Salesforce Summer 2017 Release Review

I know I know…. a few weeks ago I reviewed the Winter Release and the Spring Release. However, all the cool kids stay on top of the latest releases so here I am writing my review of the upcoming Summer 17 Release.

To see the complete list of new features, look at the Summer 17 Release Notes PDF.

Make Lightning Experience the Only Experience

Ready to move from Salesforce Classic to Lightning Experience without looking back? Just hide the option to switch to Salesforce Classic from your Lightning Experience users so that they stay in Lightning Experience. This feature is new in both Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic.

By default, when you enable Lightning Experience, your users get the Switcher, allowing them to switch back and forth between Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic. But if you want some or all of your users to stick to Lightning Experience, you can remove the Switcher (1).

In Setup, enable the Hide Option to Switch to Salesforce Classic permission (2) in profiles and permission set.

Usually my recommendation is to allow the users to choose what they’d like to use so potentially limiting some or all users from switching between Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience (LEX) is interesting that Salesforce allows it. My guess is that Salesforce will make this option defaulted in upcoming releases to discourage the use of Salesforce Classic but we’ll see. My recommendation is to leave the switcher on unless there’s a compelling reason to have it off.

Ditch Your Mouse—Keyboard Shortcuts Are Here

You can now use keyboard shortcuts to maximize your efficiency and speed while working in Lightning Experience. You can search for, edit, save, and close a record—all without touching a mouse. We’ve even got keyboard shortcuts to help you go to the publisher and post to a feed. So start planning what you want to do with all the time you’re going to save! By default, keyboard shortcuts work in all Lightning apps. This change applies to Lightning Experience only.

It’s the little things like this that really make a difference. For heavy data entry, this is a life saver and really speeds things up. Thank you Salesforce!

Access Field History Related Lists in Lightning Experience

Field History is one of my favorite features in Salesforce. It’s one of those things that’s nice to have when you need it and really make troubleshooting / auditing hard when it’s not on. While I don’t use it daily, it’s nice that it’s now accessible in LEX.

See Results from External Search Engines with Federated Search (Generally Available)

Salesforce makes it possible to search external content from within Salesforce with Federated Search. It’s now easy to connect external search providers to your org with the Salesforce OpenSearch connector. Users stay inside Salesforce to view Salesforce records and external search results, saving time and hassle. This change applies to both Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic.

While this doesn’t sound very sexy, this could be really helpful for an organization with many different systems by allowing them to be searched from within Salesforce after creating various search connectors. With so much information available today and it growing faster and faster each year, being able to aggregate it and search in one place could save significant time, potentially. I’m adding this to my backlog of items to R&D further.

Lightning Sync & Lightning for Gmail Generally Available

These two offerings let Salesforce connect with Gmail and keep your email and calendar synched with your Salesforce data. Very helpful for Sales reps!

Various Wave Enhancements!

Wave is Salesforce’s analytics offering. It works by having you import various data into it and then being able to slice-n-dice the data in various ways afterward. Under the hood, it uses Hadoop to store the information and a variant of PIG called SAQL to query the data.

One new feature that’s now generally available is Wave Connectors where an admin can create a connector and have it connect to your current Salesforce org, other Salesforce Orgs, AWS, or a PostGres database on Heroku using click and not code. I’ll be more excited when other connectors are created for SQL Server, Oracle, and other widely used persistent data stores.

Wave is another one of those items of my R&D backlog. If you’ve used Wave, let me know what you think of it in the comments!

Move Communities Between Orgs with Change Sets

You asked and we delivered! Change sets are now available for Lightning communities and Salesforce Tabs + Visualforce communities, making it easy to move your community between orgs that have a deployment connection. Create, customize, and test your community in your sandbox environment and then migrate the community to production when testing is complete.

This makes life much easier. Setting up a new community can be a time consuming process depending on how many settings are customized and other changes. The changeset can’t be used to create a new community so one still has to create the initial empty community but then a changeset can be used to migrate the rest from a source org into the destination org.

Power Up Your Lightning Pages with the Flow Component (Generally Available)

This may be the most exciting feature for me that’s coming in the Summer Release. Granted it’s been available for a while now but having it Generally Available means that I can really recommend it to my clients and use it more. For a lot of things, Flows in LEX can be used. I’ve only scratched the surface. For some other ideas on it, check out my Flows in Lightning Experience.

Embedded Login Enables Users to Log In to Your Website

Salesforce introduces the Embedded Login feature to authenticate your website’s visitors. Your web developers can add login capabilities to the website with just a few lines of HTML. Embedded Login connects your website with Salesforce. This feature works for communities created with either our Communities or Salesforce Identity products. This feature is new in both Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic.

Embedded Login is another option for customers who want to authenticate their users through Salesforce, but their website doesn’t support user authentication through SAML or OpenID Connect

This is the second most exciting feature coming out in Summer for me. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent working with vendors trying to implement Single Sign-On with Salesforce as the identity provider using OpenId. This sounds very promising but will have to see this in action to confirm.

Einstein Vision Is Now Generally Available

Sign up for Einstein Vision to receive 1,000 free predictions per calendar month. If you need more predictions, you can purchase them.

Salesforce has touted Einstein since Dreamforce with their Dream House app. I’m glad to see that it’s now Generally Available and allows up to 1,000 free predictions per month. This is another item on my R&D backlog.

What’s your experience with Einstein been like?

Safely Cache Values with the New Cache Builder Interface

The Cache.CacheBuilder interface makes it easy to safely store and retrieve values to a session or org cache. A Platform Cache best practice is to ensure that your code handles cache misses by testing cache requests that return null. You can write this code yourself, or you can use the new Cache.CacheBuilder interface.

The documentation is a little vague around this but it sounds like we now have session and application based caching on the platform. I’ll take a look at this in more depth once the release is out.

Validation Rules for Custom Metadata Type Fields

This will allow admins to provide much better data integrity for custom metadata.

Custom Metadata Types Support Long Text Areas (Generally Available)

Being able to store more than 255 characters is awesome. This is usually for specialized markup, SOQL Queries, and other things that require long values.

What are your favorite Summer features?