Release Favorites: Winter ’17

It’s getting colder outside, so make some tea or coffee, get comfortable and take your time to check what is new with the Salesforce Winter’ 17 release. What you can see is that this release is filled with lots of new features as well as enhancements to the Lightning experience. With an amazing 479 pages of release notes, we thought to pick our favourites to make it a bit easier for you to catch up.

New in Lightning Experience!
Lightning Experience is coming out with a new, exciting interface, and we think that it is moving in the right direction. There are big improvements, for example, in Reports and Dashboards filtering, Wave in Lightning, or Kanban view in Leads, Contracts, and Campaigns. If you haven’t tried it yet, have a look and enjoy the following features:

  • Get Field-Level Help in Lightning Experience. Field-level help that you create for your custom fields was always appreciated in Salesforce Classic, and from now on, we finally have it in Lightning Experience! This feature is supported across all browsers. It shows up regardless of your screen size, the data type of the field, or the location of the field in your layout.
  • Add Products with Schedules in Lightning Experience. You can now add products with revenue or quantity schedules to opportunities anywhere, anytime, also in Lightning.
  • Filter the Activity Timeline. The Activity Timeline can now be filtered by activity type and date range. For example, if you want to see all the emails that you’ve exchanged over the last seven days, it’s now possible in Lightning!
  • The Tab Layout is back to normal in Lightning Experience! The good old tabs are in the same place as you would expect them to be. At the top, as in Classic.  It’s a pretty visible change and also makes the new UI look more modern but still familiar.
  • Opportunities: Probability Field Editable in Lightning Experience. Whohoo! Opportunity owners can now manually edit the Probability field without switching to Salesforce Classic.
  • Reports and Dashboards: New Ways to Get Your Data.
    • Filter Reports by Role Hierarchy in Lightning Experience – you can now filter reports by role hierarchy in Lightning
    • Filter Reports by Relative Dates – Want to have the overview of all the opportunities you’ve closed this year? Instead of filtering by calendar dates, such as Close Date greater than Jan 1, 2016, filter your report by a relative date: Close Date equals THIS YEAR.
    • Chart Improvements in Lightning Experience: Table, Gauge, Bar, Scatter, Line, and Combo Charts – With our latest round of Lightning Experience chart enhancements, your charts are more insightful than ever!
  • Kanban: Track and Manage Leads, Contracts, and Campaigns Visually. This is a massive improvement! You can use Kanban everywhere – for  Opportunities, Campaigns, Leads, Contracts. You can also update required fields when you change the stage or status, and it is super easy and quick.

WAVE in Lightning
Basically, everything about Wave in Lightning is pretty exciting. You can share insights from your business data and get more predictive information about your customers. We thought the best features, the ones that  we like to highlight, are:

  • New Dashboard Designer – great improvements in dashboard designer where admins can create responsive dashboards with templates and widget wizards faster than ever for any device.
  • Wave Notification – thanks to the notification, you are kept informed about your business. You can schedule up to 5 notifications with the Winter ‘17 release. You can see them in Wave, Lightning Experience, the Salesforce1 mobile app, and email.
  • Data Prep – is the quick new way to cook up new datasets using your existing datasets. Even if this is just a Beta, it looks like this can help migrations a lot.
  • Chatter groups – simplified group creation flow where three steps are combined into one easy flow: 1. Fill out basic information, 2. Upload photo, 3. Add Member component and intelligent suggestions about which members are a likely good fit.
  • Seamless collaboration – Lightning Experience brings you real-time group feeds. Each new post is briefly highlighted to call it to your attention. This feature is available in Lightning Experience only.

Sync Appointments from Google Calendar™ to Salesforce (Beta)
Still in Beta, but Google Integration is available. What we can do is set up Google Calendar events to sync to Salesforce. You no longer have to maintain events in two separate applications!

Communities updates

We love how Salesforce did a great job by improving the template-driven community experience. The Napili template is now called Customer Service and supports more objects than previously plus, you can now access external data and content that are stored outside your Salesforce Org.

Our favourite part here is that we can add  Reports and Dashboards to Community Pages thanks to a Lightning Component for a specific Report Chart or a whole Dashboard! This means that you can now share important metrics and charts directly with your Community.

Mobile enhancements in Salesforce1
The Salesforce1 mobile app helps your reps stay up to date on their most-important records, activities, Chatter conversations, and dashboards from wherever they are. Here are some examples of work which was done on Salesforce1:

  • Send Text Messages from Salesforce1 –  It is pretty natural when using Salesforce1. What a time saver when you can now send text messages from a mobile app without needing to leave the app.
  • Change the record types in Salesforce1 – Now, your Salesforce1 users can keep their business moving from the road by updating record types for existing records. The new change Record Type action is available from the action bar in all versions of the Salesforce1 mobile app.
  • Edit the Opportunity Probability Field in Salesforce1 – Opportunity owners can now manually edit the Probability field without having to switch to Salesforce Classic. This enhancement is available in all versions of the Salesforce1 mobile app.
  • Add Products with Schedules in Salesforce1 – Products can now be added to the opportunities, also with established revenue or quantity schedules.

Something Sweet for Admins

  • Relating contacts to multiple accounts: you can now build triggers and validation rules for an Account contact.
  • Streamline Picklist Maintenance with Global Picklists (Generally Available). Working with picklists in heavily customised Salesforce environments just got much easier. It will help picklists which are in many custom objects. Adding a new picklist value will be done really quickly. There will be no complaints from the customer that we overlooked some picklist fields. Replacing existing values is now just an administrative task. There’s no need to replace values by changing data in many objects.
  • Replace Values from Global Picklists. Now you can create and manage your global picklist value sets from in both Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic. To update a picklist field for an object, go to the object’s detail page and then click Replace.


Improvements in Pardot B2B Marketing Automation 
In addition to improvements in Salesforce, there have been some great changes in Pardot since the Spring’16 release! Here are our three favourites:

  • New Pardot Style: Improved UI Look and Feel. The new UI makes Pardot so much easier to use! Important next steps are highlighted and fonts updated. There are also some navigation changes! We love the new UI!
  • Enhanced Social Posting: Improved Social Media Tools. Another great and awaited update is the enhanced social posting! You can now add images directly from Pardot without custom redirects. Also, the posting interface is easier to use and tracking engagements faster.
  • Engagement Studio: Create Personalized Buying Journeys. Last but definitely not least, Pardot’s Engagement Studio is amazing! Very user-friendly and great for visualising your buyer journeys. Testing functionality is also very useful!

Of course, there are many more great features introduced by Salesforce in Winter’ 17. Have a read through the release notes for details, but we wanted to make your life a bit easier and picked out a few that stood out. We recommend you get going and get the most out of the platform. First, hurry up and explore the new features!

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