Mass Update via List Views
It is a fairly simple development project to provide "mass" capabilities of any sort. These are normally provided by placing a button on a list view.
Maybe you've noticed that when you look at a view, there are checkboxes to the left of the listed records. The user can check as many of these as desired, or check/uncheck all of them using the topmost checkbox. Once the desired records are selected, they can be passed to a function via a button on the list view.
See this screenshot of the "All Accounts" view in my Salesforce.com instance:
We can place buttons above the list of records (to the right of the "New Account", "Follow", and refresh icon). Those buttons can invoke functions that do any desired operation against the list of selected records.
Commonly needed functions are those like Mass Delete, Mass Update, Mass Change Owner, Mass Change Status. This can work against any object in Salesforce that has a tab, both standard objects like Accounts, Contact, Opportunities, Cases, etc, as well as custom objects that you create.
Lets say that you have a custom field that you regularly need to change en mass - like the opportunity stage. Maybe a sales rep needs to be able to quickly review a large number of old opportunities and set the stage to closed/lost. A "Set to Closed/Lost" button could be placed on the opportunity list view page layout and users could create whatever views they needed, select records, and pass those to the closed/lost function.
Incorporating a Visualforce Page
A Salesforce.com Visualforce page could also be included in the process whereby the user selects their desired records, invokes the visualforce page through the button and on that page they could select values or enter data that they want to pass into the selected records.
Take a look at this example. Here a company wanted to incorporate some campaign management functionality right from the Contact List View:
Here the user would select the contacts that they wanted to incorporate into a campaign, then select the "Manage Campaign Membership". That would open this next visualforce page:
On this page the user could confirm the contacts against which they were about to make a change, then select the campaign and an option for handling the contacts.
This is entirely custom functionality, designed by a Snapptraffic consultant on behalf of one of our clients while discussing the business problem at hand.
Since we're talking about custom development, we can literally do any function that might be needed by an organization.
Related List Mass Update
A mass update can also be deployed against a related list. Related Lists are the sections of information below the detail portion of a record. For example, you'll find an Open Activity "related list" on your contact page layout. When adding a custom button to a list view, a setting can be selected by the administrator that turns on checkboxes to the left of each record on the related list. These checkboxes can be used to pass records from the related list to the developed custom function. Here is an example:
In the example above, the user can select activities that are open and pass them to a custom function, possibly a "Send Mass Reminder" for your upcoming events.
Is it expensive?
One of our developers could typically produce a simple mass update function and deploy it to your system in about 5 hours of effort. A more complex process involving a visualforce page might require 10-12 hours of effort. So at the Snapptraffic Consulting hourly rates, a project like this would probably cost $500-$1500 depending on the complexity. Normally a project like this can be built and deployed in just a few days.
Once the project is complete, you own the code. No ongoing subscriptions.
Is Custom Development for You?
If you think a mass update function like this, or any other development effort you're considering might improve the business practices for your salesforce.com users, feel free to reach out to us via our website: www.snapptraffic.com. We'd be happy to speak with you about your idea, discuss it's feasibility and likely cost. We can also let you know how quickly the project could be completed and deployed.