TaskRay New Release: Topics are the new Tags

A brand new release of TaskRay is here with several exciting new features. The biggest change you will notice in TaskRay is that Topics will now replace Tags.  

With the introduction of Topics on Records in the Salesforce Spring '14 release and the fact that new Salesforce orgs are no longer provided with Tags as a feature, TaskRay will no longer support Tags and use Topics instead.

Our new release includes an easy tag to topic migration tool to help you quickly transition over, as noted in our post install instructions here.

Similar to Tags, Topics will show on the front of your Task Cards and are filterable. Unlike Tags, Topics can also be filtered on Salesforce list views and allow for limited reporting. You can also easily search for Topics from the Chatter tab to quickly find related tasks and projects. For reference here's a quick Salesforce video overview of Chatter Topics. 

Release Schedule

This release will be available on the following dates:

  • Friday, September 5: Direct Install Link available
  • Saturday, September 13: Automatic upgrade to Sandbox
  • Saturday, September 20: Automatic upgrade to Production
  • Saturday, October 18: Available on AppExchange

Other highlights of this release include:

Task Card Labels

Color-coded labels for any standard or custom field can be applied to the top of the task card using the new Task Card Labels Field Set. An overview of this can be seen in the TaskRay User Guide.

Bulk Actions

You can now mass add or remove project contributors. A new wand icon located on the project side bar allows you to quickly add or remove contributors to numerous projects at once - perfect for when you have a new member join your team.

Task and Project Details 

Chatter, Details, and Checklists are now separated into sub-tabs inside the Task/Project. We have even introduced a new one-click action to open the Chatter feed directly from the task card!

Here are some highlights of enhancements we are delivering in this release. For a full list of features and bug fixes, check out our release notes page.

New Release Webinar

TaskRay Veteran?
Join us for our deep-dive webinar to see the latest features.

Date: Wednesday, September 17th  Time: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET   REGISTER HERE
Date: Tuesday, September 23rd  Time: 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET   REGISTER HERE

New User Webinar

New to TaskRay?
Join us for our overview webinar to see an introduction to TaskRay.

Date: Thursday, September 25th  Time: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET   REGISTER HERE

Still have questions? You can always mention us on twitter, post on our facebook wall, or send us an email at team@bracketlabs.com.

TaskRay + Accounting Seed = Native Salesforce Project Accounting

It's no secret that we're big believers in the power of native Salesforce apps. Not just because of their power and flexibility but also because their architecture allows them to easily integrates with other apps. We've documented how TaskRay "just works" with apps like Conga and Cirrus Insight, and we've even built a free app extension to bring GridBuddy into the TaskRay interface.

Time to add one more to the list! Our friends over at Accounting Seed have a great blog post discussing how TaskRay integrates with their app to create a fully native project accounting solution. From the post:

When we designed Accounting Seed, we built it natively so that our users could get the best experience possible. This allows customers to operate their whole business on one platform.  It also allows us to set up integrations with other native applications allowing you to sync other business processes to our application.  One of these native applications that integrates to Accounting Seed is TaskRay by Bracket Labs.

You can check out the entire post on the Accounting Seed blog.

This "app mashup" trend is gaining steam, and we're excited to be working on additional collaborations between TaskRay and other apps on the Salesforce platform. Stay tuned!

What is a native Salesforce app?

Here at Bracket Labs all of our apps are 100% native to Salesforce.

Transient

But what does being a native app even mean? Why is it important? What’s the difference between a native and non-native Salesforce app? Will it affect my data? Is it secure? How do I know if an app I am installing is 100% native?

Hold on a second, that’s a lot of questions!

But not to worry, we have answers!

1. What is a native Salesforce app?

A native Salesforce app is one that resides entirely within the confines of your Salesforce instance.

This means all data is stored within Salesforce while the app and its data can be customized, automated and reported upon using the same Salesforce tools that you are used to (such as workflow rules, dashboards, new fields, etc.).

