Salesforce publisher actions are something pretty new to Salesforce and it’s something I’ve taken a bit of interest in recently. I’m working on a session idea for Dreamforce 2014 and figured I’d share some of the insights here.
Publisher actions, as a feature, allows you to create several different types of actions and add them to multiple places in your Chatter feed or detail pages. One of the important things to keep in mind is that publisher actions also show up in Salesforce1. So, by creating an action in one place you can use it both on the web and in Salesforce1.
The standard actions (Post, File, Link, etc) are left overs from the original Chatter implementation and will be glossed over here. We’re more interested in what you can do with the other actions.
Salesforce Publisher Actions – Create
The create action is the one that struck me as amazingly useful. Say you want to have the ability for your users to create an Opportunity from any of a number of places such as a Chatter feed for a specific object, while mobile on Salesforce1, or on an object detail page. However, you don’t want to use the default fields that Quick Create sets up for you. Originally anywhere you could put a button you could write some visualforce, setup up an Apex controller and link it to a button. Instead, you can now create an action, set the fields you want included on the action layout and put the action almost anywhere you want it. All without resorting to a bit of Apex.
That sounds fantastic already but lets say you’ve got an additional problem. Those pesky sales reps are constantly putting in invalid data. So, with Create Actions you can set a selection of pre-defined values for fields. If the sales reps are always mishandling one of the fields but it has a specific value for a certain circumstance then you can set the field to the value you want as part of the Create Action. And since you are actually using a formula field you can use most any data you can get to from the object you are working with.
For example you create a Global Create Action to allow your users to create an opportunity from the homepage. As part of this, you establish what record type should be used, what fields should have certain information pre-defined and what specific fields should be shown in the dialog. Then after the opportunity is created, you have an object specific Create Action that creates line items with data pre-defined that is different from the defaults. Next, you create a update action that allows you to edit an object from that objects Chatter feed. And best thing, it all will work in Salesforce1.
Publisher Actions have a good chance of being able to help you in your Salesforce organizations. I’m sure you can all think of even more uses for this technology. Please leave some suggestions in the comments.
For more details on Salesforce publisher actions check the Salesforce documentation: https://cs11.salesforce.com/help/pdfs/en/actions_impl_guide.pdf