Salesforce release

  • 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

  • Salesforce Summer ’19 Release for Admins

    Get ready for the next release from Salesforce, with Summer ’19 Release just around the corner. What new features are in store for your org and when can you access it? In this post we will take a look at the top new features for admins, so read on to find out more.

    Salesforce Summer ’19: Top Features

    Overall, most of the features in this release seem to be geared towards general improvements to the Lightning UI.

    A lot of this release feels like it is further ‘sanding back’ some of the edges of Lightning and improving productivity further for users.

    The ‘Summer’ release from Salesforce, does historically tend to be more focused on general improvements. And this year is no exception…

    Why? Well, keep in mind this is the release before Dreamforce (where a lot of the new and big features tend to be announced). And most of the Dreamforce announcements tend to be piloted/beta released in Winter or Spring, obviously depending on the dev teams progress…

    With that said, let’s take a look at the top features for Sales/Service Cloud in Summer ’19 release.

    Lightning Transition: Critical Update & Tools

    As announced in Spring ’19 release, from Winter ’20, any user which has the Lightning Experience permission will be automatically switched over to Lightning UI.

    So as part of Summer ’19 (the last release before Winter 20), there are a number tools and updates to support Admins this transition.

    There are a number of tools and tweaks which help, and they are outlined here.

    These aren’t ‘sexy’ features, but they will help with your transition if you are still planning on the move.

    Related Lists in Lightning

    Summer ’19 brings with it a few tweaks to List Views in Lightning.

    First up, we have ‘Enhanced Lists’. “A what?” I hear you ask… An Enhanced List will now allow for up to 10 columns to be displayed in Lightning (rather than the previous limit of 4).

    Enhanced Lists also allow for columns to be resized… YAY!

    Summer 19 Enhanced List Views
    A normal Related List (top) vs an ‘Enhanced’ Related List (bottom)

    Quick Filters on Related Lists

    When viewing ‘all records’ from a related list, you will now have Quick Filters available.

    Opportunities related list open quick filter icon highlighted and quick filter panel open.

    Speed Up your List View Search

    Previous releases introduced the ability to search within a List View, allowing you to speed up the process of finding what you were looking for. Though they didn’t support picklist values, only text.

    Well Summer ’19 release fixes that, and picklist values on a record will also be searched if using the List View search feature.

    Keep the Record Context when switching UI

    Another minor but useful tweak, when switching between Lightning UI or Classic (and vice versa), the record context will be remembered.

    This means for example, when you switch to Lightning from an Opportunity record within Classic UI – you will now be taken to the relevant record you were on but in Lightning UI (if it is available).

    Search Results That Reflect How You Navigate

    Another one for usability, how you navigate in Salesforce will be used to present to you the Search results from the Global Search, including any personalisations the user has made to Navigation Bar.

    This is quite an interesting tweak, and should help once again speed up the process of finding what you are looking for within Salesforce.

    Sales & Service Cloud – Core Improvements

    A number of the feature improvements for Sales and Service Cloud ‘Core’, are bringing in a number of features to increase feature parity between Lightning and Classic. And as a result, closes out the list of features not available in Lightning.

    Sales Cloud: Customisable Product Schedules

    Summer ’19 release brings with it the ability to setup and customise the Line Item Schedules object in Lightning UI.

    You can now enable and setup this object like any other, and create custom fields, buttons, validations, triggers, etc.

    Sales Cloud: Quotas Now in Setup Menu (in Collaborative Forecasts)

    Collaborative Forecasting has also FINALLY received the ability to edit and setup Quotas for Forecasting Users via the Setup menu. Gone is the need to update and add quotas via API / Dataloader.

    Quotas for Collaborative Forecasts is now available in Setup, thanks to Summer '19 Release
    Quotas for Collaborative Forecasts is now available in Setup, thanks to Summer ’19 Release

    This spells the end-of-the-line for Customisable Forecasting (the earlier version), which Salesforce has also announced will be retired after Summer ’20 (next year).

    Sales Cloud: Enterprise Territory Management

    Another one that has finally made it to Lightning, is Enterprise Territory Management, with the relevant object now showing in Object Manager within Lightning.

    And remember you can also forecast against territories in Lightning too. With Summer ’19 adding a new way to view your team’s Territory Forecasts.

    Finally, Salesforce has also announced the original Territory Management module will also be retired in Summer ’20 too.

    Service Cloud: Knowledge Enhancements

    There are a number of improvements to Knowledge in Service Cloud. Starting with in-line editing for article drafts.

    In-line Editing for Articles now available in Lightning
    In-line Editing for Articles now available in Lightning

    You can now also add the Knowledge component to more objects within Lighting, which will speed up the searching for Knowledge Articles.

    Other Knowledge updates are also included in the Summer ’19 Release, including improved reporting, paste images into Rich Text Articles, and more.

    Service Cloud: Merge Cases

    Summer ’19 introduces a new ‘Merge Cases’ feature, though keep in mind it is currently beta.

    It is a feature that has been available in competing platforms for quite a while, but never the less a very handy feature to clean-up your cases.

    And if you have used the Merge Accounts feature, it will look very similar to you…

    Merge Cases from within a case
    Merge Cases option, available in Summer ’19 Release (beta)
    Select the field values to merge
    And the merge wizard allows you to pick the fields to keep/retain as you merge cases together.

