Admins / Analytics / Architects / Developers

15 Salesforce Product Insights from True to the Core ’23

By Lucy Mazalon

True to the Core sessions are highly anticipated and consistently popular. These sessions could be described as an “ask me anything” to Salesforce executives and product managers, where the audience can ask even the thorniest questions and get a transparent response. True to the Core is designed to connect Trailblazers with the product teams making decisions about the direction a product is going. 

The Dreamforce ‘23 edition of True to the Core did not disappoint, with feedback on key configuration features and native reporting, insights into Experience Cloud, the future of the platform (with Marketing Cloud on core), and much more. 

What was notable is Salesforce’s investment into their engineering teams, emphasized in the opening, as well as mentioned throughout. With all the AI announcements, this served as reassurance that Salesforce aren’t just chasing what’s ‘shiny and new’, but also are committed to going back and improving what admins and other Salesforce ‘builders’ use day in, day out.  This guide takes you through our top 15 insights from the session (the recording can be found here).

Dynamic Forms 

Dynamic forms – the no. 1 asked-for feature, a decade in the making – received a lot of attention during this edition of True to the Core. 

While there was plenty of praise for dynamic forms, there were also suggestions for improvement. The two insights covered here were not the only mentions – watch the recording to hear about having a different layout for the ‘new’ versus the ‘edit’, having more than two columns per section within screen flows, and Salesforce’s roadmap on the visibility topic (in the next two releases).


1. Dynamic Forms: Spacing Options

“I recently reimagined the page layout for the opportunity object, and the users love the results. 

The reason that that was possible was dynamic forms and a couple of visibility filters. We all know that a good visual layout can make a huge difference in terms of usability. We don’t have any options for managing spacing, or adding color, or breaking up the page – and they seem like super easy add-ons. 

My previous concerns applied to end users, but for admin users dynamic forms also have a lot of pains. Why does every field need to be inside of a collapsible section that has a required title? I think if we had a basic container concept that didn’t have to be collapsible, that could solve both of these problems. You could add spacing by just having a container that has nothing in it, especially if you give me the ability to change the height. If I can set the background color,  boom, I could make a horizontal bar. 

Coupled with the fact there’s a visibility filter on it, this container would allow me to put in whatever other components I want, including dynamic forms fields. I would change my title to UI magician.”

– (Name not disclosed)

2. Dynamic Forms: Impact to Modal Window

“Dynamic forms, although they’re great, directly impact the new modal window. If you use it, you’re gonna blow up your new modal. I have lots of tabs with different dynamic forms in them, and every single one gets shoved right into the new modal. 

To get around that, I have to take the only insertion container you have, tabs, which requires putting labels on the top that I don’t actually want. Then apply a visibility filter on it that I have to then hack to filter by if the ID/created date doesn’t exist. Give me a container and give me direct control over what appears in the new modal window.”

– (Name not disclosed)

Kat Holmes, Salesforce’s Chief Design Officer, who is relatively new into her role, acknowledged that the Salesforce UI needs flexibility, but also there’s pain in the workarounds that we might encounter currently: 

“As I’ve come into this role, it’s been about making sure that we understand where all of those little barriers are, where the big challenges are, and really understanding how we’re going to start to pick away at those. We have a house with a foundation, we want to make that foundation solid for all of us. We have a team that’s lined up and digging into this, and we’re thinking about the experience roadmap and start tackling the shared platform level items.”

Kat Holmes, EVP, Chief Design Officer, Salesforce

“Thank you for your patience as we work through it. We’ve gone broad across both desktop and mobile, and there are a few corners that we have to round-off – like spacing components, custom page layouts, how do we make it the default on every new org, how do we get you from page layouts over to dynamic forms? We are taking dynamic forms very seriously.”

Khushwant Singh, SVP, Product Management, Experience Services, Salesforce

3. Salesforce Setup

“At TDX, it was stated that there isn’t a team of people dedicated to Setup. Setup is in a state of disrepair, with the UI feeling like it was built by 25 different teams who don’t communicate. Cheryl Feldman is helping admins fix Setup – she’s beyond amazing, but she is only one person, and can’t be responsible for all of Setup. 

