Add the Utility Bar to Salesforce Lightning Apps

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Have you ever wondered how to have a static section for items like training links, flows, external links, visualforce pages, phone dialer, and more… Look no further – the ‘Utility Bar’ is here. 

This article will provide a quick introduction to the utility bar, as well as how to set up and use this handy tool. 

What Is a Salesforce Utility Bar?

Think of the utility bar kind of like a utility belt. You want these things to be easily accessible at any time in Salesforce. No matter what page you are on, as long as you are on the same app, you will see this “specialized Lightning page”. Below is a picture of my utility bar. 

How Do I Set Up the Utility Bar? 

Setting up a utility bar is very simple. 

Setup > Apps Manager > Edit (an existing lighting app) > Utility Bar

Remember, the utility bar is set up per app, so if your company has numerous apps in use, then you will need to do this numerous times or enforce one company-wide app.

I created the video below to walk you through the many options you have in the Salesforce Utility Bar.

So, you think you want to roll this out to your users, but you want to see some practical use cases… You got it! Watch the video below to see how I use my utility bar every day. 

Outlined below are descriptions of the items I used in my own utility bar:

  • Phone: We use Vonage VOIP and the Salesforce Open CTI softphone to make this work. It takes a bit of setup, but it’s well worth it. 
  • Current Time Tracking: When you are a consultant and bill by the hour, time tracking is a big deal. This is a Visualforce page we built with lots of other functionality. It’s also available for other users on our website.
  • My Open Cases: A simple list view. Create or use any list view with this utility bar item.
  • Recent Items: This is a standard utility bar component but you can choose which object to show.
  • Chatter Feed: This is a standard component and a simple but powerful way to stay in the know. See Christine Marshall’s Ultimate Guide to Salesforce Chatter.
  • Fostering Support: A custom Visualforce page we use for all our clients. It’s a simple VF page that has a button and links to our support form.
  • Fostering Links: These are golden – rich text areas with links to your most needed Salesforce or external links.

Summary

Now that you have some practical use cases for your end users and can see what’s possible, I would suggest writing down those ideas and starting to play in a sandbox. Have your users test your proof of concept (POC) and iterate until it is looking good. 

Remember, the utility bar is set up per app, not per user, so special one-off user requests won’t work here (unless you create a custom Visualforce page or screen flow). It’s also worth noting that the utility bar is just for desktop – no mobile support just yet.

Thank you and Happy Salesforcing!

4 thoughts on “Add the Utility Bar to Salesforce Lightning Apps

  1. Hello,
    i am getting in trouble while adding Open CTI Softphone to the utility bar. i have added it to utility bar still it does not show the icon on utility bar on contact detail page.

    1. Hi Deepak,

      I had the same issue, but was able to get it resolved. Try making sure if you haven’t already to make sure the users are enabled in the Call Center as having access to the CTI. You can do that under your setup for your softphone for the Manage Users section. This should allow you to add the users as needed going forward, and then they’ll see the Softphone in the Lightning App you’ve enabled it for, as well as the icon won’t have the line through it on record pages going forward.

  2. Jamie McGarrigle

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    Hey, when you create a utility item, it is possible to only make it available for certain profiles?

  3. Hello Jamie,
    The utility bar is controlled by the App, meaning if the profile has access to the app, they also have access to the utility bar.
    If you wanted to go above and beyond, you could build a lightning component or visual force page and then enforce profile access.
    Hope that helps.

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