2019 Spring Release Review

It’s that time of year again where Salesforce is releasing a new version. Most sandboxes have already been upgraded and production instances will be upgraded in February. Below is my review of the Spring 19 Release Notes.

Summary

This release has the most “Customization” changes and features probably within the last few years. For example, there’s a new “Flow Builder” that replaces the “Cloud Flow Designer” and now developers can build Lightning Components using “Lightning Web Components” instead of Aura components. Those are the two features I’m most excited to dig more into.

Lightning Experience also has numerous minor improvements such as Pinned Listviews to really increase its usefulness.

There are lots of other features too so checkout the Spring 19 Release Notes for more info.

Turn On Lightning Experience (Critical Update)

Salesforce will turn on Lightning Experience on a rolling basis starting in Winter ‘20 to empower users to move faster, do more, and be more productive. We encourage everyone to start preparing to transition to Lightning Experience soon so that your users can benefit from everything the new interface has to offer. The future of the Salesforce user experience and platform is Salesforce Lightning. Moving forward, all innovations will be in Lightning Experience. Take advantage of the lead time before Lightning Experience is turned on to understand how your org’s features and customizations perform in the new interface and to prepare your users via change management. Start now to ensure a better experience for everyone when Lightning Experience is turned on later. Better yet, take control and turn on Lightning Experience for your users before this update is auto-activated, on your terms.

This is a hint that you should really start considering migrating to Lightning since it’s the future.

Add Custom Resources to the Refreshed Lightning Experience Help Menu

We redesigned the Help Menu to make room for your own resources. Guide users as they work in your org with links to your own URLs to websites, PDF files, videos, or Trailhead mixes. A getting-started section helps both users and admins to get on-boarded to the new user experience. Everyone can now search for and see documentation results from within the Help Menu.

This is a nice start. One can add a “Custom Help Section” with up to 15 resource links that show up when one clicks the ? button anywhere in Lightning. I hope Salesforce makes this context aware in the future too.

Pinned List Views

One can now choose the list view to open by default when opening an object tab in Lightning. Instead of always seeing the “Recently Viewed” list view, you can choose a different one. Unfortunately this only is supported in Lightning.

Open a Window into Productivity with Pop-Out Utilities (Critical Update)

Pop utilities out of the utility bar and into their own separate windows. You can arrange popped-out utilities, even move them onto different monitors. You can interact with a popped-out utility alongside your main window, making multitasking a breeze. When you’re
done using the utility, pop it back into your utility bar or close the window

Sometimes your utility component UI doesn’t render correctly because of the content so being able to pop it out to use however much space is wonderful.

Enjoy Increased Data Storage

Salesforce is increasing the minimum storage from 1GB  to 10GB. Instead of maxing out at 500,000 records, the new max is 5,000,000 records. This is a wonderful wonderful addition because each record counts as 2 Kilobytes (KB) and for smaller orgs, data storage was always a big consideration. This helps alleviate that a bit.

Orgs will start seeing the increase starting in late March 2019.

Grant Access to Records, Report and Dashboard Folders, and List Views by Territory

Sharing rules give groups of users wider access to records than what organization-wide defaults allow. Now you can define sharing rules based on the users assigned to territories. For example, keep opportunities private, except for California reps, who need to view and edit opportunities assigned to Oregon reps. You can also share report folders, dashboard folders, and list views by territory.

Customizable Forecasting Being Retired in Summer 20

Customizable Forecasting is scheduled for retirement as of Summer ’20. After the feature is retired, users can’t access Customizable Forecasting and its underlying data. We encourage you to migrate to Collaborative Forecasts.

Original Territory Management Is Being Retired

The original territory management feature is scheduled for retirement as of Summer ’20. After the feature is retired, users can’t access original territory management and its underlying data. We encourage you to migrate to Enterprise Territory Management.

Flow Builder

There’s finally a replacement for the Flow Cloud Designer called Flow Builder. It’s a streamlined way of building flows and is now the default going forward. Existing flows are already supported. This is the most exciting feature I’ve seen and “It’s about time”. I’m also glad that they’ve combined the “Fast” and “Create” data elements into one set so that it’s not confusing as to which one to use.

Check a Field’s References Before You Edit It (Beta)

In a sandbox org, you can view the references to a custom field, such as in a formula, layout, or Apex class, with the click of a button. The new Where is this used? button lists where a field is used and where changes to the field appear. You can communicate changes to
others who use the field in a formula or other context.

Previously, one had to try and “Delete” a field to determine this easily from Setup. I’m glad this is a lot easier now.

Lightning Web Components (Generally Available)

Salesforce introduced a new way to build components for Lightning called “Lightning Web Components”. These components use core “Web Components” built using HTML, CSS, and Javascript without all the layers added within an “Aura Component”, which is how lightning components are built today. Salesforce touts that this will make Lightning much faster and easier to build but I’m skeptical for now.

There’s not a lot of documentation yet on this but it’s clear that this is how new lightning components should be built going forward, if available. That’s because Web Components aren’t available in all locations yet.

Keep Your External Data Up to Date with Change Data Capture (Generally Available)

Receive near-real-time changes of Salesforce records, and synchronize corresponding records in an external data store. Change Data Capture publishes change events that represent changes to Salesforce records. Changes include creating a record, updating a record, deleting a record, and undeleting a record. Change Data Capture was offered in the last release as a developer preview and a pilot, and we’ve made enhancements for this release.

I’ve been meaning to play around with Change Data Capture since Salesforce will raise an event whenever a configured object has a record inserted, updated, or deleted and then one can do something with it. This could be helpful for synching data between systems. It can also be useful for history tracking. Eventually I’m going to play around with it and try creating a field history tracking extension with it so one can track more than 20 fields, hopefully using only declarative means.

 

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