Spring ‘19 Release
It's that time again where your mouth starts to water as some of the long awaited Salesforce features you requested are ready for you to sink your teeth into. Let's dive into what's coming!
Note: you should already be seeing these features in your sandboxes (except for non-preview sandboxes) so make sure to spin up a new sandbox, or refresh an existing one to take a look at how the changes will impact your org.
Lightning flow builder is finally here! On top of updating the interface to get rid of flash (finally), Salesforce made some changes that make it a lot cleaner to build automation. If for some reason you want to go back into flash purgatory, you can go to setup -> process automation settings and deselect the checkbox for "disable access to cloud flow designer". Then you can move between both interfaces. Note however that error messages will now use the updated terminology of the new interface, so go back at your own risk. Hands-on preview below:
Salesforce didn't stop at a facelift for flows - they did some open heart surgery to improve flows overall: You can create or install process templates that allow you to reuse the same flow template on different objects or in different ways. You can run a process or flow from standard platform events, for example to customize how batch apex errors or platform status alerts are handled. There are new components for visual flow images and addresses that will make working with both data types easier. You can work with external objects now as well, though you'll need to use platform events to handle launching the automation if it is based on changes to external data. Speaking of events, you can now set scheduled actions in a process that fires on an event. And scheduled actions can be set for 0 hours, allowing for soonest available asynchronous processing! Last and in my opinion MOST IMPORTANTLY, they have finally fixed process builder and flow formulas to return null values. You will still need to do null checks, but you don't have to use formula fields now, as the normal criteria will evaluate correctly. While it's not as far as I wish they would have gone, this definitely helps. You will need to activate this critical update in your org in order to enjoy the many hours this should save you. Like I said, open heart surgery. Automation celebration! Hands-on preview below:
If you have ever had to rebuild an entire lightning page because you wanted to change the template, rejoice. You can now change the template and map where the components should go on the new template. Hands-on preview at right.
Reports and Dashboards get a few nice updates. Joined reports have finally joined (bad pun) the Lightning party. Data summaries are cleaner on the run page and the headers are frozen as you scroll. You can add conditional formatting directly to a report on summarized columns. Filters now allow you to use inactive picklist values, instead of just the active ones. There is a toggle for stacked summaries now at the bottom of matrix reports that condenses the summarized info, similar to how it used to show in classic. And your historical tracking reports can now be viewed in lightning (though you will have to pop back to classic to create them). Hands-on preview at left.
If your console lightning pages would look better using a two region structure, you can now update them as there are two new two region templates available.
Permission Set Groups are now in pilot. This is another pilot I would recommend trying out. They allow you to bundle permission sets that are commonly assigned to a particular type of user. This allows you to be more granular and specific in your permission sets, without greatly increasing the amount of work to set up proper permissions for a user.
If you are on Enterprise edition and haven't played with the one free survey they give you, make sure to try it out. In this release you now have more question types at your disposal and custom reports to go along with it. They also allow you to generate customized invitations for contacts or person accounts. And if you are a global company you can now translate surveys into more than 10 languages through translation workbench.
Big objects can now be created in setup, which will make it easier to incorporate them into your architecture. Check out the trailhead module if you are unfamiliar with them, as it seems many admins haven't started taking advantage of the 1 million records of storage available to them or performance benefits for large data sets.
Hyperlinks in formula fields are finally fixed in lightning, so make sure to acknowledge the critical update in setup.
You can see all the places that a field is used using the new "Where is this used?" button on the field in setup. That will help you make sense of why the field exists since the person who created it forgot to put a good description..... oh was that me? Oops.
If you previously built a custom solution or used a third party add on to print a detail page in lightning, make sure you look at using the new standard print option as a replacement.
You can now add your own URLs, PDF files, videos, or Trailhead mixes to the help menu! Start planning on ways to empower users via the help menu, and make sure they know to look there and take advantage of additional self service options you provide them. Hands-on preview below:
If you use Quip, get ready to have your mind blown. In beta, there is a new lightning component that allows you to create and work on related quip files on a salesforce record, edit them, mention others, etc. You can set up templates that merge data as well, so on a project record, you could create a templated meeting notes related quip doc. On an account record, you could create a related account plan document. The possibilities are huge here, so make sure you play with this incredible feature! Hands-on preview below:
Quick reminder to check your browser compatibility if your company has users on legacy browsers. Especially if you are using older versions of safari.
If you use Enterprise Territory Management, you can now use territories in sharing rules, as well as in report and dashboard folders and list views. Be sure to see if you can simplify your sharing model with this improvement.
Talk to your developers
If you have any custom utilities, make sure to update them to support the new pop out feature (or disable it). Then install the critical update.
Speaking of utilities, you can now use Lightning Web Components in the utility bar, but be advised that they don't yet support APIs or background utilities.
If you ever needed to query all files in your org, you might have had issues. Now you can give your developer the Query All Files permission in a permission set or by adding it to their profile, and they will be able to query all files in the system.
If you have privacy calls being made separately, make sure your devs look at simplifying with the new Consent API endpoint.
There are many security updates I would review with my developers, but too many to add to this guide which is already pretty long. But don't ignore them!
Help your business leaders and executives
Einstein next best action is something you should work closely with your business leaders to implement. If you are unfamiliar check out the notes on it here and start a conversation internally about how you can configure strategies to prompt your business users to take the best next step at key points in your processes. then just add the next best action component to lightning pages and the suggested actions component to your communities on relevant interfaces. Hands-on preview below:
A nice nugget that I would discuss with my sales leaders is that in this release, they will make Einstein Opportunity Scoring available to all users if there is just one Einstein Sales license in use. That make buying your first Einstein Sales license a great investment.
If you paid for extra Salesforce storage, now is the time to reevaluate that. Salesforce is increasing base storage by 10x, from 1 GB to 10 GB. This will matter most to small and mid-sized organizations, since the amount of storage per user has not changed.
If you previously enjoyed giving thanks in chatter, you can now do so from lightning. Talk to your leaders about this as a potential recognition method, and if they are interested you will need to ask Salesforce to enable the pilot, then add the action in relevant locations. While I generally avoid SF pilots, this is one that is pretty low risk.
Last call to address field history retention before the deletes start happening. If you rely on field history older than 24 months, make sure you let your business leaders know that they will need to purchase the FAT add-on.
If your company is needing to worry about new privacy legislation (it probably is) check out the new objects provided and discuss with the business how this will affect their workflow. Then in setup, go to data protection and privacy, click edit, and make the details available.
If you are global and have users in South Africa or India, check out the new languages available. You might want to discuss whether you want to roll this out to users in those geographies.
Inform your users
PINNED LISTS!!!! Make sure your users know that the days of having to change the list view from "Recently Viewed" to their most common list view each time they go to an object are finally over. Users have been dying for this feature and it has finally arrived. Hands-on preview at right.
Your console users will be delighted to find out that they can now promote a subtab to it's own workspace tab. Make sure they are trained so they can start using the feature to improve their workflow.
Chatter got some nice improvements. Chatter sort is now sticky, meaning it will remember what you filtered last. You can add hyperlinks to posts and comments which you might want to consider the implications of in communities for example, where users could link to content or sites that you may not approve of. A cool use for this is to link other salesforce records using the / notation. And the redirect links in chatter emails got shorter and cleaner. Hands-on preview below:
You can now use folders to organize your asset library, which should help people that have a large asset library that is confusing without any organization today.
If you have questions about this release, or want to discuss new features, don't hesitate to reach out!