Salesforce.com Spring 2013 Release

Written by ShamrockCRM on December 20, 2012 – 5:30 pm

Salesforce Spring 2013

Salesforce Spring 13 release is almost here.  Salesforce provided the release notes today.  There are definitely some interesting functionality in here and I will provide my overview of what I think is the most interesting.

Chatter Tasks – This is great and seems a little bit more in line with how other task management applications, such as Asana.com work with inline tasks.  This functionality will 1) Auto post your tasks related to Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, etc directly to the Chatter feed to have a better understanding of all communication and activity related to that record and 2) Allow you to create a Task quickly and directly from a Chatter post.  Instead of filling out a complex form, type a few words and move on.  Great functionality.

Chatter Tasks Chatter Tasks Spring 2013

Other Minor Chatter Enhancements – Ability to search through Group posts, ability to make posts to Public Groups that you might not be a user of, smaller chatter messenger box when minimized.

Connect in APEX – Basic concept, but important.  Previously, if you wanted to build complex Chatter-based UIs, you really needed to implement complex HTTP calls via the Chatter REST API.  Now, Connect in APEX is providing native APEX components to build this functionality in a much simpler way.

Forecasting improvements – Now users can setup their past and future forecasts on a quarterly basis.  Forecasts can also be implemented for partner opportunities.

Salesforce for Outlook Side Panel – I really like this feature.  It is a big improvement and it seems like Salesforce is trying to catch up with some of the features of other CRM Outlook plugins.  This side panel is starting to look a lot like the Pivotal CRM plugin.  Salesforce’s version is much prettier now, though.  This side panel allows for viewing the Contacts, Accounts, Opportunities, Activities directly in Outlook.  Users can take an open or sent email and with one click, associate this email as a Task to all of these records.  Users can also search through the SFDC database for other records to associate the email to.  Salesforce calls it “viewing the Salesforce World” directly in Outlook.  One thing to remember is that this functionality is going to remove the old “Send and Add to Salesforce” buttons that you are currently used to.

Salesforce for Outlook Side Panel

Email Restriction Setting – Previously, in Sandbox orgs, you might have been affected by a ton of workflow emails / scheduled report emails and other emails to the users from your test system.  This has been very confusing, annoying, and cumbersome to deal with.  Salesforce has now provided functionality to restrict the levels to “No access” (no emails), “System email only,” and “All Email.”  This is another simple, but useful feature.

Salesforce Touch Generally Available – The Salesforce mobile HTML5-based Touch Mobile app is now available for all users.  This is a great application, but one thing to remember is that this does not provide offline access like the old mobile application provided.  This is unfortunately only available for iOS and not Android :(  All apps, standard objects, custom objects, Cases, Leads, Person Accounts, and more are all available for viewing in the mobile interface.  Remember that is is a mobile version of the full website.  It is not meant to be a full-fledged replacement.  Some functionality will not exist, e.g. Copy Billing Address to Shipping Address hyperlinks, etc.

Touch Mobile Dashboards – All dashboards are now available in the Touch Mobile app, but there are some minor limitations, such as not allowing Visualforce components, filters, source reports, etc.

Salesforce Touch Dashboards

Sunlight Search for SharePoint data in Salesforce – Salesforce provides the Pilot capability to connect to SharePoint via external objects, similar to custom objects, to expose this to users.

User record sharing – Now you can use traditional sharing components within Salesforce to share visibility of actual User records.  This could be very useful for some of the more private organizations.

Additional useful features:
-Workflow rules for Opportunity Teams
-Add single Contacts to Shared Activities
-Formula fields to access Person Account Contact fields
-Email reports related to Cases available as custom report types
-Multiple Data.com enhancements (see release notes)
-Site.com improvements – e.g. Caching for performance, enhanced Offline capabilities, CSS3 support, extended field support on forms
-Force.com enhancements – e.g. Connected Apps available for Developers, Force.com Canvas enhancements for Developer editions


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Spring 12 Salesforce Release Notes

Written by ShamrockCRM on January 9, 2012 – 12:05 am

Just a quick note, but here is the link to the full Spring 2012 Salesforce release notes.


