Beautiful Betas in the Salesforce Spring 21 Release
Beautiful Betas in the Salesforce Spring 21 Release

Beautiful Betas in the Salesforce Spring 21 Release

02/19/2021 by Amy Bucciferro
This release is jam-packed with exciting beta features, so is it worth it to play guinea pig?

Let’s be honest, this is really about Track Accounts as Campaign Members, but first, what does it mean for a feature to be in beta in Salesforce terms? Basically, that Salesforce is not responsible if it doesn’t work or causes other issues, and there’s no guarantee that it will become a real part of the platform on any particular timeline, or ever. Which is all really a big legal disclaimer stuck onto something so they can get it out there before it’s fully vetted, either because users (or admins, or developers) are especially hungry for that particular feature or Salesforce feels it’s something that needs to be tested out in the wild before it can be rolled out officially. In some cases, there are Trailblazer Community groups specifically to gather feedback from beta testers.

The bottom line is that a beta feature is for testing. If it is something that you are excited about, it can be worth it to get in early and potentially contribute to the final form. It is not something that you roll out to users in production. Do you have a little extra time, a good bit of enthusiasm, and a solid use case? Well then, go for it! Here are a few of the things in beta in this release I think are worth investigating.

Track Accounts as Campaign Members

This is a fourteen-year-old idea. You read that correctly. Fourteen. This idea will be old enough to get a learner’s permit before it becomes platform reality. But I digress, the important thing is that it is out there, and I know there are folks in important places fighting to get these fully released. I will be scrutinizing it however I can, and participating in the feedback group, because the weight general availability of this feature would lift off the collective shoulders of everyone who uses Salesforce Campaigns for pretty much anything (that’s a lot of people) is immense. I want this yesterday, or, you know, fourteen years ago. At least we get a peek.

So what exactly does it mean? Well, being a beta feature, that can be a little fuzzy. On the surface it’s pretty straightforward--you can add an Account as a member of a Campaign just like you add a Contact or a Lead. There is a nice chart in the release notes describing what it will look like inside Salesforce. There’s also a clue in there as to why this is still beta: “During the beta, accounts that are added as campaign members aren’t evaluated by the sharing settings, and are public.” Eek. Clearly haven’t ironed that part out yet.

Another hurdle is how this will work with things like Campaign Influence models and reporting and with Pardot. The former is not mentioned in the release notes, but Pardot has its own entry on the topic. What this actually means for all the ways Campaigns are used with Pardot, though, is not explained. I guess I’ll just have to test and see.

Other Notable Entries

Custom, dynamic home page for the Salesforce mobile app? Yes, please! Easier management of mobile app security policies? Sounds pretty nice, too. If your organization is heavy on mobile use, these could be good ones to get in on early.

While I personally will not be putting in the effort to beta test Multicolumn Flow Screens, I hope plenty of others will pitch in and perfect it, because I will jump on this feature the moment it (hopefully) becomes generally available.

Here’s one that just makes plain good sense. Embed myTrailhead learning contextually directly inside of Salesforce apps. If I had easy access to an org with myTrailhead I would surely give this a try.

FInally, I’m not sure I entirely understand what Salesforce Functions is, exactly, but if it’s anything like what I see done around some other applications, this could be absolutely huge for Salesforce’s extensibility. I’m excited to see what the dev wizards do with this one.

Wow, this list got long, and it represents only a small subset of the betas in the release notes. For instance, I didn’t even touch on the plethora of things around Einstein Bots, Tableau CRM, Salesforce Anywhere (Quip), or any of the industry-specific clouds. So go see for yourself, and if any of them meet your checklist for guinea pig-dom, tell me about it on the Trailblazer Community, or directly at me on Twitter @ifitfloats.