Getting the most out of Salesforce Community Cloud


(Nick Emmett) #1

There seems to be a few people here (myself included) that are working within communities on Salesforce’s Community Cloud platform, so we thought it might be an idea to start a topic where people can share tips, tricks, advice, reporting and best practices. Everyone has their own things that have challenged them but been overcome, or are looking for a solution, so a great place to look for help amongst our peers.

I wonder if we could start by opening with how we’ve implemented Community Cloud - are you using one of the Out Of The Box templates or are you a custom, VisualForce+Tabs configuration?

For us at FinancialForce, we’re currently on a VF+Tabs config but I’m in the process of switching that to a Napili template based community - how about you guys?

@Nicola_Band @Hbhospitality @KevinDwyer_Kd @Heather_Dawson @cocastro @Leo_Daley @Patrick_Hellen


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(Leo Daley) #2

Thanks for starting this thread, @Nick_Emmett. We were headed down a VF path because we wanted branding to match our public site. Napili looked interesting, but it lacked Ideas. Through the SFDC Success community, I learned that there are some appexchange offerings that will add Ideas to the Napili Lightning environment. We’re looking at that now.

A challenge we’re dealing with is how to use global search when a user is entering an idea. Out of the box, as the user types their idea, the system searches just Salesforce Knowledge, not a global search. Same issue when a community user begins to enter a Service Cloud case from community. We need that search to search beyond the knowledgebase to include Answers, Chatter feeds, etc. I’m on the business side of this so my technical details may be a bit cloudy, but that’s the high-level summary of what we’re struggling with.


(Rachael Reilly) #3

Thank you for starting this thread @Nick_Emmett I think I’m in a fairly unique position at the moment but would love to hear from anyone who has been there, done that. We are currently in a partial sandbox environment using SFDC Community Cloud with a Core Connect overlay from 7Summits.


(Nick Emmett) #4

Hi @Leo_Daley - I hear you about the Global Search function! We actually use an integration with Coveo Search which replaces the Global Search function. Have you asked on the Success Community for ideas? Perhaps @cocastro might be able to offer some insight?

Hey @RachForShort - great to hear from you. Not being too involved in the intricacies of the platform I’m not really sure what you mean by a partial sandbox - can you elaborate a little please?


(Leo Daley) #5

@Nick_Emmett oh, we evaluated Coveo and many on our team wanted to use the unified search it offers. In the end, we were working in such a short implementation window that we opted to simply stay the course with native Salesforce search.


(Rachael Reilly) #6

Taken from SFDC Help & Training ‘Partial Copy sandboxes are intended to be used as testing environments. These environments can be used for quality assurance tasks such as user acceptance testing, integration testing, and training. These environments include a copy of your production org’s configuration (metadata) and a subset of your production data as defined by a sandbox template.’

We’re currently hosting our pilot community in this environment while we work out what works best for our members and us. Did you use this environment in the early stages of your community?


(Nick Emmett) #7

Ahhh, get it! I wasn’t involved at that point with this community @RachForShort , however, from what I know of it, we had a beta version which was probably in the sandbox like this now you mention it.

How is the pilot going so far? What sort of challenges are you facing?

@Leo_Daley coveo has worked really well for us and would be well worth considering if you get the time and budget in the future.


(Danielle Bishop) #8

Hi @RachForShort - I am in the process of interviewing 7Summits to build out our community. We are considering changing the work we have done in VF to Lightening. A lot of their solutions involves licensing some of their already built solutions. Would love to hear you feedback on working with 7Summits


(Todd Nilson) #9

Hello @RachForShort and @Leo_Daley - this is Todd with the FeverBee team. I used to work with 7Summits. I’d be happy to give you my recommendations about them. Full disclosure, I used to work there, but left on good terms. Send me a private message and I can jump on a Skype call.


(Rachael Reilly) #10

Thanks @Nick_Emmett The pilot is going well so far but is not without it’s challenges. The main challenges from my perspective are around the more technical issues. I’m working closely with 7Summits to employ an update to solve these issues. I’m also implementing some workarounds for certain things that I don’t love. For example, I’m not a fan of the digest emails from SFDC and would love to edit them. Instead of that I’m putting together a monthly newsletter for our members.


