• Key Dates for Winter ’21 Release….

    So it has been a ‘funny’ old year hasn’t it? It is fair to say, 2020 hasn’t gone as expected. Regardless for us as a Salesforce community, and as Salesforce experts – each release brings the tantalising prospect of new features and benefits for us to roll out in our orgs.

    The coming days we will see details regarding Winter 21 Release from Salesforce, with the release notes due out today (US time though).

    Courtesy of Salesforce, we now know the key dates for Winter ’21 – to help us be prepared for the upcoming release:

    Salesforce Winter 21 Release Date Key Dates
    Salesforce Winter ’21 Release – Key Dates

    The key dates for Winter 21 Release:

    • August 20: Pre-Release Org Sign Up
    • August 24: Release Notes
    • September 11: Sandbox Preview Starts
    • September 11: Release Site & Release Module
    • September 14: Release Overview Deck & Feature Matrix
    • September 18-September 25: Release Readiness Live!:
    • September 18, October 9, October 16: Release Weekends (org dependant)
    • October 2020: Global Release Webinars
    • April 2021: Release Exam Deadline on Trailhead

    Please note, these dates will be US timezone based… So for us in the rest of the world, we need to adjust accordingly.

    When will Salesforce Winter ’21, be released?

    Looking at the Salesforce schedule above, most orgs will likely get Winter ’21 Release in mid-October.

    The earlier Sept date will likely be for a handful of NA server-based orgs.

    Remember you can check you specific release date via the Salesforce Trust site.

    Winter ’21: Sandbox Preview Schedule

    For your sandboxes, Sept 11 is the key date to keep in mind.

    From Salesforce’s Sandbox Preview page:

    Between now and September 11, 2020, we’ll route all sandbox requests to preview instances. If your sandbox is complete in time for the major release on September 11, 2020, we’ll upgrade it to the newest version of Salesforce.

    On September 11, 2020, we will reset all incomplete sandbox requests to a non-preview instance and route pending and new sandbox requests to non-preview instances until you upgrade your production instance to Winter ’21. We need to do this because we’re only able to create sandboxes on the same major release version of Salesforce as the production org.

  • Salesforce Summer ’20 Release: Top Features

    The Summer ’20 Release is coming our way, but it is safe to safe, it has been a crazy couple of months to start 2020…

    Salesforce has even had to shuffle the offical release date, allowing for a little bit extra time for business, admins and the to get to terms with the large-scale affect COVID-19 has had.

    But as they say, ‘the show must go on’.

    And today, the Salesforce’s Summer ’20 Release Notes have now been published, we can now dive under the hood to see what the top features are!

    Summer ’20 Release: Timeline

    • May 4th – Release notes are published
    • May 29th – Sandbox refresh deadline/cutoff date, to ensure your sandbox gets early access to Summer ’20 features. You can use the Sandbox Refresh Calculator to help you check your sandbox environments.
    • June 12th & July 10th – Some early access instances of Salesforce will get the Summer ’20 release.
    • July 17th-18th – Most Salesforce environments will get the release over this weekend.

    Top Features of Summer ’20 Release

    Historically, Summer releases from Salesforce tend to generally focus on the usability side of the equation.

    Summer ’20 seems to also fit that mould, with a large focus in Sales/Service Clouds on general productivity improvements to improve how users can interact with Lightning… So here are some of the top features coming our way.

    Sales Cloud

    • Opportunity Scoring has some general improvements, increasing consistency and only display access to Scoring Factors a user has access to.
    • Some general tweaks to Opportunity Splits, Territory Management and ability to create Orders without Pricebooks
    • Additional Email Insight now available, showing if a customer has indicated they are ‘Not Interested’
    Not Interest insight highlighted in the Activity Timeline.
    Email Insight showing customer is ‘Not Interested’
    Kanban view of all opportunities with a card selected and the details panel open
    Record Details available in Kanban view

    Service Cloud

    Service Cloud also gets a number of updates to its feature list:

    • Related Record lookup, allowing agents to navigate up to 2 levels of record relationships within Salesforce. (ie directly access the Account of a Contact, which is linked to a case).
    • Knowledge Sharing (available in beta). Allowing you to define sharing rules like standard/custom objects in Salesforce, instead of via Data Categories.
    • And, Einstein Recommended Response is now Generally Available:
    Chat Replies component
    Einstein Replies in Summer 20, now ‘Generally Available’ and out of Beta.

    Salesforce CMS

    A number of new features are coming out way, if you are a Salesforce CMS user, including:

    General Improvements

    Split view after opening a record
    Lead with Split View

    Flow, Flow, Flow

    And finally, deserving of its very own section… Flow!

    After receiving a fair amount of attention in Spring 20 Release, Flow continues to push the boundaries between Admin versus Developer!

