Salesforce Winter 18 - Filled Lightning Experience Gaps
Salesforce Winter 18 - Filled Lightning Experience Gaps

Salesforce Winter 18 - Filled Lightning Experience Gaps

09/11/2017 by Justin Edelstein
The Salesforce Winter 18 release notes have been out for a couple of weeks now. It’s time to take a look at some new features that fill the gaps between Classic and Lightning Experience.

I’ve been saying all along that, in the move / migration to Lightning, Salesforce should not be aiming at feature parity; rather they should be aiming at feature improvement. In Winter 18 there are quite a few examples where functionality from Classic finally make their way into Lightning Experience but in a way that makes the features better, as opposed to just plugging holes. Let's take a look at a few that I particularly like and one that is pretty net new functionality just for fun.

Expand Your Reps’ Email Reach with List Email

This feature, otherwise known as Mass Email, is going to be available for all of the person objects (Contacts, Leads, Person Accounts). While the release notes are kind of sparse on details, here’s the skinny. Run a list view, click a button to send an email to all or some of the records in the list, and Salesforce sends out an individual email message to all recipients. The email gets tracked in the activity timeline, and all are happy. There is not much mention about user experience, but I would imagine a much more streamlined approach to sending emails in mass. In Classic there was a tool and a wizard that included weird ways to access list views and email templates - by using List Email in Lightning the entire process will be streamlined.

Filter More Ways in the Activity Timeline

For years in Classic I’ve wanted the ability to filter a related list. This is a really good start to reaching this feature. In an activity timeline, a user can now filter their activities based on the type of activity it is or a date range. This is very handy for finding that email that a user knows they sent about six months ago.

Track Time with the Time Field Type (Beta)

Don’t worry about those pesky date/time fields, if you are just looking to track time, with this handy new field type. Not only is this useful to literally have the option to create a field that is dedicated to just tracking HH:MM, but this also handles some hard to solve use cases around timezones and time tracking in general for Event Management or Project Management. The field type is still in Beta, but I’ve been a part of the pilot for use with a client, and I can say that the feature is worth its weight in gold when building a solution around scheduling for people in multiple timezones. To support using time in formulas, this beta release introduces the TIMEVALUE and TIMENOW functions, as well as new HOUR, MINUTE, SECOND and MILLISECOND functions.

Make Your Lightning Pages Dynamic

This isn’t exactly a gap that is being closed from Classic; it’s actually a long standing product gap that is being addressed. With this feature an administrator can customize a Lightning Page to make certain components appear based on data within a record. An admin would drop a component on a page and then set the criteria for when that component should be displayed. A good example is in this tweet by @jenwlee, with a nice gif to walk through the use case of a rich text field being displayed on an Account when certain criteria are met.

All in all I'm very pleased with the way that Lightning Experience is behaving these days. It's getting faster, it's looking good, and the gaps in the product are being chipped away at. The best part is that Salesforce is innovating here with new and better features to ensure that not only do we get all of our core needs met but that they are met in a more efficient and delightful way. 

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