Free Productivity Apps for Admins

During my 4 years on the Salesforce platform, I have on many occasions been approached by clients I am working with and asked the question: 'Can you recommend some good apps for us?'. A straightforward question which can have a variety of simple and complex answers based on who is asking me and why.

I have a similar quandary answering the question ‘What are your favourite apps?’. So in this post, my first in a series on my research into Apps, I attempt to answer both these questions based on my experience and knowledge gathering.

All Apps should be implemented based on the business value they provide, not just because they look good or are easy-to-use. They should drive business improvements, aid revenue, growth and business efficiency. I view Apps in two groups. The first group are Apps that when implemented enhance business processes that impact an entire organisation and drive organisational change across the board. The second group are Apps that are much less complex to implement and simply solve a specific problem or limitation of the platform. This group are the focus of this blog post.

I have scoured the AppExchange to find a selection of Apps which more or less any Salesforce customer can benefit from without impacting existing business processes. I am talking about free, productivity apps aimed at Salesforce administrators.

Clone This User

Why implement this app?

This application can be a huge time saver for the admin in an organisation with a complex setup of roles, profiles, permission sets and memberships. Instead of creating a new user every time it is needed, an existing user is used as a template to get all the settings right as soon as the new user is set up.

How does it work?

After installing the app, the only setup needed is to add a custom link to the user page layout. When the link is clicked, the name and contact details for the new user are entered while the remaining settings and access is cloned from the template user.

And if that’s not enough, you can even clone a user from the Salesforce1 app. Getting new users onboard have never been easier!

Auto Capitalize Your Data

Why implement this app?

This app can be a lifesaver for admins in an organisation with dirty looking data, or actually anyone who wants their data to look nice, consistent and tidy. And who doesn't want that?

The app not only mass-updates existing data with the chosen capitalisation standard, it also updates newly created records to follow that format. No more dirty looking data in the database!

How does it work?

My new lead entry is populated in a rush, even if there is nothing wrong with the actual values, this lead will look bad in reports and give an untidy impression.

Let’s check the settings in the Capitalisation app before saving the lead:

Now, saving the lead will update the Description field to capitalize the first letter of each sentence, the City field to include only capital letters, and Company, Last Name and First Name to capitalise the first letter of each word.

As you can see, there is some intelligence built in such as the abbreviation in the company name is kept (and not formatted to Llc), but there is also limitations to what can be automated. I would recommend to only use this app for First Name, Last Name, City and Country unless your data is a real mess at start.

Top tip: Make sure to backup your data before activating this app in a production environment. Once a capitalisation rule is activated, there is no turning back and the operation cannot be undone.

Octopus

Why implement this app?

Octopus is an app which aims to make one of the most overlooked processes easier - I am talking about documentation. I don’t know how many times I have asked an admin for the system documentation and ending up with the answer that there is none, or that it hasn’t been updated for years.

How does it work?

Octopus gives the possibility to with only a few clicks extract information about apex classes, pages, workflows, fields and more or less any Salesforce component. It won’t write the documentation for you, but it is a handy tool to keep the documents up to date with custom objects, fields and other components.

Snapshot of custom fields extracted from the Account object

The one thing that could make this app go from good to great is if the Description field was included. But hey, the app is available for free and will still save you a lot of work!

I hope you find these free Apps as useful as I do and that they inspire you to go browse the 2700+ Apps available on the AppExchange. If you need advice on how to best leverage the power of the AppExchange, or have problems finding what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking the button below: