Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Introduction: Have you ever downloaded an app to your phone? Of course you have. How about downloading an app to your CRM system?
- Salesforce.com is the world's leading CRM system but it is capable of far more than managing a sales pipeline and inbound service calls. Salesforce is powered by the Lightning Platform which also drives a suite of immensely powerful tools which can be configured to run any part of your business. It is also the home to the App Exchange - thousands of apps and components to turn your vanilla flavoured Salesforce implementation into a full-blown ERP powerhouse. CloudJungle are Salesforce Implementation Partners and here are our top 10 reasons (in no particular order) to visit the App Exchange. We will also let you know why we (and our clients) love these Apps.
1. Dropbox & Salesforce Integration More and more businesses are using Dropbox for document collaboration. Imagine you store documents in client folders. With the Dropbox for Salesforce app you can see the relevant customer documents in your Salesforce customer records. Add a few tweaks and you can also map Dropbox folders to any Salesforce record. We love it because we can keep control and can collaborate on all our customer documents securely yet edit from any device. We can access documents from either our standard files folder on the computer or within the Salesforce record. Dropbox versioning control also allows us to roll back our collaboration efforts if work needs to be undone. Best of all, the app is free for Dropbox Business customers!
Where is your data? By this we mean where on the map. Imagine you have lots of tasks to perform at location around the country and you need to plan a schedule of visits. Geopointe helps you visualise locations and even arrange routes with minimal travel time. You can create bespoke "layers" to visualise information pertinent to you e.g. my visits this week and then colour code these by parameter (e.g. a status or lead rating).
It is fair to say we have never been too excited about the Salesforce standard calendar features. The Calendar Anything app does what is says on the tin. Many Salesforce Records have date fields which can now come alive into calendars, Gantt charts and swim lanes.
We often use this for project management apps where we need to plan a critical path for milestones or tasks. We love the way you can drag and drop to change or extend dates and then click through to the record to update other information.
Sometimes updating one record at a time is not enough. You want to be updating multiple records across multiple data tables in Salesforce on a single screen with your pre-defined filter criteria. GridBuddy can handle this with ease. It is also a useful way to bulk update records.
Sometimes we need a lot of data and Salesforce storage limits can become costly if exceeded. Images also bring Salesforce Records to life so the SharinPix team have created an app to help you manage images and store the data on SharinPix Amazon hosted servers.
We love the unlimited image storage and that we can annotate image. The mobile interface is easy to use and the ability to tag images not only ensures that they are searchable, but you can also trigger workflow. For example, if you have an image that you want to include in a job completion report then set a tag action to update a 'completion image' field when the image is tagged 'complete'.
Sometimes you will need to create a report from Salesforce e.g. a job completion report. This may reference multiple data tables and you need to put these related records on the report. You therefore need an application to prepare your document. We use 3 different apps to achieve this depending upon client requirements.
Conga Composer is the king of document generation with great integrations with Docusign (electronic signature app) and cloud storage applications. It also provides a host of features for complex reporting of data across multiple data tables. Understandably it is also the most expensive which means we consider other options for clients. S-Docs is an app built entirely on the Salesforce platform and is free for the first two templates which may well be enough for some customers. A5 Documents is a low-cost option which allows you to design templates on Google Docs and the resulting documents can be sent to Google Drive. It also has a 'sister application' called A5 Signature allowing electronic signature capture on A5 Documents. Get Conga, S-Docs, #getconga, #sdocs
7. Enhanced Lightning Grid Enhanced Data Grids is a Lightning Component rather than a full application. This means it can be added to a standard custom Salesforce page. It overcomes one of the limitations we have discovered when helping organisations migrate to Salesforce Lightning. We use it on nearly every app! Currently, with the standard Salesforce related lists (typically child records e.g. contacts at an account) you are limited on how many fields you can display. Enhanced Data Grids overcomes these limits and also allows search and filter on child records whilst still on the parent page. We also use this grid on the homepage to list information related to the logged in user (e.g. tasks assigned). Setup is relatively straight forward although there are some complexities when trying to utilise some of the more advanced features. This free of charge component really helps us to design a page which engages the end user.
A great little component for a mobile application. It allows you to capture a signature using the touchscreen on the mobile device. This is great when you need to get a client signature. It's free of charge too!
Another component that when added to a page can provide contextual information for users. Jumbotron allows you to display rich text information on a page. Importantly, it can use filters to only display when a record meets certain criteria.
We use it on customer homepages to link to details of new app features that we are releasing. It can also be used were you do not necessarily require a validation rule as you can choose to show the component when a record meets certain criteria.
The App Exchange offers a variety of pre-built solutions for speedy development of your Salesforce Application. When combined together you can cook up some great solutions. For example, if you have to schedule appointments how about using Geopointe Maps, Calendar Anything and GridBuddy all combined to generate an amazing scheduling application.