Enabling or Discovering Spring 2023 Top Challenges and Features

Part 1

The arrival of Spring ‘23 was apparently a tough one for many, including me. Software deployment by Salesforce didn’t go as planned or on schedule, and my instance got into a state where we weren’t OK–poor performance, limited sandboxes, and confusing messages. Hopefully it’s fixed now. The rollout ended up occurring mid-week so I couldn’t do the usual thorough weekend checkout before operations saw the new stuff. And that day’s Salesforce help page shows a lot of suggested articles that makes me think the roll-out has surprised a lot of people around MFA and enhanced domains (and increased site security). And to top it all off, the Salesforce help site was super slow with problems of its own. It was so poor that I had to go back to the PDF release notes to navigate. This is one of the reasons we all look ahead to the pre-release notes.

My goal in sharing my log is to help small organizations with their ennoblement and roll-out. When we get behind our users suffer. And if we get behind enough, governance suffers. Organizations even end up sending out messages like “We’re so far behind that we decided to start over” or even worse “our board decided to go with a different solution.” This is very costly! Let’s help one another stay up and save all that money and energy for better things in our mission!

As always, my work started with the super important section called “How and When Do Features Become Available?” You’re looking for any disruptive things that end users just see right away, any great features that require you to enable them so you don’t get behind, and any big features that are going to require scheduling later work to deal with. Here’s what I found related to Power of Ten license grant software. Sometimes I don’t find much, but this time I found quite a bit to mull over or respond to immediately even as a small org with Power of Ten licenses:

  • MFA enabled automatically. It’s finally required. You can call Salesforce and opt out for a short time, but your users and you are on a short time-line to get minimum features up and running. My own org uses the Salesforce Authenticator app tied to phones. The hardest part is getting people to download the right Authenticator. There are some closely named similar downloads on the app stores that sometimes cause a false start.
  • Email senders must have verified their address to send. This one again is something that may catch some of your users off-guard and do some damage! It did me! We have org wide addresses, and some showed up as unverified. Emails sent by automation apparently could not be sent because we didn’t have a verified noreply address. I’ve never even heard of that, but there it was in the Org-Wide address setup page.  Apparently those emails stopped from the upgrade moment until I discovered and fixed it!

    This is how to check org-wide addresses: Noreply address is easily added if you don’t have one (like my org of 10+ years). And clicking on the Resend links shown in the Org-wide table produced an email with a verification link and it was fixed. Boy… what a shocker to find the upgrade stopped some of our automation emails! Check now!

    You also should check your users. It may be harder to have unverified email users since verification is usually part of MFA setup now. You can add user verified email to the list view of users in setup. (You can also add user verified mobile.) I strongly recommend you check emails because it could be a problem for them now. And I simply don’t know how far it would ripple into automation emails directly triggered by a user. I’m not sure of the implication of having so many users without verified mobile addresses, but that’s something to consider, too.

  • Additional subscribed report limits per person. Power of Ten license grants are Enterprise Edition and  you have to contact Salesforce to get an increase in this limit. Our users don’t necessarily need more but our admins sure do! Note: We raised a support ticket with Salesforce and they “raised the “The Maximum Number of SFX Scheduled Reports & Dashboards” limit to 15 for our org! Yay!
  • Stay in Lightning for Report Building. End users no longer see “edit in classic” as an option when editing reports. This may throw off some of your long-time power users who edit reports. Just be aware they may need help. Some experts are saying this was premature but it happened anyway.
  • Important CHANGE for In-line Editing for Reports: We want our users to use in-line editing in reports and list views to save time and help keep data clean whenever they first notice a problem. However, users no longer automatically see pencil icons on the report fields that can be edited! They must first toggle on in-line field editing mode. I DO NOT LIKE this change. This will throw many users and will require some additional education. Many will not go back to the top and enable and then find the field again. But we supposedly get faster loading of reports.
  • Track Field History for Activities. The related list for activity change history is automatically added to page layouts, BUT you have to select some fields (up to six) for Tasks and Events (two standard objects types of Activities) that you want to track before anything will be happening. And it only happens going forward. This may mislead users so it may require a little explanation. I think it is very poor form for Salesforce to add empty related lists to page layouts automatically. It’s very useful but there will be a little transitional awkwardness that could be better managed by the admin. But the end result is nice:
  • Vastly Updated Activity Composer. The word of the year at Salesforce is “dynamic.” The dynamic activity composer (lightning presentation of tasks, logging calls, and email)  is VERY different for all users effectively immediately. This is the method of sending one-to-one email within Salesforce and also browsing past and current tasks associated with a record. This is a pretty big change, looks quite different, and has fewer words visible so it is likely a bit non-intuitive initially.

There is a fair amount of improvement possible by additional configuration but it will take some work with your users to define your enhancements for best impact. I think a two-prong approach will be needed: (1) explain what you see now that’s new — it’s ON NOW and DIFFERENT, (2) identify a group of users to help determine what customizations will help with productivity and clarity.

The activity timeline is a place some users spend a lot of time, so it could be high stakes to them. If it causes problems until you customize it enough, you can go back. You have to do this on each page layout in the properties section of the Activities lightning page component (“use tabbed activity view”). It might have been much nicer to have a global opt-in or opt-out for the admin.

That took an hour to read through and find all the things are new and on immediately. And more than three hours of troubleshooting and exploration to learn to explain it well. It also produced quite a few surprises that I must still follow-up on. Hopefully it saves you some time.

Normally I continue on with the Top Ten List, but this release is special in a number of ways. The difficulty of the unexpected or “just there for end users” features causes pause. Then the top feature deserves its own blog in Part 1. And finally the remaining good features in Part 3 as well as those that don’t seem to pan out yet.

Part 2 will cover great features: Mobile, Flow Editor, Automation Flows, Dynamics, Screen Flows, User Import, and Reports of Subscriptions to Reports.

Part 3 will cover: Possibly the biggest Spring 23 Feature: Flow Migration Tool

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