Spring 2023 Salesforce Update Top Features

It will be here in less than 4 weeks for most people. Each release, I try to review the preliminary release notes to identify the most critical feature updates for grant holders of Power of Ten licenses. This excludes a lot of  paid add-on functionality but addresses a whole lot of small but mighty organizations. My goal is to help you plan and to not fall behind. I believe more instances of Salesforce fall for getting behind than any other reason. And before they fail they waste a lot of precious resources, so let’s help one another to stay on top of things! Your missing is worth it! You are up to it! Here are the top things to look out for this release as far as I can tell. I’ll be back with a more detailed blog of what I did on each of these after the release hits.

  1. MFA enabled automatically. If you’ve put this off so far, you MUST do this or your users will likely be “locked out” until they download the Salesforce Authentication tool and set it up. Don’t be caught by surprise on this. It could be disastrous (but not as bad as a data leak from not having good security… so it’s worth it).
  2. Email senders must have verified their address to send. This one again is something that may catch some of your users off-guard. If they never verified their email before, they will have to continue sending. This could also impact automation from users. 
  3. Reports: Subscriptions and Collections. We can now report on how many subscriptions we have going by user and report. This requires some custom report work but will be nice. And apparently we can contact Salesforce customer support to raise the per-user limit from 7 (far too few for an admin IMO) to 15. Actionable reports in your inbox are really awesome for monitoring data quality, activity, and exceptions while on the go through email. We now can apply tags to our report and dashboards to create a Collection. We can share them and reports can have more than one tag! I have used the dashboard to organize my reports by task for years, but this might be good for many. My dashboards allow me to revisit a repeating task and get all the data I need from one place. I’m sure collections will have other uses in organization and cleanup.
  4. Pronouns Fields. I don’t know how I feel about Salesforce providing this but it’s here so we better see how it works as it might impact users and constituents. (I assume it’s more sensitive than mandatory Salutation fields.) I will be checking this change out carefully.
  5. Dynamics. Dynamic Forms (fields), Dynamic Actions (buttons), Dynamic List (related list) and now Dynamic Activities (actions on the Activities component). I still don’t use Dynamic Forms anywhere because it doesn’t work on mobile, but it’s available now on more objects. There are quite nice free add-ons that do this job well, too for all objects and mobile. I use Dynamic Actions everywhere because it works on both desktop and mobile (with a little work). I’ll be excited to see what I can do for users with the new Dynamic buttons for the Activities component. I don’t use the Dynamic Related List component because it supports mobile, but this release fixes an almost fatal flaw for many desktop applications. I will evaluate it for desktop only pages, but I stand behind my decision to prefer native single lists or free add-on components for pages that support both mobile and desktop access.
  6. Mobile. I mention mobile a lot because I think it’s crucial to small organizations (and large) and nonprofits.We’re in the real world trying to change it and we’re working from just about anywhere these days. Waiting until we get to a big screen can cost a lot of lost program productivity, relationship capital, and probably even real income. Mobile upgrades in this release promise an enhanced contact experience to use what’s already on the phone, landscape support (can’t wait to see how a flow interacts on landscape), and better report summaries on mobile (I use this a bit already!). If you haven’t used mobile yet, this release promises a streamlined setup experience for admins to turn it all on.
  7. New Desktop Contact Import Experience. I don’t know how this will work, but I think you should be warned that a new guided import experience is coming for contacts and leads to your users who have permission. This could be great or not work well with NPSP, Education Cloud, etc.

Flows: I know… you can’t go anywhere in Salesforce without hearing about Flows. If you like them, it’s kind of fun. If you don’t, I encourage you to start liking them. 

  1. Automation Flows. Flow and APEX are the workhorses of automation for Salesforce future. This release includes a tool to turn many Process Builders (but not all) into a flow. And we can use http call-outs in flows now to integrate with third party tools. There are still plenty of limits but the 2000 element limit is gone now. Limits in flow are very similar to limits in Apex now.
  2. Screen Flows: These aren’t automation but are for interacting with your internal users as well as external users on a Site or Experience Cloud. (You get 100 free public clouds with Salesforce so this can get very powerful.) End users expect a great screen experience these days to be highly productive. Building Flow screens has a “dynamic” ability to make screens from an object definition itself. The input is automatically the right type and is stored in an object ready to save. This update supports more of the field types found on objects. This update also supports defining components that interact. For a while now, I’ve used conditional visibility to bring some dynamics to my screens, but now components can interact more strongly. We’ll see how much life we can bring to screens. The 2000 component execution limit also impacted screen flows and is gone.
  3. Flow Editor: We can now hover on a flow component and read the description. This allows a bit more user friendly navigation. You can also add “extra” Text Templates to serve as design notes, test notes, and more. If only Salesforce would give us a way to make PDFs of our processes in flows!

I don’t cover Slack because it’s not part of the Power of Ten grant. Even though it’s free to many organizations, it’s free use by religious, educational and political organizations isn’t granted so I can’t use it. I’ve raised this as an issue for years now without any movement, so it’s a limitation I’ve learned to live with. Sort of like the extremely non-sensitive and very irritating salutation field that is forced on every organization and end user in the world.

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