Release Notes for the Spring ’17 Salesforce release went out shortly before Christmas, but I had time to go through these 451 pages just last week. Full of changes, most of them for Lightning and to me about 80 % of them isn’t worth mentioning as I just expect the system to work in such way and am glad it finally do so. I’ll mention it this article only those I really like (or dislike).
What I like
Favorites bookmarks are small tweak but I really like it. The ability to pin the most important records and get to them really quickly straight from the menu. Also last used view is automatically open, which will be huge time saver.
Kanban everywhere and this style of view isn’t limited to one record type as before. When multiple record types are visible in a list, it automatically shows subtabs based on them and you can easily switch.
In campaigns you are finally able to manage campaign members natively, not just through the import feature. Awesome! Also visualization of hierarchy is cool, not sure how often I’ll use it. Would be also nice to be able to define custom fields I want to roll-up in hierarchy.
Einstein got clever and can automatically add emails and meeting from GMail/Office365 to the contacts in Salesforce.
Omnichannel console for supervisor – know how busy they are and map what they did minute by minute. It can be great to properly evaluate how effective each member of the team is.
Expand graphs in dashboard sounds like just a small change, but it is great. You can really embed just a small graph on which the overall trend is visible and when user needs better view he just clicks it and expend to the whole screen.
Interesting new features in Wave includes:
- recipies for data transformation – max 100 steps, which is not bad start;
- null measure handling – before empty string in numeric fields has been handled as zero, which completely changed al averages and other calculations, now null is supported. For all data you have to take specific action as it isn’t clear whether zero should be zero or null;
- direct access from Salesforce, you can add a new tab into your app, which will lead directly to Wave;
- embed Wave graph in webpage and get sexy graph and more details into your website very easily;
- cloning widgets on dashboard can be a huge time saver as well.
Communities got a lot of new features and some important steps to be taken as well:
- pre Winter ’16 templates has to be updated to last version or users will lose access (this sounds serious);
- Community Workspaces, where you can find all admin tools at one place;
- responsive templates;
- direct messages between users on Chatter;
- you can include VisualForce pages in template-based communities, great mix of using the standard and still be able to use advanced feature when needed;
- native Google Analytics integration;
- ability to mass-edit records;
- for each user you are able to set one speciality, but I didn’t really get why. We already have skills, which sounds to me about the same.
Chatter comes with streams (up to 25 feeds in one feed, maximum of 5 such streams) and customizable group layout for each group, which is really cool!
You can put files in folders, which sounds like something completely normal but hasn’t been possible till now and still isn’t fully supported on mobile or in Classic.
Salesforce1 requires iOS10 – be prepared in corporations, where you cannot upgrade as you wish.
More layouts styles for pages in Lightning – now you can use three columns or two equally wide columns as well. You can also define different layout for each profile and record type, but the page layout (fields placement) is still the same for all of them. New related records component is available, which will allow you to put specific related list to its place and have them all around the page.
External services should allow non-programmers to call external webservices in flow. Another step on the click not code approach.
I don’t have any specific use for flows embedded in pages at the moment, but can thing about some. Kind of call script for example?
The ability to hide fields in flow is huge and I hope it will go forwards and in future we’ll be able to hide fields on page layouts as well. Two columns flow are just a small tweak, but nice one.
CSRF protection for VisualForce pages will be auto enable on June 11, 2017.
Bulk API now supports queryAll and relationships in SOQL, Bulk API 2.0 is in pilot. Of course I plan to incorporate these changes in the Keboola Extractor when Spring ’17 will go live.
What I dislike
I didn’t get just a few things on those 451 pages:
- KnowledgeBase is supported in Lightning, but – if I read the notes correctly – articles with more than 30 versions display only first 30 versions of such article (in Lightning). It almost sounds like a bug;
- Lightning Chatter and you cannot share post with group. Really?
You still don’t have enough and are to lazzy to read whole Release Notes? Check what these people found interesting:
- Manish Thaduri on Lightning App Builder and Reports
- Tushar Sharma mainly on development news
- Salesforce has a whole YouTube playlist about top features
- GearsCRM has a serie of articles about this release
- Phil Weinmeister about news in Communities