Project Description

James Automation are a manufacturing and maintenance company that specialise in automatic gate sytems.  They have a team of field engineers who are out at client sites either installing or fixing gates.  In order to manage the business they subscribed to a cloud solution called ServiceMax.  (ServiceMax is a 3rd party solution that sits upon the Salesforce platform).

As the sole system administrator for James Automation, Aidan (who had obtained his ServiceMax Certified Administrator status in November 2014) was asked if there was any way of seeing where all of the jobs were for the current day so that the office manager could assign emergency callouts to the nearest engineer.

The solution Aidan came up with was a custom Visualforce page with a custom Apex controller class that leveraged the live location coordinates of the field engineers (that is a part of the ServiceMax iPad application the field engineers used) and the Google Maps API that provided the maps.

The Live Board (as it is known) is displayed on a large 42inch screen (via a ChromeCast and the Office Manager’s PC) in the company’s head office (although it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and the right credentials).  It automatically refreshes every few minutes and displays the location of the field engineers in “real time”, along with their job locations for the day and their home location. (All of which can be turned off and on in the settings, including which engineer’s information you want to see).

After the initial visualforce page was up and running the office manager mentioned that the engineers had seen the map in the office and had asked if they could have a personalised version for themselves in order to help see their daily jobs and plan their routes better.

A small tweak to the Apex controller class and a cloned and slightly altered Visualforce page later, the field engineers had a personalised and interactive map on their Salesforce homepage.