As you know, S-Docs can be used to generate and distribute PDF, Word, HTML and XLS documents natively on the Salesforce.com platform. All paid versions of S-Docs can also integrate with Google Drive. This Google Drive Integration (GDI) allows documents created using S-Docs to be automatically uploaded to a Google Drive repository and linked seamlessly within Salesforce. By doing this, the docs are stored the Google cloud where they can be shared and edited without requiring any additional software (e.g. MS Office) and can also be accessed using mobile devices. By using S-Docs GDI, your salesforce users do not need to download a file before making their changes nor need to upload the same afterward. This ensures that everyone is working from only one copy of the document and changes are reflected real-time eliminating need to track and reconcile any conflicts.
Google Drive Overview
Google Drive is a service that allows users to store, collaborate and share documents in the cloud. Google Drive recently incorporated Google Docs, which was a suite of productivity applications similar to Microsoft Office’s Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Google Drive currently offers 5GB file storage free with the option to purchase more storage. However, it is important to note, that S-Docs creates all documents in Google Drive native format. This means that these documents do not (as of this latest update) count towards your Google Drive file storage limit and therefore you can use S-Docs with Google Drive with minimal or no cost.
To learn more about Google Drive, here is a good reference:
Example Use Case
S-Docs GDI is useful when you have multiple users who you want to collaborate on the same document. For example, let’s say you use S-Docs to generate your standard Contract PDF, which merges your Salesforce Contract record data with your S-Docs Template. For this use case, let’s assume the Contract needs input from the VP of Sales prior to finalization. Once the user generates the Contract document, they would optionally click one button to upload that document to a shared Google Drive repository. When the VP clicks on the document link within Salesforce, rather than downloading and opening MS Word, the VP would be able to view and make changes directly to the contract using just their browser. When the document is finalized, Google allows you to export it to other formats, such as PDF, before distribution.
This guide provides solutions and ideas to help organizations get the most from S-Docs. It is intended for users already familiar with Salesforce administration and configuration techniques. Knowledge of HTML is also useful in creating the highest quality documents. We encourage you to visit our website: http://www.mesystemsllc.com for template samples and help.
Unlike S-Docs, which works entirely within the Salesforce.com platform, using the Google Drive Integration means your documents are hosted remotely.
- Your documents may contain sensitive data.
- If there is a disruption in Google Drive service, your documents will not be available even if there are no issues with Salesforce.com
- Google Drive has its own Terms of Service concerning use and confidentially, which differ from Salesforce.com
- S-Docs uses OAuth2.0 to exchange user credential information between Salesforce and Google. This process requires a user grant access to their Google Drive account
- Google may make future changes to its Google Drive APIs that unexpectedly render it incompatible with S-Docs. While we do not expect such a change, and would make every reasonable effort to continue to support the Google Drive service, we cannot guarantee future compatibility because of this reason
Your security team would need to determine if this is an acceptable risk.