September 22, 2010

Why I can only follow/subscribe to 500 entities with Chatter ?

Chatter makes enterprise communication easy for sure. People can chat around standard/custom objects, share files/links, follow people and even objects etc etc. All is pretty good with Chatter, except the limitation of maximum 500 Entity Subscriptions per User.

The strange 500 limit ?

One User can only follow at max 500 objects or people or files(from winter’11). This is a weird limit, we came across this limit within a month after starting with chatter. Reaching 500 mark by manual following (hitting follow button) will take some more time, we are using triggers to do rule based auto following. But its pretty common to have some auto-follow triggers setup in chatter enabled orgs, these triggers make some users follow some interesting information based on biz rules. In such auto-follow scenario,  I am sure one will face this error pretty quickly.

Why this 500 limit hurts ?

This limit hurts, because

  • Its not documented any where, the standard Salesforce governor/limits page
  • If one has auto-follow rules/triggers setup, once this limit is reached, can block the transactions, as triggers will fail for this error. The only quick solution left in such cases is to disable any such auto-follow trigger. This requires Admin access too, so not a straight task to do for a normal non-admin user.

In my case because of this error, we have to devise another biz rule to un-follow some of the old data(that might be still important), based on time frame window etc and some certain record state. A standard example can be auto un-follow Opps that are Won/Closed, though such Opps can carry some interesting chatter conversations.

Chatter vs Facebook vs Twitter

Chatter is Enterprise Facebook/Twitter for me. From our Facebook/Twitter habits, we all are too much in habit of following, this is what we do always in Twitter OR Facebook (like/groups). We never have think the follow/like count before following any new interesting information source. Chatter unfortunately kills here, one can’t fly free or plan some cool auto-follow biz logic based on this “500” constraint.

Idea-Exchange – Remove this 500 limit – VOTE !!

I posted my pain on force.com forum here, but should have posted an idea too in parallel. Never mind, some wise person already did that, here is link to the idea. We all love Chatter, so please vote to get rid of this 500 limit ! This idea desperately needs votes.