    Service Cloud: Improvements to Lightning Flows (aka Guided Action List)

    Another product has changed names, with Guided Action List becoming the new Lightning Flows. But the change also brings with it a few changes and improvements too.

    You will be able to reorder Actions and Recommendations as you like.

    Guidance can now also be added to additional objects: Orders, Products and custom objects.

    Actions and Recommendations now available on additional objects.
    Actions and Recommendations now available on additional objects.

    When will Summer ’19 Release be available?

    As we enter May, the Summer ’19 Release may already be available in a number of pre-release orgs and sandboxes.

    As per Salesforce’s blog, we have now passed the May 3rd cut-off date for sandboxes to be refreshed to gain access to the preview release.

    Production orgs will start to receive the release from this week (May 8th) for some US instances. And for everyone else, we will receive it either June 8th, and June 15th.

    Find your release date:

    • Go to the Trust website
    • Click on the button: ‘Status’, next to the status.salesforce.com text
    • Type in your Instance or Domain
    • Go to the ‘Maintenances’ Tab
    • Scroll and search for: ‘Summer ’19 Major Release’
    Summer'19 Release will hit EU16 on the 9th June.
    Example of the Trust site from Salesforce.

  • Winter ’19: Top Sales and Service Cloud Features

    The first release of 2019 is almost here… Yes, I typed that right, 2019!  I was sitting in a meeting today, and we were planning the roadmap out to 2021.  It’s crazy to think…  But as the seasons change, we hit the start of the three-releases-a-year cycle with the Winter ’19 Release from Salesforce.

    winter19 - snowboarding Astro
    Winter ’19 – Snowboarding Astro

    Now I have to admit, I was caught a little off-guard by the release.  It wasn’t until I saw the new snowboarding Astro in a developer sandbox, that I realised I had completely missed the normal pre-release build up. :-O

    Where did the last 2 months go?!

    At least there is plenty of time until Dreamforce 😀

    Is it just me…?

    I struggle to be “wowed” with this release.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are some nice usability tweaks for sure.  And some additional features which do really help make Lightning a more robust and complete user experience.

    But I am left wondering, where is the “Salesforce magic”?

    Maybe there is more to be announced shortly at Dreamforce?  But what about Dreamforce last year?  Where is “myTrailhead” (there is an answer buried in the FAQ)?

    I assume the strategy for this year must be revolving around bedding-in the various acquisitions and general improvements to Lightning Experience.

    Top Features of Winter ’19 Release

    Stepping down from my little soap-box now…  And I will admit there are some really useful and cool usability features coming our way!

    So let’s have a look at the top features focusing on improvements to Sales/Service Cloud.

    Search List Views & Bulk Change Records

    List views have received some attention this release, and now have a cool ‘Search this list’ feature.  Such a simple idea, but I am hooked to using it now in my sandbox environment.

    Winter 19 Release: Search List Views

    You can now also do a number of bulk actions from the list view too, such as selecting multiple records and changing the owner.  This now brings yet another ‘small’ but useful feature from classic into Lightning Experience.

    Enhanced Run Page in Reports (Beta)

    Another cool feature – albeit a ‘beta feature’ – is the new Enhanced Run Page within Lightning Reports.  You can easily adjust what is displayed in the report, without having to edit the report and re-run…

    Also drilling down into a group/column is now a whole lot easier, matching Classic.

    winter19 - Enhanced Run Page in Reports
    Enhanced Run Page in Reports

    Joined Reports in your Dashboards

    Finally!!! Joined Reports can now be used as components on a Dashboard….

    Winter19 - Joined Report as a Dashbaord component

    Forecasts

    From memory it has been a little while since the last touch-up to Forecasts.

    Winter 19 will bring a number of new features, including the ability to now forecast by territory.

    Email tracking for your Sales and Service users

    In Lightning you can now track email responses, seeing if the email has been opened.  And actually displaying this information back in the Activity Timeline within Lightning, presenting this back in a way that is easy to view.

    Winter 19 - Email Tracking

    Live Agent Setup in Lightning

    You will now be able to setup Live Agent in Lightning Experience.  Another small thing, but one less reason to have to switch back to Classic!

    Bonus: Flow Builder

    So although not technically part of the Winter ’19 it was announced alongside the Winter ’19 release…  Early next year (likely Spring ’19 release), we will have a new Flow Builder.  Which will get a much-needed redesign.

    Removing the dependency on Adobe Flash is a huge benefit and one of the things I am most excited about.  It feels like every second day, I have to update Flash before I can then use Flow Designer.

    Salesforce's new Flow Builder
    The new Flow Builder… Coming soon!

    Wrap Up

    So aside from me being a little jaded, there are some nice usability features being added in this release which add a bit more flesh onto Lighting Experience.  (And if you haven’t migrated to Lightning yet, what are you waiting for?!)

    There are a lot of new features overall to the platform, and I am not sure if it is just the sandbox instance we are using or if it is the release… But Lightning Experience does feel a bit more responsive overall too.

    What are your top features?  Have I missed something?  Feel free to tell me / yell at me in the comments 😀

    Resources

    Other resources to help get #releaseready with the upcoming Winter 19 release.

    Salesforce Official resources:

    And the blogosphere:

  • Summer ’18 Release: Top Sales & Service Cloud Features

    Time marches on and 2018 continues hurtling towards summer (or winter for the southern half of the planet).  But it is that time of year again where we get to investigate and plan for the Summer ’18 release from Salesforce, which is due to be released to most orgs within the next month.

