Archive for February, 2012

February 10, 2012

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz

I wonder where the enhancements is…

Wonder no longer – Spring 12 is here!

Spring 12 - Click through for release notes

For some of us lucky admins, we got the Spring 12 release last weekend, but in 24 hours from now, we will all be experiencing all the awesome features of this new release. This has been one of my favorite releases in awhile, and not just because of all the awesome analytics stuff that we’ve all been waiting for. I think it’s my favorite because I finally can get excited about the all the Chatter enhancements! So after a week of playing around with all the new features, here are some of my favorites:

  • Chatter Bookmarks – This is a simple way to save a post in Chatter, either to read through later, or just as a reference to content you find useful. I’ve been using so much that I now try to bookmark posts on Facebook too. Someone needs to talk to Zuck about this.
  • Files in Chatter Comments – One of the most popular types of posts in our Chatter org are “Where is [such-and-such] document?” Before Spring 12, the best you could do is copy & paste a link to the file. Now you can attach the file in a comment on the original post. One, great for keeping the conversation all in one place. Also, this makes a great post to then bookmark. Double-win!
  • Chatter Invites to 200 Domains – This one may not be as important to small or mid-size organizations, but for us this is a big deal. We have different domains for every country we are in, and the 5 that were originally offered wouldn’t cut it. This is a small but super important change that will help a lot of larger companies.
  • Cloud Flow Designer – This previously-paid add-on to Salesforce now goes GA & that is awesome for everybody. This is another way that Salesforce is enabling their ButtonClickAdmins to do more. The Flow Designer will allow non-developers to create wizard-type flows for data entry and navigation. Nested underneath this were some additional enhancements to Flow as well.
    • There is no longer a desktop app to install – it’s all cloud-based now!
    • The decision element is no longer boolean (only two options), but can handle multiple outcomes.
    • And they can be moved via change set!
  • Better search – The improvements made to global search are just awesome. Now instead of the user defining what objects they think they use most often, Salesforce search keeps track & searches those objects first, in order of how often you use those objects.
  • Tab Bar Organizer – Finally, just a quick UI improvement for my end users. Some of them want to see every tab that they have access to, which makes for a lot of horizontal scrolling (never fun). The new organizer dynamically determines how many tabs can be displayed & puts any tabs that extend beyond the width of the window into a drop-down list. Not something that I’ll be using but great for our reps.

Did I skip over something you really love? What Spring ’12 features have been your favorite so far (or what are you most looking forward to use tomorrow)?

February 3, 2012

Your Number’s Up

This week’s scheduled post about Spring ’12 will be seen at a later time due to this breaking news interruption.

OK, not breaking news, but that was my best impersonation of the announcer when they interrupt the show you’ve been looking forward to all week to tell you about something you don’t care about it. If you cared, you’d probably be watching the news. But I digress…

For anyone who has been using Salesforce reporting for any significant amount of time, you’ll know the analytics options leave much to be desired. And if you’ve been watching the IdeaExchange or had attended the roadmap sessions at Dreamforce, you’ll know that big changes were coming soon. And you’ll also probably know how shocked & disappointed we all were when the release notes came out & all the awesome analytics functionality we had been waiting years for was listed as a paid add-on (and not a cheap one either). Cries of “Foul!” went up across the internet.

So what happened next?

No “corporate spring” as Benioff had warned companies against.

No reliving what happened to Netflix.

No repeat of what happened to Bank of America.

What did Salesforce do instead? They practiced what they preach. They listened to their customers.

They listened to us, and included the analytics functionality in the core product. And they didn’t do it in the way that would be easiest to them (giving it to Unlimited Edition users only), they gave it to Unlimited AND Enterprise edition. This covers a majority of their customers, including the non-profits that get licenses for free. That’s huge!

There is no denying that Salesforce is eating their own dog food. They made a mistake, they heard it form their customers, and they fixed it (probably even better than we expected them to). And by doing so, they bought a ton of goodwill with their customer base. And the icing on the cake for Salesforce? They gave PE users just once more reason to upgrade.



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