The App Assessor – ActionGrid

Overview – Enterprise and Up
– Doesn’t count towards object / tab limits
– Lightning Ready
Highlights – Complete overhaul of list views
– Major click reduction for users
– Amazing pre-built bulk actions (such as mass delete)
– Lots of resources, templates, and wizards to assist in setup
Notes – Will require initial effort in setup
– Best practices should be considered with configuration
– Not ideal for usage on a mobile phone
– Caution should be taken when bulk-actioning data

ActionGrid is one of the most downloaded Salesforce Apps to date and is created by one of Salesforce’s biggest platinum ISV partners, Conga.

This app takes Salesforce list views and redefines them, injecting an engine that’s powerful for actioning data and can be utilised in almost any Salesforce implementation.

ActionGrid is just one of the highly praised apps from the Conga suite, with other products including Conga Composer, Conga Contracts, Novatus, Courier, and the potential for more on the horizon.

Key case studies include, Wrightson & Platt, Wolters Kluwer, and In-Situ.

Features

As mentioned, ActionGrid delivers a complete revamp of standard list views and dramatically improves the user interface. This makes it easier for users to view the information that they want in the database, navigate through vast amounts of records, and action their workload in bulk!

The sleek new UI enhances the readability of records and presents more information to a user, without the need to drill-down by clicking record names to see child records or run reports.

On the right of the screen you have what’s called a “Reading Pane” which provides a microscope view of a record when it’s clicked. This can be configured to show various details such as all child records and can be completely customised based on personal preferences. The Reading Pane can also be positioned on any side of the screen, and can be shown/hidden at the user’s discretion.

The Reading Pane also includes the “Quick Graph” function that allows users to invoke a bar chart in an instant and the “Detail Grid” view for presenting additional information on a selected record.

The app also expands on standard Salesforce tabs by adding an additional tab layer using ActionGrid specific views. These allow for an extra level of flexibility when navigating between objects and can be built from the basis of existing tabs or apps. There’s also the tools to update standard tabs so that they combine multiple objects, which adds further depth into how an app can be customised.

Using these views feels very polished and user friendly. The inline editing capabilities give a similar experience comparable to editing an excel file, and users also have the option to validate all the changes before committing with the “Save” button if they need that additional check.

ActionGrid also works with some system records such as users, which as a system administrator can be incredibly time saving, especially in larger companies with many active Salesforce licenses.

If a user wants to filter their views this is simply a matter of adding the appropriate column into your view and clicking on the funnel icon. “Smart filtering” will then scan the database to present all possible filtering options or give the option to switch to the traditional criteria based filtering approach.

You can also setup the views to show all the names of child records directly on one of the columns and then use this in filtering. For example showing the names of all open cases for an account.

Two other exciting features are the ability to highlight rows when they meet specific criteria and create formulas without the need to create fields in the system (similar to the functionality when building reports). This can also apply to both the main list view and the Reading Pane.

The above example shows how many cases are open in one formula column, and highlights those where the number is greater than 2.

What is arguably ActionGrid’s best feature, is the ability to mass action records, either by selecting the multiple lines individually or using the mouse cursor to “lasso” them. This also isn’t limited to the records that you see on the page, allowing all applicable records across multiple pages to be actioned.

The app comes with some amazing pre-built actions, such as the mass deletion or records, send multiple emails at once, and the ability to execute a find/replace on field data.

A full list of the features actions can be found via:

https://getconga.com/resources/research/ds-conga-actiongrid/

As a bonus, ActionGrid works smoothly with other common apps and there’s plenty of integration support and prebuilt functions for these.  Other products such as Conga Contracts (for bulk adding clauses), Conga Composer (bulk generating documents), or GeoPointe can all benefit from ActionGrid, without any extra development needed.

If you’re unable to find the right action for your business and have a strong developer resource, you can opt to build your own actions, making use of ActionGrid’s foundation and there’s heavy support in this area, including templates for code.

Impact

ActionGrid is an expansion for viewing data in a Salesforce org, dramatically changing the user interface and works in Lightning or Console. There’s also the ability to release and tailor this functionality by user profile, so if some users prefer the classic view over ActionGrid, or you wish to provide both options, that’s also a possibility.

One of the biggest wins for these list views is noting the user-friendly behaviour, especially when it comes to reducing the number of clicks, filtering data, and highlighting key information. This can help in demonstrating the value of the system and is useful in supporting both user adoption and change management.

ActionGrid is also a wonderful time saver with the bulk capabilities it provides. It’s easy to filter, update, and or execute a process on select records without having to spend time creating the appropriate csv file and using a data loader tool. It also solves some of the biggest risks with mass actioning by adding in the ability to validate and revert the changes before they are finalised.

In an implementation, ActionGrid could be a great starting point when exploring customer requirements not supported by a standard license that would normally require a developer to build. This could dramatically reduce the time it takes to deliver something that isn’t out-of-the box and especially if coupled with other Conga products.

Overall, this app could have a strong impact to almost any user group, whether they be in a Sales team managing opportunities and leads, a service team managing customer cases, or the application is completely custom-built for a different business purpose.

The only thing to note would be that ActionGrid is optimised for desktop usage and recommended for any mass execution.

Setup

As with any large scaled app, there is some admin upskilling required in order to understand how the different views are assigned to profile and how the different permissions are configured. End-user training is also needed and is required to understand how to navigate and customise the views, especially if users are familiar with the classic interface.

The core installation is straightforward and there’s an added native tool with the application to support the installation and provides installation templates based on the most common Salesforce instances.

The initial setup can be time consuming depending on the size of your org and how complex the permission assignment varies. That said, it is relatively easy to pick up and make configuration changes after having exposure and making administrative changes.

From a system perspective, it’s recommended to make sure you understand what different wizards do before utilising them. Behind the scenes, Visualforce pages are created, so using them poorly could result in obsolete pages. Best practices should also be considered and assess the impact for any API calls.

If you need further assistance there’s plenty of resources available, and with my personal experience with the Conga support team, I would give them an A+ rating.

Pricing

Licenses for ActionGrid are based at a user level, and the Conga team can be contacted for getting an estimate on these.

Non-profit discounts are available, and there’s extra support that can be acquired for training and implementation of the product.

There’s also great package deals that the team can offer, so if you’re an existing Conga customer or any of the other products are of interest, make sure to keep this in mind.

Conclusion

ActionGrid is a time saving machine, improving the entire user experience, and making data management simple.

If you have a frustrated userbase or the app interests you in any way, I’d highly recommend installing it in a sandbox to review for yourself. ActionGrid’s success to date is deserved.

Interested in having your app reviewed by the App Assessor?

Send an email to appassessor@outlook.com for further information and pricing!

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