    Additionally, we see Lightning continue to be the primary focus for Salesforce with a number of key new features, as predicted, being included as part of this release.

    Release Notes – New breakdown

    Firstly, you may notice a subtle but helpful new format of the Release Notes.

    New sub-headings in the Summer '18 Release Notes
    New sub-headings in the Summer ’18 Release Notes

    Most features and changes included in the release notes, now appear to be broken down into easier to digest sub-headings covering the all important: Where/Why/How/When/etc.

    It is a subtle but useful change, given the volume of information in the 478 page document!

    Summer ’18 Release: Features Breakdown

    As with any Salesforce release nowadays, there are thousands of new features, and narrowing them down to a is getting harder and harder!  But let’s dive on in, and take a look at the Top Sales & Service Cloud Features.

    1) Lightning Console – To feature parity and beyond…

    With Summer ’18 Release, we see Lightning Console pretty close to matching Classic Console, with some additional new features added in for good measure.

    Now I know I am cheating in the top 10, as I am going to group a couple of features together in this one… But it will be worth it 🙂

    For the console changes, click here.

    Console specific features in the release include:

    Guided Engagement with Flow

    But the pièce de résistance though is the new Guided Engagement Console feature.  Allowing you to combine the power of Console and Flows, to give your users guided forms/scripts to work from:

    Summer '18 Release: Lightning Guided Engagement
    Lightning Guided Engagement

     

    2) Reports & Dashboards

    Summer ’18 Release from Salesforce includes a bonanza of features and updates for all things Reports & Dashboards… So again, I am grouping a few distinct features under one topic here – otherwise my top 10 would just be reports and dashboards!!

    For all Report & Dashboard features, click here.

    Lightning Report Builder

    First up, Summer ’18 Release sees Lightning Report Builder come out of beta, and become Generally Available.  With a few extra tweaks since Spring ’18 also added in!

    Summer '18 Release: Lightning Report Builder

    One thing to note: the user permissions have changed due to the feature becoming ‘generally available’, and this now allows you to hide Classic Report Builder from users, if you wish to…

    Lightning Joined Reports (Beta)

    Additionally, we see Joined Reports enter public beta within Lightning!  There are a few limitations listed in the release notes, but the biggest appears to be having to use the Salesforce Classic Report Builder

    Summer 18 Release: Joined Reports now available in beta
    Joined Reports (beta)

    Get organised: Folders and sub-folders

    I have to admit, this one makes my inner Salesforce geek very happy!  And I wrote about it in the predictions post back in January… As soon as I heard it was on the roadmap for this year, I have been eagerly awaiting this feature!!!

    Sub-Folders, within Folders!  OMG! 😀 😀 It is Lightning Experience only – but this has been a pain in the backside of many Admins, since even before I started working with Salesforce!

    Summer '18 Release: Report Sub-Folders
    Report Sub-Folders

     

    Export reports & keep your formatting

    Lightning Experience now allows you to export your report and keep the formatting of the report.  Simple…

    Filter History Reports by Old and New Values

    In Classic, another bug-bear of mine (and many others) was the fact you could not filter a History Report by the old or new field values…  It would only display them in the report or the history related list if the field was tracked.

    This ended up with a lot of reports being exported and then working with the data in Excel… GRRR

    But GRRR no more! With the ability to now filter by these values!

    Salesforce Summer '18 Release: Filter by Old or New Values on History Reports

    Thank you Salesforce!

     

    3) Lightning Experience improvements

    Another area with a number of smaller feature improvements, Lightning Experience continues to get refined with each release.

    Click here for all of them…  Otherwise, read on!

    Speed up your search

    Summer ’18 Release will allow your users to search by specific objects, from the global search bar…

    Summer '18 Release: Search by specific object

    Boom!

    Dependant picklists and Path

    Path is an amazing feature, allowing you to guide users through almost any process just based on a single picklist.  But with Summer ’18 release, any dependant picklists will now also prompt users when they move steps.

    Summer '18 Release: Update dependant picklists

     

    Group by Topics

    Topics are now available in Lightning Experience!

    Many users used Topics in Classic, and it is great to seem them ported over to Lightning Experience now.

    If you haven’t used them before, it allows your end-users to group and organise records, by a topic.  Imagine it like a #tag on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/etc, allowing you to then search for the topic and get all related records.

    Salesforce Summer '18: Topics now in Lightning

    4) Privacy (Support for GDPR)

    With the upcoming GDPR changes, Salesforce has continued to add in features to assist businesses (and us Admins) to get ready.

    Changes to Individual object

    The Individual object was a little limited when it was first released in Spring ’18.  The object wasn’t like a standard object, meaning access was very limited.  And creation of records/etc Apex coding was required…

    But no more!  In Summer ’18 the object is now a standard object with all the bells and whistles that comes with that – including the ability to now use workflows/process builder!

    You will be able to now:

    • Create custom actions, buttons, and links for Individuals
    • Create different Individual record types
    • Undelete an Individual that you had deleted
    • Use Individuals with workflows or with Process Builder

    Make a Users’ personal data unusable

    As part of the new privacy regulations, and the ability to request your personal information is removed from a system, presents a bit of a challenge for anyone who has a user record within Salesforce.  These could be community users or internal users…. And is due to the fact you cannot delete a Salesforce user record, ever.

