Salesforce custom buttons can remain a bit of a mystery to Administrators that haven’t used them before. But you might be surprised that Custom Buttons can do a lot more for you than you might think.
Salesforce custom buttons can be used to launch webpages with customised data from the record you are currently working on. These webpages could be external webpages such as Google or Salesforce pages such as Accounts, Contacts or Reports. This allows us to make shortcuts in our work, taking information from a record we are currently working off and populating it in another web page. Below I’m going to be talking about 4 areas where salesforce custom buttons can be used to save your users time carrying out certain tasks.
As a word of warning, the reason these are considered “Hacks” is because Salesforce do not support them.
Pre-populating new Records in Salesforce (URL Hacking)
One of the biggest use cases for custom buttons is a technique called URL hacking. URL hacking has been around in the Salesforce world for a while and is the process of pre-populating a new record with information from a previous record. As an example, lets say after an Opportunity is closed won, a request has to be sent to a certain department detailing next steps for this deal.
Lets say that this Resource Request object has a lookup relationship to the opportunity and when a sales user has closed the deal, he will look to this related list to create a new resource request. Without any type of process involved this will require the user to enter all details manually on the next page, which seems a bit redundant if some of the details are on the opportunity readily available?
Sending an email with pre populated information
Just like URL hacking above. The email page on Salesforce is just that, another page. This means with custom buttons we can manipulate what gets pre-populated on this page. If you find your Sales/Service users sending repetitive emails like Lead Qualification or Introduction emails, then using this technique will mean fields like To, From, Subject and Body (Using Email Templates), BCC, CC can all be pre filled so all the user has to do is edit accordingly and send!
Launching reports with custom information inserted.
So the message you’re probably getting from these tutorials is that Salesforce pages can be manipulated via the URL to display custom information. Surprise surprise! Salesforce reports are no different. We can actually build buttons or links on records to launch reports and insert custom information from these records.
Let’s say you have a few large accounts and managers regularly check the progress of current open opportunities of these accounts. You have a few options..
1. Create a report per account.
2. Create one report and change the name each time.
OR create one report, link this to the account, and use merge fields and URL hacking to populate this information automatically!
Launching External Websites with Custom Information
So far we’ve covered launching internal Salesforce pages. But did you know you can actually launch any webpage you like and insert something custom? Quite a popular use case is a tracking number for a parcel. Lets say you insert all your parcel tracking numbers into Salesforce and find yourself copying them out of Salesforce and into the parcel couriers system. The data is already there so why bother copying it out?!
Similarly to my other hacks, you just need to paste in the URL and place a merge field where you would like the data inserted. For example if you used fedex you can expect the URL to look like this.
How did I know where to get the FedEx URL from? I just went on their website, entered a tracking number and looked at the URL!
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this article. Let me know how you got on, if you have any questions and if you have any other use cases!