An often overlooked feature of the Winter 14 release of Salesforce is the introduction of Subtab Applications. Most of us by now are familiar with the new tabbed layout on our chatter profile page:
but did you know that you can add your own tabs to this page, via the Subtab applications. I tend to use this for functionality that I want to provide to a user but that isn’t really part of the Salesforce applications. A good example is The Freezer - a Visualforce pages that I’ve created for administration purposes. I’ve created a Visualforce tab for this (and I’ve also turned off the header and sidebar, as otherwise I’ll get those embedded in the subtab too!), but I don’t want to add it to any of my standard/custom applications as it is more about setup, but I also don’t want to burn an application just for a single tab that will be used very infrequently.
Subtab applications are configured via the Create -> Apps setup menu. They appear in a fixed set of places so you can’t create new apps, but you can customise the existing apps by clicking the edit link
I’m customising the Profile (Self) application so I click the edit link for that and on the resulting page, add my custom tab ‘The Freezer’ to the Selected Tabs:
If I now navigate back to my chatter profile, I have an additional tab that allows me to access the freezer functionality:
Access to the tabs is controlled via the usual profile/permission set configuration, so if users don’t have access to the tab it won’t appear in their subtab application.