What are Shared Activities?
We are frequently asked what shared activities are. This is a brief description and explanation on why shared activities are so useful.
Let's say you create an event on a contact's activity history. That's as easy as just populating the field "Name" with the contact's name. This has been possible since the very early days of Salesforce. You can also add invitees - meaning more contacts, leads or users to the event at the bottom of the page.
But you will quickly discover the limitations of that model: none of the other invitees you have added have the event on their activity history. This pretty much defeats the purpose of the activity history.
In the Summer '12 release, Salesforce introduced a new update that tries to do away with this limitation. It is called "Shared Activities" or "Multiple Contacts on an Activity". Note how the lookup search modal has changed. It allows you to search and select multiple contacts. Once you have them selected, the field Name will display one of the contacts name and then +3 if you have selected 4 contacts in total. You will now find the event on the activity history of all contacts you have selected, so your customer records are complete.
The same applies for Tasks (and Emails): multiple contacts can be selected and the task will be found on each of these contact's activity history.
Cool, but What Limitations Apply?
You can only select up to 50 contacts.
You still can only select one lead - just like without shared activities enabled.
You cannot mix leads and contacts. It's either one lead or up to 50 contacts.
What Disadvantages do Shared Activities Entail?
None. In fact, we encourage you to enable it if you haven't yet.
Why is that Relevant for Groove?
Groove works more efficiently when shared activities are enabled. Three quick examples of this are:
If you log an email that was sent to three contacts, Groove will store the email only once in Salesforce in one task record. All three contacts will be related to the same record. If you don't have shared activities enabled, Groove will have to store the same email three times in Salesforce just to make sure all three contacts have the email on their activity history.
If you sync an event from Google to Salesforce and you invite 3 contacts, Groove will make sure all contacts have the event on their activity history (see the example above). If you don't have shared activities enabled, Groove can only add the event to one of the 3 contacts activity history.
If you use search and select in Groove for Gmail in order to pick related contacts, leads, opportunities or any other objects, Groove can minimize the number of tasks or events that's needed to reflect what you selected.
How Do I Enable Shared Activities?
Go to Salesforce
From Setup click Customize | Activities | Activity Settings
Activate the checkbox Allow Users to Relate Multiple Contacts to Tasks and Events
Note that the message that enabling shared activities can take up to 48 hours is vastly exaggerated. It usually takes under 20 minutes unless you have millions of existing activities in your Salesforce org.