Salesforce on a MAC (Mail Merge & Data Loader)

One of the few remaining areas that are problematic for Mac owners with Salesforce.com is Mail Merge. The PC handles merge into Word from a Salesforce record nicely, but Mac owners have to do without.

A great way to deal with the mail merge issues of Salesforce on the Mac is to write a simple visualforce page instead that renders as a PDF. We've been doing this a lot lately for our clients. These can be written quickly and rendered to look pretty much just like a Word document. Nice thing is, they function on any computer with the added benefit that they produce a PDF rather than a Word doc. They are actually much more powerful than the standard word merge because you aren't limited to the object from which you are calling the merge - since it's visualforce you can go get any record you need included in the merge. If you'd like us to produce one for you, visit our website at http://www.snapptraffic.com/Salesforce_Home.html. Our salesforce consultants can easily get one of these setup for you.

Another remaining issue is the data loader. I've been using the excel connector for years. It's awesome because it works with both the Professional and Enterprise editions of Salesforce (not Group unfortunately). Another great thing about the excel connector is that it returns Salesforce.com IDs when it inserts a new record - I LOVE that feature. Unfortunately, it only works on a Windows XP machine. You need another solution on the Mac. I recently found Lexiloader which looks and functions exactly like the SF data loader, except its written for the Mac. The excel connector is still a great solution because 1) Its free! 2) it allows you to load data into the Professional edition of Salesforce, and 3) it returns the ID's. Lexiloader isn't for Professional Edition, but its still great to have a data loader now for the Mac.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just found that activating Extended Mail Merge (for merging several object in one go) will make the 'normal' mail merge to start working on Mac. The document will simply be emailed to you instead of Word being run.

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