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Overview

 

In part 1 of this series, I discussed why I thought that the new app platform from Salesforce.com ("Salesforce 1") was far from perfect and described this as "the App Gap". Sure, Salesforce 1 is a vastly improved mobile experience for every Salesforce user, but it still provides no help in two crucial areas.

 

Namely:

  1. There is no ability for business users to quickly deploy mobile apps by themselves.
  2. There is no automation to help users efficiently complete more than one salesforce activity at a time.

 

I also explained in part 1 that these shortcomings can be easily addressed by adding Informatica Cloud Extend to any Salesforce 1 implementation.  So for the  remainder of this article I'll explain how to configure your Salesforce org to leverage Informatica Cloud Extend.  Then you'll be closing the Salesforce 1 'App Gap' in no time.

 

Step 1. Modify VisualForce Launch Pages

 

It turns out that Informatica Cloud Extend guides can run easily from Salesforce 1. This is because Salesforce 1 now lets the user navigate to an object within the mobile app, and then the user can run a Cloud Extend guide from that object. But in order to get a Cloud Extend guide to run in Salesforce 1, the VisualForce page for launching CE guides must be modified first. VisualForce pages have an option for “Available for Salesforce mobile apps”:

 

vf_page.png

 

So check that option.

 

Step 2. Replace 'Managed' Cloud Extend VisualForce Pages

 

The VisualForce pages for standard Salesforce objects are part of the Cloud Extend managed package, so users cannot edit them (we manage these pages in order to improve your Cloud Extend experience.  In addition we also update them as needed with new Cloud Extend releases).  However that doesn't mean that can't replace the relevant VisualForce pages. So that's what we're going to do.  The doc on how to do so is here:

 

http://help.cloudextend.com/salesforce/documentation/#UserGuide/AdministeringCloudExtend/CustomizingStandardPages.htm

 

So for  our example, let's replace the Opportunities VisualForce page.   Below is an screenshot of an example replacement VisualForce page:

vf-page2.png

 

The VisualForce markup for the page is:

 

 

<apex:page standardController="Opportunity">

    <ce4sf20_001:AeSalesGuides objectType="Opportunity"  objectId="{!Opportunity.Id}"  extraInfo="{!JSENCODE(Opportunity.Name)}  ({!JSENCODE(Opportunity.Account.Name)})"/>                 

</apex:page>

 

To replace this page, I first went to the Opportunity screen layout editor and removed the existing VisualForce page for Cloud Extend guides.  Then I replaced it with the “mobile-enabled” VisualForce page that I just created.

 

Step 3. Testing that it Works!

 

The final step is to test that it works.  So now open the Salesforce 1 app and navigate to an Opportunity object:

 

sf_page_1.jpg

 

The Cloud Extend guide launcher appears (I only had the “Update Selected Opportunity” guide published for smartphones.  If there were other Cloud Extend mobile guides published for Opportunities, they would have also appeared in this list).

 

Next I click the “Update Selected Opportunity” and a new window within Salesforce 1 launches:

sf_page_2.jpg

 

Clicking on the Cloud Extend "Update Selected Opportunity" guide again starts the guide running:

 

sf_page_3.jpg

When the guide finished, I clicked the arrow in the top left of Salesforce 1 to take me back to the Opportunity object that first initiated the Cloud Extend guide.

 

So there you have it!  A a quick way to integrate Informatica Cloud Extend working in the new Salesforce 1 application. Of course there may be other ways to integrate Cloud Extend into Salesforce 1 and we will certainly be looking at those options going forward.

app_gap.png

Salesforce.com Announces 'Salesforce 1'

If you were one of the 120,000 delegates who attended Dreamforce 2013 last week, then you would have heard Marc Benioff make the big announcement about "Salesforce 1". He touted Salesforce 1 as “the only mobile application you will ever need for Salesforce.”  However, I have been using Salesforce 1 for a week now, and I feel that it has a way to go.

 

The 'App Gap'

Why?   Well, Salesforce 1 is a huge improvement over previous mobile efforts. For example, you can now easily get to all Salesforce objects, and all mobile applications you have built for Salesforce through the Salesforce 1 User Interface., as shown below:

 

salesforce1-1.jpg

But there's still a mobile “app gap” (which Marc Benioff described several times during his keynote). For me the big problem is twofold. Salesforce 1 doesn't help you get the apps that your users need built quickly enough.   And it doesn't help you maintain those apps as the business processes behind them frequently change. So although Salesforce 1 provides a great mobile platform for mobile apps using Salesforce, it doesn't alter the fundamental problem of creating those mobile apps.

 

Using Informatica Cloud Extend to Close the App Gap

Informatica Cloud Extend is the solution to that problem – with Informatica Cloud Extend, business analysts can build mobile apps quickly – no need to go to IT developers for every mobile app and every change to mobile apps.

 

I showed Informatica Cloud Extend to a prospect just this morning – the prospect was insistent that they only wanted one mobile app for all of their Salesforce users.  Then I showed them that Cloud Extend could build process applets without requiring developers, and then expose those process applets in the Salesforce 1 interface – they understood immediately how Cloud Extend can help them with the Salesforce 1 mobile platform.

 

In addition to providing access to Salesforce mobile apps (including custom-built mobile apps), Salesforce 1 also provides access to all standard and custom objects in a customers’ Salesforce org. But once again, just getting to an object via a mobile UI does not guarantee the user will do the right thing.  Here’s what an Opportunity object looks like in Salesforce 1:

salesforce1-2.jpg

The “+” button actually does something pretty useful by pulling up a palette of actions you can take on the Opportunity (or whatever) object:

salesforce1-3.jpg

So Salesforce recognizes that a user needs help to do the right thing, and they provide these single action guides to help (for instance, to create a new case). But this is still very limited in Salesforce 1 – each “guide” in the above screen shot does just one action (for example, take a photo and attach it to the object).    But what if a user needs to complete several steps (such as update meeting notes, check the close date, add a contact, assign a Sales Engineer to the Opportunity, send email to the customer confirming next meeting, etc)?   The user would have to remember all of the steps they need to complete after a meeting on an Opportunity, and they would have to complete each step manually one at a time.

 

With Informatica Cloud Extend, companies can add process guides (“Post Mtg Opportunity Review”) to Salesforce 1 to walk the user through all best practices following a meeting:   send thank you notes, review the close date and next steps, add meeting notes, schedule next meeting, etc. So companies can have a single mobile application (Salesforce 1), but they can greatly enhance the value of Salesforce 1 by adding Informatica Cloud Extend process wizards in Salesforce 1 to automate processes that are more complex than the single-action assistants that Salesforce 1 provides.

 

What Next?

In the next installment I'll explain just how easy it is to enable Informatica Cloud Extend in Salesforce 1, so that you can close the mobile "App Gap".