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Salesforce Spring 2012 Release Features

Written by ShamrockCRM on January 8, 2012 – 6:51 pm

spring 2012 release

Salesforce.com Spring 2012 Release is just around the corner and there are several very interesting and helpful features (e.g. cross object workflow) that should make a lot of people’s lives much easier.  Take a look below for the highlight of Salesforce Spring ’12 features.  There will be much more released later when they come out with the full release notes.

As probably expected, Salesforce is continuing with the social revolution with many new Chatter social enhancements.  First off is Chatter Bookmarks, allowing you to bookmark your favorite, most useful Chatter posts.  Is anyone else envisioning that Salesforce is trying to become the replacement for email?

Chatter bookmarks

 

In addition, Chatter Favorites.  Search for a specific string “medical referrals” and save that Chatter search as a favorite.

Chatter favorites

In every organization, there are social “influencers,” the tech savvy users that post the most, influence other posts, comment a lot and more.  Salesforce has introduced Chatter Influence, which allows you to find the most influential people in your org.

Chatter influencers

 

Chatter Messenger is the GTalk, AIM, MS Communicator of Salesforce, allowing you to instantly communicate with anyone in your Salesforce organization.  I’m not yet sure if this is a benefit or a burden from adding one more IM service.

Chatter Now communicator

Chatter v2.0 will be released in Spring 2012 for the iPad, bringing an all new UI that is easier to use.

iPad Chatter v2.0 Spring 2012

Chatter Smart Search, bringing the most important items to the top and intelligently categorizing them.  Not world changing, but nice to have to organize the sea of information.

Chatter Smart Search

Data.com is making it a lot easier to search for the exact types of contacts and leads that you would like to target with advanced Google-like filters.

Data.com Enhanced Search Strings

Cross object workflows, finally!  This is a long overdue feature that everyone has been waiting for and should reduce the need for APEX Triggers for some very basic scenarios.  I wonder what types of limitations will be placed on this.

Cross object workflows

The drag and drop schema builder (Database.com) will be available and should be a nice visualization / building feature for the backend.

Schema drag and drop builder

Siteforce is making the publishing of dynamic data a lot easier with some of their new features.  I don’t feel that this is a fully fledged, competitive Content Management System yet, but they are certainly trying to get there.

Siteforce dynamic data assistant

Siteforce CMS functionality

Siteforce Web to Object is a much needed feature as well.  Instead of utilizing a tool such as FormAssembly or having to build code that ties into the API’s, Siteforce will allow out of the box building of externally facing web forms.  Outstanding.  I’m not expecting this to be fully featured immediately, but it has true potential!

Siteforce Web to Object Web to X

Radian6, the social monitoring package, is releasing new features that tie in with the Service Cloud to allow monitoring and tracking of Cases generated from the social networks.  This, of course, requires the Radian6 license.

Radian6 for Service Cloud

Social marketing hub

I’m not sure if you heard, but Salesforce has spun off a new product for separate licensing (ugh), Salesforce Analytics Edition, which is focusing more on the BI crowd.  This is adding additional reporting capabilities like below.  This can expand horizons quite a bit with exception reporting and more, but the need for an additional license is saddening.

Analytics Edition Advanced Report Filters

Joint Reporting for Analytics Edition

Reporting Data Buckets

 Email to Case functionality has now been built into the Outlook Edition tool.  Hasn’t this always been there?  Maybe I haven’t kept up enough with the Outlook plugin.

Email to Case Salesforce Outlook Edition

 Salesforce Mobile for Android will now allow for full editing capabilities with Spring 2012 in January 2012.  Finally!

Salesforce Mobile for Android

 Shared Tasks are an interesting new feature, but seem very useful, e.g. Send Holiday card to all Florida contacts.  Why create 100 tasks when you can create 1.

Shared tasks in Salesforce

 Social Accounts, person accounts, and social leads are now available, just like the already existing Social Contacts.

Social Accounts

Social Person Accounts

Service Cloud case feeds are becoming a little more beautiful with all relevant data in one location.  The Service Cloud is really a great product lately and is getting nothing but better.

Service Cloud Case Feed

Chatter Answers, the enabling of social self-service.  Answers can come from knowledge articles, customer service agents, and a community of experts.  This really could be the wave of the future with customer service.

Chatter Answers

Salesforce Live Agent and the integration with the service cloud.  Live chat with your customers, manage cases, and log everything that was discussed.  Another nice service cloud enhancement.

