It is that time of year again. That special time that happens three times a year. It’s nearly new Salesforce release day. I know it doesn’t quite feel like winter quite yet. As someone who lives in the frozen tundra of cheese – Wisconsin – I’m willing to wait much longer before the winter season is upon us. I can’t wait for the Salesforce Winter 15 release!
So welcome my loyal readers to the third installment of The Wizard’s List. This won’t be an all-encompassing overview of the release notes. Last checked, the release notes were 286 pages long. Instead, I’m going to share with you what which features excite me, worry me, or I otherwise think are note-worthy.
Let me know if you enjoy the format. You can see prior lists here: The Wizard’s List: Summer’14 Features and Saasy Not Scared by Shadow: Spring ’14 Around The Corner .
You can get the official dates for launch at trust.salesforce.com/trust/maintenance.
I also recommend checking out the Success Community Group Success – Release Readiness
Finally, you can get access to the release notes, videos, and lots of other fun items here: www.salesforce.com/newfeatures/ Make sure you check out the “Release Preview” and “Release Training” links on the right hand of that page.
- Action Bar: Actions in Salesforce1 will now be on the Action Bar at the bottom of the screen. You no longer will have to click the default + sign to access the Actions. This means the + icon will no longer be available and cannot be customized
- Convert Leads (Beta): This is in Beta which means it’s available but may be missing some features. This is great. It helps move Salesforce1 into a mobile platform that can almost replace your desktop
- Action to Add Products to Opportunities: This is also something that’s been needed. Now I can add a Product to my Opportunity on my phone!
More Cool Stuff
- Territory Management 2.0 GA: TM 2.0 is not generally available. There’s a lot of good things in the new Territory Management system. I’m still waiting for TM 2.0 to support Territories on Opportunities and Forecasting. Until that point, I – sadly – cannot use TM 2.0
- Duplicate Management: Rejoice! There are many apps out there, paid and free, that help with duplicate management. It’s nice to see something “In house” on the platform. I’m looking forward to seeing how well it works.
- Salesforce For Outlook – Add Tasks: One more item on the Plug-in to make it more useful. I’m interested to see if it has the same limitation as adding an Event where you cannot specify the Activity type when you’re adding it in Outlook.
- Include CC Email address on Auto-Response Email-to-Case: Now when a case is created via Email-To-Case the Auto Response rule will send a reply to the originator and anyone they CCed on the email. This will be handy with all the CCed emails I see coming into our Case Queue.
- Monitor Knowledge Search Activity: I love this. Being able to monitor what people are searching for will help tune the keywords you use on articles and may help you identify new articles that need to be written.
- Files Connect: Access & Share External files: Hello friends. Are you like me and have a Sharepoint installment? Are you and your end user family frustrated with having to search for files in two locations? Well with Files Connect that misery is all in the past. File Connect lets Salesforce users to access, share, and search external data from SharePoint Online, 2010, or 2013. I’m curious to see how it works.
- Unlisted Chatter Groups: Do you have a secret society? Are you planning a company coup? Or perhaps you need to collaborate on something very secret like someone’s birthday party, company financial planning, or world domination. If so, Unlisted Chatter Group is the feature for you! An unlisted group can only be seen by its members. It will not show up in the group listing. Unlike a private group where the group name, description, information, and members are available even to non-members, an unlisted group lets you hide in the shadows of Chatter to do your nefarious planning.
- Advanced Setup Search (Beta): First, I LOVE the setup search. It has made my life significantly easier, especially when i’m searching for users. This update gets you access to a whole bunch of things from Approval Processes to Workflow Rules. It’s going to be AWESOME. Second, there is no second. This is just AWESOME.
- Delegated Admins can Assign Permission Sets: This is great news for people using delegating administration and heavily using permission sets. Delegated Admins could assign specific profiles to users, but didn’t have access to permission sets. No longer! Assign permissions away!
Warning: the author of this blog post is heavily in favor of Visual Flow and all related things Flow. The following maybe biased, full of enthusiasm, and generally excited. If you’re adversely impacted by these systems, please see a doctor, and skip the section of the blog post.
- Default Values Flow Screen Fields: Previously, flows used the last entered value for a field on the screen if it had been visited before regardless if it was the same instance of the flow. There will be a critical update that ensure the defined default value will be used. I’ve never actually experienced this, but if you’re looping back to the same screen it’s good to know you can rely on your defaults now.
- Receive email for unhandled fault: This is another critical update. The flow creator will receive an email for each unhandled fault that occurs. Previously, only the first fault sent the message when the messages were similar.
- Automate Time-based Processes: <insert overly excited voice> OMG OMG OMG OMG… do you know what this means? Do you? I do, it means I’m going to be doing a whole blog post just on this in the future. There’s a new “Wait” element which means you can have time-based actions within a flow. The possibilities are nearly endless!
- Store multiple values together in a flow: This is a new resource called “Collection variable” it’ll store multiple values. The example used in the release notes are email addresses entered on an input screen. I’m sure this will be cool… but I need some time to play around with it. There’s been plenty of times I’ve wanted to combine variable values, but I’m not quite sure if this will do just that.
- Submit records for Approval (GA): Generally Available! Yay! Now your flows can submit records for approval. This is fantastic for me. It means I’ll be able to chain approval processes without having to write APEX code.
- Post to Chatter via Flow: I’m really looking forward to seeing how flexible this can be. I can see some potential to have chatter messages get posted to other records or groups based on a flow.
- Debug loops with Loop Element and Action Calls: There are now two Apex debug log events: Flow_Loop_Detail and Flow_ActionCall_Detail. This will help provide information of what happens inside a Loop elements or details about email alerts, chatter posts, quick action, send email, or submit for approval actions.
The short of it: I’m really excited to see the changes and improvements to Visual Flow in Winter ’15. Flow will become the greatest tool in an Admin’s toolbox for work processes. I wouldn’t be a bit surprise if we see even more awesomeness announced at Dreamforce or for the Spring ’15 release. I am disappointed that Headless Flows, being able to call a Flow from a Workflow Rule, has not been made generally available in Winter’15. Hopefully, it’ll be there in Spring ’15.
Queable Interface – Asynchronous Execution: There were a lot of Apex stuff in the release notes. The one item that stood out to me is being able to submit and monitor jobs for Asynchronous Execution with something called the “Queable Interface.” This may replace the @future method for many use cases. What’s interesting is you can queue up to 50 jobs in a single transaction.