and annual results they consistently report.

This is a Sway I prepared for a training session for a client organization that was new to Salesforce. It’s an overview of Salesforce’s various public-facing and customer-only endeavors.

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Power Automate for Analytics and Reporting on Microsoft Planner

Screenshot of Testing planner at SAP Demonstration Digital Assets
Test Plan at SAP Americas Digital Demonstration Assets

MS Planner is a Kanban project management tool that integrates closed with Microsoft Teams and uses Azure Active Directory and Office 365 Groups for membership, identity and permission granting. I admire Nadella’s Microsoft immensely. Some of their offerings like Sway are quirky and lovable. Planner, their Kanban-interface project management tool is visually appealing and slick. But as this project proved definitively, it’s API leaves something to be desired.

SAP used Planner to track the 28 global business units served by Demonstration Digital Assets, a team of almost 500 staff and contractor professionals who develop sales and marketing video collateral to be used in SAP marketing efforts. There were about 1,000 videos in production or recently launched, and the manager of Digital Production wanted a way to track videos down a sequenced development path whose stages were identical across business units.

The 28 Plans

The legacy approach relied about end of week manual updates to a very large excel spreadsheet that integrated portfolio progress across the Planner Kanban, logged snags and changes in notes, and displayed over 60 attributes per video – to say nothing of joining viewing analytics statistics from the video serving platform, Kaltura. The legacy approach was to manually track the end-of-week state of the portfolio in excel, and use PowerPivot for analysis.

They wanted to Power BI for reporting and we had to migrate the data structure and monitor the portfolio of videos in Planner using SharePoint lists that held data updates from Planner via Power Automate. The only problem was the Planner API did not monitor for state changes from bucket to bucket (as the steps in the path were known). It only monitored the creation of a task, the assignment of a task to users, and the completion of a task.

Worse, because many tasks had more than one assignee, and assignee responsibility in a project management tool is, unsurprisingly rather important, there was no way to output a video-only representation of things: each row tracked was a video-assignee conjoint pair, on average 1.7 per video. So considerable overhead was spent in determining which rows had the privilege of being the primary mapped one to the video.

It’s one of those situations where as your formulating your requiremetns and your strategy, you’re wondering to yourself: the API can’t be that bad. And then you discover others have been grousing about your pain points since 2018, which in cloud time in unconscionably long.

C’mon, MSFT. You’re better than this.

Learn more in this sway.

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