Archive for January, 2006

Auto vCard

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I recently created a PHP script that allows you to auto-create a vCard from a Salesforce.com Lead or Contact. Quite a few companies choose not to sync their Salesforce.com Contacts with Outlook. This allows you to put a Lead or Contact into Salesforce.com and pull the information into Outlook (or another PIM) on a one-off basis.

I decided to make the functionality available as my first App Exchange application. It is not searchable on the App Exchange yet, but you can click the link below to view its App Exchange page. The package consists of 2 custom links (one for Leads and another for Contacts). Once you install the package, you will need to add those links to your Page Layouts.

app_exchange_button_detail.gif

The script works by receiving the data from the Custom Link, parsing it and passing it to methods in the Contact_Vcard_Build PEAR package. Once complete, it writes the data to a file and presents it to you for download. It then deletes the file off of my server. At no time does the script have access to your Salesforce.com environment (you are not passing it a Session ID). The custom links open up a small window to execute the script. I have not been able to figure out a way for it to close that window upon completion.

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App Exchange Favorites

As I peruse the App Exchange, I am going to start bookmarking apps that I like. This is mostly for my own benefit since the App Exchange site doesn’t have a way for me to save “My Favorites” (hint hint). I added this list as a page on this site, in case you are interested in checking it out from time to time or subscribing to it.

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RSS Feed for all App Exchange Apps

The App Exchange allows you to subscribe to an RSS feed for apps submitted into a specific category. There is an XML link on the left-hand side of the category page to do this.

I tweaked the URL from one of these and made a feed for getting every submission across all categories. You have to include, but leave blank, the Category parameter. Then you have to set a length. The default Salesforce uses is 20. I set mine to 1000 so that I got a download of all the apps up there so far.

http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange/rssfeed/appexchange_feed.rss?Category=&Length=1000

The link above will take you to the one I am subscribing too. You might want to knock down the length variable. There were 162 submissions that I received when I added the feed to my reader.

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Auto-Login Bookmark

Since I work with a number of different customers and access multiple Salesforce.com instances, I have to keep track of a bunch of usernames and passwords. Rather than write it all down and type in the username and password on the login screen, I keep a bookmark for each login that puts me right into Salesforce.com without having to type in the username and password.

To do this, you want to start your bookmark’s URL with the standard login page. Make sure and use HTTPS.

https://www.salesforce.com/login.jsp

If you want to access the salesforce sandbox, you should use https://test.salesforce.com/login.jsp

You can then add parameters for your username and password. For example, if your login in scott@example.com and your password is qwerty, the rest of your bookmark’s URL will contain the following:

?pw=qwerty&un=scott@example.com

The ? is used to start tell the browser that name/value pairs follow. You should put a & between each name/value pair. pw is the name for the password parameter and un is the name for the username parameter.

Putting it all together, your bookmark’s URL would be:

https://www.salesforce.com/login.jsp?pw=qwerty&un=scott@example.com

NOTE: Do not save these bookmarks on sites like del.icio.us. Since your password is in the URL, everyone could see it. Del.icio.us is a public bookmarking system. Keep these bookmarks closely held.

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AppExchange Keynote Video

Check out the Mark Benioff’s AppExchange presentation.

http://www.iian.ibeam.com/events/thom001/14696/eFrame.jsp?eventid=14696

It’s a 1 hour video. It didn’t work for me in Firefox. Use IE.

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