• Emily Malone

Winter is coming: Highlights from the Salesforce Winter release

Winter 18 from Salesforce

Salesforce Lightning Changes that we’re excited about…

1. Lightning Experience gets a makeover

Lightning has been given a more artistic aesthetic upgrade, removing the excessive whitespace and making the individual components look more modular and clear. There’s even rumour that in future releases you can change the colour scheme & even the design to make it more aligned to your company branding (of course, this is slapped with the ‘Forward Looking Statement’).

If you find your users like the whitespace and consistency of the old style, fear not – you can disable the artistic side of Salesforce and revert it back to the plain style. Although with that said you still get an element of shading around components to show separation.


2. Search and List View enhancements

I’ll start with List Views, Salesforce will now allow you to run a more excel orientated table with List Views, allowing you to resize your columns and event choose if you want to wrap or clip the text. It sounds small, but for individuals who use inline editing and use List Views as a central focus point for their clients, this will make your lives easier. They’ve also allowed mass inline editing, which sounds both excitingly brilliant and terrifyingly dangerous…

image 1 winter release

The Global Search has had a small injection of steroids with the ability to sort your results by clicking the little downwards arrow doobarywhatsit (I think that’s what they’re called) and selecting one of the options, the options available are even specific to the object too!

image 2 winter release

It also now includes a spell checker with suggested results in the instant results… this only works in Lightning Experience and with single search terms.

image 3 winter release

3. Keyboard warriors rejoice! Keyboard shortcut enhancements hit standard Lightning Experience

We like shortcuts. But only when they give good results. Not like putting up a shelf without rawl plugs, only to have it fall down when you put a book on there — creating a wopping great hole in the wall. Man, I hate it when that happens…

Fortunately, Salesforce has a similar attitude towards keyboard shortcuts in Lightning Experience. Press CTRL+/ (or CMD+/ for Mac users) to access the shortcut menu and soak up the shortcuts, personalise them, use them and love them. Pressing ‘E’ on a record to edit it without having to use my right hand to operate the mouse, instead freeing it up for coffee consumption is a blessing. They’ve only given you shortcuts to common actions that will save you time without costing you data quality. Things like Edit, Save, Search, go to utility bar and close. I especially like how they’ve made it require the use of a keyboard shortcut to get to the keyboard shortcuts menu.

image 4 winter release

4. Lightning Report Builder

We’ve been waiting somewhat patiently for an update to the Lightning Experience report builder, from a consistency point of view, it’s been moderately annoying being in the swanky new UI with a comparatively clunky looking (although of course our trusty, functional and reliable) classic report builder.

Well, now we have it!

My first impression is off to a flying start, for one reason alone. Do you ever find yourself thinking ‘I’ll just quickly run off a report to show the total number of accounts in the UK I have’? a report you don’t need to save… I do, all the time. So to my elation, the blue ‘Run’ button is clickable without needing to save the report first!

The new layout is appealing too. The collapsible field list, the flip between Outline and Filters, simplified column ordering (if like me you have the mouse sensitivity set to 11, you’ll be thankful for this!) and the ability to set groupings for both rows and columns without the need to change the report type first. I like it — less clicks equals more productivity.

image 5 winter release

5. Lightning Dashboard Builder

Reports aren’t the only analytics tool invited to the party, dashboards are there too! Now dashboards are also on the new artsy fartsy modular view to separate components, you can also add tables with 10 columns, embed a dashboard on the home page, increased group limits, dual-line line graphs, donut segment percentages, a more refined viewing user tool and many more enhancements.

As is the way with dashboards, we can’t reel off all the features we love because they’re a very personal and visual affair; but for orgs big on visual stats, the new increased limits, readability, and dynamic views, they’re taking a massive step in the right direction!

image 6 winter release

So there we have it! Our 5 highlights from the Salesforce Winter release. If you’ve got any questions about any of these features, or if you just want to chat about Salesforce, get in touch with us via the quick form below!