Salesforce is clearly investing heavily and spinning up product teams for new AI features (which are getting investors extremely excited). However, at the heart of every Salesforce org are admins and developers who spent hours a day in Setup building and maintaining their orgs. 

What we need is an official, unified style guide for Setup and backend APIs that all product teams will be required to follow for all new innovations – plus, a target date that all existing pages in Setup will be updated to follow the new style guide. Will Salesforce commit to having a team that will own Setup by the next True to the Core?”

Andrew Russo, Salesforce Architect

Some examples of what Andrew referred to would be the pages still using the Classic UI (e.g. picklists), and ones that seem to have their unique look, such as Salesforce Path. On the bright side, it seems that Setup UI unification is on the horizon:  

“As part of this investment we are going to put engineers, working with Cheryl, on Setup. She’s been working with the community, and we’re going to work through this list for a better Setup experience.” 

Alice Steinglass, EVP/GM, Platform, Salesforce

4. List Views 

Before reading out this question, Parker joked that a timer should be set to answer the question, as it’s clearly a topic Khushwant is passionate about. 

“Why don’t we have nested sorting for list views? Most tools have a table function (like Excel, Google sheets). When are you going to enhance list views?”

– (Name not disclosed)

“The team has been investing in this over the last three releases, and we are almost at the finish line. 

We’re migrating our list views from Aura to LWC, so that we can build innovation on top. David Schmaier talked about additional teams being dedicated to this. Instead of doing the migration then adding innovation (like default sort, multi-sort, in-line editing), we’re going to go parallel [i.e. do the migration and innovation simultaneously]. My hope is that over the next two releases, we’ll see some of the innovation come through.”

Khushwant Singh, SVP, Product Management, Experience Services, Salesforce

5. Global Picklists

“I love global picklists because they allow me to fix the values for a set of values. However, I do many integrations, and sometimes the choice of values can be changed overnight from an integration – for example, dealing with SAP reference data, a new value comes up. 

But a global picklist requires setting up – a metadata modification. I know that there are unrestricted picklists, but I want to keep the restriction of the picklist. Sometimes, I have to drive to a custom object for the lookup but I don’t get the picklist. 

How can we keep the power of the global picklist while not needing a Sys Admin and a metadata deployment?”

Steve Simpson, Certified Technical Architect, Trailhead Instructor

“You’re not the first person who talked to me about picklists since I started this job. I would love to hear more about this – it’s definitely an area that we need to work on.” 

Alice Steinglass, EVP/GM, Platform, Salesforce

READ MORE: Global Picklists in Salesforce: Explained

6. Custom Address Fields

“Custom address fields if you want to prompt a user to input a custom address in a screen flow, into the address component, in an organization using state and country picklists, they’ll hit a ‘restricted picklist’ validation error because the flow is referencing the label rather than the name of the state/country. 

In general, I feel that address fields have inconsistent behavior. I recently made a before-save flow, set to fire with entry criteria when mailing state value is changed. When testing, the flow wouldn’t fire, until I changed the entry criteria to when the address is changed. 

Addresses have always felt over-engineered to me. Are there plans to make address fields behave like other fields, or at the very least, have addresses work in a consistent way? 

– David (surname not captured), consulting partner

Custom address fields were another long-standing request from the community (the idea had existed since 2007 before being delivered in the Winter ‘23 release). There are many scenarios and use cases that call for a custom Address field, and previously, we had no way to achieve this without creating multiple custom fields.

“[They are a] great example of something that can be tricky because across our organizational silos we’ve got the ‘flow way’ of looking at it, then there’s the actual base component that the base team is working on. I think you raise a good point – and it’s something that we should collaborate more on, to do some standardization.

Every time we’ve dug into addresses, we found that it’s one of those things that seems simple – iceberg style, where if it’s working right, you don’t think about it. However, addresses have a global language-specific aspect to them – they’re multi-field, composite – so, it’s not something that we do trivially. You’re highlighting that there are gaps in consistency, implementation, and architecture and that’s something we can look at.” 

