Dreamforce 2015 Round-up

Whew! Last week was Dreamforce 2015, and we are still recovering—in a good way, of course.

Getting Ready For Dreamforce

It was a particularly exciting Dreamforce for Bracket Labs.  Starting well before the event itself, co-founder Blakely Graham got to be a part of the Salesforce Lightning Announcement in late August.  She and the development team have been hard at work making sure TaskRay is  Lightning Ready.  (We still work beautifully in the Classic UI.) The team has also been making Lightning Components, so that our customers can extend TaskRay to wherever they need it most within Salesforce. 

Blakely introducing Lightning as an AppExchange Partner at the live Salesforce announcement in August. (Around the 58 min mark)

Blakely introducing Lightning as an AppExchange Partner at the live Salesforce announcement in August. (Around the 58 min mark)

The Expo

Our booth in Moscone West.

Our booth in Moscone West.

It was the first year we had a booth and meeting room in the Expo.  We were the group located in West wearing aprons and giving out bento boxes—the theme was TaskRay Is Your Recipe For Success.

Additionally, we had "recipe cards" for some common TaskRay use cases: Customer Onboarding, Marketing, Agile Development, Professional Services, and Salesforce Admins.  These cards turned out to be the stars of our booth.  If you are interested in learning more about the use cases you can find them here. We also spent a lot of the time in the meeting room connecting with customers and prospective customers.

Sessions, Sessions Everywhere

A few folks from our team presented at sessions.  And TaskRay itself made several appearances in sessions across Dreamforce. 

Team, Friends & Fun

Dreamforce is just as much about fun as it is work. We didn't have a shortage of that either. It was a great week to catch up with friends from the Salesforce community, eat amazing food, see what Salesforce has planned, check out other Partners, and enjoy some world-class entertainment.  

Ready to take on Dreamforce 2015.

Ready to take on Dreamforce 2015.

Enjoying the AppBash party with an amazing view of the city.

Enjoying the AppBash party with an amazing view of the city.

Tossing pizza at the Papa Murphy's showcase for Community Cloud.

Dreamforce is more than a tech conference. It is a social gathering, a social influencer, entertaining, a mind-boggling feat of planning and execution, and an innovation hub.  It was a great year, we can't wait for #DF2016.

Can't get enough. Here are even more pictures from DF15.

Customer Use Case: TaskRay & Parata's IT Team

Editor's Note: This week's guest post is a great use case & testimonial by a longtime Bracket Labs friend, Stephanie Poorman, a Senior Salesforce Admin & Business Analyst with pharmaceutical company, Parata Systems. This post is great, because we love to hear about how our customers are using TaskRay, how it is helping their business, and the details about how they did it. Thanks Stephanie!

Guest Post By Stephanie Poorman

Who am I?
My name is Stephanie Poorman, and I am the Senior Salesforce Admin/BA at Parata Systems in Durham, NC.  We rolled out TaskRay almost a year ago for our Marketing team to manage their many projects, and they loved it.  Recently, with the advent of a new manager and the expiration of our AtTask licenses, I convinced my own Applications Development team to adopt TaskRay as well, and they’ve even shown some actual excitement during the rollout.  (It’s not just women or non-technical users who appreciate sleek aesthetics and user-friendly interfaces.)

Why use TaskRay for IT?

To be fair, TaskRay has been gaining popularity across the company.  Our next rollout is for our Engineering team and will include adding some custom time-tracking functionality.  The reason the AppDev team has adopted it, though, is fairly straightforward: We wanted a tool that could work within an existing system, was easy to use and customize, provided a specialized interface for project management, and didn’t focus too heavily on the nitty gritty.  TaskRay is native to Salesforce, is extremely flexible, and allows us to view our projects from all sorts of perspectives (mine, yours, ours, past, future, and present).  It even supports queues and has a beautiful,  intuitive UI that easily switches between a Kanban board, a Gantt chart, and a task timeline.  For the nerdiest among us, there are iPhone and iWatch apps.


Any cool features?

Okay, I have to admit that I’m very excited about one feature we’re getting ready to set-up: Email-to-Tasks.  I still receive all my ticket requests from an external system, but some of them need more detailed planning and tracking.  At first I was concerned; I didn’t want to add a lot of extra work by receiving tickets in one system and managing them in another.  But then I realized - Ah ha! - I get email notifications from the current ticketing system.  I can just forward the larger ones to a special email address, and - poof! - they can be magically (read: automatically and easily) assigned to my very own Change Management Project.

In addition to adding time-tracking, my manager and the Engineering team’s project manager are interested in adding dependencies between tasks (a lookup field and a validation rule) and building an approval process that will prevent users from pushing out task deadlines without approval from the project owner.

Okay, so how did the rollout go?

