Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

View All Activities with Comments in Salesforce.com

I’m working on a Salesforce.com SFA CRM implementation that is replacing a Microsoft CRM 3.0, and one of the key things that the users accessed (and heavily relied on) was the Notes view in MS CRM. The Notes view showed the details (subject and comments) of each Note, so the user could see a running narrative of all recent conversations with the customer (they logged all Calls in Notes instead of Activities). The ironic thing was that these notes had been migrated from Salesforce.com SFA Activities (Tasks) several years ago, and I was trying to convince the client to move back to capturing their call notes in Activities/Tasks. However, the standard related list for Activities can’t show the Comments field from the Task/Event objects, so they weren’t too happy about not being able to see the whole narrative in one place. I was about to go down the path of creating a dynamic report link (See “Populate Advanced Filters in a Report from a Custom Link” in Salesforce Help – Solutions), but then I noticed a simple piece of standard functionality that fit the use case perfectly – a simple “View All” button on the Activity History related list:

View All Activity History in Salesforce.com

View All Activity History in Salesforce.com

This provides a nice consolidated view of all Activity History with the Comments field included:

View All Activities Page

View All Activities Page

I wanted to make sure to point out this simple but useful functionality, especially in contrast to Microsoft CRM, so that anyone else out there who might encounter a similar requirement would be aware of it.

All too often we overlook some handy functionality because it is behind a button or a hyperlink, or we form “click habits” that cause us to rush through certain familiar interface paths and ignore existing or new features that could improve our efficiency. While this might spark some good discussions on interface design to overcome these tendencies, I still need to remind myself to not tune out interface elements when looking at a page, because they might just provide the answer I am looking for.