Salesforce has released Spring 11 and with it, Salesforce for Outlook has grown up some. It has some new abilities as well as some feature enhancements. The initial release in Winter 11 was deficient in some areas but they have more than made up for it in Spring 11.
First off, let’s look at the system requirements. You must be running Windows XP or Vista in 32-bit only or Windows 7 in 32 or 64-bit. You also need Outlook 2007 or 2010. Outlook 2010 is only supported in 32-bit mode at this time. If you do not meet these requirements, please feel free to keep reading; the features may make you want to upgrade.
Below is a table from the Salesforce help file on the differences between Connect for Outlook and the new Salesforce for Outlook:
So what’s new with this version from Salesforce Spring ‘ll? The biggest new feature is that it now supports email attachments. And, the attachment is attached right on the task record now, not added to the Notes & Attachments related list like it was in the past. Now, when you go back and read a past email, the attachment is right there! No more linking to it! Attachments are limited to 5MB each with a maximum of 10MB per email. Note to Salesforce: This attachment size seems low and should be increased to at least 10MB each with a 20MB per email maximum
You now have the ability to sync all contacts that you follow in Chatter. This is in addition to your sync profile that your administrator sets up. If the contact is worth following in Chatter, it is probably worth syncing. There is also a notification option that administrators can enable that will notify users about updates. No more having to check manually!
The syncing process happens in the background so you no longer have to press the Sync button and wait until it finishes. Of course, automation does present some new concepts and steps, so below, I have listed some frequently asked questions that should point you in the right direction.
How do I unmark items for sync with Salesforce for Outlook?
Salesforce for Outlook uses Outlook folders to limit which records sync with Salesforce. Before you complete the Salesforce for Outlook setup wizard, make sure the folders you want to sync contain the right records. If you’re syncing both ways or syncing Outlook to Salesforce, moving a record out of a synced Outlook folder deletes that record in Salesforce. If you’re syncing both ways or syncing Salesforce to Outlook, removing a record from Salesforce deletes that record in Outlook.
What if I don’t want to sync personal events or contacts with Salesforce for Outlook?
All items in your designated sync folders sync with Salesforce. Items in Salesforce that are marked private or aren’t associated with other records are visible only to you, so you don’t need to worry about others having access to them. To keep an item private once it syncs, locate it in My Unresolved Items, and just choose the option to not assign it to other records. Syncing all your events has the advantage of providing a more accurate view of your availability when you schedule meetings.
Take caution in removing personal items that have synced into Salesforce. If you’re syncing from Salesforce to Outlook or syncing both ways and delete a record in Salesforce, that record is automatically deleted in Outlook.
How do I assign contacts to Salesforce records using Salesforce for Outlook?
When contacts sync from Outlook with Salesforce for Outlook, some are automatically assigned to accounts based on their company. The rest are added to My Unresolved Items, where you can either assign contacts to Salesforce accounts or confirm that you want to leave them unassigned.
How often does Salesforce for Outlook sync?
During active use, all updates sync automatically every ten minutes. If we detect no keyboard or mouse activity for 30 minutes, we change the sync frequency to 30 minutes. After two hours of inactivity, we sync hourly, and after four hours, we sync every four hours.
Salesforce even gives you a small (2:45 minutes) video to watch to get you up to speed quickly. You can access it and the help information quoted in this article by going to: Your Name > Setup > Personal Setup > Desktop Integration > Salesforce for Outlook. Then just click one of the links in the top right for “Video Tutorial” or “Help for this Page”
I hope this information has helped you in your choice of integration. As Salesforce continues to upgrade their product, I expect to see more great things on the horizon.
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