    One-Stop Shop for Automation: Starting a Flow

    As part of the change, the trigger points for a Flow have been brought ‘in-house’. No longer requiring a trigger/apex or Process Builder to start the flow.

    Along with being able to start Flows directly, and Admin can also choose if they are run before or after a record has been created or edited!

    For example, this would allow you to update field values on the record BEFORE it is saved to the database. Need to override a specific field when criteria is met? You can now do this via Flow!

    Flow Builder Toolbox and canvas
    You can now configure how/when a Flow starts, within Flow Builder.

    Admins, can also configure a flow to start directly if a Platform Event is received.

    To also recognise these changes, you can also use the Flow Wizard to select the new ‘type’ of Flow:

    The Templates tab of the New Flow window
    New Flow Templates in Salesforce, as part of Summer ’20 Release

    Debugging a Flow, gets a little easier too. With the ‘Rollback Mode’, allowing you to undo any record changes that were made as part of debugging a Flow:

    Debug options section of the Debug the flow window
    Flows: Now with Rollback Mode

    And Flows now also have the ability to run, as a ‘System User’.

    One use case for this would be to allow the Flow to ignore Sharing Rules within your org.

    Under Show Advanced, System Context Without Sharing—Access All Data is selected for How to Run the Flow.
    ‘System Context’ now available in Flow! Use with care…

    I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these Flow improvements!

    What are your favourite features?

    With the Summer 20 Release fast approaching, share in the comments below what you are looking forward to the most…

  • A post I never thought I would be writing…

    I never though I would be writing an article about a virus… But the world is a strange place – it always has been, and it will continue to be after we get through this crisis.

    I am freewheeling this post, with no plan other than to put something I hope is positive out there in these complicated and dizzying times. Mental health is just as important as physical health. And sharing our stories brings us all a little bit closer together…

    Don’t know about you, but personally I have been struggling to grapple with the shear speed and scale of the implications relating to COVID-19.

    What is happening right now is simply heart breaking.

    Seeing the news as it happens, is just staggering.

    Before continuing, if anyone has lost a loved one due to this already – I am deeply sorry, and you have my sincere condolences. Everyone’s experience through this crisis will be shared yet vastly different.

    For a world which has grown so interconnected and intertwined, this virus has hit us where it hurts. Some of us will be impacted at very different levels – be that physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc… But the time at the moment is to take action, to minimise the damage and to help those more vulnerable than ourselves.

    Fortunately there are not many times in our lives, where we will be confronted with a global crisis of this scale.

    I am fortunate enough to have friends and colleagues across the globe. Hearing everyone’s story over the last few weeks, we are all sharing in this horrible global situation. But I believe these shared experiences can bring us all closer together.

    Times like this, being mindful of your emotions and practising gratitude, can really help your mental health.

    Personally, I have noticed that at times there have been two very distinct battles/sides occurring within myself. And I can boil this down to ultimately logical brain vs emotional brain.

    Logical part of my brain is trying to understand the bigger picture, the reasoning and logical arguments for what we are seeing. But obviously some things cant be reasoned with.

    And that is where the emotional side takes hold. With feelings of defiance, anger, despondency, sadness, needing of distractions, grief, gratitude, and love. We are all in this rollercoaster together, and we will get through it.

    I try not to fight the feeling or emotion, instead I to practise mindfulness and acknowledge the presence of that emotionally. But also rather than just letting the emotion, be it positive or negative take control, I am trying to be curious about what exactly is making me feel that way. Questioning myself as to what is causing this feeling.

    One thing I hope to get out of this all, is a better understanding of myself.

    So, as I wrote at the start. This is a bit of a weird post, but something I just felt I needed to write.


    So to round out this post, here are something things I would like to share with you that caught my attention over the last few days.

    These are a little Melbourne/Victoria heavy, but feel free to share your own videos/streams/etc that are getting you through this…

    • Zoos Victoria are live streaming animals while the zoos are shut
      • And check out this Zoo Keeper smashing dance moves to entertain people.
    • ABC Radio Melbourne has a page re: entertaining and educational streams and live casts.

    A little more serious, but a fascinating article shared to explain a little about the feelings of grief during the lockdowns globally.

    And even a Trailmix about Creating Peace while in Pieces from Leah McGowen-Hare. Focussing on changing your mindset and creating calm.

    Trello shared a few tips to avoid becoming a WFH Hermit.

    And if you want to go ‘down the rabbit hole’, and deep dive into some of the data resources that are out there about the crisis, Tableau/Salesforce have a site for you.

    Most of all, stay safe!

    Please feel free to share your own comments, stories or even links below in the comments.

  • Passing the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification

    Although not strictly part of the pathway to Certified Technical Architect, sometimes you just want to branch out a little and demonstrate your knowledge of the platform. So with this in mind, I recently sat the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam (that is a mouthful!)