    So to get around this, Salesforce is now including a new system method ‘obfuscateUser()’ , which will scramble user information.

    This one definitely falls into the ‘advanced’ category, as it requires Apex knowledge (or how to invoke Apex via Process Builder/Flow).

    And would require planning and testing, as Salesforce is warning: that it cannot be reversed!

    Scramble user data before and after

     

    Summer ’18 Release: Key Dates

    There are a number of key dates you need to know for Summer ’18 Release.  So to help highlight what they are, here is a handy infographic from Salesforce.   Remember the dates shown below are in US date format though…

    Summer 18 release - key dates

    What is the release date for Summer ’18 Release?

    The release weekend for your org will depend on the instance it is on, but the release will occur on the weekend between the 18th May – 8th June 2018.

    Summer ’18 Release: Additional Resources

    Official Salesforce resources

    Other blog resources

  • Winter ’19 Logo Contest…

    UPDATE: Read the latest post covering the Top Features of Winter’19 release.

    The Winter ’19 Logo Contest is now open…. Even though Summer ’18 release is not even released yet!!   Salesforce is already planning ahead to the Winter ’19 release.  (Yes I did type ’19 as in 2019!!!  **GULP**)

    But do you know what that means?

    For those who want to join in the Logo Contest for the next release, the vote is closing tomorrow! To get involved in the Winter ’19 Logo Contest is now open in the Trailblazer Community.

    Winter ’19 Logo – The Finalists

    Here are the finalists which you can vote on:

    Salesforce Winter '19 Logo Contest
    Salesforce Winter ’19 Logo Contest

     

    FYI – voting ends Wednesday 9th May at 12 pm PST, so get your vote in now…  #teamsnowboard

  • Time to prepare for Summer ’18 Release

    It only feels like a few months since Spring ’18 release… Oh wait, it was.  As time marches on, we are now due for the next release from Salesforce with Summer ’18 release.  Over the coming weeks we will start the normal release readiness prep, but what are the key dates of the release?  And when will Summer ’18 be released? Additionally what features might we expect to see from Salesforce Summer ’18 release?

    Summer ’18 Release: Key Dates

    As with every release, there are a number of key dates you have to be aware of.

    Most of this is sourced from the Release Readiness Group and you can download a handy infographic here (source: Salesforce).

    April 19th – Pre-release orgs are available to preview the new release.

    April 23rd – The Preview Release Notes will be published.

    May 4th – Sandbox cutoff date.  Remember to check here for instructions on which sandbox instance a refresh will land on.

    May 18th, June 1st, June 8th – there are three release windows for Summer ’18 into production environments.  Which depends on your Salesforce instance.  You can check the dates relevant for your instance, here.

    There will also be a number of Release Readiness webinars, and sessions which will be posted via the Release Readiness Group in the Trailblazer Community.

    Summer ’18: Possible Features

    Because I am not one to generally wait…  Impatient, I know…  So I started searching the product roadmaps to see what is likely to be released as part of the Summer ’18 release.  Combined with a number of webinars I have watched, this is a list of some of the features likely to show in this release.

    But please note – this list isn’t definitive or guaranteed list.  And we will get official confirmation within the next week as the Pre-Release Orgs & Preview Release Notes become available. 

    So let’s jump in and speculate as to what we might see…

    Lightning Report Builder & Dashboards

    We are likely to see a lot more features being rolled out to the new Report Builder feature.  These are likely to include:

    • Joined Reports, finally in Lightning – albeit this is likely to be a beta/pilot release
    • The ability to create field to field filters. This will allow you to compare two fields directly within the report builder, without needing to build report formulas or custom fields. For example you could run a filter where Created Date equals any custom date field on your object.
    • The ability to create reporting sub folders.  So you could setup a ‘Sales’ folder, but then have sub folders for each sales team within it.
    • Ability to sort columns based on a summarised/aggregated value.
    • Setting dashboard schedules for multiple users

    Files

    Files is likely to see the introduction of a Library-type functionality.  This will be no doubt be a nudge for users still on Content/Libraries to move over to the newer Files functionality.

    Platform Enhancements

    The rollout of branding/themes started with the last couple of releases.  We will likely get the ability to now theme/brand each app individually (rather than one theme applying org wide).

    List views will also see Mass Quick Actions rolled out to more objects too.  While Persons Accounts should get the ability to create custom Quick Actions on the object.

    And Product Schedules should finally become available in Lightning Experience.  This should stop users having to switch back to Salesforce Classic to enable product schedules, or to establish/modify schedules for products.  Which is something one of my orgs uses alot, and has blocked Lightning roll-out for that team.

    Wrap up

    We will see if these possible features are actually included in Summer – and no doubt there will be a number of other additions which haven’t been included here… There are always 1,000s of features in each release – so I know we only touched the surface here!

    Appendix

    If you want to know more, one of the most helpful videos outlining some of the new features on the roadmap, is this one: True to the Core, which was originally included in my last post Dreamforce 2017 roundup.

    Also the Lightning Roadmap is available here, but a little out of date now Spring ’18 is in preview, it is available here.

    Hope that helps with exploring in more detail.

