Salesforce Excel Connector Download - Professional Edition

Trying to find the download for the Salesforce Excel Connector can be a real drag! Especially if you are trying to find a specific version. So if you have been having a hard time finding the right one, I've put them here for your convenience.

Download Site: Click here for the Salesforce download page for the excel connector.

Professional Edition! Be sure to note, there are two versions of the excel connector, one for the Enterprise edition of and one for the Professional Edition of The big difference between them is that the Professional Edition doesn't need access to the API.

In general, there really isn't a strong need for the Enterprise Edition of the excel connector because in Enterprise Edition of Salesforce you have the Apex Data loader for the PC and the Lexi Loader for the Mac. But if you have Professional Edition of Salesforce without API access (which is most people), the Excel Connector is the only way to load data.

SOAP Version! When you first install the Excel Connector, it by default uses an older version of the SOAP, version 6. This will probably work okay for you in most circumstances. But sometimes you'll be looking for an object and not be able to find it in the list of available objects - that right there is a SOAP version issue. Try using a more recent version like:

Set that by clicking on the Advanced Tab on the login page.

Need Help? We offer help with the Excel Connector as a service in our business. So if you need a little hand holding, or just want to hand us your file and have us load it, visit our website at: Iterative Consulting Method

Our Consulting Methodology

One question I get frequently when discussing our services with a new client is how we will be proceeding with their implementation. Every consultant that you might have the opportunity to work with will have to base their consulting approach on some basic methodology. Consultants in general develop their approach to implementations based on their prior experience, i.e, what is their background?

Our Salesforce Consulting implementation approach uses what we call - "The Iterative Consulting Process". We feel it works best for the smaller client that wants quick gains at a low cost and doesn't have a heavy bureaucracy in place within their company that has to be dealt with to make improvements to their system. 

The Iterative Consulting Process

Our consulting method uses an iterative approach to customize to your business model. While we start out with the general roadmap as defined during pre-project interviews the actual steps taken day to day will be based on meetings we have with you where the highest priority project tasks identified at that point are undertaken.  As our consultants understanding of your business model grows and as your understanding increases of what can do and how it functions, the desired outcomes and list of requirements will become better defined.  We will continue to iterate through a 4 step process with you where we: 1) Discuss the roadmap, current state of the system, and highest priority requirements, 2) Identify the next customizations, 3) Build those customizations, and 4) Review and continue again with step 1. 

Changes to the system produce questions and insights that would not have been thought of at the beginning of the project. As those questions get answered, our understanding grows of your real needs. Our consultants find that the end result is much more suited to your business model than a process whereby an attempt is made to define the entire scope of the project in advance.

Immediate End User Value and Continuous Improvement

The main idea behind the Iterative Consulting Process is to provide immediate and continuous end user value. Out of the box, functions as a highly capable CRM system. Almost no development needs to take place for users to begin using the standard functionality. Our goal is to strive for continuous improvement, building on inherent functionality with business-model-specific improvements. At no point during the process should your users find that they cannot use the system. As our development process moves forward, the system becomes increasingly automated, increasingly useful, and increasingly tailored to the exact set of tasks your users are engaging in and providing the exact information your leaders require.

It's Like “Home Improvement”

Since the users have continuous access to and value from the system, there is no requirement to rush improvement. Move forward as your budget and time constraints allow. The Iterative Consulting Process is much like home improvement in that regard. There is always something that will make your home more to your liking, more efficient, more comfortable, more desirable, but not all of these things are required immediately.  Pick the projects that are most pressing, and do those first.

The Estimating Process

At no point should a Snapptraffic Consulting invoice surprise you. When we first engage you, we will develop a roadmap together. This will serve as a guide to keep us moving in the right general direction, and our initial estimate is prepared from that. You will not; however, be billed for this amount. You are billed for whatever work is accomplished on your behalf during a given calendar month. 

During the Iterative Consulting Process, you are in control and well informed of the time being spent. Our consultants are continually estimating the time involved as each project step along the roadmap is undertaken.  During each call we note specific items that need to be done. When the call is over, an “Action Item” will be created and sent which details the work to be done and estimates the time required to do it. If you approve that Action Item, we begin. 

Where possible, and if desired, we will identify work that does not require our expertise and which can be accomplished by your company internally to cut down on hours required. We are happy to train you to do anything that we might otherwise do for you.

The Project Lifecycle

We are not an implementation company in the typical sense. Our consulting is not geared towards simply designing, building, delivering, fee collection, and moving on to the next client. We intend to join you in the process of continually improving your system. We hope to be an on-going resource to you and a long-term member of your team. 

