Spring is coming! Despite feeling like winter hasn’t really got going yet in the UK, a new Salesforce release is just around the corner. Here are our picks for the most interesting and exciting elements of the Spring ‘19 release.
As usual, please take all of these with a healthy pinch of salt, as they aren’t set in stone and may be subject to change ahead of go-live. We’ve broken the highlights down into three sections; for users, for admins and for developers.
List views: jump right into your most important list view with pinned lists
A great boost for productivity in this release comes in the form of pinned list views in Lightning Experience. Pin your favourite list view to make it your new default when viewing a record list page. “Recently Viewed” be gone!
Lightning Communities: get faster page loads in your community
The option of having your Lightning Experience served via a CDN (Content Delivery Network) has been available for a while now, but with this release comes CDN for Communities. In simple terms, cached versions of your Community will be stored in multiple locations and served up very quickly through the CDN, resulting in a faster experience for users.
Console apps: Open a window into productivity with pop-out utilities (critical update)
If your admin chooses to activate this critical update, you’ll be able to pop utility bar items out into their own windows when working in a Console app. We’re really looking forward to having our timesheets component in its own little browser window... after re-writing it as a Lightning Web Component, of course :)
Record pages: print a record page
Fans of deforestation can now print most record pages in Lightning Experience. This feature is available for all users, for Account, Campaign, Case, Contact, Contract, Lead, Opportunity, Order, and custom objects.
Chatter: use thanks badges in Lightning Experience (pilot)
Entering pilot in this release will be the ability for users to thank each other from the Chatter feed. There will be a suite of badges that you can dish out to your comrades. We’re hoping for a Codey thumbs-up.
Flow Builder: Faster, easier and more intuitive Flow Building with Flow Builder
We love Visual Flow here at oe:gen, so this update has triggered a lot of “ooohs” and “aaaahs” in the office. Visual Flow just got a massive kick up the bum.
Data Storage: Moaaaaarrr storage
Salesforce are clearly feeling generous this festive season, so much so that they’re planning to increase the data storage allowance in Contact Manager, Group, Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited editions. The Salesforce elves are hoping to increase the existing 1GB limit to a delightful 10GB.
Process Builder: return null values in Process and Flow formulas (critical update)
This one has been at the top of our Christmas wish list for the past few years here at oe:gen, and now our dreams have come true. Processes and flows should error less often if they encounter a blank/null value in a lookup relationship field.
Custom fields: check a field’s references before you edit it (beta)
One of the more useful updates in this release is the ability to see where a field is used by clicking a button. No more digging through Processes, Workflows, Reports and Apex to work out where the field that you want to delete is used.
Object set-up: create objects from spreadsheets
Something that scares and excites us in equal measure, is the new ability for admins to have Salesforce turn a spreadsheet into a new custom object, complete with fields, and load the data into them, all in one go. What could go wrong?
Lightning App Builder: switch your Lightning Page to a different template
Finally! The ability to switch a Lightning Page to a different template in Lightning App Builder, without having to completely rebuild it. This is a big time saver for admins.
Lightning Communities: do more, more easily with the updated audiences editor
An update to the Community Audiences editor brings the ability to create more complex logic in your audiences, which is a big win for Community admins.
Lightning Communities: see what your guest users see
Admins can now preview a Lightning Community as a Guest, or an Authenticated user, from within Builder. Previously, you could only preview the community as an authenticated user, but now you get the choice. Hoorah for choice!
Sandboxes: simpler format for user email addresses in sandboxes
When you refresh a sandbox in Spring ‘19, the email addresses of users in the sandbox will have a new convention. Where they used to be email@example.com, they’ll now be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Change Sets: clone, deploy, upload, and validate change sets with fewer clicks
We don’t tend to use Change Sets that much any more, but for the admins that do, this is a welcome update. You can now work on change sets without loading the change set’s detail page.
Process Builder: create or install pre-built business processes that you can customize
Admins can now create Process and Flow templates, or install pre-built templates, to speed up app development. The templates are fully customizable, so you can install one and then tweak it to your heart’s content.
Lightning Experience Rollout: turn on Lightning Experience (critical update)
More of a heads up than an update, this one. A sign that Salesforce are starting to get serious about nudging customers towards Lightning Experience, is the creation of a new critical update that starts to enable Lightning Experience for users automatically. The critical update is set to auto-enable in the Winter ‘20 release, after which Classic users will have Lightning Experience enabled automatically on a rolling weekly basis.
Don’t panic, though. There’s still plenty of time to get your LEX rollout strategy nailed and implemented by then, and if you haven’t, users will still be able to switch back to Classic, should they wish.
LWC: Lightning Web Components (generally available)
LWC: Lightning Web Components Playground
The introduction of LWC brings with it some enhancements to the developer tools and documentation available in each Salesforce org. Once of the new tools is a very fancy looking Playground, where a developer can preview the LWC they are developing on the fly. We like.
Apex: enforce field-level security permissions for SOQL queries (beta)
A pretty useful shortcut for developers wanting to query for data and enforce field-level security at the same time. If any of the queried fields are not accessible by the current user, an exception is thrown, and no data is returned.
Lightning Community CSS: update selectors in the navigation menu, related articles, and trending articles by topic
Salesforce have once again been busy tinkering with the CSS selectors used in Lightning Communities. Developers need to update any CSS overrides they’ve created in community brand CSS to use these new selectors, or things might go a bit Pete Tongue.
So that's the Spring 19 release, in a festive nutshell. We hope you've found something of use or interest in our review and we'd like to wish all our friends, clients and random blog readers a very merry holiday season and a happy New Year.
Note from Salesforce:
While this is all very exciting, bare in mind that this release is in preview. Features described here don’t become generally available until the latest general availability date that Salesforce announces for this release. Before then, and where features are noted as beta, pilot, or developer preview, Salesforce can’t guarantee general availability within any particular time frame or at all. Make your purchase decisions only on the basis of generally available products and features — forward-looking statement and all that jazz...