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Is there a reason that the generic Salesforce model makes phone calls "Tasks" and not "Events"? It seems like calls have start times and end times just like Events. What advantage does not having those fields give?

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    If it was a "scheduled phone call", then one could consider it the same as an appointment or an "Event". Very often, follow up phone calls are assigned as Tasks. How long they take or exactly when they're performed is not important so long as the call is completed by the due date. Thus the reason it's a Task. An Event is intended primarily for use when face to face calendared activities take place. Recognize that SF's Activities model was designed before webinars and web meetings became common. You can show the amount of time spent for a phone call on a Task. – crmprogdev Sep 5 '14 at 23:50
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Actually, phone calls are Tasks and meetings etc. are Events. Then both are grouped as activities. It is essentially a very abstracted back end data model, presented in Salesforce as two tables, with common functionality.

The best place to start would probably be the Salesforce api docs for each, https://www.salesforce.com/us/developer/docs/api/Content/sforce_api_objects_task.htm (Task) and https://www.salesforce.com/us/developer/docs/api/Content/sforce_api_objects_event.htm (Event). Though if you google salesforce tasks and events, you will find a lot of posts and discussions about the best practices, experiences and tricks of these tables.

--KC

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  • Sorry - I've changed my question to reflect reality. I understand the distinction between tasks and events. I just want to know why Phone calls are typically Tasks, and not Events. – Charles Koppelman Sep 5 '14 at 19:12
  • I can't really comment on why they are separated out in that way, and why it was designed that way. They do share a lot of functionality, and tasks can be scheduled for the future. Tasks though tie into things like CTI, for logging phone calls, inbound emails for email to case. Events offer the ability to schedule while looking at a calendar of other invitees. I think that some orgs, could just uses tasks though, they have most important core functionality I think. – kcshafer Sep 5 '14 at 19:16
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    Blame Parker Harris.. he wrote it! :) – Francis Sep 5 '14 at 20:13
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    Events also have a Location, such as where a Meeting took place. With a phone call, the location is likely not relevant. Events show on your Salesforce Calendar, not sure I would want all my Tasks (and phone calls) to show on my Calendar, especially if you sync with Outlook or other calendaring program. – Doug Ayers Sep 5 '14 at 20:54
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    I'd add that we usually don't care when the call was (not with minute precision) or how long it lasted, simply that there was a call and the result of the call (voicemail, etc). And, of course, syncing all these calls with your calendar would just clutter it up with information you don't need in Outlook or on your phone. – sfdcfox Sep 6 '14 at 14:50

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