– Alex (surname not captured), a Product Manager for Flow

READ MORE: Salesforce Custom Address Field: Tutorial

Salesforce Reports and Dashboards

7. Updates to Salesforce Native Reporting?

“Are you going to make updates to Salesforce native reporting?”

– (Name not disclosed)

Perhaps a vague question, but one that the Salesforce product teams have plenty to talk about with the enhancements that they’ve shipped over the past year, specifically around reporting now on Data Cloud. 

“We made a number of updates to Salesforce native reporting this year. Yes, we continue to invest. We have a growing product management team and development team. In case anyone didn’t see, you can actually use native reporting on Data Cloud now, so for all those who are using Data Cloud that’s also just released now in 246 [Winter ‘24].”

Southard Jones, Chief Product Officer, Tableau

“We’ve made a lot of changes in the last year. Report enhancements, we went over in our roadmap, such as filtering by the current user, and in-line editing. Reports are available for Data Cloud, beginning Winter 24. Apart from that we’re also investing in a bunch of True to the Core features.”

Ankita Dutta, Director, Product Management, CRM Analytics (including Lightning Reports and Dashboards)

8. Custom Report Types

“Report type builder was built in 2005, and sometimes you double-click and it doesn’t open. Every time I add a lookup field to a related lookup, it adds the object hierarchy, and changing that in mass is impossible. It becomes a massive effort just to create a custom report type.” 

Ohad Idan, MVP and Salesforce Consultant

“We have some really innovative ideas on how to completely rethink the report type builder.” 

Southard Jones, Chief Product Officer, Tableau

READ MORE: How to Create Salesforce Custom Report Types + Examples

9. Salesforce Reports Analyzer?

“In Winter ‘24, on the report run page while you’re waiting for the report to run (and waiting, and waiting) there’s a dancing Astro. 

In the Lightning page builder, as an admin there’s a widget that analyzes the page layout you’re building, tells you how performative it is (a detailed analysis of what is impacting that page layout’s performance), and ways that you can optimize an inefficient page layout. 

If we could have that instead of the ‘eye candy’ (dancing Astro), to tell us, for example that you’ve selected a report type but your report results don’t include any fields in one of the objects – maybe change the report type to drop that object, and you’ll have a more performative report.  Or, that your report filters are inefficient, like the contains function – we know that that’s not performative, but a lot of our users don’t. You could have Einstein analyze the report queries?

Users versus admins when creating reports – as admins, we’ve got access to Setup and know the config – but if that insight would be baked into the report, it would help users become better report builders.” 

Steve Molis, MVP and Salesforce Admin 

READ MORE: The Analyze Button: Improve Your Salesforce Lightning Page Load Speed

Parker Harris initially responded saying that someone has done work on query performance data that is visible to Salesforce, and combined machine learning, to identify what’s inefficient, why, and what to do. Parker was transparent that they had trouble getting it included in the report builder for various reasons – however, the good news is that while it’s not in report builder, it’s in Setup [Scale Center].

“I want to acknowledge that we’ve had a lot of feedback, and I do want to say that the dancing Astro hasn’t added to performance degradation. 

Performance is a journey for us. We have worked on improving it in the last few releases. The problem is org sizes keep growing, and the report performance doesn’t.

We are working on a whole performance roadmap, including looking at an optimizer tool similar to what you’re suggesting where it does tell you what filters don’t work, or how do you remove the groupings. We have an internal tool for that.”

Ankita Dutta, Director, Product Management, CRM Analytics (including Lightning Reports and Dashboards)

Scale Center became generally available this summer. It’s a product to view performance and scale insights, in one single place. 

The tool that Parker is talking about will be integrated into Scale Center in the upcoming release. We’ll have deeper insights about reports, dashboards and list views – and maybe we can figure out how to also put it directly into report builder in addition. “

Karishma Lalwani, Senior Director of Product Management, Platform Scalability Apps

READ MORE: Salesforce Scale Center: Now Generally Available

10. Web Runtime (LWR) vs Aura

“We’ve been told that all the developments are being done on LWR and development has stopped on Aura. Is that the way we’re going now?”

