Understanding Outbound Actions and Best Practices

Outbound Actions allows users to send data entered into Allocadia to another system, like Salesforce, via either an email or a URL action, eliminating duplication of efforts in multiple systems. Actions are built in Allocadia using the Freemarker template engine. It is important to note that the field name reference gets set based on the column name at the time the action is created. If the column name changes after the action is created, then the field name reference will remain the same for that action. In this way, the action will not break if the column name changes. However, be aware that if you are creating a new action, the field name references may be different.

Note: Sending a null Date value will cause an error in Allocadia. Instead, use an if statement or make the date field a required field. For example, <#if (item.startDate? length > 0) >${ item.startDate } </#if>. You can refer to the Freemarker manual for more detail, http://freemarker.incubator.apache.org/docs/index.html.

Email Action

The email action allows users to trigger an email with the activity details from Allocadia. The broadest application for this type of action is to use Salesforce Email Services to parse the emailed campaign data from Allocadia to automatically create the campaign.

Note: Use your own email address in the To: textbox of the action for testing purposes.

URL Action

The main use of Open URL (query strings) is to populate the content of an HTML web form:

  • The query string is composed of a series of field-value pairs.
  • Within each pair, the field name and value are separated by an equals sign, '='.
  • The series of pairs is separated by the ampersand, '&'.
  • For each field of the form, the query string contains a pair field=value. Web forms may include fields that are not visible to the user; these fields are included in the query string when the form is submitted. 

The URL action will only work if the web form accepts query strings. You will want to perform an initial test to validate if the form will work with outbound actions without any other custom development work. If this test is successful, you will want to have:

  • All the field names (and ids) of the fields that you would like populated from Allocadia
  • The possible values/ranges/formats of the fields on your PR form
Note:  If you’d like to be able to attach a file to your action, consider using the URL action. Triggering this action will activate the default email client on the user’s desktop and populate that email with the details of the activity from Allocadia. The user can then use the email client’s native file attachment capability to add a file to their email.
Note: Most organizations have naming conventions for their campaigns--usually they have some form of the period (year/quarter) at the beginning of the name. You can use freemarker to check if the name starts with the right period.
  • ?ensure_starts_with("16Q3 AU ")
  • If the name doesn’t start with the given string, freemarker will append “16Q3 AU” to the beginning of the string.
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