Soooooo, in the Winter ’17 release Salesforce decided to ‘heat things up’ by introducing the Utilities bar which in my opinion is amazingly awesome in its own little way.
This new utilities bar which is located at the bottom of your Lightning page (once added to your Lightning App) and has a few use cases directly out of the box. Instead of adding Chatter to your page layout as a tab, why not add it to your utilities bar? Using a Visualforce tab to open an object? Add this to the utilities bar instead. Got a Flow you want to be triggered manually by a user? Add it to the utilities bar. If Rakesh Gupta or Jennifer Lee haven’t already covered this in a Process Automation Hour then this is a great time and I’m taking all the credit for suggesting it! lol
In case you haven’t already worked it out, Utilities gives you another element to styling your App by making them more intuitive for a user by eliminating tabs and making your creation look even more super swanky!
This is extremely helpful when you work in an environment that seems to have a million and one custom objects and tabs to match. The good thing is that you can use this functionality to show details without navigating from the current page. For instance, where I currently work, we are lucky to have WAVE Analytics (if you havent seen it then it will blow your mind) and use a few specific dashboards to help monitor progress from a high level. Rather than wasting up tab space and valuable page real estate, I added it to the Utilities section to free up space but still make it available within one click. The best part is that you are able to view dashboards etc without actually navigating away from the page.
You may be thinking “wow, that sounds really boring and don’t quite understand why you would get excited about nothing? You really need to get out more Tom!” and in some ways you are completely right. I do need to get out more I agree, but this is exciting stuff in my opinion. If like me you are all about the User Experience (UX) then you will want to ensure that you are giving possible experience to your users. As I always say, “a system can only be great if the UX matches especially when you are reliant on others to feed the system with data.”
Adding to the utilities is super simple so let me show you. First, go to Setup and type ‘App’ in the Quick Find box
You now need to edit the App that you wish to change. Simply click the drop down arrow and click ‘Edit’. In this scenario I am editing the ‘Admin’ app
Select ‘Utility Bar’ and then click the ‘Add’ button. You will now be prompted to make a selection as to what type of component you want to add. Due to the amount of tabs on our App, we are going to add the ‘Chatter Publisher’ to the Utilities bar to save space. Select ‘Chatter Publisher’
Your screen will now look like this
In this scenario we’re not going to amend anything so you can just click ‘Save’ and then ‘Done’.
You will now see this little sexy icon in the bottom left hand corner and when clicked will now open up Chatter Publisher ready for you post away!
How easy was that, like seriously, how easy was that?
Begone and start creating your masterpieces now!