Salesforce Live Agent

Overall, a nice set of Spring 2012 features released by Salesforce.com.


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Salesforce Winter 2012 Features

Written by ShamrockCRM on December 21, 2011 – 11:27 am

Salesforce Winter 2012 features.  I know this is a little (very) late, but it is better than never.

There are a lot of big releases during this upgrade and a lot of new things for everyone to learn, like Siteforce and Visual Workflows.  Take a look below to see my platform overview

See the release notes in PDF form here.

Social Contacts

Salesforce Social Contacts – this feature sounds great, but I am not overly enthusiastic.  You can link your contacts to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  You can add in their picture and see their posts.  Great!  The problem is that you need to do this contact by contact and social network by social network.  The system does not automatically scour the web and update all of your contacts.  Even worse, Salesforce searches the social networks by the contact’s name.  Have you ever tried searching Facebook for a common name?  You ALWAYS get 100 results. Have fun with that.

Chatter Customer Groups

Customer Chatter Groups – This is a great feature.  Create your own “customer portal” for collaboration and discussion.  Invite your customers into a Chatter group and chat with them, share documents, and more.  I like it.  Maybe try tying this in with an actual Salesforce customer portal?

Dynamic Dashboards

Dynamic Dashboard filtering – This is one of those features that should have been there since day 1.  Now, you can filter individual dashboards by criteria, such as region, industry, product line, etc.  For all of the large organizations out there that have SO many dashboards created in a specific (hokey) way, I wonder how difficult it will be for them to migrate 1000 dashboards into this format.

Case Flow

Case flows – Wow, Cases have become beautiful in the Service Cloud.  Everything seems very social.  It is very easy to add comments, send emails, log calls and more.  This is really a great UI makeover.

Case Flow

The Service Console has somewhat of a small overhaul as well and makes it very easy to find data quickly.

Pinned Lists

Pinned Lists – For the service console, you can now pin vital lists on the left side of the screen to always have the data available.  Very nice.  Time for everyone to invest in wide screen monitors.

Chatter Private Messages

Chatter Private Messages – This is another “should have been day 1” feature.  Very simple.  Send messages to 1 or many people in Chatter.

Chatter Approvals

Chatter Approvals – Integrating approval requests directly into Chatter feeds for the manager that does not like digging through many records to find an action he needs to take.

Chatter NOW

Chatter Now – Integrating instant messaging directly into Salesforce with Chatter Now.  How many instant messaging clients does everyone have now?  Well, here is one more.

Chatter for Microsoft SharePoint

Chatter for Microsoft SharePoint – Allowing for simple integration of Chatter functionality into Microsoft SharePoint.  This seems very useful for making all of your boring internal websites socially enabled.  Great idea.

Quick App Building

Admin quick links – This should make it a lot easier for the new SFDC admin.

Fast App Building

One-click App Creation – Salesforce is trying to make it a LOT quicker to create a new custom object, app, and tab.  Simply click the “Create App” button, fill in a few fields and you are ready to start.  A little bit easier than before.

Visual Workflow

Visual workflows – This is where I get excited.  Visual Workflows allow you to use a cloud designer tool to visually create VisualForce wizards.  So, instead of building a lot of VisualForce, it can all be drag and drop, point and click.  This is something everyone needs to spend a couple of hours learning over the next few months.

Siteforce

Siteforce – is generally available in Winter 2012.  It is essentially a web designer tool and content management system all in one, allowing you to utilize Salesforce as a backend database/admin console and build a dynamic front end website with nothing but point and click.

There are also several smaller features available, such as:
-Likes on Chatter comments
-Cloud designer for Visual Workflows
-Sharing Chatter files via email/IM inside and outside of SFDC (awesome!)
-Upload and Share Files at same time
-More Chatter filters
-Chatter Desktop
-Chatter for Android
-New Forecasts generally available
-Salesforce Mobile Beta for Android phones
-Presentations can no longer be assembled
-Enhanced reports tab (here’s to confused users that just got used to managing their reports)
-iPad mobile dashboards app
-Jigsaw is now Data.com
-Permission sets are now available – no longer need to create an infinite number of profiles to solve small needs!
-Just in Time provisioning for SSO portals
-APEX REST API


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