With that said, we recognize that the improvements will be front-loaded. In general, our initial setup, customizations, and improvements will take a month or two of frequent consultations and regular effort. Following that your users will settle into the new system and our focus shifts to training, adoption, and answering questions. Reporting tends to take on greater importance in the months that follow as users are adding increasingly useful data to the system. As time goes by, we meet occasionally to make refinements or add new functionality.
For the project phases that were postponed due to budget or time constraints, these get initiated when you are ready – for the typical client we’ll tackle one or two of these a year. Of course, we are always available to help with problems that come up occasionally.

Our Commitment and Guarantee

Our commitment to our clients is to provide the most value possible for the expense incurred.  Our underlying guarantee is to only charge clients for that which they agree adds value to their system.  If you are not satisfied with the work accomplished, you will not be billed.

Speak to Us

If you would like to discuss working with Snapptraffic Consulting on your implementation, please visit our website at One of our consultants would be glad to discuss your project and the estimated time and expense that might be involved. It's cheaper than you think, go ahead and ask us, we think you'll be surprised. Apex Visualforce for Developers

If you have had for any length of time, you may have realized that it is limited in certain ways. There is no question that Salesforce is incredibly customizable with just a point and a click, but sometimes the system is just not designed to do exactly what you want.

Being the worldclass company that they are, Salesforce has anticipated the need of their clients to extend the functionality of the system beyond what can be configured with the setup menu (called Declarative Configuration). They extend this functionality with Visualforce which is built on a language called Apex.

Visualforce allows a developer to write custom functionality in Apex that executes on top of the Salesforce system. Meaning, it resides on the internet - or, "in the cloud" as everyone likes to say these days. The power of "cloud computing" is that from the user's perspective, only a browser is required to access your business applications. From the developers perspective, one you develop the Apex it can be uploaded to the servers. They store it, the back it up, the serve it. For the company who needs it's functionality, this situation is ideal. You can cut IT expenses significantly with Visualforce and Apex development rather than traditional server based development.

The Apex Visualforce system provides the developer with all of the programming resources to query, perform custom functionality on Salesforce data, save those results, and display them in a meaningful way. Custom interfaces are a powerful part of the visualforce system. Technically, Apex is the underlying code and Visualforce is the system that makes it possible to build a user interface. Triggers are also written in Apex. A Trigger is code that executes when a record is saved and takes some kind of custom action - another great way to extend Salesforce functionality!

We've done hundreds of apex visualforce development projects and triggers for our clients since the release of Visualforce a few years ago. We have really been able to experiment with its functionality and our developers have learned how to develop quickly and inexpensively. A key requirement placed on us by our clients is low cost. We typically deal with small to mid-sized companies where development costs are a critical issue. They need the functionality, but they can't afford traditional development costs. Visualforce and Apex development works so beautifully for these kinds of clients because we can produce exactly what they need with minimal expense.

On our website at: you can see examples of many of the projects we have done. We highlight these on the website to show some of the possibilities. Most of these projects can be done by a developer in 10-20 hours, so at our rates that means that the typical custom apex development project can be completed for less than a few thousand dollars. Almost any company can afford that.

If you would like to discuss an idea that you have for a visualforce project for your system, give us a call (800-422-6490) or visit We'd be more than happy to discuss the possibilities and the likely expense - there is no charge to talk your idea through, we'd actually be glad to hear about it. If you use us for development, great, if not, that's okay, we hope you enjoy the power of Visualforce and experience all the wonderful things it can do for your company.

Web Forms to

If you've been a subscriber to for a while, you've probably got your web-to-lead form all setup and working, and that is great - but what about when you want to feed data from a web form to some other object in


A very common request we get at Snapptraffic Consulting is the need to feed information from a web form to another object besides Leads (or Cases) which both come with built in mechanisms in Salesforce. Let's say you have a weekly webinar and you want to have a form on your website where people can sign up for that webinar, but you don't want the form submissions to come into the as a new lead, but instead into a custom object you have called "Webinar Registrations". It would be incredibly helpful to be able to allow those form submissions to automatically come into and create a new Webinar Registration. 

A typical web-form

Common Approaches

There are a few common approaches to solving "Web Form to Anything in". Pretty much all of them require a web service that can receive the data from that form, process it, connect to and submit that data. One third party service that I use for my clients is FormAssembly. It does a nice job by giving you the tools to build any form you need, validate the inputs, and pass that data into Salesforce. It's cheap too - about $34 a month for unlimited forms. Their are cheaper versions of their system, but those do not include the connector to

Prefill Web Forms With Salesforce Data

Another common business requirement is the need to request information from a customer in an email and have that person click a link within that email which takes them to an online form where they can provide the information asked for in the email. Generally, you want to provide some mechanism to tie the form submission back to the salesforce record from which the email was sent.

