Updating knowledge articles with the Salesforce integration

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Updating knowledge articles with the Salesforce integration

Postby geoff_miller on Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:30 pm

With the Salesforce integration, you can publish Flare content to Salesforce. After you initially publish that content, how do you update existing knowledge articles in Salesforce with the integration? How does Flare know which articles to update? The Flare documentation around this is somewhat vague, or I'm missing something.

Are there other limitations I should know about?
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Re: Updating knowledge articles with the Salesforce integrat

Postby Colum on Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:33 am

Hi Geoff. Did you get an answer to your question? I'd also be interested to know.
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Re: Updating knowledge articles with the Salesforce integrat

Postby geoff_miller on Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:36 pm

Colum wrote:Hi Geoff. Did you get an answer to your question? I'd also be interested to know.


Hi Colum,

After extensive usability testing and communication with MadCap Technical Support (to confirm what I discovered), you can publish and re-publish Flare topics to Salesforce; however, there are quite a lot of significant caveats that are NOT covered in the Flare documentation.

To work correctly, the Salesforce integration relies on specific settings in Flare’s Destination file and editing topics in Flare only. When you publish topics for the first time, the integration creates a link between the Flare topics and the resulting Salesforce articles. Doing any of the actions below breaks the link between the Flare topics and Salesforce articles, resulting in duplicate topics or failure to publish topics to Salesforce. Once you initially publish topics to Salesforce, you CANNOT:

- move files in Flare
- rename files in Flare
- edit article titles, properties, or content in Salesforce
- move articles from Publish to Draft in Salesforce. Note: The integration automatically handles state transitions.


If you work in a multi-author environment, the most important caveat about using this integration is that you MUST have a single, shared Salesforce account. When publishing, Flare stores the log files in each user's private library. When you re-publish, it checks the log file to see which topics have already been published so that it can then update them. When publishing from different user accounts, the integration cannot access the previously uploaded logs, and will therefore publish duplicate articles.

I hope this helps.
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Re: Updating knowledge articles with the Salesforce integrat

Postby Psider on Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:52 pm

There really needs to be a like/helpful button.

Thanks for sharing this Geoff.
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Re: Updating knowledge articles with the Salesforce integrat

Postby smoore132 on Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:02 am

Does anyone know if any of these issues have been addressed in later versions? Especially the issue with having a single shared Salesforce account in a multi-author environment.

And ditto with the thanks to Geoff for posting this detailed list of caveats.
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Re: Updating knowledge articles with the Salesforce integrat

Postby geoff_miller on Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:28 pm

smoore132 wrote:Does anyone know if any of these issues have been addressed in later versions? Especially the issue with having a single shared Salesforce account in a multi-author environment.

And ditto with the thanks to Geoff for posting this detailed list of caveats.


Glad I could help shed some light on how to use the Salesforce integration. :D

I recently attended the MadWorld conference in Dublin, Ireland. I spoke with MadCap Support about the Salesforce integration, in particular how the current limitations make it frustrating to use. They acknowledged this, but mentioned that the Salesforce API is extremely restrictive, making it "challenging" to allow Flare and Salesforce to talk to one another. In short: Salesforce doesn't play well with Flare, not the other way around. Given what I know about using Salesforce outside of Flare, I believe it.

Also, MadCap did not reveal any of their roadmap at this conference, so no news on what's coming down the pipe for the Salesforce integration. Apparently, they are not doing that anymore at conferences.

It's worth mentioning that my colleague and I pinged all conference attendees (via the conference app) to come talk to us if they were using the Salesforce integration. Only 2 people from the same company responded. :( I didn't gain any further insight on using the integration, other than what we already knew.
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Re: Updating knowledge articles with the Salesforce integrat

Postby Nita Beck on Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:11 am

Geoff, thanks so much for posting all of your detailed research.

I'm currently researching the Salesforce connector for one of my clients, experimenting with publishing to a Salesforce sandbox and trying to come up with a repeatable and dependable workflow. Your notes above are FANTASTIC. As I learn more, if I have anything to add to your observations, I'll pay it forward and add them here. I'd also be happy to chat with you via PM any time. (Wasn't in Dublin. :( As a self-employed person, I couldn't afford a trip across North American for MW San Diego AND a trip across the Altantic for MW Dublin in the same year.)
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Re: Updating knowledge articles with the Salesforce integrat

Postby geoff_miller on Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:15 am

You’re very welcome, Nita.

Our use case for using the integration is that we write our release notes in Flare and publish them twice a month (preview and final release notes) to Salesforce’s Community tool, which is where our clients read the release notes and receive updates about them. For most releases, we deal with about 20 new features, so we needed a reliable way of publishing the individual topics from Flare. Previously, we copied and pasted the HTML source output into Salesforce, but that was labor intensive and prone to errors. Also, you had to manually reinsert images. The integration allows you to publish all of the articles with a few steps.
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