Spring ’23 Release Notes

While Salesforce claims that the spring is here (or will be here next week), I really hope, when looking outside of the window, that it will wait a bit longer. Right now I crave the snow so much.

Snow at Alps
Spring '23 logo

Jokes aside, the Spring ’23 release is here and we should take a look what new and great features in brings. If nothing else, the logo is super cute this time.

The most crucial and visible change for all clients will be the auto enablement of MFA, which will be rolled out in phases during 2023 but at first you will still be able to disable it again. This is not relevant for SSO users and I already covered the MFA tooling previously.

Searchable fields are in beta, but it looks like we will be able to easily specify, per profile (what about permission sets?), which fields should be searchable for those users. Will see.

In reports we will have a new $USER variable which we can use for filtering. No more formula fields to calculate whether the running user is the one I want based on the record. (I don’t believe this example is the best, but based on Created By makes more sense)

Admins can also know better to which reports and dashboards are user subscribed (just open a new Subscriptions Report) and user can subscribe to even more reports! (15 now, was 7 before, which I didn’t even notice and always thought it was 5)

Final improvement of reports – when creating a new one you can filter by fields you need on it. Actually one more – you can add text and graphics to dashboard (beta feature) which sounds promising and brings new possibilites.

New template for Lightning Pages – Pinned Right Sidebar (3 regions) which might be super handy.

Also the „Apply and Automate Mass Access with User Access Policies (Beta)“ looks super cool and might simplify admins lives by automatically applying the right permissions sets, licences, groups, etc. based on set criterias.

Czechia has been updated – don’t look for Czech Republic anymore in the country picklist. Similar for a few more, Türkiye is probably the most interesting with all its non-English characters. (applies only for new orgs, in existing you need to change it manually)

Looks like Flow and External Services are the way to go in even more occasions, probably need to look into more details next time I need to do an integration.

Track field history for Activities (finally, even though I probably never needed it), but supports only 6 fields (compared to 20 on other objects). Better than nothing.

Plenty of developers related improvements I have absolutely no clue what they means. I really hope that means they are super low-level. The user modes on database operations look interesting, even though I know we should check before I probably never had a strong use case to do that.

DataWeave will be probably huge. I saw so many code with XML transformations, CSV parsing, etc. that this looks like blessing. „enforcing the same heap and CPU limits on the executing code“ is a bit disappointment, but for everything else we have the Salesforce Functions.

Dynamically Pass Bind Variables to a SOQL Query looks like a way how to have just one variable „merging“ all the other parameters for SOQL query into one. Might probably save some lines of code.

Do you use Flow on Experience Site with guest users? It most likely will stop working and you need to give access to the guest user for each flow separately.

Automotive Cloud is here, which isn’t that interesting, but some features there are. Like Contact to Contact Relationships, something similar exists in NPSP, Financial Cloud, … I wonder when they will make it part of the Core and cut from all those products. Would make so much sense.

Absolutely breaking – the activities buttons are being changed and new features added – list of emails or phone numbers directly in the icon. Users can still switch it back to the old design, but this is the new default from now on.

Activities

605 pages later this was about all which catched my attention. Plenty of clouds I didn’t know much about and don’t plan to find more, I finally realised I won’t be able to cover the full width of the platform. But their changes takes maybe even more than half of those pages, which kind of signals how many new features we really got. And a lot of them in beta. A bit sad I would say.

Surprisingly no enhancements to Genii.

Others who covered this release

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Slack Certified. Finally!

After becoming Salesforce CTA you might have the feeling „what should I do/study next?“ And I had it as well – Vlocity, MuleSoft, AWS.

But it all felt somehow disconnected from users, cool things somewhere in the background. And then I noticed that Salesforce spent some money on Slack acquisition and made it my next goal.

At first I was like „do I really to focus on this chat tool, what is so special about it?“ I heard the Digital HQ statement and thought about it as another buzzword. But the more I studied the more I understood the future and why it might be interesting for Salesforce partners. And at PwC we started the serie „The Big Three“ to speak about different aspects of Slack. Perfect timing.

Slack or Chatter

Where to study

While Salesforce has the Trailhead, Slack has the SlackCertified website, where you can get badges for free or pay for more formal course, which will prepare you for the certification.

At the moment, there are three certifications. And I would say it is pretty interesting how they define the persona and how it differs from my definition/view of what people should do.

  • administrator
  • consultant
  • developer

Slack Administrator

This was the first certification I achieved and I still feel it is kind of weird. It focuses a lot on different licences/plans and what they will allow you to do.

  • free – all messages will disappear after 90 days, no Salesforce Connect capabilities, possible to integrate with applications;
  • Pro – full message history (after all Slack in an acronym for Searchable Log of All Communication and Knowledge), huddles and Salesforce Connect, can invite single-channel guests which are for free;
  • Business+ – main reason is the possibility to automate user (de)provisioning;
  • Enterprise Grid – obviously the enterprise features as data loss prevention or HIPAA compliant but also unlimited number of workspace, where people can work.