An Example: Post Sale Survey

So lets say that a few weeks after you win an opportunity with a client, you want to ask the client for a survey. You could create a button on the opportunity that sends an email to the client (or do this automatically with a workflow rule). Included in the email is a link that takes the recipient to your online form. Imbedded in the link to the form are references to the opportunity ID and any other form fields that you want pre-filled.

FormAssembly is nice because it can parse the URL and pull from it any data that you want to pass into the form. The OpportunityID passes into a hidden field so that it will not be displayed on the form.

When the customer fills out the questions on the survey and submits their results. FormAssembly will receive those results, process them, login to Salesforce via your login and create a new record in Salesforce with the results. Obviously you need a place in Salesforce to pass those results, which in most cases would be a custom object.

Due to the fact that the opportunity ID has been passed through the email to the form, the results of the survey can be tied back to the originating opportunity. Once that form submission has been received, workflow rules can be triggered to notify someone at your company that a form has been submitted.

Setting up this process is fairly straightforward, but there are quite a few steps to getting it setup properly, but none of them are cost prohibitive or terribly technically challenging. If you want a little hand-holding though, feel free to contact us ( Excel Connector

I was working with a client who was trying to get data imported into from the Professional edition. They were hoping to be able to use the Apex Data Loader. They were surprised to learn that the data loader cannot be used by Professional Edition. That version doesn't have API access and that access is required for the Apex Data Loader.

So what do you do? The Excel Connector. There might be other free ways to import data into Professional Edition, but if so, I haven't found them. The Excel Connector works great, but it is a serious challenge for the uninitiated to get figured out. I have frequently told clients where to find the excel connector, but they usually need a little assistance getting it installed properly and figuring out how to use it.

There are a couple things I really like about the Excel Connector for Salesforce. One is that it lets you import or update records to any object in Salesforce, even in Professional Edition. It is much more powerful than the import wizards provided by Salesforce. But even better than that, when you do insert a new record, the Excel Connector for Salesforce returns into the excel file the ID of the records you just inserted. Even the Apex Data Loader doesn't do that. And for that reason, I frequently use the Excel Connector rather than the Apex Data Loader.

Its main serious short coming is that it isn't available for the mac. For a long time it wasn't supported in Vista or Excel 2007, but I think that is resolved now. 

Anyway, the Excel Connector for is an awesome, free way to get any data you need imported, deleted, or updated.

If you need help with any kind of import work, in any edition of Salesforce for any kind of data, feel free to contact us through our website: We'd be glad to help.

The Snapptraffic Spring '10 Newsletter

Its been quite a while since I sent out a newsletter, but I love to send out a note occasionally to let you know some of the neat things we're doing for our other clients. One of the great things about working with so many different clients who are using the same system, is that I get to see how they do what they do, and hear their ideas for improving their systems - which we often get to turn around and develop. I guess it is my own version of "crowd-sourcing"

The Benefits of "Crowd-sourcing" - Since my last newsletter, we seen and developed all kinds of cool things that you might benefit from. Plus I'll throw in a few things that I see as problem areas for large numbers of my clients - maybe you can benefit from what I've seen as I go from salesforce instance to salesforce instance.  

Appointment Reminders! One of the features that is sadly lacking in is the ability to automatically send out appointment reminders to clients. We developed this internally for our own use because I couldn't find an app exchange product that did this inexpensively and I needed it badly. If you ever have issues with a clients forgetting appointments, it can often be resolved by simply sending an reminder the day before. This VisualForce app gives you a list of appointments for the following day and sends them all an email reminder. Couldn't be simpler! Let us know if you would like us to set this up for you in your system. Send a template of your choice to all the leads OR contacts that you have appointments with the following day.(Salesforce Enterprise Edition Only)

Totals for Dashboards

Did you know that a dashboard can have a total displayed under graph or table element? Tables & graphs make so much more sense when there is a total. 

Its actually a separate element than the graph or the table. Its a metric element. Instead of putting the footer (e.g. "All Open Opportunities") under the main element, put it under the totals metric. That almost makes it look like the totals line is part of the main graphical element. 

