New TaskRay Version - Release Schedule

TaskRay 2015 Overview

We're excited to announce the availability of the latest version of TaskRay.

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
  • And more...

Your sandbox TaskRay version has been scheduled to automatically upgrade to the new version Saturday, May 16 and your production TaskRay version on Saturday, June 6. No action is required to receive the upgrade.

Release Schedule

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

Live Webinars and Q&A?

Wed, May 20: TaskRay Overview - 9 am PT / 12 pm Et / 5 pm GMT Register
Thu, May 21: TaskRay Spring 2015 Features - 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET / 11 pm GMT Register
Wed, June 10: TaskRay Spring 2015 Features - 9 am PT / 12 pm Et / 5 pm GMT Register
Thu, June 11: TaskRay Overview - 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET / 11 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

Quick Tip: Efficiently Drag and Drop files into Salesforce and TaskRay

As you may know, it is possible to quickly drag and drop a file into Salesforce via Chatter.

Simply drag your file onto the Chatter section of any object, including TaskRay, click Share and you file will be saved within the Chatter feed of that object.

Here's a quick video within TaskRay:

This is great functionality, but what if I want to upload multiple files at once or need to add files to the Notes and Attachments section of a Salesforce object instead of Chatter? 

One cool app that makes this easy is Dragger

Dragger is a five star rated app that allows users to upload multiple files to Chatter simultaneously without needing to click the Share button. You can also upload files to the Notes & Attachment sections within Salesforce as well as drag and drop files to the attachment section of an email you may be sending directly from Salesforce. 

It also works within the Chatter tab of TaskRay. Here's a quick video of me uploading 3 files at once with a simple drag and drop action: 

Certainly much quicker than having to do that one file at a time and with fewer clicks!

Further info on Dragger can be found on their AppExchange listing here. What's your favorite app to use with TaskRay?