Salesforce Spring 18 Review

In a little over a month, the Salesforce Spring 18 release will be live. Here’s my review of the noteworthy things. For a complete list, check out Spring 18 Release Notes PDF.


This release feels a bit lighter and contains more polish items than big new features. For example, the release notes are only 400ish pages vs the 500 or so pages from the Winter release notes PDF.

I’m excited to learn more about Surveys, Dynamically Starting Flows from Apex, and the new Lightning:RecordEditForm and Lightning:inputField components.

Other notable items include

  • More Gmail & Outlook synching features
  • Better Lightning Report builder options
  • Even more Lightning Styling and Visibility options

Temporary Tabs & Manage Tabs

Temporary tabs are also a great way to manage items that aren’t in your current app. For example, let’s say you open an item from the App Launcher, from your favorites list, or from a link. If it’s not already accessible from the navigation bar, the item opens as a temporary tab where it’s in easy reach.

Add your own items to the navigation bar and tweak them to suit how you work. • Change the order of items to match your workflow • Rename or remove items that you’ve added

Temporary tabs are interesting. They feel like the baby of recent items and bread crumbs in one. It’s also handy that you can know customize your tabs to make them like you want. This was a nice Classic feature that’s now available in Lightning.

LEX Branding

One can use “Themes” to stylize Lightning Experience for each app. One can brand an image and colors, upload a background image, default banners, and avatars for groups and user profiles. This is the “My Lightning” that was announced at Dreamforce. It’s nice to have this flexibility but I wasn’t blown away by it.

Salesforce Surveys

Introducing Salesforce Surveys! Create beautiful, easy-to-use forms for collecting feedback and data from your users or customers. Add different types of questions to gather the data you need. All your valuable survey data is stored in your org, so you can harness the power of Salesforce to view data, create reports and dashboards, and share insights with your company. This feature is generally available in Classic and Lightning Experience.

This is very interesting. One client in particular can harness this by gathering feedback from their field reps when new customizations are released instead of using a custom solution.

Enable the New URL Format for Lightning Experience and the Salesforce Mobile App (Critical Update)

We’re changing the URL format used by Lightning Experience standard apps and the Salesforce mobile app. The new URL format is more readable and addresses the issue of being directed to an unexpected location when accessing Lightning Experience URLs before authenticating. This update doesn’t apply to console apps and communities.

Current format: https:///one/

New format: https:///lightning/o/Account/home

This is why one should use the Lightning APIs to redirect to other pages because if you don’t, your custom functionality will break without changing it.

Reduce the Noise on Your Console Pages with Collapsible Sections

Organize and present information in sections that collapse and expand by customizing your Lightning console app pages with the Accordion component. Only one section is expanded at a time, so your console users can focus on the information they’re working with. This feature is new in Lightning Experience.

Thank you! Console apps can be very busy.

Share Credit for a Deal in Lightning Experience

Opportunity splits make it easy for sales reps to collaborate on opportunities and share opportunity with team members. This feature is new in Lightning Experience.

Team members working an opportunity can see how much credit they get for each deal. Roll individual sales credits into quota and pipeline reports for the entire team.

This will be very handy for bigger deals that involve multiple sales reps so they can share the credit.

Stay on Top of Duplicate Records by Using Duplicate Jobs

Good clean data builds the trust of your sales team. It also helps you work toward complying with various data protection and privacy regulations. So you’ve got everything to gain by getting a global view of duplicate records. Use duplicate jobs with standard or custom matching rules to scan your Salesforce business or person accounts, contacts, or leads for duplicates. Share job results with others and merge the duplicates—all within Salesforce. Use information about duplicate jobs you’ve run to track your progress in reducing duplicate records. This feature is new in Lightning Experience.

This new addition to “Duplicate Management” is great and makes it much easier to detect and manage duplicate records on demand.

Lightning Report Builder Beta (Take Two)

The second beta release of the Lightning Experience report builder lets you categorize report data with buckets, include or exclude results from related objects with cross filters, and summarize data in new ways with summary formula columns. These changes apply to Lightning Experience only.

From the Report Properties menu, you can rename, change the description, or move your report to another folder. This feature is new in Lightning Experience.

Cross-Object Filters is one of my favorite reporting capabilities and am very glad to see it now available in Lightning.

Include Related Fields and Other Objects in Component Visibility Rules

Previously, you could only define component visibility rules on Lightning record pages based on the fields directly on the record. Now you can create filters that are much more robust.

For example, on record pages, you can select fields from the record by clicking Record Field. Or click Advanced to expand your field selections to related fields, related objects, or fields from other objects such as Client and User.

Having more options for component visibility rules is awesome because it allows even more granular visibility.

Build Richer Flow Screens with Lightning Components

Now that flow screens have Lightning components, the world is your oyster—you can build flow screens that look and behave any way that you want. This feature is new in both Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic. However, it only works for Lightning flow runtime.

Note: To use Lightning components, enable My Domain in your org.

What can you do with Lightning components in flow screens? Here are just a few ideas.

• Give users more intuitive navigation options.

• Add custom styling to the entire screen.

• Build dynamic screens with filtered fields.

This enhancement brings even more options to using Flows in LEX. However, this requires coding. I’d prefer to have more Flow declarative capabilities so one doesn’t have to learn more code.

Start Flows Dynamically from Apex

Previously, you could start a flow interview from Apex, but you had to hardcode the flow name in your method. Which means for every flow, you had to write a different method. With createInterview(), you can write one method to start an interview for any flow.

This is my favorite new feature so far. This will open all kinds of possibilites such as being able to create a dispatcher component that will be able to drive different users to different flow wizards based on configuration. Another option is to make more automation logic dynamic through configuration by letting an admin use flows to drive automation and which flows to use for different scenarios.

Lightning:recordEditForm and Lightning:inputField

These two new Lightning components look like a new way to create forms and that dynamically render the appropriate input UI for a field based on its field type. If this is so, I’ll have to see if this can be included in my field set form component.

What new features do you like? What do you think of the release.

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