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Has anyone have a nice way of creating a random number using a formula field? Here's our business case.

We're creating certification records in salesforce to track who are certified on our product. A benifit of this is they can call into our Support system and type in their Certification Number to be placed in front of the queue. However we don't want people to guess what the numbers may be from a sequence.
My company is considering moving to Salesforce (running away from NetSuite). Having been burned before with sales guy's promises, I would love to find out from the user community the experience (at least from the IT point of view) as it pertains to the following:

1. Web Services:
a. How robust are they? Many glitches? Speed (esp. during business hours)?

b. Are there any known limitations. E.g., can Web Services read and write all custom fields and custom tables? Any large sections of functionality that aren't exposed by the API? (I've seen in other posts that the definition of custom fields cannot currently be done, but I assume that once defined you can query/add/update those custom fields on records?)

c. Is it plausible to have a custom application that does, say, ten SOAP messages per minute to the Salesforce web service? Are there licensing issues with number of records/requests/kilobytes per day/user/whatever and if so is it difficult to make an integration with a custom app work within those restrictions?

2. Quote/Configuration Add-ons:
a. We know that Salesforce currently doesn't have a quoting capability. We looked at several options, such as QuoteASP (pricey at $55 per month per user, and limited configuration possibilities), but are wondering if this is the best one that integrates with Salesforce, and if there are any open source or other options?

b. Our requirements for quote/configuration are these: we only sell basically one item, but it has 3 parameters, each from a finite list. The unit price of the item is a function of all 3 parameters (it is not obtained by adding factors associated with each parameter separately), so it can be only determined by a table lookup.

3. Support:
a. How knowledgeable is their support team from the perspective of an IT guy on the client side who is responsible for implementation/administration?

Thanks a lot for any specific answers or general advice or other war stories.


Hello all.

First timer here, I'm hoping someone has tried this before and can lend a hand.  We have the Professional license of Salesforce and I just downloaded the Excel Connector Add-In.  I'm able to query the case table without a problem, but I have some unanswered questions...

1) I cannot retrieve any data from CaseComment, CaseSolution, or Solution (receive "No data returned for this Query").  I know I have comments and solutions posted against my sample data online--is this a software limitation?    

...fyi, I did install the Professional Edition of Excel Connector

2) When looking at the Case data, it appears that each case is issued an internal (hex?) CaseID number.  I'm assuming this is some sort of RecordID.  If I want to import my legacy cases through this interface, will I have to create new CaseID's for them?  If so, what rules need to be applied to draw up these new numbers?

Many thanks to whoever reads this and takes the time to repond!