We develop custom interfaces in Salesforce that allow users to see underlying data in ways that fit their specific business needs. The UI elements most commonly requested are data entry grids and calendar views that display things like campaigns and projects.
Salesforce is a tremendously powerful platform for storing and relating data, and a little bit of front end customization can go a long way towards driving adoption. Below you can see an example of one simple Visualforce page that pulls in data from standard and custom Salesforce objects to provide a professional services firm with a real time view of all their resources and projects.
The thing I like about this example is that it is a blend of summary information (i.e., a forecast), along with details in a calendar context, and some intelligent color coding (projects are highlighted in Yellow, Green, Blue based on their status). The result is that staffing managers and executives can learn quite a bit just by scrolling through one page. At a glance they can see –
- How is revenue shaping up for the month, quarter and year?
- Which of my resources are available?
- Which of my resources are over-allocated?
- Who seems like they are under-utilized?
Here’s the full screen view with the calendar and summary data –
And here’s a detailed view of the calendar itself and a couple of the rows it is displaying. In this view you can see more clearly that we’re color coding based on the status of the projects and we’re pulling in data inside the bars to show the amounts and name of the projects –
This simple interface is relatively rudimentary and was created in about a week, but it helps highlight that a little bit of development can transform hierarchical data into real time tools for business management and analysis.