  • Secrets of Spring ’18: Hidden Formulas

    Spring ’18 is now live for most orgs, but there appears to be some changes included in the release which haven’t been documented :-O The great news for us Admins, the changes actually resolve a number of ‘simple’ problems we have when trying to calculate values in formulas.  So in this quick update we look at some of the new ‘hidden formulas’ included with Spring ’18 and some of the use cases where you might be able to apply them…

    Update: 26/Feb  – Eagle-eyed Ekaterina has pointed out in the comments, there are even more additional formulas available!  Here is a link to her blog if you want to read more…

    Update: 01/Mar – Salesforce have now scheduled an update to the Known Issue and scheduled an update via the Spring ’18 Patch 11.0.  To see what’s included, click here.

    Hidden Formulas: ADDMONTHS

    The first of the hidden formulas included in Spring ’18 is the new AddMonths function.

    Imagine you need a formula to calculate a date, which based off another date entered on a record.  For example, you could see this in action in Contract End Date (contract start date + 2mth duration = contract end date).

    The formula to add 2 months, while only using point and click Admin features, is quite little long winded (if you want to accurately account for Leap Years):

    IF(
      MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 2,
      IF(
        DAY( date ) > 28,
        DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH( date ) + 2 ) / 12 ), 3, 1 ),
        DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH( date ) + 2 ) / 12 ), 2, DAY( date ) )
      ),
      IF(
        OR(
          MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 4,
          MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 6,
          MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 9,
          MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 11
        ),
        IF(
          DAY( date ) > 30,
          DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH(  date  ) + 2 ) / 12 ),
           MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) + 1, 1 ),
          DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH( date ) + 2 ) / 12 ),
           MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12), DAY( date ) )
        ),
        IF(
          MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12 ) = 0,
          DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH( date ) + 2 ) / 12 ) - 1, 12, DAY( date ) ),
          DATE( YEAR( date ) + FLOOR( ( MONTH( date ) + 2 ) / 12 ),
           MOD( MONTH( date ) + 2, 12), DAY( date ) )
        )
      )
    )

    GULP!!

    But, now you will be able to use the AddMonths formula…

    So you want to add 2 months, to a field containing the start date of the contract, it is now as simple as:

    addMonths(date, 2)

    To see more details, until the official documentation is available, visit Ekaterina’s post here.

    Hidden Formulas: WEEKDAY

    Salesforce WEEKDAY formula
    Salesforce WEEKDAY formula

    Also in Spring ’18, and a little more obscure, is the new WeekDay function.

    It allows you to return a number (from 1-7) which indicates the day of the week, based on a date field within Salesforce.

    Before, once again, you could retrieve this information – but it was again a bit cumbersome:

    CASE(
      MOD( DATEVALUE(CreatedDate) - DATE(1900, 1, 7), 7), 
         0, "Sunday", 
         1, "Monday",  
         2, "Tuesday", 
         3, "Wednesday", 
         4, "Thursday", 
         5, "Friday", 
         6, "Saturday",
         "Error"
    )

    But now – simply use:

    WeekDay(date)

    And it will return for you, a number which represents the day of the week:

    1 = Sunday
    2 = Monday
    3 = Tuesday
    4 = Wednesday
    5 = Thursday
    6 = Friday
    7 = Saturday

    Hidden Formulas: CURRENCYRATE

     

    Salesforce CURRENCYRATE formula
    Salesforce CURRENCYRATE formula

    The next hidden formula in Spring ’18, is CURRENCYRATE.

     

    This formula will return the conversion rate used for a record’s currency code.

    So for example, if you have the default currency as USD.  But the record’s currency is GBP – you can now retrieve what the conversion rate is between those currencies.  And then display it as a formula field or use it in reports.

    CURRENCYRATE(IsoCode)

    As a possibly obvious tip, Currency Management will need to be activate in your org before you can use this…

    The returned value will be a number showing the currency conversion rate, eg 0.717412 (but you will be able to control how many decimals are shown).

    Hidden Formulas: MFLOOR & MCEILING

    Salesforce MCEILING formula
    Salesforce MCEILING formula

    These two final formula functions go hand in hand.  And now also available in Spring ’18!!

    Previously, we did have access to ROUND function:

    Round(decimalNumber, 2)

    Where you could round a decimal number to the number of decimals you specified in the formula.  But you couldn’t force Salesforce to round up or down… Until now!

    MCEILING will round a number up to the nearest positive whole number.  Whereas the MFLOOR will round down to the nearest positive whole number.

    Both functions will return 0, if the input number is a negative.

    So for example, if you have a number field which contains decimals but you want to round up or down, you can control this with these functions.

    To round up, to nearest whole number:

    MCEILING(number)

    To round down, to nearest whole number:

    MFLOOR(number)

     

    Found any others?

    No doubt Salesforce will be updating all relevant documentation and the Help site soon.  But if you have found any others, add them to the comments below!

  • How to Plan Your Move to Lightning Experience

    For many businesses, now is the time to move to Salesforce Lightning.  But moving to Lightning can feel like a daunting task.  Where should you start?  How to you make sure you don’t disrupt the business?  So in this first post, we will take a look at how to plan your move to Lightning Experience.

    In the next post, we look at how to implement your plan and go-live!  But in the meantime, if you have any tips of your own, feel free to add them in the comments section below.  And let’s start planning…

    Planning your move

    migrating to Lightning is all about planning

    Before we start, let’s just clear the air.

