Cards, Deadlines, & Plans Oh My!

The Spring 2015 release of TaskRay has arrived! This release is focused on improving TaskRay's efficiency, reliability, and responsiveness. Here is more on those performance improvements as well as a quick look at some of our new features:

Performance Improvements

Not only is Bracket Labs growing, but our customers needs and projects under management are growing at a rapid pace. During rapid growth, we know that speed is the name of the game. This release contains phase 1 of our performance modernization of TaskRay to increase speed and reliability. We expect this to shorten load times for large project and task volumes as well as make TaskRay more responsive while Salesforce is “thinking” in the back-end.

Why are we calling this Phase 1 you ask? Because we have a Phase 2 planned and around the corner. In Phase 2 we will address the performance of the project and task details windows. More information on Phase 2 closer to Dreamforce.

Enhanced Deadline View

While the essence of Deadline View is the same, we have incorporated several big changes. Take a look at our improved task card layout with a new status indicator, quick-action icons and visibility into blocked tasks.

We have also added two new groupings. You can now access Unscheduled and Completed tasks right from within Deadline View so that our users who prefer this view never have to leave to access their complete list of tasks.

Quick Actions

Exclusive to Deadline View are new bright & colorful status indicators as well as four new quick actions. Hover over the status indicator of any open task to one-click complete, block, or advance a task to the next status. Once your task is completed, unlock the fourth quick action - task archive.

Please let us know what you think about these new quick actions. Would you like to see these same hover quick actions in Column or Plan view? Give us your feedback!

Project Quick Find

Project search was replaced with a new Quick Find that will filter your sidebar projects to searched results. We know your project lists are growing larger every day, and while Chatter Groups & Saved Filters can help you organize, sometimes an instant search is just what the doctor ordered.

Redesigned Plan View

Sometimes you need to start at the very beginning and that is just what we did with plan view. We rewrote Plan from the ground up to bring you a much faster interface with real-time updates, drag-and-drop actions, and to lay the ground work for some upcoming work planned for task dependencies. In this overhaul you will see:

  • a simplified header with follow-along highlighting for easier scheduling

  • task name and owner displayed next to the schedule marker for simplified viewing

  • support for drag & drop owner reassignment and trashcan deletes

  • new project percentage completion bar to quickly assess status of any project at any time.

There is always more

Those were just a few of the highlights, but there are always a few more to share. Here are additional enhancements we are delivering in this release. For a full list of features and bug fixes, check out our release notes page.

  • Tab Icons: Updated tab icons to enhance appearance across desktop & Salesforce1 mobile interfaces.

  • Plan View: Improved layout to prevent hidden projects within hierarchy. You can now view all projects without displaying all tasks.

  • Chatter Sidebar: Restyled for improved readability including expanding/collapsible comment box.

  • Task & Project Details: Replaced cog icon with more intuitive pencil icon to indicate edit function.

  • Unassigned Tasks: Removed gray color assignment from unassigned tasks improving visual indicator that task is not connected to a project.

  • Task Card: Added permanent paperclip icon on task card for quick access to add file in Chatter feed.

  • Deadline Date Picker: New Today selector.

  • Deadline Date Picker: Date selection automatically closes picker reducing clicks.

  • Deadline Date Picker: Updated to Monday start.

  • Loading Mask: TaskRay branded loading indicators.

  • Enhanced Interface: Salesforce1 style updates including softer font & updated colors, enhancing TaskRay’s already native architecture.

  • Remove Contributors: New project selection process to provide consistency with Add Contributors workflow.

  • Project Private Default: Custom setting to override new projects as private instead of public.

Live Webinars with Q&A


New to TaskRay?

Join us for a new user demo overview of TaskRay and learn how TaskRay project management can help your users quickly track, manage, and communicate all of their work in Salesforce.

Date: Wednesday, May 20th  Time: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET / 5 pm GMT   Register

Date: Thursday, June 11th  Time: 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET / 11 pm GMT   Register



TaskRay Veteran?

Join us for a look at new features from the Spring 2015 of TaskRay.

Date: Thursday, May 21st  Time: 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET / 11 pm GMT   Register

Date: Wednesday, June 10th  Time: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET / 5 pm GMT   Register


 

Ready to Get Started?

If you're already a TaskRay customer you will automatically receive the upgrade on Saturday, June 6th. You will also be receiving an upgrade link via email should you like to upgrade now.