The second big part of the exam was the proper structure for channel names. Sounds like not a big deal, but if you have plenty channels it makes so much sense and some „ordnung“ should be established.

There might be additional actions available on each message

And the third part is how to use the platform. Salesforce Connect, huddles, install app, that there might be additional actions available for each message, shortcuts, global actions, you name it. Surprisingly a lot has been dedicated to emoticons and this is basically the first place/system which clearly says that answering with emoticons is more than enough, no reason for long text reply which doesn’t really add any value. Just thumbs-up/down or yes/no checkmarks.

And that was about it.

Slack Consultant

This certification came just before Christmas and I had the pleasure to be in the beta team. (Not) surprisingly it is mainly focused on the enterprise clients and the main thing you will learn is how to setup several workspaces, how to connect them, when to make cross-workspace channels. How to prepare for migration to Enterprise Grid, what we should ask client when designing the right structure, checklist for successful go-live and so on.

Slack Enterprise Grid planning

Slack Developer

The one I passed as the last one and also the one I failed on first try. It is surprisingly colourful. Some super easy questions, some super technical one like which token can you use to achieve X or which API method should you use.

The greatest part about this exam was the learning, where I really saw the possibilities for Salesforce partners. It sounds funny at first, but this is the moment where you will understand the Digital HQ vision, the difference between deep and shallow work, etc.

I knew before this exam that you can integrate external app, but never saw a real reason for that. But hey, it can for example have a home page where it can show all the crucial details and statistics, show the message it sent you, all of that can be dynamic and respect logged-in user.

Slack app homepage

Or that the notification from your app doesn’t have to be just a text with a link, which will open your app, where the people will do what they want to do (obviously!), but that you can give them interactivity directly in Slack and there is no reason to switch context and slow down your productivity. And this was the „aha“ moment for me.

Actionable message in Slack

You can use those buttons/picklists to act on the message, but the message can also change its content based on what you did. Just imagine that the channel will clear/be marked with green checkboxes as the tickets will be solved in your ticketing system.

My head started to spin with ideas, what we can develop for each client, how much we can simplify their work. Which greatly enhance the knowledge you will get when passing the UX Designer or Strategy Designer certifications. There is a lot!

Salesforce Integration

Speaking about Salesforce partners the big part is the integration with Salesforce. Alex Edelstein at CzechDreamin spoke about utilizing screen flows directly in Slack, we have Slack components in flows which can send message from flows to Slack and while I didn’t use them yet as the functionality didn’t really meet the requirements it looks really promising for the click not code approach. Obviously the connection from Slack to Salesforce is there already as well and while the „Link to record“ feature isn’t something extra, as it needs a lot of manual effort, the „Get me details about“ thing might be pretty handy. I also love the integration with CRM Analytics which I saw on video a while ago and more is coming. And thinking about the swarming feature for Service Cloud – still cannot imagine it in a big implementation (it terms of cleaning data after all is solved), but it might help a lot with the agility. And there is similar use case for Sales Cloud.

Another area where to dig deeper and test everything which is available.

Where to meet

Ok, Slack certified. Or maybe not yet. But you are definitely interested in learning more. Besides the Slack Certified website I already mentioned, where you can learn things on your own, there is also Slack Community, where you can join people with the same passion. There are not many of them in Europe, at the moment, but we are lucky enough to have one in Prague, so you might be able to meet the people in person as well.

The last thing to mention is the virtual Slack Community Forum, where you can post your question and someone from the community might help you. It probably isn’t as active as Success/Trailblazer community, but it doesn’t matter.

What is Slack for you?

It is time for the final question – what is Slack for you, how you use it and what future you predict for it? I’m interested to hear the answer, please post comment!

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with Aslah Hussain

We recorded this podcast with Aslah in June, but somehow I never found the time to cut it and publish. Luckily there is a new year and new opportunities to follow-up on things you didn’t have time before.

Notes:

  • even Salesforce developer can be accidental (Salesforce) developer, it isn’t just admin thing;
  • Java and JavaScript knowledge make a good start, all governor limits will surprise you;
  • juniors know that Google might have the answers but feel bad about it, but seniors know it is totally ok to Google things;
  • being a „full-stack“ developer probably makes sense;
  • being „just“ a developer is not enough, you should aim for consultant/architect knowledge as well;
  • proper tests are hard;
  • being on a small project as a junior will give you more responsibilities and probably quicker growth.

We also spoke about life at PwC, Dreamforce, CzechDreamin (call for speakers is open!), Salesforce MVPs and a few other things. All in all we had a great chat which we need to repeat one time. And maybe I can have such a great chat with someone else as well, what do you think, will you find time for me?

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify

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Čtyři tisíce týdnů, Oliver Burkeman

Čtyři tisíce týdnů, Oliver Burkeman

Knihy o produktivitě, jak toho zvládnout více, jak dělat ty správné věci, jak pracovat se svojí energií, jak mít čistý stůl. A pak je tady Oliver, který to celé postaví na hlavu.

