Spring 21 Release Decisions

Top Ten Features

Terry reviewed and published the most exciting updates in early January based on the preliminary release notes. Now he reviewed them on Feb 27 2021 and recorded any necessary maintenance decisions here as well as adding any technical debt to the log.

Here’s my list of what I can’t wait for on or near Valentine’s Day from Salesforce!

  1. Einstein Search comes to mobile. On the desktop it significantly reduces page floundering by users. I think it’s the first tool users need to learn really. Honestly, I see nothing new in Spring 21 on mobile at this point in search. Nor do I see any mention of it surviving in the release notes. So this one is a dud from me. Sorry! I do note that it says Salesforce iOS may not become available until the end of February, so maybe I tested one day to see. Too bad… so sad.
  2. Custom actions on the recently viewed list view! List views have become very powerful, I think it’s the second tool users should master. Higher priority than reporting IMO! If this came out for Spring 21, I can’t find it. Another dud from my Spring 21 preview list. Sorry! Let me know if you find it anywhere.
  3. Dynamic Actions are now completed for all standard objects on desktop. Some are beta and the core 5 are GA. I can’t say enough about this in terms of guiding users and cleaning up pages. It’s wonderful to be able to use these on contacts, leads, and campaigns now! These items often have conditions or stages where all buttons don’t make sense all the time. Now you can just have the buttons appear that make sense.
  4. Dynamic Actions comes to Mobile custom objects. (I’m only talking about mobile features that are available on both iOS and Android.) I enabled it on a custom object page and my page won’t load at all on mobile. I’ve logged case and they are debugging why. I think the reason is one you are not likely to encounter so I still recommend this function. But be aware that once you opt a lightning page into using mobile actions, you cannot undo it. It’s per page but one-way.
  5. Add Accounts to campaigns! In this beta, there are two list views for the account page: (a) campaigns that the account is attached to; (b) campaigns where any contacts of the account are attached. This may be a big deal for both Organizational Accounts and Household Accounts. This brings up all sorts of new possibilities with automation, too. I decided not to enable it since the basic premise is that you have contacts attached to organizational accounts. If you enable this, you get several list views on accounts and on campaigns. On accounts you get a list view of all campaigns that you have attached the account to. And you get a list of all campaigns that any of the account contacts are added two. These are two slightly different things. On the campaign, you get one new related list of accounts that are attached to the campaign. You get standard reports for all of this as well as the ability to make custom reports. I’m not sure the application yet for NPSP given households, affiliations and all that. If you need to make lists of accounts, this is definitely an easy thing. I suspect that to be really useful for NPSP, one will need to add a flow to add currently affiliated contacts to a campaign when a new account is added to a campaign.
  6. Flow debugging messages now take you to the link and show you the trace in the flow debugger in full context! Not learned flow yet? It’s fine to be fashionably late, but you’re going to be late to the party soon! The new editor and onscreen debugging makes it so easy to learn now.  This is simply the greatest thing ever. I used it on day one of the release!
  7. Record triggered flow receives the Prior Value of the record. So you can examine just what changed! Or even save it. Need more record history fields? Now you can! The variable is referred to as $Record and the prior value is right there ready to be used in formulas, record filters, assignments and decisions, called $Record__Prior. Very cool! You can’t use it in a condition for the recorded triggered flow. 
  1. Record triggered flow also gets delayed or scheduled actions like Process Builder or time-based Workflow Rules. Start on a record change and then finish at the right time. It’s time to stop building new Process Builder for workflow, IMO. It’s only going to get better. This is not available with auto-layout at the moment and must be on record create or when record is updated to meet conditions. To add a scheduled path or paths, you have to change to manual flow layout. Then you can add one or more paths. You need a date or date/time field on the record, although you can use created date or last modified date. And the offset is a hard number you type in representing the number of days or hours before or after the date you picked. Once you specify each of your delay paths in the start element, you then manually place elements and connect the start item to each of the next steps, sort of as if it were a decision with multiple branches. The lines get the label “run immediately” and the name of each of your delayed paths (next day, 3 days later). 

This is treated the equivalent to a time workflow rule or delayed process builder. It goes into the same time-based workflow rule queues. As an example, I have a flow that notices when we add someone to our newsletter. It currently immediately sends a welcome letter to check that the email doesn’t bounce. But now we can add two or three more paths to send a little more orientation and engagement information to my brand new subscriber… all with a little flow! In my example, perhaps I wait 24 hours after the record modified date and send the second welcome email. And then perhaps I wait 72 hours after the record modified date to send the third welcome email. It would be smart to add the condition that the subscriber hasn’t opted out ot the conditions of the flow. If the subscriber opts out after the second email, the flow would fail to run the third time. I was surprised that I couldn’t calculate the offset. I was hoping to bring the smarts of flow to calculating the best daytime followup rather than just doing 24 hours blindly. But I don’t see how to bring a variable into the time offset yet.

