The enterprise social media tool gets a Favorites facelift.
The social collaboration
changes in the Salesforce.com Summer -11 rev of the
software-as-a-service CRM platform consist of a light sprinkling of
filter improvements to the
Chatter enterprise social media module.
The minor changes in the Chatter module improve content filtering by surfacing
posts directed at a user or posts directed to files the user is following. The
new "collaboration" file sharing capabilities that were also added in Summer
-11 can only be seen as a rudimentary second stab at enabling individuals and
groups to work in common on a shared file. The first stab, as seen in the
previous version of Chatter, enabled file sharing but no central
A look at the revisions made to the Chatter Desktop client, a Tweetdeck-like
companion to the full Chatter module, will need to wait until it is released
sometime in the next several weeks.
Salesforce Summer -11 became available on June 3. The revised Chatter module is
included in all paid editions as well as the no-cost, standalone edition of
Chatter that can be used in organizations that subscribe to paid Salesforce
editions. Summer -11 also made revisions to the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud,
Jigsaw and Force.com SAAS (software-as-a-service) offerings, along with
underlying changes to analytical processes many of these components use. Existing
customers will see the updates roll out over the coming weeks.
I used a preview account in a Salesforce test organization to look at the
Summer -11 release.
The file collaboration tools that are facilitated by the Summer -11 version of
Chatter are nothing to crow about. I used the new "collaboration" feature to
share Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet between two active users. After sharing
the file, the second user downloaded and saved the file. Then opened the file
using Excel, made changes and then saved the file. The second user then
uploaded the file, at which point a Salesforce dialog box appeared querying the
user to comment on what changed. The first user could then download and open
the modified file.
The uploading and sharing activity was automatically posted in Chatter activity
stream, quickly creating a torrent of updates. There is only rudimentary
version information and no check-out/check-in system. My Excel files lost
formatting information when I downloaded and opened them through Chatter. They
worked correctly when I saved the file to my PC running Windows 7 and then opened
it in Excel. While the file-collaboration feature was disappointing, the new
filters that help users find information quickly worked well.
Information I Need
For example, files that a user is following in Chatter can be filtered using
the new "Files I Own" and "Files I Follow" subfilters. These developments are
an important step forward for using enterprise social media because they
surface posts directed at a user above the less important banter that is
flowing by in the activity stream.
Another improved user aid, a bolstered "Favorites" list reduced the number of
steps needed to conduct routine searches. My test account contained several
test records with the common keywords, "betta fish." I was able to search for "betta"
and in the records results page, click on a link that added the search to my
Chatter Favorites. To conduct subsequent searches for my "betta" records, I was
able to click this term in my Chatter Favorites list. Users can have up to 50 Favorites.