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Publisher Actions in Salesforce


By: Radha

Publisher Actions lets you have Quick actions to be taken from a Chatter or Home page or Record detail pages. You can create an action like create records and log calls directly in the feed. Also, this is applicable to mobile applications.

There are four general types of actions available in Salesforce. They are,

  1. Create actions – They are different from the Quick Create and Create New features on the home page, because create actions respect validation rules and field required-ness, and you can choose each action’s fields.
  2. Log-a-call actions – let users record the details of phone calls or other customer interactions. These call logs are saved as completed tasks.
  3. Update actions – let users make changes to a record from the record’s feed.
  4. Custom actions – are Visualforce pages or canvas apps with functionality you define.

There are two ways to create actions. They are,

  1. Object-Specific Actions
  2. Global Actions

Enabling Publisher Actions and Layout for Chatter
To make use of the Publisher actions on Chatter you need to enable ‘Publisher actions under the Chatter Settings.

1. Go to Setup>Customize>Chatter>Settings and Select the checkbox ‘Enable Publisher Actions’.

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2. In Setup>Customize>Chatter>Publisher Layout. Create a new Layout or assign the existing layout for using the global actions on chatter.

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Object-Specific Actions
Object-specific create actions let users create records that are automatically associated with related records if there is any relationships. For example, you might set up an object-specific action on the Account object to allow users to create contacts. If a user creates a contact on the detail page for Acme, Inc., that contact will automatically be associated with Acme. You can only add an object-specific action to page layouts for that object.

Steps to create Object-Specific Actions

1. Go to Create>Objects>Object name> Buttons, Links, and Actions

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2. Click on ‘New Action’ button to create a new object-specific action.

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3. Except Custom Action using VF page, we can choose what fields we needed for the actions to take place.

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Object-specific Create Actions
When a record is created through the object specific actions, it will appear in the feed of that record in the chatter feeds and users who are following the record and owner of the record can view this feed item on Home page with link to that record. The record is created for the target objects we are selecting, while creating an action for this object.
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Object-specific log-a-call Actions
This let the users enter notes about calls, meetings, or other interactions related to a specific record.

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Object-specific Update actions
This makes it easy for users to make quick edits to records. You can define the fields that are available for update.

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Object-specific custom actions
These are Visualforce pages that let users interact with or create records that have a relationship to an object record. The Visualforce page for an object-specific custom action must include the ‘standard controller’ for the relevant object.
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Following are the supported objects for Object-Specific Actions,

  1. Account
  2. Campaign
  3. Case
  4. Contact
  5. Custom objects
  6. Group
  7. Lead
  8. Opportunity

Global Actions

  1. Global create actions let users create object records, but there’s no automatic relationship between the record that’s created and any other record. You can add global actions to page layouts for the home page, the Chatter tab, Chatter groups, and record detail pages.
  2. Add global log-a-call actions to global layouts to let users record call details from the publisher on the home page, the Chatter tab, and in Chatter groups.
  3. For custom global actions, the VF page should not have a ‘Standard Controller’.
  4. There is no Update actions can be done through global actions, since it is not related to a particular record.
  5. Chatter groups with customers don’t support global create, log a call, or custom actions and display only standard actions, such as Post, File, Link, and Poll, in the publisher.
  6. You can’t create global actions that create a record for objects that are the detail object in a master-detail relationship.

Steps to create Global Actions

1. Go to Setup>Create>Global Actions. Click on ‘New Action’ button.

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2. Select the actions you would like to perform globally.

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You can create global actions that let users create these objects:

  1. Account
  2. Campaign
  3. Case
  4. Contact
  5. Contract
  6. Custom objects
  7. Event (without invitees)
  8. Group
  9. Lead
  10. Opportunity
  11. Task

Customizing the Action Layout
The first time you view a publisher action’s layout, certain fields are pre-populated: target object default fields, standard required fields, and any custom universally required fields. There is no limitations in using the fields display in Layout, but Minimum 8 fields are suggested for use.

Setting up predefined values
In the actions, there will be “Predefined Field Values” related list. You can click your action name and see that option. Then click a new predefined value and select the field to be displayed with predefined values.

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You can set predefined values for any field available in the action layout editor, with these exceptions,

  1. Rich text area fields
  2. Lookup and master-detail
  3. Multi-select picklists
  4. Read-only field types like auto-number, formula, and roll-up summary fields

If the field is already having default value that is metioned with predefined values, then, only the predefined value is taken and the default values are omitted.

Mobile Smart Actions

  1. In ‘Salesforce1’ mobile application, Actions are available automatically with the standard and custom Actions.
  2. Mobile smart actions are automatically populated with all of your organization’s required fields on the relevant object, regardless of how many fields there are.
  3. You can’t edit the fields on mobile smart actions; the fields that appear will change only if you change which fields on an object are required.

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Conclusion
By the use of publisher actions, we can develop creativity and boost productivity of our job, and it becomes much easier to create or update records as well as perform custom actions using Visualforce pages. Also, by using the publisher actions in the chatter, we add more flexibility to users to share the records and update actions globally.