  1. Send later comes to the threaded view of activities! But not for Power of Ten License Holders… only Unlimited, Inbox and Salesforce Einstein. It’s available on list send. It’s available in regular gmail. But sadly not from Salesforce Enterprise. Boo!
  2. Lightning Email Templates now available in automations. They were delivered by making them selectable from an email alert which is in turn leveraged by Process Builder, Approvals and Flows. Lightning templates are available in Email Alerts. You open the template and it takes you to a selection for classic templates as before, but there is a new pulldown menu to select Lighting Templates.

    Flow gets rich text email content upgrade, too. You can get access to Lightning Email Templates more directly by adding an extra email action from unffocielSF.com if you like.

    There’s been a lot of churn in templates… hoping to catch up with the changes soon and leverage them! Sadly, I still find myself using classic templates because Lightning Mail Templates have a character length limitation not present in classic. Gr… HTML gets big sometimes.


Bonuses that may make you happy if you use these features:

  1. New Tablet experience can be turned on for both iOS and Android that is more consistent with the phone and desktop experience. I’ve had it turned on since Beta without problems.
  2. Manual record sharing available in Lightning. If you used it in classic, you’ve really missed it. I don’t use manual record sharing.
  3. Lighting Page performance analysis seems to be getting more helpful and now works for mobile pages, too. I checked it out and it seems to be there. Still telling me I have too many components, but they are all conditional so I can live with it.
  4. Opportunity Product object grew up in that you can now make custom relationships to it. If you do commerce or use it for delivery of requested items or tracking in-kind items, this is very nice.

Review of needed configuration for Spring 21

Terry reviewed the release notes to determine what features must be enabled or configured to be valuable for us as Power of Ten, Quip, and Knowledge Authoring license holders. Many items were listed as requiring admin setup but didn’t seem to really need anything. The finding was as followed for action:

Requires admin setup

  1. Protect users from insecure Chrome downloads — This change broke us on day 1 of release. See Feb 13 2021 Decision for how we addressed problems caused by these changes.
  2. Keep working with Tab focused dialogues in console apps. This update will be auto-activated Winter 22. Didn’t see a need to activate now. But might later on.
  3. Bring Trailhead learning inside App (beta). This seems like a cool feature if I had time to add in-app learning guidance for our uses. But not now. Still hoping that Community or Salesforce.org will develop strong content for standard NPSP features for in-app guidance. (hint hint!)
  4. Telephony API Update? If I wanted to add Amazon services, it seems like a call center would be super easy to set up now. Maybe later but our provider is voip.ms and they are not listed.
  5. Service Setup can configure knowledge setup. This seems cool and since we have an underutilized knowledge authoring license and all Power of Ten licenses can read knowledge, we should investigate later. But not now.
  6. Meeting Digest seems cool but it required Enterprise Unlimited to run so it’s not available to Power of Ten license grantees.
  7. Accounts as Campaign Members (Beta). There is a global enable for this Beta feature. There are related lists that must be added on Campaign and Accounts. The most interesting is the Campaign Related List on the account. This shows any campaigns for which the account contacts are a member. In a household, this would show all campaigns for which any contact is a member. (We don’t attach contacts directly to any org accounts but it would work the same way if we did.) I decided not to turn this on until we have an application for lists of accounts. 
  8. Gmail integration — legacy retiring 3/31/2021. We’re already on the continuing version of gmail integration (a blue cloud icon rather than a blue email letter icon).
  9. Lightning Sync new developed stopped. EAC is the replacement. We don’t have good results with EAC but maybe we need to revisit. Adding to technical debt to redo our EAC setup and try again. Our problems were that having EAC enabled prevented Apsona from sending merge mails and that EAC created thousands of duplicates over and over with no apparent stopping point. It did that on three separate occasions when enabled. We never planned to waste time and money on it again, but I guess we will have to reinvestigate eventually. It’s not clear if other nonprofits are finding it helpful or not.
  10. Enhanced Folder Sharing — We’ve already enabled this. They pushed out auto-enablement to Winter 22.
  11. Mobile Home — requires enablement on the Connected Apps Salesforce for iOS and Salesforce for Android. I did it for both although I’m not convinced I see the changes.
  12. Mobile Tablet App Experience — I had already enabled this.
  13. Accurately measure CPU time of flows and processes — I decided not to enable this. It is enforced Summer 21.
  14. Convert real only standard profile to custom profile. We don’t use any of the standard profiles so I decided not to enable this.
  15. Enhanced domain URLs. This sounds good but isn’t yet available on my host. It is supposed to be available on a rolling basis by March 31 to everyone.

NOTE: The configuration required for features is listed after the feature highlights.

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