Salesforce Admin Hack Series: Activities Object

April 10, 2015 Jarrod Kingston


Activities may be the most commonly used object in Salesforce but had yet to be “hacked” up as a part of the Salesforce Admin Hack Series.  So after a year hiatus, Michael Farrington (@michaelforce) of RingLead and I bring back the Salesforce Admin Hack Series by hacking the Activities object.  This was an especially fun one as it challenged us to think outside the box for a couple of the hacks.  Lets get to the hacks, I hope you find them useful!  Take a look at Michael’s hacks here.

I was excited and honored to be part of a packed webinar with a fellow Salesforce MVP in Michael, to present our latest and greatest hacks on Salesforce Activities, a combination of tasks and events. Michael and I have done a lot of URL hacks but never with Chatter actions, so I thought we’d honor Shannon Hale (@shannonsans), a Product Manager at Salesforce, with this first one to complete a task through Chatter.

1. Complete Task Chatter Action

Objective: Complete a Task through Chatter.

Solution:  Create a Chatter Publisher Action that defaults fields for the user

Let’s say you have a task that you need to complete. Open up the task with the new Chatter action called Complete Task. It defaults the status, the subject, the due date, and you can enter comments. Once you’re done with that, just click Update. From there, it’s going to tell you that the record was successfully updated. Refresh the page to see that the status was completed, and the comments are updated.  Let’s take a look at the setup. (I love Chatter actions because they’re super easy.)

  1. Scroll down to your Task buttons, links and actions and create a new Chatter action to update a record.
  2. Within that chatter action, you can set the predefined values, such as:
    1. The due date to the current activity date
    2. The comments to whatever is in the description

This is nice because you’re essentially taking that URL hack and putting it into a configuration here where you’re mapping fields and defaulting them.  It’s an interesting and new way to complete a task.

2. Mass Close Tasks

Objective: Close multiple tasks at once through a list view without code.

Solution: Use a workflow with some simple steps:

  1. Create Close Task checkbox.
  2. Place on page layout and in list view.
  3. Setup workflow to update status to closed when this box is checked.

There’s no easy button for closing out multiple tasks at once, but there is a way to do it.

  1. Use a workflow to create a custom field called Close Task
  2. Place it on the page layout (because if it’s not on the page layout, you can’t put it in a list view)
  3. Set up a workflow rule that says that if a box gets checked, it’s going to do a field update to set the status to completed

3. Email Alert Recording

Objective: Record workflow email alerts in Activity history

Solution: Use a workflow with these steps:

  1. Setup Flow with Send Email and Record Create elements
  2. Setup Process that calls the flow

As a business, it’s beneficial to have workflow email alerts going out to contacts that are recorded. Right now, when an email goes out, you don’t see it in the activity history, and you don’t know that that was sent. The goal here is to record those workflow email alerts in the Activity history so that we can keep a running record of what information is being sent out to our contacts.

Watch the demo of all of these hacks:

Previous Article
Improving Batch Performance With Concurrent Batches In Salesforce
Improving Batch Performance With Concurrent Batches In Salesforce

By Pankaj Mehra We often need to process data in Salesforce using batches — sometimes at the time of migrat...

Next Article
Top 11 Things Every Beginning Web Developer Should Know, Part 2
Top 11 Things Every Beginning Web Developer Should Know, Part 2

In Part 1 we covered 6 things that beginning web developer should know, in this post we will cover 7 – 11 a...