Dar Veverka, MVP and Salesforce Solution Architect

“Lightning web runtime (LWR) is a pure-play runtime, where you can only run lightning web components. It was designed for consumer-grade experiences, so that you can deliver sub-second page load times. The Aura runtime that we have today, that most Experience Cloud sites are built on, run using post-Aura components and lightning web components, but the page runtime is about 3-5 seconds and we’ve tried to optimize it as much as we can, but that’s the most we can get.

Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud are getting closer to the core platform. For commerce stores and marketing landing pages, you need to have consumer-facing portals with sub-second page load times. However, we have a large set of customers who are already on Aura – how do we help them get to LWR? The reality is most of our innovation is going into LWR, but we want to build a bridge. However, there will be specific cases, for example, the Einstein Search Assistant which we have built in Aura – so, where we see true needs, we’ll invest in Aura.”

Khushwant Singh, SVP, Product Management, Experience Services, Salesforce

There are three pillars that Salesforce are looking into: 

  1. Increase the number of out-of-the-box components from each of the various clouds (Commerce, Service, Sales, etc.) – and that’s very much active as we speak.
  2. How to convert Aura components to LWC using Einstein.
  3. Offer a bridge where Aura assets and Aura sites can be used, and bring them into the LWR side. This would mean we can benefit from the scale that LWR offers. 

11. Experience Cloud Deployments

“What can you do to make it less painful to promote Experience Cloud from sandbox to production? No matter what tool you use – if that’s Gearset or Copado, or god forbid you’re stuck in change sets – something fails [for example] your nav menu doesn’t go across. The native data API bundle is great, but it also has errors. Then, you get stuck in that six-week hell when your sandbox is in preview, production is the previous version, and you can’t even get your site over to production.”

Dar Veverka, MVP and Salesforce Solution Architect

“Experience Cloud ‘tends to be the tip of the spear’ which is exposing multiple features. Many times, it’s an amalgamation of capabilities owned by many teams, and we run into two major problems when it comes to deployments. 

  1. Metadata coverage: We have feature teams at Salesforce that we should all be doing a better job from a definition of done perspective to have metadata coverage. Otherwise, you move from one environment to the other, and you’ve got to go set up your configurations again. 
  2. Hard-coded IDs: We have components that are hard-coded IDs, meaning that when you go from one environment to the next, that ID is not there, so it breaks. 

Long story short, it’s something that is top of mind for us we want to fix it and we will get better over the next few releases”

Khushwant Singh, SVP, Product Management, Experience Services, Salesforce

12. Omnistudio

“I haven’t seen any roadmap through Dreamforce for where we’re going to take Omnistudio in the next releases. 

The other question is more philosophical. One of my team members asked: what’s the point of using Omnistudio? 

There are raptors, now we have HTTPS callouts in flows, so we could be using that with the very nice transformer module. For Omniscript, maybe we could do something in Flow Orchestrator? Why should I be doing Flexcards when I can build things in LWC, and it’s going to be following development standards. 

So, are we solving for the same thing twice, considering that development resources are scarce, is it duplicate work?”

– (Name not disclosed)

This question piqued David Schmaier’s interest, who founded Vlocity (now Salesforce Industries), and is now the Chief Product Officer at Salesforce. 

“Omnistudio capabilities came from Vlocity. We put these two teams together – Omnistudio and Flow – for a while, and it didn’t inspire flow…the team are still collaborating together. Some of the features in Flow are coming from that set of ideas [i.e. Omnistudio]. We’ve now moved [Omnistudio] back to the Industries team because there’s things that Omnistudio does [that flow doesn’t], being more about the ‘pixel perfect’ digital experience. Flow will provide those, too, over time –  as these will become the same, but they’re not going to become one immediately.”

David Schmaier, Chief Product Officer, Salesforce

Salesforce have achieved two things: 

  1. Put Omnistudio into the core Salesforce platform, which has made it faster and makes use of standard objects (not custom objects).
  2. Omnistudio runs across all 13 industry clouds, in what’s called the ‘industry common layer’.

13. Campaign Members

A question around campaign members was posed by an online attendee, which opened by expressing that the campaigns object hasn’t had more than one or two updates since Salesforce rolled it out 20 years ago. I can’t confirm this is true.

