In this world of increasingly connected devices, where the Internet of Things is the only internet the savvy technologist would be seen dead on, you’re sure to have come across IFTTT.com.
The site, which takes it name from the concept of If This Then That, provides a library of publically-authored ‘recipes’ which allow you to connect a variety of systems or devices.
Want to wake up to a warm sunshine-yellow glow each morning? IFTTT can connect to your Philips Hue lightbulbs to schedule that for you. Would it be useful if your mobile could automatically put itself on mute when you get to the office? IFTTT will do that. Want to be notified on your phone if it’s going to rain tomorrow? No problem. Think it’d be cool if when you change your Facebook profile photo your Twitter pic is also updated? Go for it!
But how can we turn it to our advantage in the Salesforce world? Well, there are a number of recipes set up around Chatter – like automatically sharing company blog posts or tagged Instagram photos, or even voluntarily shaming yourself – but the one I want to concentrate on is even simpler. And yet it could just save your skin and put you ahead of the crowd.
This recipe will allow you to connect Salesforce’s Known Issues page with your email. Whenever a new known issue is added, or whenever one is updated to Patch Scheduled or Fixed, you will get a simple alert into your inbox.
But why would you want to be notified about every possible issue rather that just the ones that are affecting you? Simply because you never know when one of these issues is going to cause you pain. It could be that you don’t use the affected function right now, but if you later decide to make use of it then it’s worth knowing about its limitations and gotchas in advance. Or it could be that the issue is already affecting your org but that you just don’t know it yet.
As a Salesforce expert, and especially if your role is to maintain an org and firefight any issues that crop up, it’s got to be worth being prepared rather than waiting for a user to fox you with some unexplained behaviour they have found. Forewarned is forearmed, and getting proactive alerts allows you to pre-empt those little bugs that, no matter how small, could take down a critical process that your business or your customer relies on.
And, if you’re like me and you spend some time reading and responding to the questions of the community over at success.salesforce.com, then being up-to-speed on the latest known issues will allow you to help others too. Each known issue post displays not just the exact issue but usually some workarounds to help overcome it, and as the issue is diagnosed and a fix is planned, you can get updates on when that patch is due to be rolled out by subscribing to the item.
Oh and one other similar, very simple recipe you may want to explore – this one alerts you about periods of unplanned downtime across your Salesforce’s instance (this example uses NA13 but that can be customised). Again, knowing this information before your users means that you can take control of the situation, give proactive guidance or warnings, and maintain your status as your company’s, or your customer’s, trusted Salesforce expert.
So put the internet to work for you – let IFTTT take the strain while you sit back and take the glory.
I’m sure these aren’t the only cool Salesforce tricks you can pull using IFTTT – so please let us know in the comments if you’ve got any others you would like to share!