    Happily, I can report back, that I passed! And to help others also pass, I have compile a list of tips and resources I found beneficial to passing the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant.

    Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant – Who is it for?

    Firstly, let’s clear the air a little.

    You don’t have to be a consultant to sit this exam. Much like I mentioned in the Sales Cloud Consultant exam, it is a good way to certify your understanding the features and benefits of the various aspects to Service Cloud and following on from that, also the implementation of it.

    If you are an Admin, Application Manager, etc – and are working within Service Cloud, and want recognition for your skills. Or wanting to learn specifically about implementing Service Cloud, this is the certification for you.

    Additionally, if you are a consultant and wanting to demonstrate your understanding of Service Cloud – then yes, this is also the exam for you. 🙂

    What does the exam cover?

    Even though the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Exam is based on Service Cloud products and knowledge – there is a sizeable chunk of the exam dedicated to which solution fits the business problem the best. Along with best practises for implementation steps and delivery of a Service Cloud project.

    Image result for lightning service console
    Lightning Service Cloud Console, unsurprisingly, forms a big part of the Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam.

    Breakdown of the exam:

    • Industry Knowledge: 10%
    • Implementation Strategies: 15%
    • Service Cloud Solution Design: 16%
    • Knowledge Management: 9%
    • Interaction Channels: 10%
    • Case Management: 15%
    • Contact Center Analytics: 5%
    • Integration and Data Management: 5%
    • Service Console: 15%

    Salesforce’s Exam Guide gives you an official breakdown of each section.

    I found that the key topics/areas in my exam included – in no particular order:

    • Case Setup, including Console (both Classic with Case Feeds and Lightning Service Console)
    • Case Escalations rules
    • Entitlements and Milestones
    • Also, when you might use an Entitlement/Milestone vs Escalation rule
    • Knowledge, and all things relating to Knowledge (Articles, Permissions, Integration with Communities, Knowledge ‘Lifecycle’, Migrating to Knowledge, etc)
    • Marcos and Quick Text (why and how you might use them)
    • Email to Case, versus On-Demand Email to Case.
    • Migration of data, and best practises involved in such activities.
    • Industry knowledge, around metrics/SLAs and how to best report on them.
    • Use cases for customer retention (ie using Service Cloud and Sales Cloud together)
    • Different Service Channels, and why/when and how you might use them (Calls, Email, Live Agent, Social, etc )
    • Omni-channel, what it is used for and capabilities.
    • Different Console configuration options, and what might be best in specific scenario. Keep in mind, some of these questions still focus on both Classic Service Console and Lightning Record Pages with Components.

    Exam Format

    Like other Salesforce Exams, this in the format of a multiple choice exam.

    All up, there were 65 questions in total (n.b. this is at time of writing Jan 2020).

    Though this included an additional five questions, which don’t end up counting to your overall mark. Instead providing feedback to Salesforce on user understanding of newer practices, products and features.

    FYI – this is similar to other exams, like the Platform Developer I exam (where it had additional questions testing on your understanding of Heroku).

    Resources that helped me

    After using and implementing Service Cloud for a couple of years, I still found it really useful to study.

    For example, I didn’t realise there was a difference between Email to Case and On-Demand Email to Case… And there were a few questions about the different solutions and why you might use one versus the other.

    In short, studying helps! 🙂

    If you don’t have experience using Service Cloud, this might be a little more difficult for you to pass. But not impossible. The key is preparation.

    And when studying, don’t just learn the feature. Try and pay attention to the scenarios and the ‘why’ you might use a particular feature/solution.

    Trailhead, is a great place to start.

    The Service Cloud modules and projects, are very hands-on and give you that implementation experience. And Salesforce has grouped a large number of the courses together, into a ‘Prepare for Your Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Credential‘ trailmix.

    Even though I have hands-on experience, I still did the Trailhead modules. I always feel that you can never have enough hands-on experience. As it helps build your confidence, and if you get stuck in the exam, you can at least think back and try and visualise how you did a particular step.

    Online Course

    I also purchased the ‘Service Cloud Consultant Certification’ course on Udemy from Mike Wheeler.

    It is a good course and really outlines the foundation of the exam and how to implement certain solutions. I was concerned when watching the videos, that it was a little dated, especially considering there has been a big push over last few years to bring Service Cloud up to parity in Lightning.

    But from my own experience, there was enough on the exam still based around Classic… And the reasons of ‘why’ you would use a particular product is still the same.


    Most other blogs I researched before hand, seem to mainly focus on the exam and reiterate the outline of the exam… So I decided to also asked the Reddit Salesforce community for some tips & pointers for the exam, you can check out that thread here.