It was amazingly easy.  I say that as the only person doing the rollout.  Cross my heart, it only took two hours to add and set-up records types based on Department and convert our sharing from Public Read/Write to Private.  (We opted for a Private model simply to keep the UI cleaner: we all have a lot of projects and just don’t want everyone else’s to muck up our view.)

Bracket Labs has very clear documentation on how to set-up record types here.  The one thing that it doesn’t mention is that the profile of the admin setting everything up needs to be assigned all the record types, permanently, or they won’t be available in the Record Type Mapping tab.  Additionally, individual users only see the “Board” filter if they are specifically assigned more than one record type, even once record types are enabled.  The data migration to update existing projects and tasks was extremely easy.  Since only one department was already using TaskRay, I just exported all of the existing records, added the new record type IDs, and pushed the updates back into Salesforce via the Dataloader.

Next I converted our sharing model for projects and tasks, guided by (once again) some very detailed documentation available here.  I opted to create my sharing rules on Projects and Tasks first to cause as little disruption as possible to my users.  The rules are simple and criteria-based: if the record type is [Department Name], then Public Group [Department Name] gets Read Access.  I then updated the org-wide defaults on Projects and Tasks to Private (the background objects are not changed).  The sharing recalculations, including one run automatically by TaskRay, completed quickly.

There was one almost-tricky part.  At the bottom of the Project Security documentation is a little note that explains that projects automatically default to Public upon creation, no matter how your org-wide defaults are set-up.  But that too is customizable - an easy five steps that takes about three minutes (seriously).  After I set the default to Private, I realized that I still needed to find a way to update all the existing projects and tasks that were already set to Public.  This is controlled not by a field that can be mass-updated in a list view, however, but with a manual sharing rule created by TaskRay.  Turns out, you can export, insert or delete sharing rules using the Dataloader (for any object set to Private):

Just make sure you check “Show all Salesforce objects” and look for “Share: [Custom Object Name]”.  I filtered my export by row cause (Manual) and User/Group ID (All Internal Users) to avoid messing up Collaborators’ permissions.  I tested with a single record then imported the csv (the same one I’d just exported) into the mass Delete function on the Dataloader.  Do this first for Projects then for Tasks, and - voila! - you’re good to go.

(Oh, and a final note for the admins doing this work, you will always be able to see everyone’s projects and tasks courtesy of the View All system permission.  Just add a Record Type filter under Projects if you only want to see the ones for your own department.  You can have everyone do this instead of rolling out a Private model, if you’re willing to explain - and re-explain - how to get the filters right.)

Introducing the New Salesforce

Family of Lightning products

Yesterday, Salesforce announced the new Lightning experience. A transformational change to Salesforce for customers, developers, and partners. Bracket Labs is excited to be an early adopter of the technology for our TaskRay app—redesigning our interface to be more in-line with the new Lightning Design System AND offering Lightning components on the AppExchange.

Blakely Graham, Bracket Labs Co-founder, was the only Salesforce partner to be a part of the live announcement viewed around the world. Of the new Salesforce, she said,”Lightning is an intuitive and elegant platform…The design patterns in the recently introduced Design System helped us understand the strategic direction of Lightning and of Salesforce and how we might apply those design systems to TaskRay.”

Blakely is looking forward to components as they have the ability to bring TaskRay into record pages. It’s going to help TaskRay's current customers manage their work more efficiently and productively. 

Her advice to other partners looking to start optimizing for Lightning,"Just jump right in. There is a lot of thought and research that has gone into this platform. There is a huge opportunity for innovation.”

TaskRay & DocuVault: How To Use Them Together!

TaskRay is the #1 rated project management app on the Salesforce AppExchange. It offers an incredibly simple yet powerful task and project management experience that allows individuals and teams to easily plan, execute, and share their work. The flexible framework enables agile, iterative work practices, and it easily accommodates a wide variety of work processes.

DocuVault is a secure file storage and collaboration App that lets users upload and access large files from within Salesforce. Files are stored in Amazon S3 (cloud storage platform) and can be accessed securely from anywhere and on any device.

DocuVault seamlessly integrates with TaskRay projects and tasks. Standard Salesforce attachment upload is complicated and restrictive. TaskRay users can upload documents right from Task View without having to worry about Salesforce File Storage limits and costs. All uploaded content can be accessed from the files section of the Task View. TaskRay users can securely share large files (videos, presentations and meeting recordings) with customers and stakeholders using password protected links feature of DocuVault.

Existing TaskRay users can install DocuVault by following these steps:

  1. Install DocuVault App from the AppExchange
  2. Install DocuVault Premium Edition Add-On
  3. Follow the instructions given in the set-up guide
  4. Enable File Upload for the TaskRay task object by following the set-up guide - Add cloud files to a custom object
  5. Create a Chatter Action on Task object to upload files to Amazon S3. Follow the user guide to create a Chatter Action

Done!!! You can now upload Files to Amazon S3 from the Task Page. Uploaded files can be accessed from the files section of the task Page.