Soapbox 2.2.6: Extending the power of J!Salesforce

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As we mentioned on our Announcements forum earlier when we confessed some Soapbox secrets, we've been hard at work creating powerful tools to integrate Non-Profit Soapbox with the world-class CRM solution, Salesforce. Yesterday, we extended that a bit further by adding a couple of elegant gems.

The first is filtering Salesforce records displayed in Non-Profit Soapbox based on the Account ID of the logged in visitor. That goes along nicely with the existing ability to filter by the Contact ID of the logged in visitor. "Why would I want to do that", you say? Good question! Let's tackle a few concepts and existing functionality to break that down a bit into meaningful language that gets at why.

First, Non-Profit Soapbox is able to search and display records from any object in Salesforce within your Non-Profit Soapbox site with the same look and feel as the rest of your site. Got a list of member organizations in Salesforce you want to show on your website? It can do that. Want to filter that based on, say, state? Can do that, too. Maybe you want to show a list of donors who are Contacts in your Salesforce account who have given, say, over $500 the last year. Ah, you're a creative one, aren't you? It can do that, too, with a little Salesforce tweak and J!Salesforce.

Next, if you have a password-protected area of your site, Non-Profit Soapbox can associate an individual's login with a Contact record in Salesforce based on their email address. That opens up a bunch of great possibilities. One is to allow logged in users to update their own contact information in the Salesforce Contact record directly in Soapbox. Pretty cool, eh?

Now, let's consider our earlier example of searching and displaying records from Salesforce. Maybe instead of displaying general information, you want to talk specifically to the visitor who just logged in. Maybe you want to show them a list of all of the donations they made. Or maybe we want to show them all of the Closed Won Opportunities for the Company record they're associated with in Salesforce. With the ability to filter by Contact ID - and now by Company ID - J!Salesforce can.

What does that mean? It means a host of possibilities are opened up for displaying information targeted directly to the folks logging in to your site with no extra work on your end than updating records in Salesforce. It makes the back office processes you're already doing work for you on the front end of your website. It saves your organization time, it adds value to your logged in users, and it makes your systems work better together.

That's one gem we added. The other is the ability to grab the IP address of the visitor and use it as the default value of a form field that is being submitted to Salesforce. Again, I hear you ask a good question: "why would I ever want to do that?"

First thing's first: J!Salesforce not only searches and displays records from a Salesforce object of your choosing, it also posts records to Salesforce from Non-Profit Soapbox to any object in Salesforce. Again, some pretty juicy possibilities contained in that sentence, eh?

Let's say your organization is running a petition campaign. You are rallying any visitor who comes across your site to fill out a form with their name and contact information to sign the petition. That information can be posted directly to the Lead object in Salesforce with J!Salesforce's submit functionality. Now, let's say you want to boost your ability to document that these people actually signed your petition and you didn't just have a random list fall in your lap. You can add a hidden field to your petition form that will automatically insert the IP address from the computer from which they are accessing site. Simple and elegant.

So, what's the tally on the current state of functionality with all this J!Salesforce stuff? Well, we covered that you can search and display records from a Salesforce object. Check! We discussed posting new records to a Salesforce object from Soapbox. Check! We mentioned linking a logged in user's account with their Salesforce Contact record. Check! And that logged in users can update information in their Contact record. Check again!

Here's what we didn't mention yet. Your site can post event registrations from the Soapbox Events component to Salesforce as Leads. You can associate a given event and the registrations for that event with a Campaign in Salesforce. Your site can also post donations processed through Soapbox Donations to the Leads object. And, you can open up edit access for any of those records that you search and display to different groups. Make it so any anonymous visitor can edit a Salesforce record? Yep, you can do that. Restrict editing to only logged in users? Yep. How about restricting editing to only logged in users use Contact record is associated with that Salesforce record they're viewing. Yes, indeed. Done and done.

Phew! That's a lot, eh? And we're working on additional items now. Look for updates to Soapbox Events in April which allow for multiple ticket types and the ability to restrict a ticket type to only logged in users - all posting, as you'd expect, to Salesforce.

Interested in learning more or adding J!Salesforce to your site? Let us know! If you're attending NTEN's Nonprofit Technology Conference, attend the Salesforce + Website CMS Integration Showdown: Plone vs Drupal vs Joomla session to see the tools in action.

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