    One user ‘yummyyummybrains‘ (great username btw!) pointed out that with these Consultant exams:

    …I can say: the questions are going to involve a lot more qualitative and evaluative analysis than the Specialist Exams. Less: “What does this function do?” and more: “given these parameters, what’s the best way to achieve the client’s stated goal?”

    I’ve had a hard time recommending study materials for the MC Consultant Exam for that very reason — how do you study for an exam that requires deep knowledge of the relative pros and cons of different features, and how they would be impacted by the specific needs of a client?…

    yummyyummybrains on Reddit re: Service Cloud Consultant Exam

    One blog article I did find that stood out for me was from Ashish, who created an in-depth study guide, including checklist of topics and direct links to Salesforce Help articles for each specific topic on the Exam Guide.


    So there you have my little debrief of the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam.

    As mentioned about, there is a big focus on why and when you would choose a particular solution to match a business requirement. So learning just the features of Service Cloud products won’t be enough…

    If you have any tips or insights you would like to share, please feel free to use the comments below.

    And if you are sitting the exam, best of luck to you!

  • Salesforce Spring ’20 Release – Top Features & Release Date

    For most of us now, the holiday season is behind us, and Salesforce Spring ’20 Release is almost here. With less than a month to go, let’s take a quick look at the latest release from Salesforce.

    When is Spring 20 release scheduled?

    For most environments globally, you can expect Spring 20 release on the weekend of Feb 14th 2020.

    To check the date and schedule time of the release for you specific org, you can check the Maintenance Calendar. Just scroll through the list and check your Salesforce instance against the release dates listed in the calendar.

    Top Features of the Spring 20 Release

    In the Salesforce release cycle, it is the Spring releases which typically deliver refinements and usability improvements. And Spring 20 is no exception.

    Let’s jump in and take a look at what is coming out way.

    Opportunity Scores using Einstein Opportunity Scoring

    Spring ’20 Release will see Salesforce start to roll out some of Einstein features at no extra cost for existing Sales Cloud users.

    Introducing Einstein Opportunity Scoring!

    It is a nice way to get a bit of a taster, of the benefits Einstein AI can bring to your org.

    Opportunity scoring component now available in Spring 20 release for all Sales Cloud users
    Spring 20: Einstein Opportunity Scoring now available for free

    Einstein Voice Assistant (Beta)

    While we are talking about Einstein, Einstein Voice Assistant is now also available to customers in beta.

    You can create specific skills for use with Einstein Voice Assistant, or use default ones such as: Log a Call, Create Contacts or Update Opportunity.

    To watch a video overview of Einstein Voice Assistant in action:

    Einstein Voice
    Einstein Voice Assistant home page on mobile, Spring 20 Release
    Einstein Voice Assistant

    Merge Cases

    One thing which has been missing from ‘out of the box’ Salesforce for a very long time – yet offered on a lot of other service ticketing platforms (like Zendesk) – was the ability to merge cases.

    We saw the beta release in Summer 19 release. But it is now promoted to ‘generally available’, meaning it is ready for prime time now!

    Read more here.

    Related List showing cases that comprise the new merged case in Spring 20 Release
    Spring 20 Release: Merge Cases becomes Generally Available

    Assign Tasks to a Queue

    Another feature which fits in the ‘why wasn’t this already available’ – and has been on the IdeaExchange for 10years.

    But better late than never! And we now can allow a queue to be accessible to Tasks object and allow your users to assign tasks to a queue.

    This is great if you have a team which shares work, like a Sales support team for example.

    Read more here.

    New task creation window in Spring 20 Release, which is showing queues as an option for the Assigned To field
    Spring 20 Release: Assign Tasks to a Queue

    URL Hacks are back! (Aka Default Field Values)

    It has been a few years now, without the ability to create a new record and pre-populate field values via a custom button and the URL (often referred to as URL hacking in the Salesforce community).

    The only way was a Quick Action, and prepopulating the fields via the Action Layout.

    But now, Salesforce has created a way to recreate this Admin favourite way of creating a new record with values pre-populated.

    Admins: Read more here on how to create a button/link using this new feature.

    For developers out there, this is also accompanied by a change to the way to you create/navigate in your components, with new lightning/pageReferenceUtils module and lightning:pageReferenceUtils Aura component. Although this won’t be available in LightningOut/Lighting Communities.

    Devs: Read more here re: Navigate Users to a Record’s Create Page with Default Field Values

    Change Lightning Experience with the Lightning Extension for Chrome

    Salesforce, in Dark Mode? Yes please!

    As part of Spring 20, Salesforce has published a Chrome extensions allowing users to take advantage of a few new UI features, such as Dark Mode, Link Grabber and Component Customisation.

    No doubt, this is the start of new user specified customisations you can allow and enable for your users who want it…

    Read more here.

