Salesforce Winter 2017 Release Review

I recently posted my Salesforce Spring 2017 Release Review and then remembered I haven’t reviewed the Winter Release Notes yet. Priorities….Ya know. Anyway here’s my review of the Winter 2017 Release.

See the Salesforce Winter 2017 Release Notes PDF for complete details. Note: It’s about 500 pages but covers it all. I prefer the details in one place so it’s faster to consume everything rather than clicking between various documents and other release content.

Daily Org Limits for Sending Emails with the API Have Increased

Using the Salesforce API or Apex, you can now send single emails to 5,000 external email addresses per day based on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). You can also send mass email to 5,000 external email addresses per day per org. The maximum number of external email addresses is no longer based on your Salesforce edition. You can use your remaining daily balance of external email addresses in as many mass emails as you’d like, regardless of your edition. This feature is available in both Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic.

VERY NICE! You can sent up to 5,000 external emails via Apex instead of being limited to the usual 1,000 per day. I can’t tell you how many hours I and others have spent trying to understand the various email limits and how to calculate them. Having 5,000 instead of 1,000 should help alleviate that further. Thank you Salesforce!

Find the Right Record with Person Account Search Enhancements

Person Account searches that contain terms spanning both business account and contact fields now return person account search results. This feature is available in Lightning Experience, Salesforce Classic, and all versions of the Salesforce1 mobile app.

The Person Account object contains fields that originate from both the Business Account and Contact objects. Previously, if a user’s search term contained information from both the Business Account object and the Contact object, such as name and title or name and address, the matching person account wouldn’t always be returned in the search results. Now, search terms that include both types of information return the right person account records.

For example, suppose that you want to find the person account record for Agatha Parker, an account executive in San Francisco. If you search for Agatha San Francisco, search results include the Agatha Parker person account record. In this case, Agatha is from the Business Account object and San Francisco is from the Contact object.

At my last employer, Person Accounts were used extensively. It’s great to see Salesforce adding additional Person Account support, especially when I could see it being used more in the future. The Spring release also has a number of Person Account enhancements.

Get a Better View with Global Instant Results

Search suggests recent and matching records from multiple objects—not just the object the user is on. These instant results let users quickly access a record before performing a full search. With this wider view of suggestions, users find what they’re looking for faster no matter where they are in the app. This feature is available in Lightning Experience only.

As users type in the search box, the list of suggested records spans multiple objects. Previously, users searching from a record or object home page would see instant results for only that object.

While a relatively minor enhancement, this will be very beneficial to users who frequently search for items by speeding up searches. It would be nice if this enhancement was available in Salesforce Classic too.

Navigate at the Speed of Lightning!

In the improved navigation model, the navigation menu that previously displayed on the side of Lightning Experience becomes a horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page, letting your users:

– Find what they need using item names instead of icons for easy recognition

– Complete actions and access recent records and lists with a single click

– Use a consistent and familiar navigation experience

This reminded me that the “tabs” used to be on the left and vertically listed. I totally forgot about this. I am glad that it’s not a vertical bar instead so that its “Use a consistent and familiar navigation experience” aka its more like Salesforce Classic. Being able to create new records and view recent records and list views for each Object Tab is really helpful.

Get Field-Level Help in Lightning Experience

Fields now show “Help Text” like Salesforce Classic. This is another welcome addition that I’ve been taking for granted.

Account Insights Is Now Called News

In Lightning Experience and Salesforce1, various news articles for a given account are shown in the related “News” component. This can be very beneficial when your Sales Reps hear about this information for the first time. When I was giving training to some executives for their new Salescloud implementation, we looked at one account and the news showed a timely and relevant article that they didn’t know.

Add Lightning Components from the AppExchange in Community Builder

This is nice but the Component AppExchange only has about 90 components at the time of this writing. Hopefully, this gets increased soon.

Launch a Lightning Component from an Action

Lightning component actions are custom actions that invoke a Lightning component. Because they support Apex and JavaScript, Lightning component actions provide a secure way to build client-side custom functionality. This feature is available in Lightning Experience and all versions of the Salesforce1 mobile app.

This feels like a really powerful addition to Lightning to help alleviate things like “Lightning Experience not supporting Javascript buttons” even though it requires coding. Andy Fawcett’s Using a Lightning Component from an Action provides a good writeup on how to use this.

AppExchange and Your Salesforce Org—Together at Last

Salesforce now allow one to view AppExchange apps from within Salesforce itself in Lightning Experience. This streamlines the back and forth between the AppExchange and Salesforce that was previously done.

Process Twice as Many Records with Bulk API

One can upload 10,000 batches a day instead of 5,000.

View Obfuscated Code in Subscriber Orgs with Login As

License Management Org users with the “Author Apex” permission can view their packages’ obfuscated Apex classes when logged in to subscriber orgs via the Subscriber Support Console

This is really helpful when trying to troubleshoot a managed package in a subscriber org. In the past, one way to see the code is to ensure every packaged release was tagged in source control so you could see the code for a particular version. This makes this a little easier to deal with.

What Winter features were noteworthy to you?