As we make our way to San Francisco for Dreamforce – the pilgrimage of Salesforce Admins and Developers – I thought a great way to wrap up the week would be to do a bit of a Dreamforce flashback.
Yes dear readers, it’s true. Just as Jesus did with Lazarus, I am reviving this blog – and just in time to talk Summer 13! Normally, its the winter releases that I get all amped up about, but Summer 13 is packing some HEAT!
There are so many features that I want to discuss, that it was really hard to narrow it down for this post. Thankfully, I was given a chance to chat about some features on the ButtonClick Admin podcast yesterday, so I can use this post to talk about a few of the items that we didn’t have a chance to cover them.
Yes dear readers, it’s RELEASE NOTES TIME!! Cue the fun noises!
Salesforce has dubbed this the release that will allow you to “Connect to Your Customers in a Whole New Way” – which is fantastic for organizations that are ready to take on all the awesome new functionality that is being released. But I’m here to look past the shiny new stuff (Communities, Chatter Answers, etc) to the bits that are going to matter to all the rest of us.
I wonder where the enhancements is…
Wonder no longer – Spring 12 is here!
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)?
It seems like just yesterday that I was blogging about the Spring 11 release, and yet there’s already a buzz about what’s coming out this summer. I was able to take some time this week to read through the release notes, and there are definitely several things that I’m excited about. In no particular order – here’s my Summer ’11 highlight list:
- Enhanced Profile UI – Hallelujah!! Every admin knows how much it sucks changing permissions on profiles. The new UI will help to streamline the process, drastically reducing the number of clicks it will take to update permissions and settings. I am not exaggerating when I say this is hours & hours of productivity gained for admins.
- Loads of Chatter updates – The first 10 pages of details in the release notes are dedicated to Chatter enhancements. If it wasn’t already apparent, the Collaboration Cloud is definitely where efforts are focused for the foreseeable future. There is a ton going on here, but what I’m looking forward most are:
- Chatter favorites (a great way to parse out details/topics from your Chatter feed)
- Searchable @-mentions
- Personal Chatter stats on your profile
- The ability to set a default email frequency for new groups that you join & setting the out-of-the-box default to off (Why the heck was the default set to daily for all new groups? Email overload!)
- Tips-and-tricks Chatty User – this is going to be great for new Chatter rollouts. A system user that will post & give examples of good Chatter content, with no effort required from an admin
- Automagic comes to Salesforce Knowledge – I use ‘automagic’ to refer to workflow rules and approval processes – the stuff that makes Salesforce effortless for users. With the Summer 11 release, these are now available in Salesforce Knowledge
- Yay for analytics! – I like data. Doing this job, how can you not? So any enhancements to analytics is a win in my book. In Summer 11, we have two small but important changes to look forward to: faster loading of the preview of results & multiple field selection for adding them to reports. Granted, these will only apply if you are using the new report builder, but you should be anyway – it’s an adjustment, but once you get used to it, you’ll never go back.
- Analytics add-ons – on top of those changes, you will also have the ability to purchase add-ons to supplement your analytic limitations (more scheduled refreshes, more dynamic dashboard, etc). I’m thrilled that Salesforce is giving customers this option, and I hope that the cost is reasonable. This is great of organizations that are metric-heavy & really want to fully leverage the power of dashboards.
- It’s small, but for those of you lucky enough to be on UE – your limit on custom fields just increased from 500 to 800 per object. Consider me jealous.
The one real bummer for me is that there isn’t a ton going on for the Sales Cloud – just 2 pages in the release notes, and all simple enhancements to existing functionality. Probably the most notable is that Content Workspaces will now be called Libraries. I’m hoping that the lack of changes for the Sales Cloud means that there will be some huge changes that will be announced at Dreamforce 11. Wishful thinking maybe, but not completely out in left field.
What are you most looking forward to in Summer 11? Did I completely skip over something that you can’t wait for? Share!