Just two days out of summer, and here I am getting excited about Winter. Yes, the holidays are nice, but that’s not what I’m excited about. I’m talking about the Winter 12 release from Salesforce. For the first time in awhile, this release is jam-packed with some really neat stuff (and a few not so neat things). It would be impossible to cover the entire release with any detail, and I certainly don’t know enough about the developer stuff to get too excited about that either. Instead, I want to share some of the highlights (and lowlights) that I found while reading the release notes. Strap in!
In past releases, changes tend to be focused on the end user experience, but the Winter 12 release contains tons of huge goodies for all us devs and admins (I know you’ve missed it in these past weeks, so I’m bring back the bulleted lists!):
- First up – the scheme builder! It a drag-and-drop UI (although it’s read-only) that shows the objects, all their fields & the relationships between your objects. Pretty neat stuff, especially if you have a lot of custom objects floating around your org.
- Another huge one is permission sets. Think back to a time where you had to clone a profile just to give one user access to an object, or some system permission. No longer!! This can now be done using permission sets, on a user-by-user basis. The only downside to this is that I have now tasked myself with doing some profile cleanup work, and that’s going to be a pain – all for the greater good!
- One that seems small, but I know will be a huge time-saver is that reports now appear in recent items. Only issue here is that I have yet to see it work in either my pre-release or sandbox, so keeping my fingers crossed on this one.
- While on the subject of analytics, the reports tab will now be the home to managing all your reports AND dashboards. As an administrator, I think this is fantastic. Salesforce is calling this the Enhanced Reports Tab – not a stellar name. If you agree, my I suggest voting on this idea to rename it ‘Analytics’.
- Sticking with the analytics vein – they’ve also announced Dashboard Filters, which is the ability to include a drop-down filter on the dashboard. First use case that comes to mind is a manager drilling into each member of their team. I’m sure I’ll think of hundreds of ways that we use this functionality though. Pretty cool stuff.
- Changes are coming to Chatter too! Far too many to get too detailed on, but some of my favorites are private messages in Chatter & customers in private Chatter groups (goes directly to Benioff’s keynote on engagement!) Imagine the possibilities if you can collaborate in real-time with your customers on issues, deals or meetings.
- Another neat Chatter feature is that the standard hover details that we are used to seeing for CRM objects are coming to Chatter objects as well.
- One that the dabbling dev in me know is awesome – higher governor limits. Yippie!
So that was a bit rapid-fire, and I know that I didn’t cover even a fraction of what’s to come in the next few weeks. This release is jam-packed and I can’t wait for Winter!
UPDATE – I totally forgot to talk about the not-so-neat thing that I mentioned at the beginning of the post. Content Presentation Assembly has been discontinued! What a bummer.