Salesforce Winter 15 Release Notes Rapid Reaction

It’s that time of the year once again where we get to dig in and read some Salesforce.com release notes.
Salesforce Winter 15 Release Notes Rapid Reaction

Salesforce Winter 15 Release Notes Rapid Reaction

This time around for Winter 15 I have been enjoying the new HTML version of the release notes. This marks the first time that I have not read a Salesforce release notes in a PDF format. I quite enjoyed the HTML format of the release notes, they were easy to consume, very responsive, and had good search ability. As always here are some quick hits on some interesting features coming in Winter 15.

Duplicate Management (Beta)

For years we have had to rely upon 3rd party products to help prevent duplicate data and help to keep our Salesforce instances clean in terms of data quality. With Winter 15 we get a beta version of duplicate prevention across Accounts, Contacts, and Leads. All other objects are currently not supported (including Person Accounts which is a bit of a shame). Duplicate rules are defined by system administrators. The rules can specify what to do when a duplicate is found whether to allow the user to save the record anyway or completely block the record from getting saved. Aside from that the admin has the ability to define what constitutes a duplicate. As this is a beta there are some limitations that should be taken into consideration (all documented in the release notes) but all in all I’m glad to see Salesforce start to assist with data quality as it relates to duplicates.

Add Custom Lookup Fields on Activities (Beta)

I know, I know, the first two features I selected are both in Beta but to me they are extremely impactful from a data management and usability perspective. I cannot even count the number of times that I have needed to add a lookup to a Task or Event record in Salesforce because of the need to always relate the Activity to multiple “what” records. Example being an Event that is both related to an Opportunity as well as a custom object called “Fund” - this happens all the time where we need to go beyond one “what “ record.

Deploy Performance Summary Cycles More Effectively

Work.com performance summaries are now easier to deploy. You still have to paste in a list of usernames into a text field which isn’t optimal but at least you can include an entire list of users well in advance and not worry about if a user becomes inactive once it is time to deploy. Before Winter 15 if you have an inactive user in your list of users being assigned to a specific cycle it will fail to deploy. You then have to go through a process of removing them from the cycle which is a pain. Having the ability to just have inactive users in the list of users in the cycle makes management of cycles a whole lot easier.

Show Agents More Case Information in Less Space with Compact Feed

I am a huge proponent of Case Feed. I love the user interface for Cases. Not such a huge fan of Feed Based Layouts on other objects but on Cases it is brilliant. With Winter 15 you can turn on “compact feed” and have the ability to see even more data in less space. The new feed layout takes all the filters and navigational elements that existed on the left hand side of the page and moves it to a slim horizontal panel just below the highlights panel and above the feed. This should allow for much easier navigation to emails, status changes, chat logs, community posts, and logged calls. All the things that a productive service agent needs to get their jobs done faster.

See Salesforce Events in a Weekly View

Viewing Salesforce Events in Salesforce1 just got a lot easier and a lot more user friendly. From the Events navigational menu a user can now view and event list for a week and drilling down into viewing events in a list for a specific day, including previous days. As big users of the actual Salesforce calendar I am glad to see some investment made here as opposed to just focusing on the Today app which uses the calendar on the device as opposed to Salesforce events. For users who are using the mobile browser version (I can’t quite understand why these have to be different) you can now create Salesforce events right from within the app. Tons of productivity gains here, especially if you are allowed to add multiple attendees.

Please feel free to comment below, on the Salesforce Success Community, on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @JustEdelstein.

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