Month: November 2018

Speedup the import of a large OLM email archive on Mac

I recently updated my MacBook Pro to a newer model. I started from scratch rather than migrate the old system image, and duly backed up everything.

I’ve had large archive files before from Microsoft Outlook for Windows (PST format), and found them to be easy to manage and portable.

Microsoft Outlook for Mac however cannot export PST files, but uses another format called OLM. OK, fine… but when I copied the 16GB OLM file to my new Mac and imported, I found that would take the best part of a week to import! That doesn’t really cut it since I need to carry to MacBook and use Outlook for work. Even Friday evening to Monday morning would not be sufficient to complete this.

After much Googling, I found out that most people recommend paid utilities that can do OLM to PST conversations.

Luckily I found another solution. It seems that importing the OLM mail archive and importing it on the same disk was causing the process to slow considerably. I just copied the OLM archive to an external USB-3 drive in order to import from there, and the whole archive imported in just a few hours.

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 2.42.12 pm.png

 

Learning Vlocity

Vlocity is a new industry accelerator on top of Salesforce, and it provides a great deal of functionality that will significantly reduce your customization effort within Salesforce. You can design agent workflows, user interfaces and interactions with configurable scripts with more simplicity than coding up in Salesforce APEX or using flows. Additionally they provide processes for each industry to download, so you can just browse the library to get processes that allow you to (for example):

  • apply for Child Care benefit (Government)
  • change a SIM Card (Telecom)
  • get a travel policy quote (Insurance)

In addition there is a CPQ (Configure Price Quote) engine that ties in nicely with the processes above.

Salesforce is an awesomely open platform in terms of learning. Almost all the functionality you need to develop enterprise scale applications is available in a development environment that anyone can provision within a minute, and most of the learning material to use that is available in the trailhead.salesforce.com learning site (Although just to be clear: although learning is free, using it in production does cost licensing! ).

Vlocity is for the moment behind walls, and you will need either a partner agreement or partake in a training course to get experience. There is a steep learning curve, since you need to understand how the different components work together (dataraptors, omniscripts and cards) before you can do something useful.

I found that the in-person training course is good and gets through a lot of material in 4 days, but you should straight afterwards go back and go through it all again building your own ideas before you truely ‘get’ it. You can follow the steps in the exercise book and not have a good feel for what is actually happening. For example, I wrote a ‘hello world’ card to understand the user interface better, a simple dataraptor that extracted Contact fields to understand the data model better, and finally my own Omniscript that solicited customer feedback to see how it all tied together.

And do bear in mind that after a steep learning curve, it will be a much easier way to implement complex process functionality into Salesforce!

Vlocity Cards “Hello World”

I’ve recently completed a Vlocity Administrator and Developer Essentials course, and am preparing for the final exam.

There is a lot to say about the Vlocity industry accelerators. The official documentation and training certainly throws you in at the deep end. Here are some blog posts that will break each technical component up into ‘Hello world’ components.

What are Vlocity Cards?

Vlocity Cards are visual components that work in the larger Vlocity framework. They can display data and actions. The interface can be customized with HTML, CSS and Javascript (AngularJS).

Prerequisites:

  • Salesforce org
  • Vlocity app installed (not freely available unfortunately)
  • Knowledge of Salesforce Administration

 

Scenario:

Display ‘Hello World’ on a Vlocity card to a Contact record page.

Steps:

Step 1: Create Vlocity Layout & Card

We will create a layout, card and state with a really simple structure (In real life you would likely want lots of cards and lots of states to represent your data).

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 3.00.08 pm.png

We will create a simple layout that will query basic details from the Contact record and display them on a simple card. It will look like this:

Vlocity-Layout.png

Note about Data source: I used SOQL to make this as simple as possible. We will have a ‘Hello World’ DataRaptor blog post soon to go into the best way to acquire data into your cards.

Activate the Card and click the ‘Preview’ tab, and you should see a (badly) formatted card with a single ‘Call’ action:

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 2.49.47 pm.png

 

Step 2: Create a new Lightning Page for Contact

We want to see this card in action, so we create a new Lightning Page, and choose the ‘Vlocity Three Columns’ Template:

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 1.53.07 pm.png

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Activate the card (set as org default if you are just playing around in a sandbox) and then view a random Contact:

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 3.31.27 pm

Obviously the formatting is not right yet, so for the next blog post we will get into how to present this correctly.