(Rachael Reilly) #11

Thanks Todd! Will PM you now :slight_smile:


(Kath Reuben) #12

Great thread! Thanks for starting it @Nick_Emmett We are also using SF Community Cloud and not without headache. We are using Napili template and whilst it does lots of things well, i’m finding it the lack of flexibility around design elements particularly challenging. We have some bespoke code so unfortunately, haven’t been able to see the benefits of Lightening as it fell over with the latest update.


(Leo Daley) #13

Uh… What? We’re now using Napili for our development… @Kath_Reuben, what happened?


(Kath Reuben) #14

Unfortunately, I’m not on the technical side but bc we have some bespoke work when they updated Lightening it knocked over some of the SF config we have. So, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to build the community in Lightening, which i’m sure is part of the reason using the SF Napili template has not been an easy process for us.


(Nick Emmett) #15

Where’s your bespoke code @Kath_Reuben? In my transitioning community we currently have every page that is built in VisualForce and I’ve just come across a couple where I have issues recreating what we had. In general the feedback from my stakeholders is very positive - the site is cleaner, more dynamic and more agile in the back end for me to manage and keep things fresh. The Community Builder is so enabling compared to me having to go to our development teams and beg for resource!


(Kath Reuben) #16

Hi Nick, i’m not sure where exactly the bespoke code is but i know its been effecting the way groups work for us, as well as preventing us from building in Lightening - hence why we are begging resource from our dev teams (and why this is taking so much longer than anticipated)!


(Gina Tyree) #17

I’m using the Napili template. We thought it would be beneficial to have something ready to go with very little dev time. Unfortunately because the UX is so poor and customization of look/feel is so limited with Napili, a lot of customization has to be done on our side, which means completely overriding lightning components and replacing them with our own custom components. At this point, it seems silly to use a template since the benefit is supposed to be in not having to write a ton of code. We’re having to write a ton of code. And it takes FOR-EV-ER!

Has anyone else gone through a similar process and could offer any advice?


(Nikoletta Harrold) #18

Hi guys, in my current company we use SFDC. They rolled it out last summer (under different CM management) and used VF to be able to customize better, just like @Leo_Daley said above. It was a total disaster. They used 7Summits as their agency and were driven by misguided expectations. I know they spent in the 6 figure range for the implementation alone and it was a total mess when I came onboard this March. We immediately assessed the Napili template vs fixing VF to meet current standards and branding and I truly wanted to go to Napili, because everything you touch in VF is custom code and I did not have the resources in house for that. So everything was agency bound (and who has money for that). In the end we demo’d Napili vs VF with 3 agencies, whereby 7Summits very much only sold us on their pre-built solution, Traction on Demand was super flexible and interesting and way more reasonably priced (which shocked me since 7Summits was the original builder for us, so you would think they would give us a discount to fix their own mistakes, alas their quote was double of the one from Traction on Demand) and a third quote from Grazitti Interactive (outsourced from India with SF locations).

We ended up choosing Grazitti for price and knowledge with VF. We stepped away from Napili because it is still too young and every new release has major and critical updates from SFDC which also breaks every single thing you have custom built for it (plug ins, connectors to databases and analytics etc). So that would have to wait. So we are off fixing our VF with yet more custom code, but at least at a more reasonable price and with a much better UX team.

One thing I want to point out, SFDC is retiring Salesforce Chatter Answers (which is the basis of the Forums on VF) as of next year and everyone will have to move to Chatter Questions. Templates comes with it inbuilt, so that’s a plus, but if you are starting a new VF community, make sure you implement chatter questions, not answers!!


(Sarah Hawk) #19

We used Grazitti to help us build this platform too. For the future posterity of this topic, I’m happy to introduce anyone that is interested in talking to them. Their pricing is ridiculously reasonable and they do a great job of managing the project. Their design skills are a bit lacking, but if you go in with something solid for them to work from they are fantastic.


(Nick Emmett) #20

Hi @Gina_Tyree - I’m actually just building out my Napili template for launch very soon and have to say that I don’t find the UX too bad - after all, with the components available to be arranged and used as you wish then I guess to some extent I feel more in control of that than on our previous VisualForce version. I’m having to do very little customization, probably two pieces, one of which is to do with our external search provider rather than SF itself. What sort of things are you over-riding and building yourself?