    Lightning Extension Setup page
    Spring 20 Release: Settings for Lightning Extension for Chrome

    Clone Objects and Related Records

    Cloning records helps speed up the creation of new records, but when you have to then recreate child records – you aren’t saving that much time.

    Classic previously allowed certain records on certain objects to be cloned with their child records. Like Opportunities with Products, for example.

    But Lightning will see this new Clone with Related available across more objects, and allow you to pick and choose which related records are relevant to your new record.

    Read more here, including setup instructions.

    The Clone with Related action on an opportunity, and the dialog where you can choose to include products and contact roles in the new opportunity
    Spring 20 Release: Clone with Related Records

    Official Resources to get Release Ready

  • Why you should love Trailhead Superbadges

    As someone who has worked across Salesforce roles, over the last 9 years, there are times where a Salesforce certification will only carry you so far.

    This isn’t an article second-guessing the value of certifications. They are great to ensure the certified admin/developer/consultant is aware of the specific features and options needed for their roles.

    But they need to cover a lot of topics broadly. With little or no guidance and experience on implementation.

    This means you end up understanding the theory, with little real world / hands on experience.

    Trailhead Superbadges, blend the theory and skills needed for specific roles with hands on experience.
    Trailhead Superbadges, grouped and assorted by Role.

    Enter Trailhead Superbadges

    This is the gap that Trailhead Superbadges addresses. Blending the theory of regular Trailhead modules with the hand-on experience.

    A Trailhead Superbadge delivers you into a simulated real-world example. Where you have to focus on user requirements and then setup, configure, develop your way to a workable solution.

    How do Superbadges they work?

    Starting off with a Trailhead Superbadge, still starts with learning the theory.


    All Superbadges require you to complete a number of pre-requisite modules. This grounds you in the basics of the topic at hand and prepares you for what is coming next…

    You still have to complete the pre-requisite Trailhead modules, before you can start with the Superbadge.


    This is an important section, so read through this section carefully.

    Normally, it contains information on preparing the Trailhead Playground for the Superbadge assessment. This often includes installing a package in the environment to setup pre-defined custom fields, custom objects and/or Apex triggers/classes.

    It will also include important information about dates / schema / etc. Let’s look again at the ‘Lightning Experience Specialist’ Superbadge:

    Pre-work contains important information about setup/initial config to prepare.

    Use case:

    Each Superbage gives you an overview of the use case / problem you are trying to solve (and in turn be assessed on).

    It often includes specifics, such as customisations and schema details required to meet the Business Requirements.

    Here is part of the Use Case and specifics of the ‘Lightning Experience Specialist’:

    Use case and details overview, which you’ll need to solve the Business Requirements…

    Business Requirements:

    This is is where we start get into the simulated real-world.

    Business Requirements are what have to be met in some fashion day in, day out for all admins, developers and consultants.

    These are involved and contain all the details you need to pass the Trailhead Superbadge. It is your job to translate all of this information and find the way that is required of you, to implement the solution.

    Business Requirements in action…

    Career Gold…

    This is the gold in the mountain – this is the reason that you should love Trailhead Superbadges.

    It is this very skill and experience of taking requirements, filtering out what is needed and finding a way to to implement it, which strengthens your capabilities as an Admin/Developer/Consultant.

    This is the skill that will set you up for your career within Salesforce.

    And Trailhead gives you a way to practice it repeatedly and for free!

    Over to you…

    Have you started with Superbadges? If so, which ones have you completed? What’s next on your Trailhead journey?

  • What is the difference between ISNULL() and ISBLANK()?

    As an admin, Formulas can be a little confusing sometimes.  Especially when there are two functions which appear to be very similar / do the same thing.

    From the out set, the difference between these two functions can actually appear very slight.

    But not all is as it appears, and sometimes the difference between them is actually what you want to test/validate… 

    What is: ISNULL()

    From a computing perspective  (which Salesforce adheres to), something could be NULL because it doesn’t exist or hasn’t been created/setup (in developer speak, you might say ‘instantiated’).

    Ultimately, this means NULL is the absence of a value all together.

    The ISNULL() function will return a TRUE or a FALSE value, which you can then use in validation rules, workflows, formulas, etc.

    What does this mean in real world? 

    In Salesforce, if you had a date field, with no value in it.  Salesforce would return TRUE.

    However, if you had a text field ISNULL() would always return a false value, even if there was no text in the field.  This is because Salesforce stores an empty value in text, even if there is nothing in the field – which leads us to…

    What is: ISEMPTY()

    Like the above function, you get a boolean (TRUE/FALSE) output.

    However ISEMPTY() goes a step further than ISNULL() and by adding support for text fields (like the example above).  

    When is a field is ‘not empty’? 

    If it contains a character, blank space, or a zero. (ie ISEMPTY() = FALSE)

    And now text field which is contains no text, will now return ISEMPTY() = TRUE.  Along with other fields, like dates or numbers.

