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.

Giving Back

Pledge 1%ACL Consulting is now a member of Pledge 1%, a global movement ot create a new normal in which giving back is integrate inot the DNA of companies of all sizes. Pledge 1% encourages and challenges individuals and companies to pledge 1% of equity, profit, product, and/or employee time for their communities. Launched in December 2014, Pledge 1% is spearheaded by Salesforce, Atlassian, Rally, and Tides. Over 2700 companies in 60 countries have taken the pledge to date.

"As businesses, we can be financially successful, and at the same time we can make the world a better place for everyone."

Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO, Salesforce

Howdy Partner!

On Monday, June 1st, Salesforce notified ACL Consulting that our application to become a Salesforce Consulting Partner has been approved. We are thrilled and proud to officially become a recognized part of the Salesforce Ohana. This opens up a new range of resources and support unavailable to the general public, and we're already planning to make good use of these new tools.

New Certification!

Lee Sauer has a new certification! On May 19, he successfully passed his exam for Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator. Woo Hoo!

Summer ‘20 Release Highlights

Because of COVID-19, the Summer ‘20 release date has been pushed back a bit into July. So you still have an opportunity to sign up for a Summer ‘20 Pre-Release Trial so that you can test these features in advance in your own sandboxes. Here are a few of the most exciting new features:

  • Split List View Now standard list views can be seen side-by-side next to the display of an individual record. Console views have had this feature for some time, and it's been one of the features driving acceptance of Console view. Now, with Summer ‘20, standard list view users will see an extra option in the “Display As” field and can turn this on at will.
  • Flow Updates Beginning in Summer ‘20, Flow users can now trigger a flow after a record is saved, in the same way an After Trigger works in Apex. In addition, you are now able to initiate a flow with its own new and improved Start Element. You no longer need to use a Processs Builder process to do this.
  • Einstein Search Einstein Search supercharges the standard search field and is available for free in the Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited editions of Salesforce. The tool lears from each user, displaying records that have more contenxt, providing you with suggested search results , and enables natural language processing. This feature is in beta.
  • Einstein Voice Einsten voice works like Amazon's Alexa, allowing you to perform tasks with your voice. In Summer ‘20, you can now set up Skills using pre-built sets, and you can also get Einstein to read record information.
  • Einstein Reply Recommendations This new feature allows you to supercharge Live Chat in Service Cloud. Einstein listens and suggests responses to common user questions.
  • In-App Guidance Builder In the last few releases, In-App Guidance has been an important and very useful feature, allowing you to build prompts and onboarding sequences for your users to help them perform a task or navigate the Salesforce interface. Many new features have been released for In-App Guidance, mostly built around a new builder that will make creating such sequences much simpler.
  • DYNAMIC FORMS!!! When it was demo'd at Dreamforce last year, the audience literally went wild. Dynamic Forms will serve as the de-facto replacement for Salesforce Page Layouts (which still retain their Salesforce Classic appearance and limitations). No longer will you be limited to the rigid two-column layouts of detail fields. With Dynamic Forms, you can you can place fields wherever you wish on a Lightning Page. This functionality also includes visibility rules which allow you to display or hide fields based on field values, opening up wonderful new possibilites. But beware, with the added flexibility, Dynamic Forms bring added complexity along with the opportunity for errors. This feature is being offered in Summer ‘20 as a Non-GA Preview, which means you must request it from Salesforce, and it will not be supported the way the rest of the product is.
  • Dynamic Actions Like Dynamic Forms, this is a long-awaited enhancement. And like Dynamic Forms, this feature gives you control of individual Quick Action buttons, allowing their conditional display based on filters you apply. This features is in beta.

Spring ‘20 Release Highlights

Salesforce releases updates three times each year, in Winter, Spring, and Summer. Spring ‘20 was released starting February 14th, 2020. 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.