Čím produktivnější zvládnete být, tím hůř pro vás!

Protože si pořád hledáme další věci co dělat, které kupovat, lepší sousedy, ke kterým vzhlížíme, nové výzvy. Všechno, abychom svůj čas úplně naplnili. Jenže máme k dispozici řádově pouze 4000 týdnů života, Verne dokonce v jedné ze svých knih psal o „pouhých“ 3000 týdnech. Takže cpát nebo užívat?

E-mail je bezkonkurenční nástroj umožňující rychle odpovědět na velké množství zpráv – ale nebýt e-mailu, všechny ty zprávy by vám vůbec nechodily.

  • díky Apple Pay nemusíte hledat drobné po kapsách, jenže kdybyste hledali, tak byste možná některé impulsivní nákupy neudělali;
  • Seamless/Bolt/Wold/Dáme jídlo vás zbaví muk rozhodování co si objednat v restauraci, ale kdybyste se tam vydali tak podpoříte toho člověka, který pracuje u vás v ulici a pomáhá držet komunitu (Tomáš Hajzler k tomu má vždy asi nejvíc co říci);

Všechny techniky time managementu byste měli poměřovat tím, jestli vám pomáhají zanedbávat ty správné věci.

Zaplaťte nejdřív sobě

S penězi to někteří zvládají – pravidelné příkazy, které ihned po příchodu výplaty část peněz odsunou na spoření/investice/horší časy. Lepší než utrácet a až před další výplatou investovat to co zbylo. Když se mají freelanceři posunout k metodě Profit First, tak už to trochu bolí. A že možná peníze nepotřebujeme až v důchodu je zase úplně brutální myšlenka.

S časem to ale děláme úplně jinak.

Soustřeďte se

Warren Buffet prý dal radu, aby si člověk sepsal své priority, seřadil je, pak se soustředil na top 5 a u všech ostatních si dával pozor na to, aby je ignoroval.

Oliver zase zmiňuje knihu Personal Kanban od Jima Bensona a Tonianne DeMaria Barryové, která doporučuje zvolit si maximálně tři činnosti, kterým se budu věnovat a další požadavky musí počkat, dokud jednu z těch věcí nedokončím. V kombinaci s článkem o kapacitním plánování podle energie by to mohlo jít hezky dohromady.

Koníčky: věnovat se aktivitě, v níž nemáte žádnou šanci dosáhnout výjmečnosti, znamená na chvíli odsunout stranou úzkostnou potřebu „využívat čas dobře“.

Tipy, jak se smířit se svou konečností

Samotný závěr knihy, který vám dokáže, jak nečekaná ta kniha je:

  • berte produktivitu jako zdroj s pevně nastaveným objemem;
  • pracujte postupně, ne souběžně;
  • předem se rozhodněte, v čem neuspějete;
  • soustřeďte se na to, co už jste zvládli, nejen na to, co zbývá;
  • nerozmělněte svůj aktivismus;
  • využívejte nudné, jednoúčelové technologie;
  • hledejte novost v běžných věcech;
  • buďte vztahovým „výzkumníkem“;
  • pěstujte spontánní štědrost;
  • praktikujte nicnedělání.

Jo, takhle kniha je prostě úplně jiná. Naprosto nečekaná, jak ji Jan Melvil mohl vydat, jsem si říkal většinu doby. A to je přesně to otevírání mysli, které je nutné, které ukazuje, že možná na ten čas, který tady máme, bychom měli nahlížet trochu jinak. Což zní až moc hluboce.

Zkrátka a prostě – investovat čas do téhle knížky může stát za to. Asi vás to změní a ta změna asi bude překvapivá. No a co?

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Salesforce Associate Certification

The question I’ve been asked on every training this year and to which I probably have different answer than some other people. What a perfect opening for an article about a new certification Salesforce released a while ago.

Do I need certification to find a job?

And my answer is no, even though I love certifications and have plenty of them.

Actually, there are two perspective I can think of:

  • when looking for a job with client, it might be beneficial. At least in Czechia there aren’t many administrators with any certification, which will immediately give you some extra points. Also the smaller clients might not be able to evaluate your skills properly;
  • when joining partners or bigger customers, they are able to evaluate your knowledge properly and know that the practical experience is more important than a title.

Salesforce Associate – when you have no experience

That’s the moment when Salesforce brought the Associate certification, which should be your opener to the SF world. Its content is pretty interesting and shows what SF cares about – reports, data model, what is generally possible on the platform, what is around the platform (community groups, trailhead). I especially like the non-technical part, which is something even long-term admins are not aware about and used to use.

Also the certification is cheaper and shorter, which might be a great start for new joiners as a first win, which will remove a bit of uncertainty from taking additional certs.

And that’s exactly the point why I might suggest this cert as the first for any new joiner. Still not sure it should/will make a difference between hire/no-hire, but might be a great start to your new career.

Additional resources:

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