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Top 5 Features of the Salesforce Spring ’17 Release

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Spring is almost here and with it the Salesforce Spring ’17 Release. Here is a countdown of my top 5 favorite features.

5. ConnectApi (Chatter in Apex)

Much of the functionality available to the Chatter REST API has been made natively available to Apex through the new ConnectApi class. While developers could previously make SOQL queries against chatter data, the Chatter REST API and ConnectApi class are optimized to assemble social data into feed views. A task that might have required several complicated SOQL queries against multiple Chatter objects can often be accomplished with a single use of a method in the ConnectApi class. The bottom line is that building code-based applications which access Chatter data has become faster and more productive.

4. Path for Quotes and Custom Objects

The Sales Path functionality, which was released as an Opportunity feature when Lightning was first introduced, has been extended to Quotes and Custom Objects. This expanded functionality, which has been renamed Path, places records into steps in a business process based on a picklist and groupings of values for that picklist which has been defined by an administrator. Users can then view a step-by-step dashboard which groups records based on their place in the business process.

To visualize how flexible Path is, imagine a bank that tracks mortgage applications via a custom object in Salesforce.  The bank tracks its customer’s status in the mortgage sales process using a custom Status picklist with values like Credit Application Submitted, Pre-Approved, Denied, and Approved. Administrators can configure a Path that would show the sales team a view of their customers grouped by status in the mortgage sales process. Path can also be used to build a similar step-by-step view of just about any business process.

3. Host Single-Page Apps Developed with Third-Party Frameworks Using lightning:container (Developer Preview)

Developers can now start building and testing single-page Lightning apps that make use of third-party JavaScript frameworks like React, Angular, and Ember. While this is still a developer preview, this feature will ultimately give Salesforce-based companies the power to make better use of developers with experience outside of the Force.com platform. It is worthwhile to note that any components which use this functionality can’t be utilized in Visualforce pages or Communities.

2. Get More Done Directly from Lightning for Gmail

Salesforce users can now do large portions of their job functions directly from Gmail. When viewing sent or received emails, users can see relevant Accounts, Contacts, Leads, and Opportunities from Salesforce. They can also view most of the information surrounding a given record that they can in Salesforce: edit the record, search for other records, or create new records. This feature is immensely valuable to any user whose role necessitates that they work from Gmail for a large portion of their workday since it eliminates the need to switch back and forth between 2 tabs in their browser.

1. Salesforce Einstein: The World’s Smartest CRM with Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Everyone

Salesforce has built powerful Artificial Intelligence capabilities into the platform, allowing apps, communities, and business processes to effectively learn from the data available to them. It possesses the capability to:

Einstein will give Salesforce-based companies the power to make use of predictive analytics normally reserved for companies with the time and resources to develop home-grown Artificial Intelligence solutions.

For additional information on the Salesforce Spring ’17 release, click here.

Need help optimizing your use of Salesforce? Click here to learn more about Silverline’s services.

Top 5 Features of the Salesforce Spring ’17 ReleaseAbout the Author

Brock has been a Developer and Integration Specialist at Silverline since June of 2013. As a Force.com Certified Platform App Builder, Administrator, and Integration Architecture Designer Brock keeps up to date with every Salesforce release.

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