Salesforce Spring'17 Release
31st January 2017
Author Moses Fruean
The Salesforce Spring ’17 Release is coming! It promises more awesome features that are sure to further enhance the usability and functionalities of Salesforce
If your sandbox is on a preview instance, you can get an early look and experience Spring ’17 from January 6th 2017 through the Sandbox Preview Window. We’re always thinking about ways to innovate with Salesforce, so we’d like to share some of the cool features in this release that we think will add significant value.
Some of the features are currently only in beta or pilot but till could offer benefits to your organisation and signal more great functionality coming.
Since the launch of Lightning Experience, Salesforce has continued to add features to improve usability and functionality. Salesforce’s Spring ’17 release brings a number of Lightning Experience enhancements sure to improve the way users interact with and use Salesforce.
Lightning Experience Readiness Check:
Salesforce continues to add to the capabilities of the Lightning Experience Readiness Check. This release sees the addition of more customisations that can be evaluated using the Lightning Experience Readiness Check. The Readiness Check gives users a deeper understanding of how their organisation is positioned to adopt and use Lightning Experience. Keep an eye out, as Salesforce will continue to add more features and customisations to the Readiness Check.
To be sure, Salesforce recommends that even if you have checked your Lightning Experience Readiness previously, check it again to see what’s new.
Introducing Lightning Console Apps:
Spring 17’ introduces Lightning Console Apps. The Lightning Platform now makes creating and customising a console app easier. Console apps allow users to edit and reference multiple records, providing users with a boost in productivity.
Lightning Experience console apps retain much of the same functionality you see in Salesforce Classic but with an added touch of Lightning Experience styling. The flexibility of the Lightning platform will also enable users to customise Lightning Console apps with Lightning pages and components.
Salesforce is providing out-of-the-box console apps for Sales and Service, available in the App Launcher under Sales Console and Service Console. If a more customised console app is needed for your org, you can create your own console app in Lightning Experience with the New Lightning app wizard - you can change an app’s color & branding, add components to the utility bar, choose items to appear and configure user access.
Run Flows with a Lightning Skin:
Lightning Runtime is now extending to your flows. Now your flows will look and feel like Lightning Experience. Simply enable Lightning Runtime from Process Automation settings.
Your flows will use Lightning runtime, when a user runs them from:
A direct link
A custom button
Setup: the flow list page, flow detail page, and the Cloud Flow Designer
Lightning Skin for Flow example – Source: Spring ’17 Release notes
Other key Lightning Experience features:
- Search for contact using account name
- Enhance lightning apps with the utility bar
- Create shortcuts to your top Salesforce pages with Favorites
Sales Cloud Einstein:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has arrived in Sales Cloud. Sales Cloud Einstein learns from your users’ sales activities and CRM data to provide your users with key predictions, intelligent recommendations and timely automation.
Einstein’s intelligent predictions and insights will help your sales teams with leads, opportunities and customer relationships. Leads are scored using predictive intelligence and your company’s conversion patterns through Predictive Lead Scoring. Einstein users get access to Opportunity Insights, that predicts which deals are likely to be won. Account Insights uses Artificial Intelligence to assist your sales team with their customer relationships.
See the Spring ’17 release notes for more details about Sales Cloud Einstein.
Einstein insights – Source: Spring ’17 Release notes
Lightning voice continues to expand with the addition of great new features, including personal voicemail and the ability to view call quality easily.
Voicemail – Source: Spring ’17 Release notes
Other new features include:
- Call lists (beta)
- Log calls in the activity composer automatically
- Create reports for Lightning Voice
All these new features further improve the capability of your users to engage with prospective and existing customers. Note that for the time being, outgoing calls are supported for the U.S. and Canada only.
Other key Sales features:
- Let marketing and sales ops user view converted leads
- Kanban: Expanded Availability
- Email files as attachments or links to files
Omni-channel - supercharge your supervisors:
Omni-channel is stepping it up with Omni-channel Supervisor. Omni-channel Supervisor provides your supervisors with real-time insights. Information about your Omni-channel agents, queues and work is streamed live! With Omni-channel, supervisors can see open work in real time.
