Salesforce Spring ’18 Release Notes

With less than a week before a new release will hit my customers, I had to go through Salesforce Release Notes for the Spring ’18 release. We (I mean most of those who blog about new features) usually brag about how many pages we had to read to be up to date, so today I checked it and it isn’t that bad. The release notes has 455 pages, 40 of them is the table of content at the beginning and at the beginning of each „chapter“ we usually have one or two pages of short summary as well. So I think that in last two hours I flipped through maybe 300 pages. Still a lot, poor me 🙂

The Data protection seems promising with the upcoming GDPR in May. I didn’t have time to play with it, but it looks like it come with some basic functionality and we’ll need to extend it as needed.

Navigation bar personalization looks interesting but I met just one client so far, who ask how to user customize the menu. Temporary new tabs might be handy, but I don’t really like how they open for every item which isn’t in a menu. Custom themes are great, finally way how to realize customize the UI in line with client’s branding. And new URL format, which should be more readable (not sure whether normal people can even spot the difference) and makes me wonder how many apps will be broken, because their developers didn’t follow best practices.

While speaking about UI I should also mention that the help menu is context relevant and different for each page, which is great. That I dislike the new big pop-up screen which urges users to switch to Lightning and which you have to switch off in User Interface setting. We also got Accordion – the new component which allows you to collapse content on page and which I find really handy. Pinned region which might be handy in console app, but I would more appreacite the possibility to put the list on top and details on bottom as more information would fit in.

Quick text and macros are now (probably) everywhere and we have a new Macros Builder which should be way easier than before.

The Salesforce Survey might be huge; however, they are only available for free in Health cloud and for other editions for additional fee, which I was unable to find.

Einstein

A lot of updates for Einstein. Einstein Opportunity Scoring, which decides which opportunity makes sense. Combined with Einstein Forecasting which needs 2 years of your opportunity history. I wonder what will be the discrepancy between its numbers and those provided by salesman on every sales meeting 🙂

Some new functionality for Einstein Activity Capture, but I didn’t really care about them much.

The Einstein Analytics got a lot of new features as well. I love Saved views, Anotations, new connectors (for Microsoft Azure, Snowflake and AWS RDS), Dataflow updates which should make it easier to add or remove fields and how they visualize areas in cummulative data graphs without new data.

Einstein Data Insight (pilot) might be huge and as it can automatically put the results back into Sales Cloud it can really help salesman to drive the business better.

Leads

LinkedIn Lead Generation which automatically creates leads from LinkedIn advertisement. It should work about the same as its counterpart for Facebook. Ability to set the default value for creating opportunities on lead conversion. Or matching leads to accounts when you use Pardot.

Flow

I heard at Dreamforce that the future for flow is bright, but I didn’t expect to see so many cool changes so quickly. Lightning Flow for Service (pilot) shows related flow in another tab and thus speed up the whole process for the operator.

We got File Upload Component, ability to use any Lightning Component in flows, we can have stages (beta) or associate paused interview with a record.

Flow is definitely the way how to solve processes in Salesforce.

For developers

A few interesting things for developers I was able to spot.

We will be able to assign separate actions for different user experiences. So far I had to solve it with Visualforce page and its APEX controller, which redirected me to the right place based on the UI user used.

Have a tons of new components we can use in our components – carousel for showing pictures, formattedAddress for showing postal address in the right format (super cool), treeGrid and many more.

There is a critical update for @AuraEnabled methods, which right now works with sharing when you don’t specify with/without but after enabling it should work as every other APEX methods with without sharing setting.

A small reminder that we should schedule a security assesment before actually testing the holes in our app. And Visualforce page login flows, which can be more powerful than the „normal“ flow.

While it isn’t completely „for developers“ I would also add the Contactless External User (pilot) which – as name says – doesn’t need to have a contact for external user and thus should make the maintenance easier.

Communities

We did get community calendars. I remember a while ago when I needed them and wasn’t able to find them even I had the right licence. Finally they are here! Case Deflection component which you can use with the Open a Case component and we also got a report to show how great we are at deflecting. Top 5 questions you are the most qualified to answer (pilot) might help to persuade people to start answering questions. And if you use Marketing Cloud you will be able to use Distributed marketing (Pilot) – when we’ll get it for Pardot as well? Doesn’t it make even bigger sense there?

We’ll be able to set audience based on record fields, use topics, groups membership and a few more with Process Builder/workflow, which will be cool.

Separate login policy (beta) is just the cherry on the top.

Pardot

Quite a lot goes on Pardot as well, I remember the ability to connect Pardot and Salesforce campaigns and then see engagement on them right in Salesforce.

Service

Omni-channel is able to route cases based on skills (beta), the snap-ins can do automated chat invitation (you know the pop-up which just open or slides in) and we are able to add pre-chat Lightning components.

Social Conversation component might be useful as well and will be available from Professional edition.

A few other

Actually I like these probably the most. The ability to add campaign members „faster“ – the same way as you add products onto opportunity. Summary formulas (beta) in reports, which for some reason need grouping. Color themes didn’t excite me at first, but the ability to change colors for specific component on dashboard might be really powerful for data visualization.

Custom Metadata in Validation Rules (pilot) is a small step, but really important. I must admin that I still do a lot of hardcoding (yeah, I know) as it is way easier and works everywhere, but we are getting to place, where I won’t have an excuse. Jen has a great description how it works.

Want more?

You still want more? There are some resources I can recommend:

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