♪ Summer lovin’ happened so fast ♪

Yes, I know we are still several weeks out, but after reading through the Summer 12 release notes, I am super excited about some of the enhancements found in those 186 pages and I couldn’t wait to write about some of the stuff that’s upcoming.

Click for release notes!

There are so many things in this next release, that it is even hard to pick and choose which to write about. One of my favorite things about this release is that it doesn’t seem to be too heavy in one area, which has been the case in previous releases. Instead, Summer 12 has something for everyone – admins and end users. Here are just a few of the things that I’m most excited about.

  • Chatter Messenger – I’m super excited about this one (and not just because I suggested it over a year ago), but I believe this will dramatically help to increase productivity. Imagine if you are working on a deal & want to ask the inbound rep who booked it a question. Instead of an email or Chatter post where you have to wait for a reply, you can quickly ping them from the opportunity record and get an answer in seconds. Or imagine the impact on case resolution time if support reps can do all their communications within Salesforce. This will be  a huge win for companies who can leverage it properly. (Admin alert – Chatter Messenger will be auto-enabled for all orgs using Chatter. So if you aren’t ready to use it, make sure you let you AE or CSM know.)
  • Multiple Contacts on a Task – Folks have been asking for this for as long as I can remember, and now it’s finally here. There are some limitations (can’t be on a recurring task), but this will be a much anticipated features for lots of users.
  • Report Enhancements – I’m bucketing a few minor (but important) changes here. The first is the addition of a timeout warning, which analyses the report at runtime & displays a warning for highly complex reports. Summer 12 also brings the ability to drag & drop to move reports to different folders. Anyone who’s ever had to move reports knows how much of a time-saver this will be. Finally, Salesforce is adding icons on folders to help users to distinguish  between a report folder & a dashboard folder.

Click for larger view

  • Salesforce Touch – I was able to get in on the beta of Touch, and while it wasn’t fully functional (beta), it was cool & I can totally see how tablets will become what the Rolodex was to sales in the past. This will be how the world sells in the next 6 to 18 months, if not already. (Admin alert – The release notes state that the system requirements are an iPad 2 or the new iPad, but I was ability to use it just fine on my boring old iPad 1.)
  • Tabs in Permission Sets – While I was over-the-moon about the permission sets feature, the ability to include tabs was a huge oversight. With Summer 12, tabs can now be added to permission sets – woohoo!
  • Object Limits Warning – This is another cool admin feature. Standard Salesforce objects will now include details of your usage of customizations on an object (such as number of custom fields or validation rules). Having this insight will be a big win for those of us doing configuration changes in Salesforce.
  • Login Access Policy – The holy grail! This is hidden as a small note on one of the last pages of the release notes, but will be a huge win for admins. It will allow all administrators the ability to login as any user in their org without the user having to grant log-in access. I see this as a huge step into reducing end user issue resolution time. In my opinion, it’s actually going to increase security. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, so let me explain. At least half the time I ask users to grant me login access (and send screenshots on how), I get an email back with their user name and password. This will completely eliminate that, along with eliminating the need for me to even ask for access. Total win!

And this is just scratching the surface of Summer 12. I had about 12 other things that I wanted to write about, and removed so that I wasn’t authoring a novel. So my ask of you, readers, is to post a comment about a feature that you’re excited for that I left out.

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