Google Maps in Salesforce

A very common requirement for Salesforce.com subscribers, and our clients who we help to set it up, is to implement maps that incorporate data from their Salesforce org. Most clients meet this requirement by subscribing to a mapping application that is installed into their org.

The Downside of Subscription Based Applications

While these applications are powerful and generally have a boatload of features, they also come with a hefty monthly subscription that goes on and on for as long as you need those functions. Over time, the total subscription cost could far far exceed the cost of simply having the features you need developed instead.

Further, you are very likely buying features that you'll never need or use. You might want to consider another approach.

The Power of Custom Development

A recent project we did is a good example of why a company might want to have an application developed rather than buy a subscription. Our customer finds recruits to work in their client's business locations. The people they are looking for need to be in close proximity to the business.  They needed a Google map to show their Salesforce data in two specific situations:


  1. They needed to be able to find workers when a new job came up. When this happens they need to see a Google map centered on the business location with pins surrounding that showing the closest consultants, recruits, and leads. This required finding and displaying data from 4 different Salesforce.com databases on a Google map.
  2. Their second requirement was to see a Google map, again centered on the relevant business, showing possible replacement consultants and recruits near the business when someone doesn't show up. Again, this required finding and displaying data on a Google map from multiple Salesforce.com objects

To satisfy this requirement, we built several components into their Salesforce system. First we wrote a trigger on each Salesforce object (database) from which addresses would be mapped. These triggers would geocode (a number that represents the latitude and longitude of the address) the address found on the particular record. The trigger executes whenever a new record is created or the address is edited. This process speeds up operation and reduces the number of API calls made when the map is generated.

To display the maps, we gave them two options. The first option displays the map right in the page layout so that they see it whenever they look at the relevant record. The second option makes a link that opens the map into a new window when clicked. That link can be placed almost anywhere so that they can put the link in various relevant locations such as lists or reports.

Is Custom Development Expensive?

This project, built specifically to solve the specific requirements that this client had, cost about $2000 to have developed. This might seem like a lot at first glance, but a key thing to remember is that this is a one time development fee. We gathered the requirements with the client, wrote the scope, conducted feasibility, developed the code, tested it, and deployed it to their team.

They now own this code and will incur no further costs with regard to this system going forward.

If you have a requirement to place Google Maps into your Salesforce.com org to display data unique to your organization and want to have it made to suit your specific requirements without ongoing subscription costs, you may want to consider custom development. We can take advantage of any of the features provided by Google Maps while displaying your map either right in your salesforce org or on external pages launched from Salesforce.

The options are nearly limitless, but the key is that they are built to your specific needs.

If this sounds like something you require in your Salesforce system, we'd be happy to speak with you, listen to your requirement, and give you an idea of the cost to have us do it for you. You can reach us via the contact us page at www.snapptraffic.com.


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