The recent holiday season had me in a sharing mood, so I thought I would extend it just a little bit longer than usual and use a holiday theme to share some of the applications and information sources that make work as a Salesforce.com consultant just a little bit better. This list is by no means exhaustive, so I would like you to share your tips and best practices as well.
A simple yet powerful website for organizing projects into an Agile framework. You can upload Stories/Requirements, assign points, share comments, add documents and track completion. It even has a bug tracker. One issue is that you can’t change the Statuses beyond the basic selection given. But once you learn to accept their Agile process (the requirement is either done or it’s not done, right?), it provides views and analytics to keep your sprints and weeks on-track.
Compare to Trello.com
This one is kind of obvious, but many new users and admins are unaware of Dataloader.io. Dataloader.io solves a basic problem in the use of the Salesforce’s Apex Dataloader – the need to constantly find and update the Salesforce ID of whatever related record you need. If there is a Hall of Fame for Salesforce apps and add-ons, dataloader.io is in it.
This Salesforce specific search tool makes you appear smarter than you actually are. It allows you to leverage the experience of hundreds of Salesforce users with a similar problem. Superior to googling it, as it organizes the result set into documentation, developer board posts, success community, code and apps that are all relevant to Salesforce.
Toggl and Hours
Hours (aka www.hoursforteams.com) is a simple website to track effort over time. However, their recent switch to a paid version (so long, free trial) has led me to Toggl www.toggl.com, which, handily, integrates to Pivotal Tracker. An easy way to drive efficiency into your work, and to report time tracking after.
Actually a series of Heroku apps that bring developer tools to the declarative masses. My favorite is Field Creator, which creates a spreadsheet’s worth of custom fields in minutes. Other tools attack common data load problems and complex organization wide updates.
A Chrome extension that copies any column or table into your computer’s Clipboard. It solves a problem I didn’t know I had, but has rapidly made itself indispensable. Great for working with picklist values or reports.
LastPass and Force.com LOGINS
Do you have to many usernames and passwords? Of course you do. LastPass provides a ‘vault’ for all your sensitive login information, and can even automate the login process. Another tool for this problem is Force.com LOGINS, a Chrome extension specifically for force.com’s security model. It works instantly with Salesforce, while the LastPass can sometimes struggle with sandboxes and multiple usernames on the same login URL.
Share your favorite tips and add-ons with us. We’d love to hear from the developers about their favorite tools for the job.
About the author
Grant Garrigan is a Consultant in Statêra’s Business Applications (Salesforce CRM and Apttus CLM) Practice. He possesses certifications in Salesforce.com (Admin and Sales Cloud) and Apttus (CPQ). When he’s not working Grant enjoys thinking about how to make shortcuts on the Force.com platform.