It really works great. The only limitation is that you have to remember to move both elements when you are repositioning elements on the page. (Professional and Enterprise Editions)

New Dashboard Charting Engine - By the way - if you haven't enabled the new dashboard charting engine released by Salesforce a few releases ago, you're really missing out. The new funnel dashboard element is great way to display a pipeline.  There is also a new "Donut" graph element - an interesting variation on the pie chart. I only mention it because I'm frequently working on client systems in which it hasn't been enabled. Take advantage of it, its got some great features. (All Salesforce Editions)

Internal Communications - One of my clients, Shredit, in Las Vegas, asked me for a way to make comments internally to each other regarding records in Salesforce, specifically accounts. We came up with a simple system that made it possible for someone to save a note regarding an account and have that note sent automatically via email to the account owner, or an alternative recipient if desired. It is a great way to communicate internally about an account, get those notes to the right people, and save them right with the account for future reference. (The Comments can be added in any edition of Salesforce, the email alerts will require Enterprise)

Contact Photos! - I've been asked for this system quite a few times over the years. (yes, that's me in the example screenshot) Its pretty easy to implement. It is just a formula field with an image reference. I'm surprised that Salesforce hasn't added something built in to handle this, but so far they haven't. It works by loading the image of a contact to the documents repository within Salesforce. I recommend putting it in a folder called "Contact Photos." Then simply note the ID and reference that on the contact record. You can use an image formula to reference that ID. I also have a blank headshot image (like you see on Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn when you haven't loaded your image) that displays when the user hasn't yet loaded a picture. (Any Salesforce Edition)


Email Opt Out - the lack of this one feature is why so many people need a third party email program. When you are sending mass emails, Salesforce automatically disregards those who have opted out, so using this field is a powerful way to avoid spamming. Allowing recipients to opt out themselves can be a huge time saver (as opposed to doing it manually). There is a way to do this in Salesforce! It is handled via an email sent back to a Salesforce email service address with "Unsubscribe" entered into the subject line. When Salesforce receives that email, it knows who it came from and if "Unsubscribe" is in the subject line, it places a checkbox in the "Email Opt Out" field. Some standard opt out text and links can be placed in the footer of your emails to give instructions to your recipients. See how it really works below (but don't send it unless you truly want to unsubscribe!) 

Workflow Rules - If you have Enterprise edition of Salesforce, there is almost no excuse for not taking advantage of Workflow Rules. You can use these to automate so many daily tasks. They can automatically send emails, create  tasks, or  update fields. In a nutshell, a workflow rule executes when a record is saved. It evaluates the record and if the record satisfies the triggering condition it takes the action you've requested.  Time based workflow can also react to dates. They're great for informing people that a stage has advanced in an opportunity, letting people know that a case has been open for too long, or advising people to take some action in response to a due date. So many cool things you can use them for. 

Visualforce APEX Development - If you have need of custom functionality that extends beyond what you have standard in Salesforce, Visualforce is the way to get it done. When working with clients before Visualforce I frequently had to say to them, "You can't do that in Salesforce." Now I typically say, "We'll have to do that in Visualforce."  The power of Visualforce lies in the fact that it is custom code (a programmed language) that resides in Salesforce rather than on your local computer. So that code is available anywhere on any computer as long as they have a browser. 

Is Visualforce Expensive? In general, I find that most simple Visualforce projects take about 10 hours. By simple, I mean a page where information is gathered from your Salesforce database and displayed in some useful way to you and your users. More complex functions such as data entry, record creation and manipulation typically require about 20 hours. Most of the projects we've completed seem to take about somewhere between 10 and 20 hours. A few go over that, but generally they are much more complex and require several pages and functions. 

We'd Love To Hear About Your Visualforce Project Ideas! - Are you thinking about a program or function that you would like to have developed. Ask us about it, we'd be happy to do some brainstorming with you!

Thanks for reading! Until next time, 

Michael Snapp
Snapptraffic Consulting

Salesforce on a MAC (Mail Merge & Data Loader)

One of the few remaining areas that are problematic for Mac owners with 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 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 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.

Search for Duplicates Validation Rule

A common problem for Salesforce users is the accidental creation of duplicate records. Validation rules are often used to check the condition of a record before it is saved. Here is a validation rule we use to prevent the creation of a new record with the same name (unfortunately it only works on custom objects).

It uses the VLOOKUP salesforce formula function which is only available for validation rules (unfortunately). This validation rule has two parts:

1) It looks for a record of the same name
2) It makes sure that the record isn't the exact same record as opposed to just a duplicate. This will happen when a record is edited, the name already exists (as itself) and when saved will trigger the part 1 result.

Here is the rule. Simply replace the object name and field name (which can both be entered automatically when using the formula editor)

    Name = VLOOKUP
       ($ObjectType.Service__c.Fields.Name , $ObjectType.Service__c.Fields.Name, Name ),

         ($ObjectType.Service__c.Fields.Id , $ObjectType.Service__c.Fields.Name, Name )))