UPDATE Fri 31 May: I am excited to share that I have turned this project into an AppExchange app.  It will be released under a new company called Tapply.  The product will be called Chatter Mention More and will support mentioning groups and creating custom tags to reference records. Find out more here.

 

 

Chatter Mention for Groups is an often requested feature.  The idea has 6500 points and heaps of comments.  This video shows how it could work.

Please provide any feedback or questions in the comments below or reach out to me on twitter @andymahood__c

So… how does this work?

For those who are interested in how this works let me explain…  …for those who are not go here.

When a Chatter Group is created there is a trigger to create a new user.  Now dont worry too much we are not using a Standard or Platform licence but one of the 5000 chatter free licences that are given away with every instance of Salesforce.  This user acts as a broker to the Group.  If the new Group we created was called ‘Marketing Analysis’ then the user will be called ‘Marketing Analysis (Group)’.  This is how we get the standard mention functionality to work.  Marke sense so far?

Now when a new post is created we check if the mentioned user is associated to a group, if so we crank out some magic and duplicate the post onto the group feed.  When the post is against an object we add a link to the record (this my need to change as you cant have an image post and a link, or if the original post was a link then we can have both the original link and a the link to reference the record it was posted against).

As we duplicate the post we write a mapping record into a table so if someone comments against either the new post or the original post then we know we should duplicate the comment over to the other post.

Nice, perfect solution eh?  Well there are some issues.

Duplication in the feed: Due to the process of duplicating the post if you are a subscriber of the Group as well as someone who follows the Record or the User then you will see a duplication in your Chatter feed.

We use a licence for every group: Even though the licences we use are free it does eat into your allocation.  Nothing in life is free they are bundled with other licences.  The silver lining is that Salesforce have been known to drop a few more thousand Chatter free licences in an org if you ask nicely and require them.  Also this is why you get the message about the user not being able to view the record – they are Chatter free users so cannot see anything.  On the plus side the warning serves nicely to the fact that there may be people in the Group that cannot see the record.

When you delete a group the user remains, FOREVER!: This is another side (a)(e)ffect of using a User as the broker.  If you decide to delete the group you cannot delete the user so you will always have a certain number of Users sitting around doing nothing just because you used to have a ‘January Gym Club’ chatter group.  Its on the backlog to de-activate the user on deletion to reclaim the licence so that will help.

and thats all I can think of now.

Mention/Hashtag Chatter Groups

February 19, 2013

UPDATE Fri 31 May: I am excited to share that I have turned this project into an AppExchange app.  It will be released under a new company called Tapply.  The product will be called Chatter Mention More and will support mentioning groups and creating custom tags to reference records. Find out more here.

 

 

A few weeks back I shared a proof of concept video which I titled ‘Chatter Record Tagger, @mention records in Salesforce Chatter’.  What I didn’t make so obvious is that this works for Chatter Groups too.

An example could be a Sales Support Group where people post questions called ‘SalesSupport’.  When someone used the hashtag #salessupport from anywhere in chatter including an Opportunity they may need help with the post will also be posted in the ‘SalesSupport’ chatter group.

Will share a demo of how this works in the meantime here is the video showing how it works for other types of records like Accounts, Opportunities and Cases. Let me know your feedback and feature suggestions in the comments below, comments on youtube or on twitter @andymahood__c.

(please excuse the low production quality, this is just a proof of concept at this stage)

UPDATE Fri 31 May: I am excited to share that I have turned this project into an AppExchange app.  It will be released under a new company called Tapply.  The product will be called Chatter Mention More and will support mentioning groups and creating custom tags to reference records. Find out more here.

 

 

A key feature missing from Salesforcr Chatter is the ability to @mention or hashtag records. There is a popular idea for the feature here.

I have created a proof of concept that works for accounts and uses the standard ticker symbol field and a $tag for mentioning Accounts in chatter posts.  When the Account is tagged the post appears on both the Group/Feed it was originally posted and the Account feed.

This is a preview video showing how it works, let me know your feedback and feature suggestions in the comments below, comments on youtube or on twitter @andymahood__c.

(please excuse the low production quality, this is just a proof of concept at this stage)

Over the next two weeks I will be preparing to get Add Followers for Chatter available for Free from the AppExchange.  The product itself is ready, feel free to install in a Sandbox and test, all that is outstanding is making it ready for the AppExchange.  The steps involved in this are a mystery to me right now – in between reading up on this I will also make incremental improvements including support for multiple languages and any minor feedback I receive from BETA testers.

Add Followers for Chatter allows any user to make any other user subscribe to a records Chatter feed.  Users related to the record, any user lookup on the record itself, will be recommended.  You may also lookup any other user in the application to allow them to subscribe to the records Chatter feed.

Once available in the AppExchange I will be looking to extend the recommendations including user lookups from related records and also Case and Opportunity Teams both individually and as a team.

If you see an application for Add Followers for Chatter in your organisation and would like to help me with testing in your Sandbox use this link to install a Beta version.

BETA Install Link:
https://test.salesforce.com/packaging/installPackage.apexp?p0=04tA0000000FAWt

Add Followers

March 29, 2011

UPDATE (Wednesday 30th March): To install Add Followers in your sandbox try this link, please provide feedback via comments.  This is a beta version will be submitting to AppExchange very soon subject to feedback.

https://test.salesforce.com/?startURL=%2Fpackaging%2FinstallPackage.apexp%3Fp0%3D04tA0000000Eh0S
Password: addfollowers

 

Here is a preview of an app in development. The idea is that you want to force someone to follow a record. A use case could be a project record that you want a consult to be aware of or a case that you want the technical specialist to follow.

The screenshot shows that a custom button launches a visualforce page that looks at all user lookups on the record and users that the current user follows to recommend a list of people you may want to force follow. Alternatively you cause a lookup to search for any user.

20110329-111905.jpg

Please add comments with any feedback. @dscach has already mentioned to ability to recommend related Acc/Opp/Case teams. Once v1 is in the AppExchange I will start looking at building in new features.

Chatter has been out for a while but there isn’t any Visualforce support yet. Until now if you want to put Chatter on a Visualforce page it has to be DIY. Chatter Visualforce tags should be included in Winter ’11 but I am not aware of what’s included or how comprehensive or customisable they will be.

This is how you add a users profile pic to a visualforce page.

<apex:outputlink value=”/{!uid}”>

<apex:image value=”/userphoto?id={!uid}&v=1&s=F” />

</apex:outputlink>

What you care about here is the link:
“/userphoto?id={!uid}&v=1&s=F”
it’s made up of three parameters.

1. Id – User’s Id
2. v – Profile pic version number, not sure why you wouldn’t always use 1?
3. s – Size, either F (Full) or T (thumb)

So hope that helps, any other tips leave a comment.

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