UPDATED 12/18/2014 (see updates inline below) If you are a Salesforce Partner or Admin, you might be sick of hearing about the Environment Hub by now.  Creation of orgs in the Partner Portal and Partner Community is going away.  Get on the Environment Hub train before it leaves the station.  We get it.  The Environment Hub is awesome.  Please pass the Kool-Aid. I’ve been using the Environment Hub since the Pilot, and it IS awesome.  I’ve especially looked forward to deploying it to clients who use Trialforce for business and demo orgs.  The old HTML Trialforce form is clunky, and while you can use it as an internal tool for spinning up orgs from your Trialforce templates, that’s not what it was designed for. With the Environment Hub, you can specify any of your Trialforce templates and create a new org from that template.  This is easy to manage and it’s elegant.  It puts this functionality right where it should be, alongside other org creation features.  I tested it in the Pilot, and it worked like a charm. Except when I went to use it for a real production client — you know, when there was a deadline involved and all — the Environment Hub gave me an ambiguous error and did not create a new org.  “Creating the new org failed.  Please try again later.”

I tried again later, same result.  I tried again even later than that, same result.  So I opened a case and waited for help to arrive. And arrive it did.  My Salesforce Support Angel pointed out that there is one step in the Trialforce for Environment Hub setup that I had missed: Trialforce Source Orgs must be approved before you can use it with the SignupRequest API, and the Environment Hub requires the SignupRequestAPI.  You just have to open a case and ask.  My Angel was kind enough to approve my TSO right away, and I‘ve been in Trialforce-Environment Hub bliss ever since.  More Kool-Aid, please. UPDATE 12/18/2014: Well-informed sources at Salesforce have let me know that a new and improved error message for this scenario has already been implemented and is planned for the Spring 15 release. For the record, this information is covered in the Environment Hub resource FAQ on the Partner Community:  https://partners.salesforce.com/s/education/general/Environment_Hub

Can I use my Trialforce Template ID to create customized organizations from the “Create Organization” page in Environment Hub?

Absolutely!  All you need to do is enter the ID in the “Template ID” field on “Create Organization” page in Environment Hub.. Please note that the template must be approved by Salesforce before you can use it with the SignupRequest API. If your template has not been approved, please log a case in the Partner Community.

Bonus Environment Hub tip: after filling out the form for a new org, when you click the Create button, nothing happens.  The button may highlight, but there is no other immediate feedback.  Despite appearances, things are happening behind the scenes.  Be patient and wait for the email to arrive with your new org login.  If you click it again, you’ll probably get a “username already exists error”, which can be confusing and only further your impatience.  Go write a TPS report or three, and your org will be there before you know it. (It can take up to a few hours sometimes.) UPDATE 12/18/2014: those same well-informed sources at Salesforce also indicated that UI feedback after clicking the Create button has already been implemented and is planned for the Spring 15 release.