Action Plan Template Export and Import

Action Plans version 2 is out and available for PE, EE, UE and DE.  Version 2 includes several new features.  The one I'm most excited about is Template Export and Template Import. (Link: managed app for PE+, unmanaged app for EE+)

Export import capability means you can create a template in one org, click on a button, and you'll have an XML file you can the share with other orgs.  On the import side, when someone shares an Action Plan Template XML file, you can then easily import it into your org for use in whatever way seems fit.

How does this work?  Let's take a look.  I've installed Action Plans in two different developer editions, one that I'll export the template from (red logo) and another that I'll import the template to (green logo).

Step 1: I'll start by building the original template in the export org.  This is easy — I simply create a header and then add tasks to it.  That's all you need to do — there are no special flags to set.

Step 2: Once you have the template created, click the "Export" button and you'll see a success screen.  When you export a template, Action Plans places it in your My Documents folder.  You can then work with it the same way you would any other document: you can download it, email it, or update it.

Step 3: For this example, I'll email it.  There's nothing special to do, I'm simply emailing it to a standard address.  I'm not selecting a Contact, but I could do that if I wanted to.

Step 4: Now it's time for me to go over the other org.  I'll start by looking at the email message I received.  You can see it's pretty basic.  The document I emailed is a standard attachment.  I'll need to upload this my org, so I'm going to save it to my desktop.

Step 5: You can see I'm now in another org.  I navigate to the Action Plans app and select the "Import Template" tab.  Then I browse to the file and click the import button.  (Note: the org that I'm importing into is using the PE compatible package. Functionality is the same as the unmanaged package except it doesn't work with Campaigns, Contracts and Cases.)

Step 6: At this point, the template I created in another org back in step 1 is now imported and ready for use in the org.  I can either leave it as is or customize it depending on my needs.  And if I decide I don't want it, I can simply delete it.

That's it!  We have now created an app in one org, exported it and imported it to another.  Org specific information such as assign to names don't get transferred.  Neither do system information items such as Created Date, Created By, Last Modified Date, Last Modified By, etc.  Once imported into another org, the importer is free to modify the Action Plan Template as they see fit.

What kind of uses are there for this functionality?  A few come to mind:

  • If your company operates multiple orgs, Action Plans can help.
  • If you have specialized process knowledge you would like to share with others, Action Plans can help.
  • If you are a consultant and you would like quickly share data with your customers, Action Plans can help.

Have you created a template you would like to share with the broader community?  Contact labs@salesforce.com.  As templates become available, Force.com Labs will share them in a directory so that it's easy to publish and discover best practices.

 

Published
September 24, 2010

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Action Plan Template Export and Import