X-Author is an enhanced UI of Excel , which can be used for managing Salesforce Data.It can handle data (CRUD) for an unlimited number of objects simultaneously and the data can be spread across worksheets and in any format – lists, parent child, forms and matrices. It also supports all the necessities for a complete UI like pick lists and record types.
Before we jump into this, we should have a basic knowledge of Salesforce and Excel.
We can always use the traditional way of handling data, which is by using MS-Excel. But with MS Excel, X Author works more flexibly. If there is an easy and more comfortable way of doing things then why should we stick on to old, difficult and traditional ways.
Once you install the X-Author Client app and its configurations, it allows users to bring data from Excel, Word (for contracts) and the rest of Microsoft Office into the Salesforce1 Platform and vice versa, resulting in secure collaboration, data sharing, and boosted productivity across the enterprise. With X-Author, users can bring in the unmeasurable process and analytical benefits of the cloud to their usual and familiar Microsoft-based environment.
Three things you need to do,
The X-Author Designer ribbon is fully enabled. Now you can start designing an app or using existing apps. You can have the option of switch connection and revoke connection using X-Author UI.
There are two ways to create an App in X-Author: –
Here we are focusing on normal App creation.
Step1: Apps – New App.
Step2: Select the Salesforce Objects for which the data needs to be worked on.
Object behaviour can be changed by right-clicking on an object in Selected Objects.
Step3: Create a Display Map
Step4: Create Save Map.
Step5: Create Action.
The following actions are available. You can choose the appropriate action as per your requirement.
|Add Row||It will add a row to the top or bottom of your Display Map.|
|Check-In||Saves the Excel file to Notes && Attachments in Salesforce and unlocks the file.|
|Check-Out||Opens a previously saved X-Author for Excel file from Salesforce Notes and Attachments and then locks the file to prevent editing by any other user.|
|Clear||It will Clears cell data.|
|Dataset||Combines outputs of Query Actions to overcome SOQL limitations.|
|Display||It will places retrieved data in the worksheet based on a Display Map.|
|Macro||Runs an existing macro.|
|Paste Action||It will Counts the rows from which data has been copied and then pastes the copied data into those rows.|
|Query||It Queries data from Salesforce.|
|Salesforce Method||It Calls a Salesforce Method.|
|Save||It Saves worksheet data to Salesforce based on a Save Map.|
|Save Attachment||It Saves the entire Excel file or specific worksheets in the Excel.|
|Search and Select||Allows a user to search for and select data that will then be retrieved into the workbook|
|Switch Connection||Switches between orgs to allow uploading and downloading data across multiple orgs.|
Step6: Create Action Flow.
Action Flow will define a sequence of one or more actions that will be executed when end users click buttons on the app’s ribbon menu.
Step7: Create the necessary menu using User Menu option.
User Menu allows designers to create menus that the end user will see in their Excel ribbon when they open an X-Author App in runtime.
Step8: Save the App.
Step 9: Click Preview button for preview.
An X-Author for Excel application (app) is created within Microsoft Excel using X-Author Designer. The app is a combination of:
Apps are stored in the Applications object within a Salesforce org. X-Author for Excel apps are not related to the Salesforce definition of an application or app. A single X-Author App can include any number of objects that span any number of Salesforce applications. During runtime, the order is reversed. The end user clicks a ribbon button that calls an action flow, which executes a sequential set of actions that retrieve, save, or manipulate the data.
Use Case Scenario: –
With X-Author, you can easily build and deploy productivity applications with high scale or you can install ready-to-use applications. This will help to save your time and easily manage millions of data. One of the limitations that we face using this is that the Mac OS X operating system is not supported. However, X-Author can be used on a Mac that is running a Windows Virtual Machine in a VMware or Parallels environment.