Did you know that the AppExchange is curated by a real, live person? I didn’t. At least, not until last week’s Salesforce New Jersey User Group meeting!
As part of the AppExchange 10th birthday extravaganza, our fearless and charismatic co-leaders Anthony Pica and Glen Wilson walked local Salesforce professionals through 10 things everyone should know about the AppExchange. (Fact #8: New apps are added every day. Sounds like curation is hard work! Big thank you to Christine Lee, AppExchange Product Marketing Analyst, for making it easy to find the apps we need.) Afterward, we brushed up on our app knowledge over a fierce round of AppExchange bingo, with only a handful of attendees emerging victorious.
But it wasn’t all revelry and games. Paul Guerra, Senior Salesforce Consultant, rocked the floor with his review of the Salesforce Spring ’16 Release Notes.
Want a taste of what you missed? Watch the video below:
In his presentation, Paul covered some of the new Ideas that were delivered in the Spring ‘16 release. He also highlighted key features for Chatter, Process Builder, and Lightning Experience before closing out with questions from the audience.
After the event, I caught up with Paul to get his answers to some of the questions that came up after his presentation.
What are some of the “gotchas” that you found when reading through these release notes?
Knowing the difference between Salesforce versions. There’s Salesforce Classic, which most of us use, Salesforce1 for mobile, and finally, Salesforce Lightning Experience. Not all features are available across all versions, but the release notes indicate where the information applies. New key features that are available in Salesforce1 are noted, but it’s probably easier to just go to the Mobile section of the release notes to see what’s new for Salesforce1.
Also, know the status of the features in the release. Features that are in pilot require further testing by a pilot group. If you want to participate in a pilot program, you’ll need to contact Salesforce. (Participation may be subject to approval by Salesforce.) Features in beta are highly functional but they may have limitations or known issues. Generally available (GA) features are available to all users in their production orgs.
Finally, just a general caution to carefully read through the fine details for any new features that you think are relevant for you. They might not do what you think they do. For example, in this release, one of the Ideas being delivered is admin access to personal report folders. You might think you can log in to any org and view all of your users’ personal folders, but this only allows you to query and delete their reports through the API.
What’s your favorite feature in this release?
I actually love two admin-related features: restricted picklist values and global picklists. The restricted picklist settings require users/other admins to conform to the existing picklist values while using Apex or the API (outside of the standard UI via Data Loader, etc.), so they can only choose from the values that you define. It’s great for keeping your data clean and validated. Just remember that this doesn’t apply to existing non-restricted picklists, only to new custom picklists.
Global picklists let you set values for a picklist in one area of Salesforce but reuse that list for custom picklists across multiple objects, standard or custom. If you’re like me and forget where you have to go to set these values, global picklists will save you a lot of time and help you keep the hair pulling to a minimum.
More moments from the first Salesforce NJ User Group meeting of 2016!
In your opinion, what is the one must-know idea or feature delivered in the Spring ‘16 release?
I’m going to cheat a little here and say the must-know features (not just one) in my eyes are the core Lightning improvements that were sorely missed in the Winter ‘16 release. Whether you’re an admin, a service rep, or a sales rep, you should be aware of these new features and how they can ease the transition to Lightning Experience:
What are the Chrome extensions that you use in your own work with customers?
As I mentioned at the end of my presentation, there are three Chrome extensions that were recommended to me at my first user group meeting, and they’re so useful that I like to pass them along every time I present. I use Chrome as my primary browser, but there may be similar extensions for Firefox and Safari.
The first is Salesforce Colored Favicons, which was developed by Steve Babula, one of my colleagues. What it does in Chrome is colorcode the tab’s Salesforce cloud logo based on the different instances you’re in. You can set the colors, and it’s really helpful for me because I work in multiple orgs throughout the day.
Next is the Salesforce.com Quick Login As extension. This is really great for system administrators as a quick way to log in as a user. You just drop-down from the Chrome URL bar to click on a user’s name and log in as that user.
Finally, Force.com LOGINS lets you store passwords, similar to LastPass but primarily just for Salesforce. I use it for my sandboxes and personal dev org.
For other Salesforce admins and developers looking to present these release notes internally, what are some of your tips for preparing the presentation?
Start by reading the release notes! There’s a lot of information in the release notes, and some of it may not be relevant in your organization if you don’t use the specific features or products. Make sure you know what is most important to your audience so you can focus on what matters for them.
That said, even if your audience is mostly admins or business users, incorporating just one or two developer-focused points might be interesting for them, especially if it’s something that’s good for them to know.
Missed Paul’s presentation or just want to relive the magic? Check out the slides below:
And if you’re feeling pangs of regret for missing out on the first Salesforce NJ User Group meeting of 2016, make sure you come to the next meeting in March! The topic: Security Awareness. More details coming soon!
About the Salesforce New Jersey User Group
The New Jersey User Group is where people in the tri-state area can comfortably share ideas, network, and discuss everything related to Salesforce and technology to be more successful. All are welcome to join and are strongly encouraged to participate. Our intent is to create an environment where individuals feel able to openly ask questions, share struggles, and ultimately learn from everyone’s success.
For more information or to join the Chatter group, visit: http://ic.force.com/njusergroup.