Summer 2022 arrived Jun 11 for us. As always, the first thing to do is head over to the release notes and find out what features must be turned on, what features must be configured, what features we might want to request, and what features are on by default and we must alert end users to. Here we go! This covers only products available to the Power of Ten license grants of Salesforce.org (Enterprise Edition of Sales and Service Clouds with no add-ons).
To find out what is available and where, go through How and When Do Features Become Available? carefully. I found these that require action on the admin’s part to enable. Not many things go around.
A. Enable Analytics Home (Beta) in Reports and Dashboard Settings. There have been updates in the last year so make sure you are opting into all the improvements. All the boxes are checked except hide Excel export.
B. Creating Reports Based on Selected Salesforce Objects (Beta) requires contacting SF to be added to the Beta. They turned me down last time so I’m not sure I’ll do it this time… but maybe.
Checkout out the new features that I found and used:
1. Email Builder Improvement! I had slated Dynamic Related lists to be the thing I really like but… (see below). However, I found that I really love this very simple improvement to the email builder. We can now make the properties side panel on the right much wider. I use the email builder for all my new transactional emails. Before, the html text was narrow and required a lot of scrolling up and down to edit. Now it’s so much better! If you haven’t tried it out, it’s way time!
2. Triggered Flows: It’s very nice now to go to the object manager, focus in on one object you want, and be able to see flow triggers on another page just as you can see fields, search layouts, Lightning record pages, page layouts, Apex triggers, etc. From there you can go to the Flow Trigger Browser. You can also create a new flow. All quite nice.
Manage your record trigger flows and edit run-time order in a graphical explorer. I have few objects with more than one record triggered flow but when we get a Process Builder conversion experience, I will likely convert all my CUSTOM Process Builder and Workflow rules to triggered flow and will like that feature. I don’t recommend converting workflow just yet since you can’t convert Process Builder yet. But if you start a new project, don’t use WorkFlow or Process Builder. Use this nice new interface and efficient implementation feature.
We also get entry conditions using a formula rather than just field conditions with this release! These really help make your implementation higher performing.You may
In my opinion, Salesforce just silently answered the architectural question of “should there be more than one flow per object?” Why would we need a run-time flow execution order manager otherwise? The future is smaller automation flows customized for specific tasks and broken down into natural units. My advice: don’t repeat yourself in design (google ‘Keep it D.R.Y.’), always meet your needs based on user stories as best you can, and consider your total cost of ownership including maintenance when deciding to add to an existing flow or make a new one. Performance orgs also need to make full use of entry conditions on all the flows.
3. Flow debugging: you can create tests as part of your development process. Or record a successful debug and test future modifications to see if they still get the answer right! You create tests right from the editor window. You save debug runs as new tests from the debugger window.
I defined three tests for my new record trigger flow to correct one of our common data entry errors on new client creation. First you give it a name and set a few details, then you set the input record and field update values. Then you set the output field conditions necessary to pass and create a custom error message for yourself. You can rerun them all by selecting all tests and clocking Run. Pretty awesome! You can activate with failing tests. Since the test depends on records in the org (like the debugger) this makes the tests not portable from sandbox to production and back.
I did run into one snag with my tests. My test assertion failed if the flow isn’t supposed to run. Apparently the assertion engine can’t test if the entry criteria were met in case. Sadness! I customized my error message so I can remember this. But I’m sure they will give us a way to test that entry conditions failed in future. Don’t worry though, you can activate the flow with the fail (unlike the infamous APEX code coverage). I customized my error message to remind myself that it’s supposed to fail entry conditions and not really a problem.
4. Screen Flows: We now get section headers that are user collapsible. And name and address support in screen flows using record fields model. I built in 3 minutes a very functional and modern screen flow to update contact information. It has sections for name, mailing, emails, and phone along with various opt outs. I defined the one contact record variable but flow did all the rest for me.
I was a little disappointed we can’t configure the initial status of each section to be collapsed or open, however. I would like to be able to rename labels on the fields. For example, alternate email is great but we use it for education emails. So I would rename it School/Backup email if I could just for the form. I’m also disappointed that we can’t collapse sections by default so that the user can reveal the details they need to fill in. But still.. A fully functional form in so little time is very nice progress.
The screen flow has all the best features on desktop or mobile like: responsive multiple columns, collapsible section headers, custom named save button, pre-population of existing details. Notice that the address field has google search for addresses (just like a Lightning record page) that fills in all the fields. That will cut way down on data entry errors.