“One of the main issues has been campaign member statuses. [Asking for] more simple ways to update [statuses] at campaign creation with new campaign numbers statuses. Now there are many uses for campaigns, for both sales, marketing, and for nonprofits, will there be any more enhancements and Performance in UX?” 

– (Name not disclosed)

“There are a lot of changes coming to campaigns – in fact some of them have rolled out already with the Salesforce Starter project. We’re thinking bigger than campaign members. Just know that there are a ton of changes coming. It’s going to be more scalable, do a lot more, and connect to a lot more in Salesforce than it does today”. 

Jeanine Walters, Principal Architect, Software Engineering for Marketing Cloud

What a cliffhanger! Salesforce is open to connecting with the community on feedback around campaigns and marketing automation.

14. Salesforce Starter: Step 1 of Marketing Cloud on Core

A question around campaign members was posed – and before the question was even read or answered, Parker Harris, who was moderating the session, disclosed something that made me gasp: 

“I’m so excited about the Einstein 1 platform which is a fully integrated platform [which also means that we’re] rebuilding Marketing Cloud acquisitions to be [Salesforce] native”

Parker Harris, Co-Founder and CTO, Salesforce.

Salesforce Starter is a competitively priced edition for the small-medium business (SMB) market. Apparently, it will be the first version of marketing on core. Being speculative, we could see this as the testing ground. Parker did say that the capabilities will ‘grow up’ through to enterprise capabilities eventually, just like many of Salesforce’s offerings over the past two decades.

READ MORE: Marketers: What You May Have Missed From Dreamforce ’23

15. Certificates in the Keystore

“We have enterprise-level customers that have multiple orgs. One of the current challenges is that we have a lot of certificates in the Keystore – SAML, SSO, connected apps using JWT-based authentication, often 10 certificates or more in each org. 

The customer has asked why they need the admin to actually go in and manage the certificates through the UI. Perhaps they already have an enterprise tool that does certificate and PKI management, so why can’t they manage certification via the API, instead of someone doing it manually. Curious if this is something you had heard, or if there’s a plan to expand the API offerings for those Setup pieces that we have to do through the UI?”

– Clay, Consulting Partner in the Public Sector.

There seems to be a happy ending for this question, with a current solution available, and a promise of improvement:

“I know about the certificate management limited API capability. Fortunately, we do have a way of creating certificates through the metadata API, which we added a while ago. 

However I can’t speak to whether you can update the certificate that’s being used within all the features that use it. I know you can with Sites, in a limited way with a custom site – but for SAML, SSO, etc., I’m not entirely sure. This is fantastic feedback that we should take a closer look at, and more methodically ensure that the places where you can use the certificate, that you can change which certificate you’re using.”

Stephen Lawrence, Architect, Salesforce Sites and Mydomain

Bonus: Optimizer ‘Stealing’ Your Cursor

“When I’m in Lightning App Builder, page optimizer is great, but it is constantly stealing my cursor. I’m typing, and I hit space, and then it’s like ‘did you want to reload the page?’ – no I don’t want to reload the page, let me hit cancel, click back to where I was trying to click, start typing. If we could just run it as needed, that would be great.” 

– Rachel Beach, Admin at a Nonprofit organization

“This is common feedback – I believe there’s an Idea on the IdeaExchange for this. There’s an  unfortunate workaround to just shut it off versus annoying you. However, the team is working on this, looking into making it more relevant, to come up when you really need it.”

Khushwant Singh, SVP, Product Management, Experience Services, Salesforce


Parker Harris, who was moderating the session came across as genuine in his talk track in the opening, closing, and in between questions. He shared thoughts on how Salesforce could improve, with community involvement throughout the innovation cycles:

What was notable is Salesforce’s investment into their engineering teams, emphasized in the opening, as well as mentioned throughout. With all the AI announcements, this served as reassurance that Salesforce aren’t just chasing what’s ‘shiny and new’, but also are committed to going back and improving what admins and other Salesforce ‘builders’ use day in, day out.  
Watch the full session on Salesforce+ now.

The Author

Lucy Mazalon

Lucy heads up Operations at, Founder of THE DRIP and Salesforce Marketing Champion 2020.

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