Spring ’21 Release Notes

Spring '21 Release Notes

Yeah, new release is around the corner (or already in your instance) and with that some short summary of my finding from release notes.

622 pages of disappointment, if you want to hear the most important summary. Sadly, I don’t see much use for majority of the things mention there, but there are exceptions.

Flow

I usually finish with all those great things they deliver in flows, as they are at the end of release notes. But I’ll start with that this time, because it is pretty awesome and they did so much progress on it in last few releases that it should get some hands clapping

  • previous values in record triggered flows – you might want to add „finally“, but better later then never;
  • scheduled path to record triggered flow – what was possible in PB, do something immediately and something a while later, but not on scheduled basis;
  • multi-column screens (beta) – looks like we can make nice looking flows declaratively and don’t need lightning components any more;
  • revisit screen values – before when you returned to previous screen you had there the new values, not you can choose whether there should be original or new values;
  • debug failed flow – this is one of the best thing, directly in the error email you have a link to debug and can see the run of the flow, no need to start from scratch;
  • debug scheduled flow, show DML & SOQL limits – wasn’t possible before;
  • custom property editor for lightning components – I always hated this for the custom components (and some SF default one as well), how non-intuitive the configuration is and now you can provide nice UI for that as well;
  • enforced data access in merge fields – be careful, Salesforce will respect access rights for related records, so if you have a merge field from different record to which you don’t have access ….;
  • paused interviews resume in the same context (enforced in Winter 22) – this might actually be nice update, that it will restart with the same user not Automation Process.
Multicolumn screen flow

Lightning Application Builder

Dynamic Actions are now supported for more objects (still not all standard), there is an improved Page Performance Analytics, which might help you with slow pages and – and I’m surprised I didn’t realised it before – you can use custom labels and thus have translations to other languages.

With custom labels you should also be aware, that they will disable HTML rendering for them, which looks like no big deal, but I remember that once upon a time I used it to store the <br> value for new line as that was the only way how to do it back then. And don’t remember where it was.

Longer Field Level Help Text might be useful as well, I don’t use them heavily, but just last month one customer put there really long text and didn’t fit in.

In-App Guidance getting some love as well, obviously more if you are using myTrailhead, but even with standard you now have more places where you can put the pop-up, users are able to snooze the tip (not just close it) and what I like probably the most, even though I don’t feel users will notice, are relevant Trailhead modules on top of each page, next to the help icon.

Developers

Some nice things for developers as well, probably the most awaiting feature is Salesforce Functions, which will be available in beta a while after Spring will hit instances, we need to watch when exactly.

API up to version 20 will be retired, but hopefully no one is using it.

Salesforce DX can track – I mean you need to enable – changes in sandboxes. To me it looks like the same what works with scratch orgs, so not a big deal, but I can imagine there was a big effort in background to achieve it.

Speaking about DX – there is a lot of new parameters in scratch org definition file and you can enable a lot of new features/licences there like myTrailhead if you want to play with it.

Platform Event Triggers can be run under specific user and with batch size you can set.

You can create a lookup field to Opportunity Products and you can use Lightning Email Templates in automations, so nicely looking emails are finally here (?).

End user features

The biggest one, for which you need to add relevant related lists, is the ability to add Accounts to Campaigns (in beta). On account you will be able to see all campaigns where the account is added as well as all campaigns where some contact from the account is added. I’m curious how it will work as account doesn’t have email field, so you probably can’t include them in the email blast from campaign, but still need to test it out.

Reports got some new features as well – you can drag multiple fields from the left sidepanel to the report at once, which I probably won’t really use as I type them in the field directly, XLSX export is supported, you can filter dashboards directly from URL (as you are able for reports) and Enhanced Folder Sharing will be enforced, so you should check all your folders whether people still have access.

Einstein Analytics is now called Tableau CRM (I would say to confuse people as „Tableau“ will not be enough anymore) and from all the great new things I really like the most the fact that it can push data to Snowflake/CSV/Salesforce/Tableau Online. I read it as you can transform the data as you wish with all the available transformations and push it back where you need it for further processing/use.

Meeting Digest & Meeting Studio in Performance and Ultimate edition looks pretty interesting, but I don’t really have customers on these licences, so sadly won’t be able to use it

Meeting Digest

Salesforce Mobile

There is a new Mobile Home screen, which you need to enable and which looks really good.

Mobile Home

Also with the new security Apple is pushing there might be problem with some custom VF pages which will be blocked and will need some love from developers.

Mobile Publisher will support iPad and landscape mode, yeah!

Other

Community Cloud is called Experience Cloud and communities are sites, will have hard time in setup to find it for a while. Also double check your guest user profile and rights as they will loose all Edit/Delete/View All/Modify All access to objects and if they permission set with these rights assigned it will be removed from them. And it looks like APEX Classes access will be reset as well 🙁

Knowledgebase supports alt tags for images (and again I cannot believe I didn’t notice it before).

You can embed Survey in webpage (but need special licence for that) and you can add Surveys Participants via rules & flow. Looks like a way to make it easier for users to dynamically send surveys to people.

High Velocity Sales for Call Couching & Call Collections, Sales Cadence can be assigned to Opportunities to help them progress to final sale.

Field Service (is not Field Service Lightning anymore) got Product Service Campaigns which should simplify recalls of specific products, Advanced Maintenance Schedule (I want a big cleaning once a year and small one every 3 months but not in the month of big cleaning) and customer notifications about technician’s arrival is part of the standard implementation now.

Last but not least Salesforce has some new product/industries:

  • Loyalty Program;
  • Batch Management – which should complement scheduled flow and allow processing more than 250 000 records/day;
  • Decision Tables looks to me like pricing rules, but I don’t feel they are really connected with CPQ (Revenue Cloud from new terminology);
  • Data Processing Engine – looks like something Tableau CRM should be doing but at the same time it is something separated.

Finaliser

Yeah, developers got finalisers (don’t ask me), but I want to finalise this article here. A lot of notes, to me the outcomes are great things in flow, accounts in campaigns and nicely looking emails we should start using.

What others found?

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