Ten tips to tide the throng through happy-holiday hebdomads

posted Dec 27, 2010, 7:52 AM by Ezra Kenigsberg   [ updated Mar 26, 2011, 3:11 PM ]

#DataTipOfTheDay 2010-12-27

I'm on vacation for the next two weeks, but here are ten tips you might find useful.  Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Q: "How can I easily format tables for import into Salesforce?"

A: Synchronizer has a bunch of great built-in functions for formatting data.  Click the links--each picture tells a thousand words! 
  1. BreakLines() can be used to smoosh together (or "concatenate") distinct address field lines into a single field, with carriage returns between each line.
  2. FormatPhone_US() takes phone numbers and formats them in the "(800) 555-1212" style.  (It also handles seven-digit strings and more-than-ten-digit strings.)
  3. GetFirstName() and GetLastName() pull the first and last names out of a field that shows full names. 
  4. HideInvalidEmail() prevents displaying a bad email address.
  5. Transform() changes invalid values into valid ones.
Q: "Why doesn't Salesforce do [some terribly obvious thing] already?"

A: The best answer I could give you (and I'm not officially speaking for salesforce.com here) is that salesforce.com's product managers are busy folks, and they're mostly focused on great new stuff rather than making mostly-good existing stuff better.  But I encourage you to vote for these terribly obvious things: