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Top 5 Features of the Salesforce Winter ’16 Release

By 09.30.15
Reading time: 3 minutes

Salesforce Winter 16

September is here and with it the Salesforce Winter ‘16 Release. Here is a countdown of the top 5 favorite features:

5. The Sales Wave App Brings the Power of Wave to Sales Cloud Data (Generally Available)

The Sales Wave App allows administrators to build Wave Charts and Dashboards using Sales Cloud data. Wave provides powerful analytics-oriented reporting functionality and now that these analytics reports will live within Salesforce, companies that store large volumes of customer data in Salesforce will be able to use these reports to generate business opportunities. Additionally, users can create or update Opportunities, Cases, and Tasks directly from their Wave Dashboards.

4. Declaratively Create and Update Custom Metadata Types and Records

In the past, if a developer wanted to write custom code that included configurable data they would have to store those configurations in Custom Setting or Custom Object records. The downside of this was that when the code was deployed, the Custom Setting or Custom Object metadata (the objects themselves and their fields) could be deployed along with it, but the configurations themselves could not. This would require a subsequent data migration to get those custom applications up and running. With the advent of Custom Metadata Types, entire applications can be deployed in a single changeset. This precludes the need to spend months and months building custom deployment tools to migrate complex app configurations.

3. Configure Lightning Experience Record Home Pages Using the Lightning App Builder (Pilot)

The Lightning App Builder has been out since Summer ‘15. The app builder gives developers the ability to build configurable attributes into their Lightning Components that allows Salesforce Administrators to customize the Lightning Component on the app. A Lightning Component could be included multiple times on the page, with multiple different customizations. The key limitation was that this only worked with mobile apps.

With Winter ‘16, Salesforce is piloting the ability to customize Lightning Components on the standard desktop Record Homepages within the Lightning Experience. When this functionality is moved from the pilot into the core offering, it will blur the line between standard functionality and custom development. Lightning Components will be able to be placed anywhere on the page layout and they will be able to blend seamlessly with the look and feel of the Lightning Experience, as long as developers are utilizing the Salesforce Lightning Design System. This pilot gives companies the ability to invest in Lightning Components as a core part of their desktop Salesforce experience rather than continuing to build in Visualforce.

2. Improve Performance and Reliability with Platform Cache

Developers can now cache data in order to improve performance on custom applications that take a significant amount of time to load. In many cases, these applications are performing a series of long-running queries every time the page is refreshed. By utilizing Platform Cache they can speed up the initial page load by caching data and later retrieving that cache data when repeatedly querying the data is not necessary.

1. Winter ’16 Community Builder Templates with Lightning Components

Salesforce has updated three of its Community Builder Templates (Koa, Kokua, and Napili). Administrators will now be able to add and customize Lightning Components in their Community pages using the Community Builder. Much like the pilot which allows administrators to add Lightning Components to record home pages, this will blur the line between standard functionality and custom development. The difference is that this is production-ready as of Winter ‘16!

Still, haven’t caught up on the last release? Check out Top 5 Features of the Salesforce Summer ’15 Release.

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