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ActevaRSVP Review

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The demandblog has been posting some AppExchange application reviews recently.  They did a good one for ActevaRSVP, who has a pretty impressive product.  See their review at http://demandbase.typepad.com/demand/2008/10/dreamforce-prev.html.

Note: ActevaRSVP is a current advertiser on this blog.

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YubNub Command to Search the AppExchange

Lifehacker (one of my favorite blogs) has a post today about YubNub. If you don’t know what YubNub is, they bill themselves as

A (social) command line for the web

Basically, it lets you use their site as a way to run commands on other sites. To use it, you start with the command and then follow it with the context. For example, you could type “g arrowpointe” to search Google for “Arrowpointe”, “weather 60601” to get the weather in Chicago. There are literally 1000s of options and it’s not all about searching. It is a way to avoid going to every individual site to do things. It’s pretty interesting once you start messing around with it. I can’t say I’ll be using it every day, but I could see how one could master it and get quite a bit more productive. I added the Firefox Search Plugin for it to start using it and see what I think.

A cool feature to it is that anyone can create new commands. To do so, you go here, give it a name and then put in the URL the command should use with placeholders to drop in the context of your command. To try it out, I created the command apex that searches the AppExchange.

To use it, go to YubNub (or use your Firefox YubNub search engine) and type “apex WhatToSearchFor” (e.g. “apex arrowpointe” will search the AppExchange for Arrowpointe’s applications). I will be using this one. It’s one less step to going to the AppExchange site first and then searching.

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Auto-Complete Lookups

Publisher: Salesforce Labs
Product: Auto-Complete Lookups
AppExchange Page
4star.png

Salesforce Labs has another cool application out on AppExchange. This is a great add-on for usability. It is called Auto-Complete Lookups and it affects Account, Contact and User lookups right now, but more are planned.

Once you install it, you need to visit it’s web tab to get started. From that web tab you will be instructed on how to set it up. In short, what you do is:

  • Generate JavaScript on the Web Tab. Copy it to your clip board
  • Paste the JavaScript into the Messages & Alerts section of the homepage. If you have other text in there for your users, just paste the code at the bottom.
  • On the Setup | Customize | User Interface screen, set the “Show Custom Sidebar Components on All Pages” to true.
  • Start using it
  • After you have completed your third letter, the lookup starts.

    AutoComplete.jpg

    It uses the AJAX toolkit to perform the lookup. In my org, the performance was pretty good. I have no idea how it will perform with a large dataset.

    This is a great add-on that is very easy to implement and could be of great value to end users. I recommend it. It will get 5 stars as soon as it supports all objects.

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Scripting Toolkit

In the feed I use to track new AppExchange applications that get published, I saw an interesting one today from Salesforce Labs called the Scripting Toolkit.

It only installs 1 web tab and the tab points to http://www.interclasse.com/toolkit/ and sends parameters such as your Org ID, Session ID and User ID over to the page. After downloading it, I was a little suspect of the URL, so I went directly to http://www.interclasse.com/toolkit/ and was able to get what I needed.

Basically, the scripting toolkit is a “JavaScript Ajax wrapper around the API”. It only runs on Windows. It is very much like the AJAX toolkit except it also allows you to host your own JS files and run them via a command line rather than using a browser. In other words, you could use it to schedule things or just run JS files (AJAX Toolkit) from your desktop. There are a number of good examples in the documentation. It’s yet another useful way to use the API.

I would assume accessing it via the web tab in the AppExchange package is fine, but you can also get what you need directly from http://www.interclasse.com/toolkit/.

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MapQuest for AppExchange

MapQuest recently released a mapping application on AppExchange. This is a free application that lets you map an Account or Contact (like you would using the default link to Yahoo! Maps), but adds a cool new feature on the landing page that allows you to find nearby Accounts and Contacts. Pretty slick. Chris Kramer has a good write up on it here.

This obviously has some overlap with the mapping work I do with Salesforce.com and Google Maps and it also attacks it in a different way.

I can think of many possible approaches towards mapping data and many different user experiences Salesforce.com users would enjoy. How do you choose one?

What do you think? What would you like to see in an application that maps Salesforce.com data? How would you design it?

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