So, a native app is, in effect, a part of Salesforce, just like Chatter is a part of Salesforce.  

2. What is a non-native Salesforce application?

A non-native Salesforce app does not live 100% within the Salesforce platform. Elements of the application may be within Salesforce and could be considered a “hybrid” app, however, the app itself may be hosted elsewhere and data may leave and enter the platform and be stored on an outside, third party server.

3. What are the advantages of using a 100% native Salesforce app?

Security and Privacy:

- All of your data remains yours and stays within Salesforce (unless you export it of course). It is not sent or stored on an outside server nor does data enter from external servers, which may be the case with a non-native application.

- A native Salesforce application conforms with the same security settings and sharing rules that you have already created within Salesforce. With a non-native app, these rules and settings may not be applied, as a result, data could be vulnerable. Hybrid apps may well be secure, however they may not necessarily be using Salesforce security and sharing settings.

Performance:

- Since native apps reside 100% within Salesforce they will always be up and running when Salesforce is running. Non-native and hybrid apps depend on outside servers which may or may not have the same Enterprise-class infrastructure as Salesforce.

- Native apps follow http://trust.salesforce.com/ policies and best practices.

Customizable:

Native apps can be customized to your needs by adding new fields, workflow rules, etc.

For example, TaskRay can be customized in numerous ways to meet the needs of your processes:

http://bracketlabs.com/blog/2014/5/12/customizing-taskray-to-match-your-organization-needs

Easy Integration with other applications:

Native applications can be easily enhanced by integrating with other applications that use the Salesforce platform.

For example: TaskRay & GridBuddy: http://bracketlabs.com/gridbuddy-for-taskray/

TaskRay & Conga: http://bracketlabs.com/blog/2012/12/4/taskray-hearts-conga

TaskRay & Cirrus Insight: http://www.cirrusinsight.com/integrations/taskray  

4. How do I know if I am installing a 100% native Salesforce app?

All applications on the Salesforce appexchange are listed with a “Type” field. This can be found by going to the details tab of an application in the appexchange and looking under “Package Details” on the right hand side. Here you should see “Native App” as shown below for TaskRay. 

native_app.png

If in doubt, try asking the app maker:

- Is the app 100% native to Salesforce?

- Where is the application hosted? (If an outside server and not Salesforce - then it’s not 100% native).  

So, the next time you are looking for applications to enhance your Salesforce experience, ask yourself, “is it 100% native?”

At Bracket Labs all of our applications are 100% native to Salesforce.

This means that you can be 100% confident that your data will be secure and the performance will be reliable. While the app can also be customized to your needs, integrate with others and easily produce reports and dashboards that provide the metrics and answers you need to be successful.

Feel free to provide us with any questions or comments below and/or share this post with others.


By Darren Geary (a native to London, but now in sunny Colorado).

Apps we <3

At Bracket Labs, we really love apps. We live, breathe and drink apps, oh and of course we develop them for Salesforce too! We don't just love our own apps though, that would be self centered. Here are some other apps that we absolutely love too!

30/30 Task Manager

Shot5.png

30/30 is a Task Manager app for mobile devices. Not only is it just a great tool from a productivity standpoint, the design is beautiful. 30/30 is more of a small tasks or personal tasks organizer than TaskRay. So for the little stuff that isn't related to Salesforce or work, this is a great little app to have on your phone. If you have trouble keeping focused over an afternoon, or need to develop a better routine in the morning this app is great for making sure you stay on a routine. The app reminds you when you should be moving on to the next task, and is very easy to customize. Now if only we could get this app talking to TaskRay!

Ring My Bell

On the topic of fun apps, Ring My Bell is a Salesforce app that announces sales to coworkers with a playful tone. Great for creating competition but not in an unfriendly way. Ring My Bell is available on the AppExchange for a very reasonable price. 

