Spring is almost here and with it the Salesforce Spring ’17 Release. Here is a countdown of my top 5 favorite features.
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.
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)
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.
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:
- Prioritize Leads by discovering patterns that result in successful business sales
- Provide predictions about Opportunities that are likely to close or need to be followed up on
- Gather information from the web to provide insight on events that affect customers, such as acquiring competitors or changing executive leadership
- Build apps capable of image-based searching in order to gain insights on customers, products, and marketing efforts
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.
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About 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.