If you're not a TaskRay customer yet, we offer a free trial so you can see for yourself why TaskRay is the #1 rated project management app in Salesforce. Install the free trial directly from the AppExchange.

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

New TaskRay Version - Release Schedule

Spring 2015 Release

The next release of TaskRay is on its way! This release is focused on improving TaskRay's efficiency, reliability, and responsiveness.

Some key features in the Spring 2015 release include:

  • Search for projects quickly with a new sidebar search box
  • Improved deadline view with quick actions
  • Redesigned plan view with real time updates and drag-and-drop actions

Read more in our release notes.

Release Schedule

Saturday, May 16: Automatic upgrade to Sandbox and available on AppExchange 
Saturday, June 6: Automatic upgrade to Production

Live Webinars with Q&A


New to TaskRay?

Join us for a new user demo overview of TaskRay and learn how TaskRay project management can help your users quickly track, manage, and communicate all of their work in Salesforce.

Date: Wednesday, May 20th  Time: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET / 5 pm GMT   Register

Date: Thursday, June 11th  Time: 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET / 11 pm GMT   Register



TaskRay Veteran?

Join us for a look at new features from the Spring 2015 of TaskRay.

Date: Thursday, May 21st  Time: 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET / 11 pm GMT   Register

Date: Wednesday, June 10th  Time: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET / 5 pm GMT   Register


The Momentum Continues: 3 Million Installs and Counting

3 Million Installs!

3millioninstalls.png

The Salesforce Community has reached a major milestone—3 million installs via the Salesforce AppExchange. While that’s an impressive number, what gets Bracket Labs (and hopefully TaskRay users) excited is what that number means:

  • 3 million times a company has added new solutions as simply as adding an app to a phone.
  • 3 million opportunities for businesses to provide cutting-edge applications to their teams, while maintaining Enterprise-class reliability and security.
  • 3 million small but critical steps towards accelerating, streamlining, and improving the way that millions of people around the world get their jobs done.

Hitting 3 million installs is more than the latest step in the explosive growth of the #1 business app marketplace, it’s continued proof of an ongoing revolution in business computing. My co-founder Eric has written a few times in The New AppExchange & Why It’s a Big Deal as well as Enterprise Apps Take the Spotlight about the fact that we founded Bracket Labs because we were so passionate about the opportunity that revolution presented. So for us, the 3 million install mark also stands as a proof point that we really are surfing a big wave of change.

Looking Back

I thought it might be interesting to look back at how Bracket Labs was built and how it wouldn’t have been possible without the Salesforce1 platform, the AppExchange marketplace, and the huge paradigm shift that’s happening in enterprise IT. It feels funny to think about our small startup actually being one of the pioneers in the AppExchange, but after five years, nearly 800 customers, and a pace of triple digit annual growth, I guess we are.

With the benefit of hindsight, there are three key areas where building our business on the AppExchange was not just strategically smart, but fundamentally critical to building a viable business.

1. Business model development

The first hurdle every entrepreneur faces is developing a business model that actually works. It’s got to be repeatable, sustainable, defensible. This is pretty hard to get right, partially because there are so many variables in a business model. It’s sort of like trying to juggle 9 random objects and get them all into the air at the same time. The beauty of building a business model based on the Salesforce1 platform is it reduces the number of variables. In our case, the customer segments were already defined (Salesforce customers), the distribution channels were already built (the AppExchange), and the revenue model was not only well understood it was pioneered by Salesforce (subscription software). This reduction in variables meant that we could put more focus on innovating in the areas that have proven to be the key differentiators in our business model: product design, customer experience, and operational efficiency.

2. Product development

There’s a reason that the majority of enterprise software businesses are venture backed. The list of product functionality necessary to satisfy enterprise requirements is long, complicated, and exacting and it takes a while to get it right. To make it harder, a large percentage of that functionality isn’t fun to build - no developer is excited about creating yet another forgotten password recovery flow. But by building TaskRay and our other apps “native” to the Salesforce1 platform we’re able to leverage all of the enterprise-class functionality, security and infrastructure that Salesforce is already using with their own customers. Similar to our business model development, this meant that we could focus on building unique product features that delivered value to our customers and skip building the “table stakes” functionality because it was already done. It also meant that we brought our apps to market much faster than average. Our first app went from napkin sketch to paying customer in less than six months.

