Have you seen the new Lightning Experience? It’s amazing, and from and Admin perspective it’s incredibly simple to enable. Literally you just flip a switch. But it’s more than just flipping a switch, yelling surprise, and throwing confetti. As Salesforce Admins we are the business leaders that need to guide our companies through the Lightning Experience rollout. Part of guiding our companies means that we need to become familiar with Lightning Experience and be ready to answer questions and tailor it for a great user experience.
One of the great things about it is the way activities related to an opportunity, account, and contact are now displayed in a timeline view:
From an admin perspective, the activity timeline and the actions displayed are configurable via metadata. For example, in the task ‘Complete ROI Template’, the fields ‘Name’ and ‘Assigned To’ are displayed based on the Task Compact Layout metadata.
Configuring the Activity Timeline Fields
Let’s walk through the composition of how a task is displayed on the activity timeline:
- The first row is the Subject and Due Date. These fields are fixed
- The second row is the Description. If a description is present, then it is displayed. If there is no description, the second row is suppressed
- The third row contains fields that are configured in the Task Compact Layout.
For the example above, here’s the corresponding Task Compact Layout:
The Task Compact Layout metadata is shared between the Activity Timeline and the Salesforce1 display of Tasks. Since there are some fields there that apply more to Salesforce1 than Lightning Experience, some additional business logic is in place to hide fields that are in the Task Compact Layout, but don’t apply to Lightning Experience. For example, even though Subject is present in the Task Compact Layout, we don’t show it on the configurable third row because we’re already showing it as the first row of data in the Activity Timeline.
The bottom line is that the third row of fields in an Activity Timeline record can be configured using compact layout.
Activity Timeline Actions: Log a Call, New Task, New Event, Email
In the Activity Timeline, users can easily create new tasks and events from a single place. The set of actions displayed is also driven off of metadata, specifically page layouts. To be even more specific, those actions are configurable in the ‘Salesforce1 and Lightning Experience Actions’ section of the page layout.
In this example, the actions Log a Call, New Task, New Event, and Email are displayed on the Activity Timeline:
Here’s the corresponding Opportunity Page Layout. Notice that the actions have been added to the ‘Salesforce1 and Lightning Experience Actions’ section of the page layout:
If you have custom activity actions that you’d like to appear in place of the standard Log a Call, New Task, or New Event global actions, feel free to configure that!
Lately, we’ve heard reports from a few end users that they weren’t seeing actions in the Activity Timeline. Here are 2 troubleshooting tips if your end users see this issue:
#1: Check the page layouts for the object (i.e. Opportunity, Account, Contact)
As explained above, the actions Log a Call, New Task, New Event, and Email appear in Opportunity, Account, Contact or Lead within Lightning Experience when those global actions are added to the section “Salesforce1 and Lightning Experience Actions”. Check to see if you have those actions on the respective page layouts.
#2: If you use task or event record types, check the configuration for the Log a Call, New Task, and New Event global actions.
If you’re using task or event record types check for this on the global actions Log a Call, New Task and New Event:
1) In the Classic UI, go to Setup->Build->Create->Global Actions->Global Actions
2) Edit the “Log a Call” global action.
3) If you have Task Record Types, you’ll need to pick one of your record types. Verify that the ‘Record Type’ value is not ‘–Master–’, as seen below:
Enjoy Lightning Experience and the Activity Timeline!
With the holidays approaching, now is a great time to invest in yourself and learn about new Salesforce features in your Admin Playground. Lightning Experience should be at the top of your list to understand more about how it’s configured and begin planning your multi-release, phased rollout.. The Activity Timeline is a great part of Lightning Experience, so go ahead and try configuring it in your Admin Playground based on your organization’s needs and demoing it for your users.