  • Winter ’20 Release brings new Salesforce Mobile App

    While not the most obvious of changes when reading the release notes, behind the scenes Winter ’20 Release brings new Salesforce Mobile App which aligns the mobile experience with Lightning Experience on desktop. Let’s take a quick look at what you can expect, and how to make the transition a smooth one for your users.

    Why the change?

    The short answer is, that Salesforce1 (or Salesforce Mobile) hasn’t changed much since it was released in late 2014.

    The slightly longer answer though adds a bit more nuance. After Salesforce1 brought in a new way of navigation and accessing your data, Salesforce then turned its focus to building out a new desktop experience, which ultimately led to Lightning Experience.

    Before this, users were able to use the Salesforce1 app via their desktop instead of using what is now referred to as Salesforce ‘Classic’ UI. The main benefit of this was to test how something would look on Mobile or to use it via browser on an iPad or similar device.

    But with Lightning Experience, Salesforce has had its hands full migrating all products and features over, and ensuring improvements were delivered. Certain elements were similar across mobile and desktop now, so there wasn’t a huge need to update/refresh.

    That was until late last year, when Salesforce and Apple announced a strategic partnership. With the partnership aiming to integrate voice commands (ie Siri) with Salesforce Mobile and rollout a Salesforce SDK for developers, which integrates with Swift (the preferred programming language on Apple devices).

    Introducing the new Salesforce Mobile App

    And so, here we are – with a new Salesforce Mobile App heading our way.

    The primary focus of the app appears to integrate the mobile vs desktop experiences further. This will allow for more admin control over what is made available to users, with mobile navigation introducing the App Launcher:

    A Lightning app's desktop navigation items are reflected in the mobile app
    App Launcher coming soon to new Salesforce Mobile App.

    Key improvements to navigation:

    • Navigation Bar at the bottom of screen will now feature Favourites, Search and Notifications . This is a change from the global / quick actions.
    • App Launcher finally appears on Salesforce Mobile. Allowing users to select standard/custom apps, and display the related tabs.
    • Personalisation of Nav Bar, will be reflected for users on Lightning Experience (aka Desktop) and Mobile App.

    What other changes are coming?

    Changes to Page Layouts are also included, and now the same page will display for Lightning Experience or Mobile App. Admins will only need to create one page now.

    What does this mean in the real world? It means you will have control to hide components which don’t make sense on either desktop or mobile experience.

    Voice Commands

    “Hey Siri, show me my dashboard.” and now Siri will actually listen… With the new Salesforce Mobile App opening up your dashboard page.

    The new Salesforce Mobile App will also (and obviously) tie into the recently announced Einstein Voice and Einstein Platform Services, which will allow users to dictate notes, get Einstein recommended updates, etc on Apple/Google/Alexa devices.

    What do you need to do?

    This new mobile experience is opt-in, so even if users get the new mobile app – from the App Store/Play Store – without the new permissions, they will not experience any changes.

    Salesforce has given control to admins to prepare for the transition, similar to Lightning Experience Transition.

    From a high level, Salesforce recommend the following steps:

    When will the new app be available?

    This should become available globally, starting from October 14th 2019. Users will

    Additionally the new User Permissions will be available as part of Winter ’20 release, which should be rolled out globally (for majority of orgs) by the 14th October.


  • Admin News: Critical Updates and Product Retirements

    It’s that time of year again, with the Winter ’20 Release approaching. And with each release, there are a number of Critical Updates. In addition this release highlights a number of products are also inline to be retired over the coming year.

    Let’s take a look at what these important updates are and how to prepare for the transition.

    Critical Updates: Know the impact

    Every release has a number of Critical Updates. These allow admins/developers to plan for a change to the platform by giving some control over when the update is released.

    Background: What are critical updates?

    For example, as an Admin/Developer you can choose to activate a Critical Update before its planned activation date. For example, this means if you have a sandbox environment you can choose to activate the update and test any impacts on your org.

    These updates can be many and varied, some with limited impact (if any) to end users, for example by updating how HTML code is handled/displayed to a user.

    Other updates, will have a very noticeable impact. Like the upcoming Lightning Experience critical update.

    Winter ’20 Release: Critical Updates

    Let’s take a look at the some of the highest potential impact updates coming our way. These are Updates which are ‘enforced’ by Salesforce in this release… Meaning they will be activated automatically as part of Winter ’20 release.

    Lightning Experience for Users

    Who will this impact? This one will automatically impact users who have the ‘Lightning Experience User’ permission.

    Salesforce Lightning Experience across multiple devices
    Even Astro loves Lightning Experience…

    They may have this permission because they are:

    • allocated to a Standard Profile (these are the ones you can modify that ‘come with Salesforce’)
    • a Custom Profile which was cloned from a Standard Profile after Winter ’16 release,
    • have a Permission Set which includes the ‘Lightning Experience User’ permission.

