Hey readers. I usually do a big monolithic blog every time there’s a new Salesforce release. I like it; it’s a fun creative exercise. But after reading the release notes, which often takes a day or two, writing a blog that’s full of my trademark wit and pop culture references is really taxing and exhausting, it takes at least 20 hours of my time. I think writing my last tome about a Salesforce release broke me.
For this release, I’m going to scale down the wit and the pop culture references and give it to you straight.
Also, to be candid, I’m not wild about this release. It’s a lot of small stuff. But with Salesforce releases, I feel you often have to consider the long game. A release is usually lots of little things which head to the right direction, which in a release or two might be more more transformative. But if you like working with Flow, then each release will make you party like it’s 1999.
If you have 30 seconds to read a blog and you live that TL;DR lifestyle, here are my favorite things this release. For everybody else, the rest of the highlights can be found below.
- Data manager gets a makeover. It’s now in core, not in the Tableau CRM app.
- Flow now has a trigger explorer
- Flow allows you to create choice options from record collections
- The business rule engine is now GA
- Bots gets a snazzy new interface
Now that we have my major personal highlights out of the way, let me proceed to give you what you need.
- Scheduler now lets you set up shifts and holidays.
- App Builder now lets you monitor the slowest desktop record pages. This is super helpful.
- Tired of stumbling around data manager wondering how your recipes and data pipelines work together? Now you can measure once, and cut once.
- You can now set dependencies about when your recipe jobs run. Limit of 5 recipes before a job can run.
- The repeater widget (above) looks pretty cool and I can actually see myself using this. Nice to see something like this without having write a custom component. But speaking of, Lightning components are now GA.
- Also, JSON is around for embedded dashboards. But I thought this was a feature but they got away from it with the last year or so. Seems like a regression, but whatever.
- Lastly, there’s some better formatting around resizing a table and wrap a text.
I never would have guessed that report type would get a makeover. It now includes recommendations on other reports to leverage and may help cut down on report sprawl.
Repeat after me: Flow is the future. Flow is the future. Each release the new functionality in Flow dwarves almost every other area, so if you’re not using Flow, now is the time.
I must confess the lines here between Orchestrator and Flow blur. They’re all lumped together in the release notes under the node “Einstein Automate” which is a new name for me.
- Evaluation Flows are a new thing. They’re literally the definition of if this, then that. They contain variables that are true when a condition is met. A lot of this is to help break things down into more chunkable, manageable solutions instead of having a large, sprawling Flow that’s so dense light doesn’t escape.
- Debugging in-progress orchestration. I like that we can now try to debug things in-flight, especially orchestrations.
- Trigger explorer is new. It helps you see if there are other flows that run. Find that race condition or that CRUD collision before it becomes a problem.
- Speaking of race conditions, you can now define the order that record triggered flows run in on an object. Pretty cool stuff, especially for larger orgs.
- You can now generate choice options from record collections. This here, is freakin’ awesome. Instead of creating a bunch of actions to do this, now you can do this in one elegant collection.
- A pilot has started for having components react to each other on the same screen. This will be really powerful when GA, as it’ll help curtail the number of screens in a flow.
There’s actually a few cool things here. Several of them fall under the umbrella of mobile experience and mobile publisher.
Mobile Experience and Mobile Publisher
Barcode scanner isn’t in the release notes proper, but is in the developer guide (Beta). This is really cool, and it works offline! Speaking of cool stuff, geolocation is also in beta.
Microsites and LWR
- Content in Cards can now overlap. That’s right, no need to bust out PhotoShop anymore. This is way overdue.
- You can now archive and un-archive sites (GA). The archive sites do not count against the limit of 100 sites.
- Guests can no longer view all, modify all, edit, or delete objects. More around this functionality is on the way in future releases.
- Slack is now an authentication provider.
- Virtual Remote Assistance (VRA) is now available in experience cloud.
- Service Appointments can be bundled.
- Shift Candidates can be found directly in shifts.
- Shifts can be bulk assigned.
- Work plans can now be account specific.
- Mobile settings are now in Setup.
- Users of the mobile app can send feedback directly to the admins. This one is super cool.
The business rules engine (BRE) is now GA. Since I cover state and local government, I’m going to explain how this can be put to use in a government situation, but the applicability really spans all industries and use cases.
BRE is really just a big decision tree. Instead of having a janky pivot table or a Flow that’s hard coded, the BRE is something that is reusable and can be invoked by anything – inside or external to Salesforce. But the key difference here is BRE also provides a reason and rationale to the end user about why they were approved or denied something. The Harry Potter sorting hat never told you this much, so the BRE is kind.
Here’s a use case. I’m a citizen and I need to apply for food stamps. The amount provided by the state may vary depending on these questions: your zip code, your income, and if you’ve applied before. That’s a lot of variables and this is a very regulated space.
The BRE takes your inputs and outputs (usually a CSV) and builds those into Salesforce. They can be used in a Flow, Apex, API calls, Mulesoft, etc.,
It runs faster now! Probably some slight UI changes to make this happen though.
I have to admit I’m disappointed with what’s new with Sales Cloud. When Brett Taylor talked about a “new Sales Cloud” in 2021, I was thinking it’d be Lightning 2.0. Instead, it’s another SKU (Revenue Intelligence) and that means our customers have to pay more for dashboards that our competition willing gives their customers.
Seriously, would you pay more money for this dashboard? I’m sure it’s helpful to some customers, but I find it lacking.
However, like I said at the beginning of this post, you have to think about the long game. More around Sales Cloud is likely on the horizon, but I’m not crazy that it requires an additional SKU.
Pipeline inspection is also included with Revenue Intelligence, but it’s also free in PE and UE editions. This is the most promising aspect here. But I believe this should be free in core across all editions.
And for fellow solution engineers, this image below is nice and gets away from the fugliness we’re used to on activity and engagement details in our current dashboards. However, the filters in my experience with this are only “My Pipeline” or “my Open Deals” and SEs are part of the opportunity teams, which means we don’t get to really benefit from this yet.
High Velocity Sales
- Pre-built sales cadences are now a thing.
- There’s a new bot that allows you to sales prospect.
- Tracking engagement with multiple email recipients now rack bounces and OOO.
- Can now see HVS engagement at the account page. This is great for inside sales scenarios, I think there’s also some benefit to having this come to contact records too.
- Cadences can now be paused. This is nothing short of amazing for any HVS admin.
- Engagement with multiple email recipients can now be viewed in your inbox.
- Omni-channel flows are now GA, but can only be used by customers who have Service Cloud Voice.
- Thank the maker – making outbound calls is now easier with auto-formatting.
New bot builder, who dis? Bots get a new interface and a “Conversation canvas.” I like this as I felt that our bot building always left a lot to be desired and required a lot of trial and error.