Thursday, 22 January 2015

Time for some inSite (.com) !

I will let you in on a secret. Whenever I feel like pulling a fast one, I randomly ask my unsuspecting colleagues if they have worked on An emphatic “YES” is the reply 90% of the times, only for me to ask them again, that perhaps it was Sites that they had actually worked on. The ‘yes’ this time would be feeble and the look on their face a priceless one!

A little history...

Salesforce introduced Siteforce as a web content management system in 2011 and later rechristened it as was developed with an intent of empowering business users to prepare UI-rich web pages, simply with clicks, instead of code. Empowering your business users

Let us assume you want to create a website for your company in a traditional world. It would definitely be a Herculean task, involving web developers, UI designers, hosting experts etc. and a long list of other stakeholders. Imagine the time and effort you would take to rollout and maintain the website! the differentiator

  • Enables us to create data rich web pages by using the point-and-click features for effective website management and easy maintenance
  • A great way for business users to update the site branding and Content with minimal training!
  • Build once and use multiple times! It offers the ability to create web page templates in order to ensure consistent branding and page structure across the website
  • What You See Is What You Get!! Provides a powerful preview functionality to visualize development changes real-time
  • Configure various levels of authorization for website users with ease.
  • Supports standard web development technologies such as HTML, CSS and Javascript for better control and flexibility.
  • Support for interactive content is also available

    Deep dive into the Studio

    The place where all the magic is woven is the Studio. Let's see what makes it so special.
    • If we were to design a Web-to-Lead form to integrate with our website using Visualforce, we would need code to create a Visualforce page, Controller and a Test Class; too much effort for a simple form!
    • eliminates the need for establishing a database connection, servers etc. which would be required if an onsite CMS were used
    • The image below shows a Web-to-lead page created within 3 minutes (from scratch!)

    Decoding the Studio 

    • Panel 1 showcases a wide assortment of Drag-and-Drop elements provided in the Studio. It allows you to add elements such as content blocks, breadcrumbs, menus, fields etc. with a mouse click! Customize the components as needed and you are ready to go!
    • Panel 2 represents a preview pane where all the elements from Panel 1 are dropped. Provides a WYSIWYG interface to visualize your development changes real time.
    • Panel 3 known as the Properties panel, can be leveraged to customize the look and feel of an element using custom HTML or JavaScript. 
    • Panel 4 offers numerous functionalities like:
      • Allows importing videos and images in the website pages
      • Provides the ability to switch between Design and Live modes with a mere toggle. 
      • Click the Publish button and see your website live instantly!

        So, is all-encompassing?

        The answer is No. Like everything else, has a flip side too!
        • It is bad news for Apex and Visualforce code junkies as does not recognize Apex code and Visualforce tags
        • It is often said “All good things in life come with a price tag!” So does is a feature offering by Salesforce and hence involves additional cost.

        Its limitations notwithstanding, is a great way to quickly build websites, requiring minimal efforts. So refurbishing your website over the New Year weekend is no longer a dream, but reality.

        Note: At Eternus Solutions, we have successfully implemented for multiple clients across our global client base. Global organizations like HP and Häagen-Dazs have also reaped huge rewards of successfully implementing

        Written by Saba Shaikh, Salesforce Developer at Eternus Solutions

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