    When? Salesforce will activate this Critical Update is globally throughout October.

    What you can do to prepare: Read up on the update here, and also read the Frequently Asked Questions.

    The Lightning Transition Assistant, will also help give you information specific to your org on the transition. And will include things like what likely wouldn’t work in Lightning, which profiles are ready to go, etc./

    Also, keep in mind that users will be able to still switch between Lightning and Classic. So that is a small grace, if you need it. But note that Users will be automatically switched back to Lightning at the start of each week.

    Security Updates for Email and HTTPS Connections

    What is the change? From a high level, these updates improve the general security and functionality of Email and how your browser connects with Salesforce.

    Specifically, there are a number of updates to take note of:

    Who will this impact? All Salesforce orgs, with users and API connections potentially impacted.

    For example, the TLS 1.2 changes may impact users with old browsers. While the update re: DKIM Key is used as a way to potentially avoid spam filters in email clients.

    When? As part of Winter ’20 release (throughout October). You can check the specific date for your org by going into “Critical Updates” in your Setup menu.

    What you can do to prepare: Review the release notes above. Most of these changes shouldn’t require a ‘heavy lift’ from admins.

    Note re: the TLS 1.2 change, a quick review how users are connecting currently should confirm they are using modern browsers. If you remember the TLS 1.0 deactivation, the steps would be very similar here. Users on current browsers should be fine – and API connections which are ‘hard coded’ to use TLS 1.1 may not connect once update is activated.

    API Only Users Can Access Only Salesforce APIs

    Who will this impact? Any user which has the ‘API Only User’ permission. This update ensures that these users ONLY can access Salesforce via API, and not via UI.

    When? As part of Winter ’20 release.

    What you can do to prepare: This one is probably the simplest. If you have a user which is impacted and they need more access – an Admin can update their permissions to not include the ‘API Only User’.

    A note for Admins: Other Critical Updates

    There are a number of Critical Updates, and each org is different, this means high impact updates for your environment may not be covered here. So it is recommended that you check the release notes for a full overview of all Critical Updates.

    Caution: Product Retirement Ahead

    Over the coming year, we see three products entering the ‘transition to retirement’.

    The good news is, two of these products have direct replacements/upgrades available – so if you are still using them, you can start to plan your transition now.

    Original Territory Management Is Being Retired

    The first product on the list, is the Original Territory Management module (or Territory Management v1.0).

    Salesforce launched the beta of Enterprise Territory Management in 2014. and has been adding new features and functionality to Enterprise Territory Management (Territory Management v2.0) over the last few years.

    It has now been built into a more advanced version for managing territories, and ties exclusively into Collaborative Forecast module (and in turn Lightning Experience).


    As part of Summer ’20 release next year, which is likely to be around May/June 2020.


    As Salesforce are pushing the Lightning Experience Transition, starting with this release (see above). They are clearly taking the opportunity to retire the Original Territory Management and Customisable Forecasting (see below) – and give an additional reason for users on the older products to upgrade and switch to Lightning Experience.

    Admin actions:

    Simply put, if you are still using Territory Management 1.0, now is the time to start planning your upgrade to Territory Management 2.0.

    You can read more about the considerations and planning for the transition here.

    Also, there is a key step when you are ready to transition where you may need to contact Salesforce Support to ensure users don’t lose access to old data as part of the migration. Read more here.

    Note: If you are using Customizable Forecasts (see below), you will need to plan the update to Collaborative Forecasts at the same time as the modules are dependant on each other.

    Customizable Forecasts Also Entering Retirement

    Other than being spelt the American way, the time has also come for Customizable Forecasts.

    Much like Enterprise Territory Management, there have been countless improvements made to Collaborative Forecast module over the last two years.

    I remember a time when it couldn’t even handle custom fiscal years! And Quotas were only able to be entered by API/Dataloader until recently.

    But the key here again, is that it ties exclusively into Enterprise Territory Mangaement (TM 2.0) and of course Lightning Experience…


    As part of Summer ’20 release next year, which is likely to be around May/June 2020.

    Admin actions:

    Now is the time to start planning your upgrade to Collaborative Forecasts.

    If you are using Original Territory Management, you need to also plan the update to Territory Management 2.0.

    You can read more about the considerations and planning for the transition here.

    RIP Prospector and Clean

    The final ‘old horse’ being putting out to the retirement pastures soon will be Prospector and Clean.

    With GDPR forcing a rethink of how data is managed and processed. The offering for become quite limited in certain territories (specifically in the UK/EU).

    Additionally, a change to licensing from D&B / etc, has meant changes to the product where inevitable.