Note: I also remain VERY disappointed in the Salesforce response to my requests to evaluate if salutation can be removed from features as mandatory. I feel this is a severe equality issue. You’ll note that if you use the standard name field, the first thing you are asked to do is decide a salutation for a new contact. And the same is true on editing any name field in a Lightning record page. It even steals cursor focus if it is first on the edit page for those navigating with the keyboard. At the very least new features like the flow field should be designed to opt out of salutation. At this point, the best equality affirming practice I can recommend is to remove all gender dependent picklist values (opting for things like Rev., Hon., Dr. and none, for example but skipping the bias generating Mr. Mrs. Ms. etc). Highlighting this field and mandating it worldwide seems VERY poor to me. This field should be optional, Salesforce!
5. Reports Browser Release. New reports dialogue has several feature to help you prevent the #1 painful mistake when making reports: using the wrong report type. Now you can view recently used report types, look for details, and high report types that you don’t want to pick.
Show details opens up a side panel that shows you most importantly what reports use the type so you can make sure it’s the same (or different than) as another successful report you’ve made. It also shows you what objects are involved and what fields are available. I don’t trust the objects involved yet since it shows wrong information on several of my standard reports. I wish it showed the logic of multi-object reports (A with B or A with or without B). This is the number one confusion in choosing wrong report types in my experience. This critical item should be expose when creating new report and when editing existing reports, Salesforce!
New unified Analytics Home beta. I did enable the unified experience on my Reports and Dashboard settings page but cannot find the Analytics App. So something is apparently not right yet with the beta.
6. Dynamic Related List component for Lightning DESKTOP Pages. This arrived as advertised. It does not support mobile so I can’t really use it frequently as we support mobile and desktop users with equivalent functions (we’re using Enhanced Lightning Grid).
It’s a big step up from Related Lists the former ways, but I’m only going to recommend it for brand new lightning pages when you need to show a set of related records that is not going to grow lengthy (max is 30). It has too many limited user experience issues for me to recommend retrofitting into pages that are already in use. You can’t rename the headings and include the related object so it’s unlikely the user can read them in or that you can match previous names users are used to seeing. It doesn’t include an indication of more than the maximum records (30) or paging or a way to get to any remaining records. It doesn’t support mobile. For the admin, the UX is nice since you can configure things on the lightning page editor rather than the page layout. However, the same data displayed while you edit isn’t real and the experience finding for filtering fields is very poor. The records filter is limited to AND logic. I look forward to this component evolving.
I couldn’t come up with a good application for this in my org to show because of the heading labels not being customizable and always including the related object name (e.g., Volunteer Hours: Start Date, Opportunity: Amount). This just creates too poor a UX to populate into my awesome Lightning pages. Without this, I could use it for lists that will be limited in length like Open Opportunities on an account page, Upcoming Volunteer Signups on a Contact page, Pending Changes on an Inventory Item. I can’t use it on lists that grow beyond 30 since there is no way to get to the remaining items or even any indication that there are remaining items.
I have yet to unpack and configure these items and will report back searpate as I do:
Coming in NPSP and PMM
NPSP 3.217: The big item I see is that there are many automatic fields that summarize the contact and account the status of the most recent recurring donation (current, lapsed, former). And the NPSP Data Import got some needed love. It now supports tribute field import and you can now import selected rows from the list view rather than all or nothing.
PMM 1.29: PMM keeps getting better for those who have to enter data. You can now take attendance rapidly with a new component. So now you can enter a program delivery individually, in bulk to search for groups, for a scheduled session, or as attendance. And there is now a way to limit the interface to show participants who are classified as active.
And I am experimenting with one license of the new Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud license. It combines some of the Esinstin, unlimited, sales and service cloud features.
Near as I can tell, no update news on OFM, V4SF, and Elevate, which is not free but is a pay-as-you-go workable product for many small nonprofits who receive Power of Ten.
I am not using anything to do with Slack since the Slack team continues its exclusion of religious-based nonprofits from discounts and free license grants. My organization has been denied multiple times before and after Salesforce acquisition without an explanation of why this policy makes any sense to them. I had hoped Salesforce would have changed this long-standing policy but after more than a year, it’s still there. I am told there is some discussion for potential change in 2023. It’s not building community to divide the nonprofit world in this manner, Salesforce.