    As an #AwesomeAdmin you probably already know there is planning required to make the switch over.  The old adage – ‘failure to plan, is planning for failure’ – is never truer than when changing how a user works within a system.

    But driving user adoption and making the transition as smooth as possible, doesn’t need to be overly complicated process though.  And by planning your transition you set yourself up for the best possible result.

    So let’s get started.

    WIIFM?!… What’s In It For Me?

    One of the first steps to planning any change should to be understand the ‘what’s in it for me’.  It is the first question most users want to know about any change…

    Salesforce Lightning adoption - answer 'What's in it for me' from your end-users point of view
    Understanding ‘What’s In It For Me?’will help drive adoption…

    Sure Lightning Experience looks great.  You can now customise the colours to match your company identity…

    But that doesn’t really engage end-users in using the platform.  After all we want them to use the system once we make the change, don’t we?…

    Be honest with yourself.  Would a typical sales, customer service or partner really care about that?

    Answering this question for each type of stakeholder is one of the best ways to ensure everyone buys-in to making the move.

    A great example is dealing with a stakeholder from Sales.  Lightning offers many new features which benefit most sales users.  Here are a few…. Sales Path to guide on what to do in the system to move to the next stage.  Kanban board for managing your pipeline with drag-and-drop ease.  What about Sales Console?  Use of macros practically anywhere in Salesforce?

    The point here is to you need to demonstrate you understand your end-users by understanding their problems.  If you understand the problem, you can effectively position a feature or benefit that solves it.  And this helps engage these stakeholders early on…

     Why should we invest in making this change?

    The next step is to develop a business case.  It sounds horrible, but it can really help in convincing your senior stakeholders on why they should support the change.  And to drive adoption when launched, you need their support…

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

    This may not be applicable for all business, but I always try to work out a rough cost/benefit to any changes my team make.  Even if it is just an estimate.  And this loops back to understanding the WIIFM within your business.

    Every business problem – and in turn the potential solution – have a potential time/cost associated with them.

    This is the gold dust in developing your business case to answer the question most senior stakeholders within business would ask,

    As an example, a simple cost-to-benefit calculation could be based on decreasing sales admin time.  By improving the time taken to process and close a contract within the system, you can quantify the potential upside to the business.

    So if an average salesperson closed an extra 2 deals a day/month/year due to improving the sales workflow in Lightning, how much is that worth to your business?  (average contract value * extra deals per day = potential upside).

    Keep in mind, this is only an estimate.  But it can be a useful way to engage the business and to capture metrics relating to the success of the project once completed.

    Mind the gap…?

    Salesforce has spent the last couple of years attempting to make Lightning match the features of Classic.  But there are still some gaps between Classic and Lightning Experience.

    The next item on our list is to check what these gaps actually mean your org.  By doing so you ensure your users can still use all key features they need.

    If there is a feature gap or limitation, the next step should be to look at the publicly available roadmap.  This outlines the upcoming features planned for release and may cover the feature that is a priority for you.

    Also each published version of the release notes now include a section on what is and what is not included in Lightning Experience.  For the Spring ’18 section, please have a look here.

    Side note: The roadmap is scheduled to be updated after the Spring ’18 release, but a handy video to watch about the Force.com platform and upcoming features is the True to the Core video.  Or there is a breakdown of the expected features in the 2018 predictions post here.

    Resources

    Salesforce is clearly invested in supporting all orgs to move to Lightning Experience.  Releases now introduce most new features as Lightning Experience only.  But to help, there is a wealth of content available for free to sink your teeth into.

    For starters there is a great Trailhead module specifically on getting hands-on with a Lightning Experience roll-out.  There is also a quick overview of the steps on the Admin blog.  But personally I highly recommend jumping to the Power of Us site, which has been setup to cover best practice for making the jump to Lightning.

    Each and every org now also has the Lightning Readiness Check built-in.  And the check gets an update every release to give you more and more insight into your org’s compatibility into making the change.

    If you want more information about how to take a business-first approach to rolling out Lightning, I found this article over on SalesforceBen.

  • Salesforce Spring ’18 Release is almost here!

    Wait, what?!  Wasn’t it just Dreamforce last month?  Oh no, that was two months ago now!  And hold up, doesn’t it feel like winter has really only just started?  (I’m looking at you, US of A & Canada, and your freezing temperatures this last week).  Well as far as the good folks at Salesforce are concerned, that is the perfect time to start preparing for the Spring ’18 release.

    After making a number of feature predictions for 2018 in the last post, I am eager to see what has been included in this release.

    So let’s get release ready and warm up by the fireplace (or cool down by the aircon if you’re in the Southern hemisphere). And let’s look at the top 10 features for Sales and Service Cloud coming in the Spring ’18 release…

    Top Sales & Service Cloud Features in Spring ’18

    Macros, macros, everywhere!

    Macros are now available almost everywhere in Lightning Experience
    Macros are now available almost everywhere in Lightning Experience

    Spring ’18 release brings one killer feature that was only previously available in Console Apps.

    Macros!!!!  Technically Quick Text is now also available too in Spring ’18.  But as you can probably see, it is Macros that really have me revved up!

    You can now setup and use macros on pretty much every object now.  That’s right, most custom and standard objects are now available to use with macros – providing they support Lightning Experience.

    These are so useful for speeding up those really common processes that are so repetitive and tiresome for your users.  Click here, send that, update this field, mark as complete… Can now all be done at a click of a button (obviously once setup).