    Salesforce has worked with a number of data providers to package and distribute what is now coined ‘Lightning Data‘ via the Appexchange. This now also gives you access to additional products and services, and no doubt more will come online over time.


    Depends on your contract, Salesforce will essentially stop renewing this product as part of your subscription.

    And the products will be retired in July 2020.

    Admin actions:

    You can read the FAQs here, and if you use the service your AE will likely be in touch to discuss options as part of the renewal process.

    The main actions for Admins will be to prepare reports/workflows/apex/etc to stop using specific fields. You can read the Salesforce guide here.

  • Are you Winter ’20 Release Ready?

    For most orgs, there is less than a month left for the Winter 2020 Release from Salesforce. Are you release ready? In this post we will cover the top features of the Release and confirm release dates for the Winter 2020 Release from Salesforce.

    Winter ’20 Release: Note for all Admins

    Let’s talk Lightning Experience migration before we look at the features coming your way…

    From October 2019 Salesforce is going to start to migrating all orgs globally to Lightning Experience by default for all users who are “Lightning-enabled”.

    No doubt, this is the start of Salesforce’s push for all customer’s to use Lightning and is a good opportunity to prepare and migrate if you haven’t already.

    Who are “Lightning-enabled” users?

    This update applies to users who have the “Lightning Experience User” permission.

    By default this includes all users with standard profiles.

    Additionally any users with custom profiles or permission sets that have the Lightning Experience User permission enabled.

    It is worth noting here, that any custom profiles created before Winter ’16 don’t include the Lightning Experience User permission. Though starting with Winter ’16, custom profiles that were cloned from a standard profile inherited the user permission, but admins can edit the profile to disable the permission.

    Can users still switch back to Salesforce Classic?

    Yes, if permissions on the profile allow. Remember, as admins you can limit the ability of users to switch back to Classic via profile/permission set.

    Though once a week, Lightning–enabled users who are working in Salesforce Classic are automatically logged in to Lightning Experience. These users can switch back to Salesforce Classic as needed.

    Read more on via the release notes here. And if you would like assistance, CirrusRed Consulting can help you with this transition, so contact us.

    Winter ’20 Release Top Features for Sales & Service Cloud

    Einstein Forecasting and Quarterly Forecasting

    Einstein Forecasting supports for Quarterly Forecasting is now out of beta and generally available.

    Einstein Forecasting now supports Quarterly Forecasting (Winter 20 Release)

    Einstein: Other Updates

    There are quite a few updates to the Einstein system as part of this release. Ranging from Lead Scoring improvements and Activity Capture through to Einstein Knowledge Article recommendations for Service Agents.

    To find out more, click here to view all other Einstein updates which form part of Winter 20 release.

    Omni-Channel Improvements

    There are a number of improvements for Service Cloud in this release, including the ability to further prioritise and route work to service agents.

    You can now set Secondary Routing Priority, and define criteria to ensure the most urgent cases are being routed to your agents correctly.

    Set up Secondary Routing Priority

    Read more here.

    Share Knowledge Across More Channels

    As part of Winter 20, you will now be able to also share Knowledge Articles across more Support Channels (Social Customer Service, Chat, or Messaging), helping to reduce time your agents when resolving cases.

    Read more here.

    Account Teams and Opportunity Contact Roles

    These two vital objects have now been extended and as of Winter ’20 release can now support custom fields, triggers, workflows.

    The benefit here is you can now modify these objects (which were very limited previously) to fit your specific business processes.

    Process Builder showing Account Team Member in the Object dropdown menu
    Account Team Member object now available in Process Builder (Winter 20 Release)

    Activities and Tasks

    One of the pain points for a lot of users has been how Salesforce Lightning manages the Activity Timeline on a record page. Specifically older archived tasks.

    There are three productivity improvements in this release aimed to improve sales and service productivity within Lightning.

    Mark as Complete in Single Click

    A very simple improvement, but one that should save end users a lot of extra clicks each day. You now have the ability to Mark as Complete, tasks from the various Task list views.

    Open tasks list view, showing new Mark complete button in Status column

    Read more here.

    Improvements to View All including Archived Activities:

    Archived activities, View All in Salesforce Winter 20 Release

    Read more here.

    Easily Scan Past Activities:

    Additionally, the Load More Activities button has been removed. Instead Activities are now grouped into monthly periods to organise and view past activity:

    The activity timeline

    Read more here.

    Extra Resources to help you get Winter 20 Release Ready

    When will Salesforce’s Winter 20 be released?

    This depends on your org and which server location it is on, though for most orgs it will be released on/around Oct 5th 2019 or Oct 12th 2019.

    To find out your specific date:

    • Go to
    • Type in your org server instance (eg EU12)
    • Go to the Maintenances tab, and find “Winter ’20 Major Release”
    Find your specific release date via
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