Update On Labs Updates

It’s been a little while since I posted so you might be wondering, “What’s up with Labs updates?”

Well, wonder no more!

First, let me highlight three recent app fixes you might find interesting.

  • EmailMessage Attachment Reattacher — This little app, a classic from 2008, helps you with Email2Case.  When an email message comes in with an attachment, this app moves that attachment from the EmailMessage to the Case.
  • Opportunity Primary Contact Role Required — Another classic that helps ensure users are flagging a contact a primary once an opportunity reaches a certain stage.  Decent.  An interesting improvement would be require a primary contact when the probability is above X%.
  • Case History — Another small one that queries a bunch of Case child relationships and displays them one on screen.  It was doing a round trip to sort the records, but now uses Tablesorter.


Second, there’s a supercool app now over on the Developerforce Github account called Jetstream.  If you are not into Java, feel free to fast forward. If Java is your thing and you want to use the Force.com Streaming API (and why wouldn’t you?), check out Jetstream.  It helps you tie the Streaming API to your Java app with just a few lines of code.  Looking for a reason to use it?  Do this: create an app that plots newly added leads to Google Map, in real time.  Fun!

Next, we’ve decommissioned a few apps that are now standard features: Chatter Super Follow / Unfollow Buttons, Chatter Email and Chatter Live.

Finally, there’s also a healthy pipeline of new apps, more than a dozen in different stages of development.  Stay tuned!

As a reminder, Force.com Labs apps are open source and available on Github.com/ForceDotComLabs.  There are 47 repositories posted today and we love contributions of any kind.

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  • Glenn Weinstein

    Reid, you mention that “Chatter Super Follow” is now a “standard feature.” How so? Perhaps I’m not seeing how to enable this in Winter ’12?

    • Tyler Hudson

      I too cannot find this standard functionality

  • Super Follow and Super Unfollow Buttons worked on the list view. You could add them to an account list view, check a bunch of accounts, and the click follow. The green plus circle that’s next to the “edit” link on list views now handles this.

    • Tyler Hudson

      I’m not seeing this new green plus circle next to the edit link. I’ve poked around in the chatter settings and also search layouts for different object types but have not found the ability to add Super Follow / Unfollow functionality without installing an app

  • Glenn Weinstein

    That’s true, but the green “plus” circle only works on 1 record at a time. The beautiful thing about the Super Follow buttons is that they work on mass records (all checked records) – that’s actually huge, if you want to follow all records that meet a certain criteria.

  • My thinking was that you can check the box or you can click on the green circle to follow or the checkmark to unfollow, that it’s actually faster, since you have to click the checkboxes one by one (except in the circumstance where you want to check all, which you mention). Plus built in, which I always prefer. Do you think we should rerelease as “Follow All Records In The List View” for this use case? What do other people think?

  • Anonymous

    Our internal use case has been: (1) Create a view with criteria of records you wish to follow. (2) Click the “select all” checkbox. (3) Super Follow. So we don’t plan to un-install Super Follow until this is doable out-of-the-box. (I’m certainly with you in preferring built-in functionality over customizations.)

  • These list views: how long do they live? Are the only designed to get the records you want to follow and then they are discarded? I’m curious if there’s a better way for us to meet this criteria based follow requirement.

  • Well, that’s the dream, really – “criteria-based following.” That, in conjunction with raising the follow limit from 500 to a more generous limit, would realize the Chatter ideal (and, frankly, the way it’s often implied to work already in demos). “I follow all opportunities in my vertical.” “I follow cases once they’re escalated to level 3.” etc.

  • Sorry, I didn’t answer your question (got distracted by the vision of “criteria-based following”!). I think different folks do things different ways, but in general, users already create private views in order to track records they’re interested in, according to whatever criteria. It’s only natural that, once you’ve created a view, you probably also want to Chatter-follow records that appear in the view. So I’d bet they are generally long-lived private views, although I’m sure some folks also create temporary views strictly to use with Super Follow and then delete the views.