3. Sales

“Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.” This concept has been expressed so often as to become cliché, but the underlying sentiment is as true as it ever was. Simply stated, it’s pretty difficult for a small bootstrapped startup to sell software to a large Fortune 500 company. Even with a perfect solution and price, the questions about a small company with limited capital being capable of delivering enterprise-class reliability and security will make even the most adventurous CIO gunshy. And who could blame her? She’s not just buying a project management tool, she’s trusting that the tool will satisfy the larger information control requirements of her company. Being native to the Salesforce1 platform simplifies the conversation because we use the same service infrastructure they’ve already vetted on their way to becoming Salesforce customers. The AppExchange introduced a new model for CIO (or B2B) app shopping - one that  opens the door to small & large customers alike, and dramatically reduces the average time from shelf to sale.

Looking Forward

Eric and I remember celebrating the one millionth install - a big day for us. It’s hard to believe we are already celebrating the third. But there is no clearer sign of success than the explosion of AppExchange installs and for us the paralleled growth of our app, TaskRay.


Namespacing Bootstrap from square one

artistspallete

I recently helped a fellow irc'er figure out how to namespace Bootstrap. At first I linked him to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BtTnvM02Eg&t=426 . But then I realized a video may not be the best way to present this information, especially if you do not have much of a modern dev/build environment setup on your machine. We'll walk through everything you need to install in order to successfully build a namespaced version of Bootstrap, an OS X device.

First, let's install HomeBrew. Simply use the one liner you can find here: http://brew.sh/ .

Second, we need to install Node using HomeBrew. Type 

brew install node

Third, we need to install Grunt by typing:

npm install -g grunt-cli

Now we should have all the tools we need in order to build a namespaced version of Bootstrap.

In order to build, navigate to a folder where you'd like to clone the Bootstrap git repo and type:

git clone https://github.com/twbs/bootstrap

Now, navigate to ./bootstrap/less/bootstrap.less and add a new line as the first line of the file: 

.myBootstrapNamespace {

then add a new line at the very end of the file:

}

You have now just wrapped all of the less in a class named myBootstrapNamespace.

Now we need to build Bootstrap.

Navigate to ./bootstrap and type

npm install

Once that finishes, type

grunt

After a bunch of text scrolls by with the status of various build steps, you should now have your namespaced version of Bootstrap in the ./bootstrap/dist directory. Simply put this version into your static resource in Salesforce, and you can now style your Visualforce page contents using Bootstrap by making a container div within your page like:

<apex:page ........>
  <!-- Include the namespaced css from your static resource -->
  <div class="my-bootstrap-namespace">
    <!-- My HTML Here -->
  </div>
</apex:page>

Caveats: Salesforce styles which come down with a VF page with the header on can be very broad, some will override the Bootstrap CSS. Also, keep in mind you are essentially developing your entire page within a <td> element, this can result in some funkyness with inherited properties on your divs, specifically you may need to fiddle with display props to get parents to actually fully contain their children. 

Strengthening Our Community: One Meal At A Time

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ―Charles Dickens

As a company, we follow Salesforce.com Foundation’s integrated philanthropic 1-1-1 model

Yesterday, we had the privilege of volunteering our company’s time at Community Food Share in Louisville, Colorado (where Bracket Labs is headquartered)a non-profit with a mission to be a leader in the community’s efforts to end hunger in Boulder and Broomfield Counties. 

While we live in a place with many natural resources, Colorado’s population like other states around the country faces serious struggles with hunger and food security. Some sobering statistics*:

  • More than 1 in 5 Colorado kids don’t know when or where they will get their next meal.
  • More than 1 in 4 working families in Colorado do not have enough food to meet their basic needs.
  • About 23,500 veterans in Colorado live in households that participated in food stamps at some point during the past 12 months.

Community Food Share is a Feeding America Food Bank that procures, processes, and distributes 8 million pounds of food a year to some of the most at-risk people in Boulder and Broomfield counties.  The Food Share is open to qualifying families and individuals. Additionally, local agencies that serve the community partner with the food bank to secure food products for their organizations to distribute more broadly when and where it is needed most.

The Bracket Labs team processed 2200 lbs of food—frozen turkeys, pork, and chicken, as well as hundreds of cans of soup, nut butters, vegetables, fruits, pasta, and more.  The food will be in the hands of people who need it within a few weeks. We’ll be headed back every few months to help Community Food Share achieve its mission. 

Blakely, Erin, and Mike sorting through donations from a recent food drive.


Blakely, Erin, and Mike sorting through donations from a recent food drive.

If you want to learn more about how you can get involved with a food bank near you, here is some information about the parent organization—Feeding America

*Courtesy Hunger Free Colorado