World Chat Clock

This tool is not quite an app, but is extremely powerful and useful. This time zone calculator by Dark Horse Analytics helps you negotiate meeting times for people over multiple time zone, in and extremely pretty interface. The world chat clock lets you know how long you can chat for, within office hours or within stretch hours (slightly outside of office hours) and when you can chat next if the current time does not work.

Light Problems: How Changing your Lights Could Change your Life

Studies have been surfacing the last few years on how artificial light is really, really bad for you. From insomnia to cancer, disturbing relationships between artificial light use and problems with your help might make your reconsider how much time you spend with the lights on or staring at your computer screen. 

Why?

Why is artificial light so awful for you? According to the Heath and Consumers Science Committee, artificial light contains some UV and infrared radiations. Along with the spectrum of light they emit, artificial light disrupts your natural clock and possibly your hormones as well. Blue and ultraviolet light hold the greatest risk (almost all regular light bulbs for white light contain blue). Our modern lifestyles leave us with a lot of health risks that compound on each other, but if you are struggling with insomnia, or general malaise you might want to look in to your light use especially once the sun has gone down. 

What Can you Do About it?

Well that was scary. Something that you always just took for granted might be messing up your sleep rhythms and a plethora of other things. How are you supposed to avoid using regular light bulbs at night? Almost everyone stays up later than the sun, and we have things to do before we can rest. We need to acknowledge that doing this is not something our bodies were made to do. There are some extremely simple ways that you can still stay up later than the sun, and make sure you aren't hurting yourself as much with blue light.

F.lux

F.lux is a free software based on the before mentioned research. F.lux adjusts the color of your display automatically with the rise and set of the sun. The way it works is that it cuts out the blue light in your monitor. At first you might not be used to the slightly yellow tint that appears at night, but once you are used to it you will find that you have less evening headaches, and you can go to bed easier even if you are using your computer just before bed. F.lux is available for Windows, Linux and mac. What about your iPhone? Unfortunately F.lux is only available on jailbroken devices, but we will get in to what to do on your phone to avoid that nasty blue light later. If you want to try out F.lux go to Just Get Flux.

Red Lights, Your Way

Doctors recommend nixing the white light bulbs in your bedroom all together. I take it to another extreme, and try to turn off all white light once the sun goes down. In rooms like the bathroom where there are multiple light bulbs, I simply screw in the red at night and loosen the white. If that is too much work, there are some way more fun ways to make your light. For the more tech savvy people, you can use a raspberry pi device to link to an LED light strip, and from there you can even control that LED light from your phone, and program it to turn on at certain times. Too complicated for you? No problem! You can go the less DIY path and get Lifx which is an LED lightbulb that has a phone app already made. Lifx isn't the only brand on the market, and there are very cost effective options where you have a remote instead of an smartphone app as well.

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Glasses that filter out certain colors of light like these are another option if you can't resist turning on the TV or the computer at night. Blue light blocking glasses have been tested in studies involving night shift workers, and found that their natural rhythms are less likely to be disrupted if they wore the glasses close to the end of their shift. Wearing the glasses about 3 hours before sleep improves sleep quality and mood. On top of all of this, they are very affordable.

Dim Your Screen and Get Outside

Most phones have a very easy dim feature. Once night time rolls around, just slide that dimmer switch on the phone down as much as you can handle (I dim mine almost all the way) and try not to spend too much time glued to it (it will do you some good!). Specialists also recommend getting outside, especially during the winter. As soon as you wake up, subject yourself to the daylight. As much as blackout blinds are lovely, if you live in an area with not much light pollution try to keep the blinds open so natural light will filter in. If you can get away with keeping the blinds opened, just make sure you open them as soon as you wake up in the morning, it will help you feel more awake faster. 

Easy Changes, Big Difference

With so much research to back all of these methods up, cutting out the blue light can make a huge difference in your life. If you've ever had trouble sleeping, or feel tired and moody during the day it is a very easy way to change your lifestyle without relying on sleep aid medications or any other less natural alternatives.