    Also Macros Utility Bar & Macro Builder both have an updated/easier to understand layout too.

    myLightning

    myLightning was announced at Dreamforce this year, and will be released in Spring ’18.  Truth be told, it seems that myLightning was just marketing ‘packaging’ for a number of new features which takes Lightning even further.

    Lightning Experience - Custom Themes with Dynamic Pages

    Custom Themes

    First up, there is Custom Themes which allow you to brand and theme your Salesforce instance to make your company’s brand (like the T-Mobile example, pictured left).

    Lightning Experience & Components

    Another killer feature, and of course Lightning Experience only, is the new Dynamic Components feature.  It allows you to control when to display certain Components within the Lightning App.  There are some limitations to what filters can be used, but there is plans to expand this feature over the coming releases (refer the features section in my last post for more).

    On top of this, Salesforce are now expanding the ability to set Component Visibility Rules across related objects and fields, instead of being limited to the record you are viewing.  This expands the options to control what is displayed and when…

    And when arranging your components on any Lightning Page into collapsible sections (accordion style).  This allows your users to now de-clutter what they are seeing and find what they need a whole lot quicker.

    Example of Accordion sections
    Spring ’18 and Collapsible Sections!

     

    Choose your own Path

    There is a very easy to miss feature has been included in this release.  Possibly due to the fact it is still only a preview feature.  But you can now setup a Path based on any picklist, across all standard objects.

    If you are not aware of what Path is, it provides your users with a quick guide on what are the next steps to progress a deal or a lead.  But it was only limited to the status or stage field, and only on a handful of objects.

    Personally I think it is an amazing feature that can really help drive adoption in a simple and easy to understand way.  But now, Salesforce are opening the doors to help all admins drive system and process adoption by expanding what options you can use to set up a Path for your users…

    Here is the example in the Release Notes.  It shows how you might setup a Path, and help your users on-boarding a new client:

    Salesforce Lightning Experience & Sales Path
    Path, now helps you go your own way… (click for full image)

    Mass Quick Actions

    BOOM - Spring 18 introduces Mass Quick Actions

    Bulk editing records from a list view, has been frankly a little tiresome within Lightning.  But fret now, you can now allow your users to use Mass Quick Actions to update up to 200 records within a list view.  It is only available for Cases, Leads and custom objects at this stage.   But I think it still deserves a little **BOOM**

    Clean your data

    Who doesn’t love a clean Salesforce?

    Spring 18 introduces new ways to clean your data

    I have been using Salesforce now for over nine years, and every single org has always had some form of record duplication.

    Salesforce has been taking steps to help Admins over the years when introducing the built-in duplication management toolkit.  But Spring ’18 has upped the ante.

    Rather than waiting for a duplicate to be blocked or alerted, you can now run a Duplicate Job when using your existing Matching Rules.  Right from the Setup menu.  It works for Business Accounts, Person Accounts, Leads and Contacts at this stage.

    And with Spring ’18, when the Duplicate Job has completed you can report on the results, share the results or take action directly within the Duplicate Job feature and merge those pesky records!!!

    Data privacy

    With GDPR and other privacy regulations coming into effect shortly, Salesforce has included a range of tools to support the Salesforce community through this change.  There is even a new standard object for storing an Individual’s privacy preferences.

    Now is the time to read up on all features relating to GDPR, and a quick search of the release notes will show you all specific updates regarding GDPR.  Here are two points that may help you in preparing for these changes.

    When does the Sandbox Preview for Spring ’18 start?

    Any sandbox refreshed before the 5th/6th January 2018, will routed to a Preview Instance.  This means that if you want to Preview the Spring ’18 release in a sandbox you have to refresh before this date.  For more details, check out this Salesforce page.

    All refreshes completed after the 9th/10th January, will be routed through to a sandbox with Winter ’18.

    When does Spring ’18 get released?

    Salesforce is planned to start rolling out the Spring ’18 release from February 3rd 2018.

    Other Resources

    As per every other release, there is a wealth of information available to get up to speed with the changes.

    Got a favourite feature in Spring ’18?

    Tell us about it below in the comments section!

    Adios for now…

  • Top 4 Salesforce Predictions for 2018

    It is the holiday season, and it is a time for being with family and friends. It is also a time to celebrate the year that was, along with planning for the year that is to come. Can you believe it, it is now 2018…. And with a new year, comes new expectations. In the Salesforce world, this means new features and new use cases. In this post we are going to look ahead to a number of Salesforce predictions for 2018.

    Salesforce Prediction #1: Salesforce revenue tops $12.5bn

    Salesforce Prediction: Revenue Forecast for FY18/19
    Salesforce Revenue Forecast (from Dreamforce 2017)

    This one shouldn’t be a a massive surprise, as it has been forecast in every quarterly update. But unless things go horribly wrong over the first three months, Salesforce will confirm it has sailed past the target of $10B revenue for its FY17/18 and pass $12.5bn for FY18/19!!!

    Marc Benioff has been quoted in the media saying: “We did this faster than any other enterprise software company in history. Our continued momentum as the leader in CRM, the fastest-growing segment of our industry, combined with more than $15 billion in billed and unbilled deferred revenue, puts us well on the path to $20 billion and beyond.”