Omni-Channel Supervisor – Source: Spring ’17 Release notes
Other key features include:
- Assign overflow work to a user or queue
- Omni-channel org limits raised
- New sounds for Request and Disconnect notifications
Lightning Experience has arrived for Knowledge. Lightning Experience promises a high-powered and streamlined way to manage your knowledge base. Using search, you can easily do a Knowledge search or advanced search to narrow down your search. The Knowledge home page now provides one place for you to search, view, author, and manage articles.
Other new features include:
- Simplified access and permissions with Lightning Knowledge
- Knowledge record types
- Standard record home
- Search, attach and follow articles, with the Knowledge Sidebar for the Lightning Service console
Other key Service features:
- Automatically assign email-to-case to queues
- Say your final farewell to desktop CTI
- Omni-channel routing for chats is GA
Spring ’17 brings new features and components for communities too. Highlights include direct messages for community members, ability to comment on article feeds and see how often a topic is used. The addition of a nested navigation menu items also lets you create a parent heading for your navigation menu and nest items underneath.
Mobile Template – Source: Spring ’17 Release notes
Other new features include:
- Do more with mobile in template-driven communities
- See more relevant suggested search results
- Create report and dashboard list views and detail pages
- Tasks now available in communities
See the Spring ’17 Release notes for more details
Other key Communities features:
- Moderation: preconfigured rules and spam IQ
- Search, report and analytics: know more about your community
Reports and dashboards - new features in lightning experience:
Lightning Experience brings big changes to Reports and Dashboards. You can now subscribe to up to five reports which are emailed to you, ensuring you’re always kept informed. You can also schedule when you receive refreshed reports i.e. daily, weekly, monthly.
Whether you’d like to start discussions about a chart or update your team, you can now share Dashboard charts on chatter. Salesforce has also added the capability to follow dashboards ensuring you’re always up-to-date.
Other new features include:
- Filter reports via URL parameters in Lightning Experience
- Expand Dashboard components to get the big picture in Lightning Experience
- Move dashboards between folders in the Lightning Experience Dashboard Builder
- Add funnel and scatter charts to Lightning Experience dashboards
Other key Analytics features include:
Other Spring ’17 updates
Lightning Experience browser support:
Salesforce has updated web browser support for Lightning Experience. Lightning Experience is supported for Apple Safari v9.x and 10.x on Mac OS X, Microsoft Edge for Windows 10 and the most recent versions of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
This release signals the retirement of Lightning Experience support for Internet Explorer 11 (IE11). Users of existing orgs can continue using IE11 to use Lightning Experience until December 16, 2017. There is no IE11 access to Lightning Experience for new orgs created after Summer ’16 – if this is you, you’ll be redirected to Salesforce Classic. Salesforce recommend IE users use the latest version that is supported by Salesforce and apply all Microsoft software updates.
Be sure to check out the Salesforce Support Browsers release notes to see the full details of supported browsers for Lightning Experience.
Build AI powered apps fast (pilot):
Spring ’17 brings the capability to build AI-Powered Apps Fast. Predictive Vision Service will allow developers to use image recognition to build AI-Powered Apps. Although Salesforce is just releasing this feature as a pilot, it presents some cool possibilities for app functionalities which will further enrich customer engagement including:
Capability to provide customers with visual filters to easily find products that best their preferences; and
Capability to gain a deeper understanding of customer preferences through images they publish on social media
External Services (beta):
If you’ve ever wanted to easily connect your Salesforce org to an external service of your choice, this release gives you exactly what you need. Salesforce is rolling out a beta version of External Services that will allow the connection of Salesforce orgs to an external service with the help of an easy-to-use wizard – users just need to provide basic information such as the service name and schema endpoint and they’ll be ready to start building.
Notable features include:
- Unified create and edit experience in Salesforce1 for online and offline sessions
- Customise your lightning pages even more with new templates
- Create custom feeds with Chatter streams
- Organise library files in folders (beta)
- Inbox: productivity tools that connect email and calendar to Salesforce
- Encrypted Data in Formula Fields (beta)
That’s all for now but be sure to check out the full Spring ’17 Release notes to read more about other features in the release or more details about the features we’ve talked about in this post. We’re here to help you get the most out of Salesforce, so if any of these features look good to you, get in contact with us at Davanti Consulting and we’ll discuss how best to use its capabilities to deliver benefits for your organisation.