News and Events

(Not Exactly a Blog)

Lee SauerWelcome to my “almost” blog. This page is going to be a mish-mash of calendar, Salesforce news, ACL Conversions news, and genuinely “bloggy” opinion pieces. The calendar items will be in the right-hand column, and everything else will be on the left. At this moment, I haven't a clue how regularly I'll add new material here; right now it's anybody's guess.

Lee Sauer


News and Commentary

Why We Love Salesforce

There are two principal reasons we are great fans of Salesforce and have chosen to spend our professional life working with it. First, of course, is the excellence and completeness of the product itself. Salesforce releases a new version three times a year, and I can't remember a single release in the last five years that hasn't included at least three exciting and significant enhancements to the product. Salesforce never stands still. Sometimes, this makes it challenging to keep up with it, but the fact that it keeps getting better and better makes the effort worthwhile

The second reason is at least as important, and that's the attitude and ethos coming from the top levels of Salesforce management. Salesforce has a commitment to complete equality in every way and absolutely “walks the walk” on this topic. In addition, Salesforce deeply believes in giving back, creating its 1-1-1 program in which Salesforce commits to donating 1% of equity, 1% of product, and/or 1% of time. Employees are given six paid days per year to spend volunteering. Salesforce has also evangelized the program, and it's now been adopted by many companies. All of these things are a part of the Salesforce “ohana,” a Hawaiian word that can be translated as welcome or intentional family. Employees, customers and family alike become a part of and experience the Salesforce ohana.


Spring ‘20 Release Highlights

Salesforce releases updates three times each year, in Winter, Spring, and Summer. Spring ‘20 will be released starting February 14th, 2020. (The specific date for a given Salesforce org will depend on the server on which that org is deployed.) Here are some of my favorite new features:

  • Permission Set Group Enhancements Permission set groups have been enhanced with the ability to grant users aggregated permissions from a combination of perm sets via a single group assignment. This is the first step in the eventual complete replacement of most Profile functionality with Permission Sets. At the same time Salesforce announced enhancements to the Profile and Permission Helper (a Salesforce Labs App available in the AppExchange). In the Spring ‘20 upgrade (available in mid-February), you'll be able to view combined permissions in a single page as well as analyze permission origin.
  • Task Queues. You'll now be able to assign tasks to Queues instead of just to an individual user (effectively allowing multiple-user ownership of a task).
  • Recycle Bin Enhancements. Deleted Reports and Dashboards now will be in the Recycle Bin, and can be restored form there. In addition, Empty Bin has finally been implemented in Lightning Experience.
  • URL Hacks are back! Until Spring ‘20, URL hacks (very popular in Salesforce Classic) did not work in Lightning Experience. This was one thing that was a significant factor keeping some orgs from moving to Lightning Experience. That barrier should now be gone.
  • Chrome Salesforce Extension Enhancements. Salesforce (who actually wrote the Chrome Salesforce Extensions) has enhanced them in a new release available in mid-February. The biggest highlight for many will be the ability to run Salesforce in "Dark Mode." Here's what Salesforce looks like in Dark Mode:
  • Enhanced Opportunity Cloning. You can now quickly clone an Opportunity with all it's related Products and Contact Roles.
  • Opportunity Product Selection Search Filters. You can use Quick Filters to find the exact product you want to add to an Opportunity.
  • All Users Upgraded to New Mobile App. Until Spring ‘20, availability of the new Salesforce Mobile app was limited to users explicitly activated by their Admins. Starting in Spring ‘20, all users will be using the new Mobile App out of the box with no action required. The identical app is present in both the Apple App Store and Google Play. including the availability of Lightning Experience, Einstein Analytics, and Einstein Voice Assistant (Beta in Spring ‘20) on Mobile.
  • Salesforce Data Mask. Salesforce Data Mask (an extra-cost option) lets you customize, build, and test in a Salesforce Sandbox while protecting sensitive data, allowing you to meet GDPR and other legal privacy compliance requirements. This allows you to build and customize without exposing protected data without requiring the creation of custom applications to sanitize test data.
  • Flows: Trigger Flows on Record Changes. Eliminate the need to use Process Builder to trigger a flow based on a record change. The trigger occurs before the record save, so performance is improved around 10-fold from its Process Builder equivalent because the flow doesn't actually perform DML. A side benefit of this is that it can never cause recursive saves.
  • Flows: Actions. Flow Actions are a new set of tools that support generic SObjects - meaning that these pre-built Actions can work on ANY standard or custom object. You can install Flow Actions from a growing library in the AppExchange or build your own. Some of the Flow Actions already available include the ability to save any Collection asynchronously (which allows bigger limits), do a SOQL Query with LIMIT and WHERE clauses, Update 10,000 records with a Single flow using Map Collection, and many more.