Chatter Publisher Actions: Sharing and Doing

November 18, 2013 Appirio

By David Meyer and John Gorup 

We all know and love the social media extroverts in our life: the people who naturally share everything they think and experience.  With the advent of Chatter, these natural share-ers found a new forum for their conversations within the world’s best CRM platform.  But chattering about activities alone has limited value.  Appirio has always stressed the importance of organizations implementing Chatter in the context of broader business processes.  Otherwise, Chatter posts can just turn into interesting noise.

With Publisher Actions, Chatter moves from a social layer on top of CRM to the central tool in enabling a social business.  Now Chatter can be the platform for the share-ers and do-ers in your organization.  And with the advent of version 4.2 of Chatter Mobile, actions can be combined with Visualforce to extend the Chatter Mobile app into a platform with endless possibilities.  More on that in future posts.

The rhetoric around social and mobile is now a reality, and Appirio cannot be more excited. Getting started with Publisher actions is easy – let’s take a quick survey of what Publisher Actions brings to the table.

Where do Publisher Actions happen?

Publisher actions allow you to create and add functionality/actions to the Chatter publisher as seen in the:

  • Home page

  • Chatter tab

  • Chatter groups

  • And Record Detail pages

To get started, go to Setup > Chatter Settings > Enable publisher actions.

What Types of Actions are available?

The Publisher Actions allow for a variety of actions, including

  • Create actions for creating new records.

  • Log a call actions for updating activities.

  • Custom actions, which allow you to utilize VisualForce pages or Canvas Apps for a wide array of functionality.  Note, these are not available in Chatter mobile

  • And finally mobile smart actions for Chatter Mobile.

What about creating Global & sObject Actions?

To create a global action navigate to Actions under any standard or custom object.  Remember that Feed tracking has to be enabled on a specific object to utilize the actions.

publisher actions

What about understanding the context in which the action is happening?

  • Your actions have access to the context in which they are being launched.

  • Global actions can access User information.

  • Actions on Objects can access information about that object and related information

  • You can predefine field values for Create actions using formula or merge fields

Also note that you can set the layout for the actions, that can be assigned to specific profiles:

And you can select action(s) to display.

Understanding the basics of Publisher Actions can help you understand the implications of the new functionality.  A careful understanding of business processes along with smart implementation of Publisher Actions will bring your CRM to a new level of adoption and efficiency.


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