    Why is this interesting? Firstly we could see Salesforce start acquiring more companies over the coming 12mths. Last year was all about bedding in the huge number of acquisitions from 2016. We are likely to continue to see new products and features from the purchases, but are there new ones on Benioff’s radar?

    This will make the battle between the Enterprise SAAS titans all the more interesting over the coming year, as Salesforce’s competitors gear up to take on the CRM behemoth. 2018 will see this competition among CRM platforms heat up… Which can only be a good thing for us as they all push each other to further innovate.

    Salesforce Prediction #2: Artificial Intelligence

    Buzzword and passing fad? Or a trend to look out for? However you feel about it, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will still be all around us in 2018. Einstein has celebrated its first birthday in 2017. After a slow start, new AI-enabled features being rolled out more frequently now.

    Helping hand: AI & Human

    But it isn’t just about Einstein. Recently I attended the “Week of Innovation” here in the lovely Salesforce Tower (aka Heron Tower) in London. One of the sessions that caught my eye was a Salesforce Ventures presentation. In it they highlighted the venture capitalist strategy, but also their portfolio of recent investments. And a number of these are also looking to leverage AI to solve specific business problems.

    For example, Digital Genius for AI in a Customer Service environment, TalkIQ for AI powered insight on call coaching your reps and Squirro for event-driven insights. All of these companies have been invested in by Salesforce Ventures, which shows that Salesforce is taking AI very seriously and looking to grow the AI & CRM ecosystem.

    Salesforce Prediction #3: Dreamforce customisation features (my, my, my)

    Another solid prediction… New features! My, oh my! But just bear with me…

    If you have been to a Salesforce presentation… Everything starts off with the ‘Forward Looking Statement’ (used to be called the Safe Harbor Statement). And this section will be no different! 🙂

    2018 will continue to see the standard 3x releases bring in a number of new features. So we will continue to be kept busy keeping up to date with all the planned features.

    Lightning Experience - Custom theme setup

    To start with, the big ‘my’ announcements at Dreamforce should all become available throughout 2018:

    • myLightning and all the custom theme goodness, is due for release in Spring ’18 (it is in the preview notes)
    • myTrailhead is expected to be generally available after a beta period. This is likely to be GA in H2 2018 (which is most likely to be the Winter ’19 release).
    • mySalesforce, myIoT, myEinstein will also likely become available too either in Summer ’18 or Winter ’19.

    Salesforce Prediction #4: New features keep on coming, to Lightning though…

    Another prediction for 2018: Salesforce will continue the trend of “Lightning Experience only” with new features. But what features can we expect to see in 2018? I have dug through a number of online videos, presentations and roadmaps to find out what is coming our way and here are some of the best features I found:

    Reports and Dashboards

    Reports and Dashboards in Lightning will get a lot of attention over the coming releases:

    • Dashboard tables will get reworked. Instead of being tied to the source report, the upcoming feature will allow you to have access to all the fields on your report type. (Likely Spring ’18 & Summer ’18)

    • Dashboard & Chart colour configuration allowing you to essentially create a custom look for your dashboard. (This should be available in Spring ’18)
    • Winter ’18 brought us Dashboard & Report folders within Lightning. But next year we will likely see the ability to create subfolders. (Likely in Summer ’18)
    • The ability to create field to field filters. This will allow you to compare two fields directly within the report builder, without needing to build report formulas or custom fields. For example you could run a filter where Created Date equals any custom date field on your object. (Likely Summer ’18)
    • Joined Reports in Lightning (Likely Summer ’18 via beta/pilot)
    • Ability to sort columns based on aggregate (Likely Summer ’18)
    • General usability updates, including ability to resize columns on reports and rename field labels in the report (Likely Winter ’19).

    Dynamic Lightning Components

    We saw the first iteration of this in Winter ’18 release, but there will be more ways to control dynamic components in upcoming releases. Potentially including the ability to filter the component by who the user is or by device being used.

    The presentation I saw on this actually went as far to say that Salesforce are working towards being able to release dependent page layouts… Which would be fascinating in the possibilities it would unlock for Admins and Developers on the platform!

    Lightning & Lists

    Inline edits when in list view have been in Lightning now for a number of releases. But the ability to mass action/update records has been limited.

    Moving forward, we will see a number of improvements to how you can work with lists when in Lightning. Things like the ability to mass change owner of records. Or updating multiple records from a list view with a Lightning Action…

    When will we see these? Well it is on the future roadmap for post-Spring ’18 releases.

    Wrap up

    So that is it for now. That was a glimpse at the crystal ball for 2018.

    As we all know, Salesforce is an ever-evolving beast of a platform. It will no doubt continue to drive industry-specific focus via packaged CRM features for industries (like Health Cloud or Financial Services Cloud). Are we likely to see a Retail Cloud some time soon?

    The year ahead also introduces a number of challenges for Admins, Developers and Specialists in the form of new privacy regulations. The largest change coming our way is GDPR, for companies dealing with individuals within the European Union.

    But as with every year, there is always a lot to look forward to. So happy new year and let the good times roll!

    Share your predictions

    Do you have any Salesforce predictions of your own? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

    Appendix

    If you want to know more, one of the most helpful videos outlining some of the new features on the roadmap, is this one: True to the Core, which was originally included in my last post Dreamforce 2017 roundup.

    Also the Lightning Roadmap is available here, but a little out of date now spring ’18 is in preview, it is available here.

    Hope that helps with exploring in more detail.

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