Since Lightning was released just over 2 years ago it has been met with mixed reviews and feedback. No one can doubt that the “Experience” has definitely improved with every release, and its also becoming evident that Lighting is definitely here to stay. As for classic? Well, lets have a look at the features that were added to classic..
Lightning Experience Migration Assistant
A couple releases ago, Salesforce released the Lightning Experience Migration Assistant. This is a feature designed to help admins assess and determine how the move might go, as well as, going through the actual set up process of moving to Lightning (this is from a high level of course, no assistance with code or other customized features).
As part of the Winter ‘18 release there have been additional enhancements made to the Assistant in order to encourage and assist admins who are considering the move over from Classic. The first aspect of the Assistant is the Readiness report, which as part of this release has been given a facelift. They are now providing more details in the Readiness report to give additional support to your executive sponsors of why moving over to Lightning makes sense. And in some cases they will also provide you an estimate on effort. If you don’t get the estimate though, you will be able to register for a free consultation. On the other hand, as a side note, I have also learned that there is now an accelerator provided by Salesforce specifically for those who have not started down the road yet but want to know what will be involved to become Lightning ready.
Lightning for Outlook
If you aren’t already using it, Lightning for Outlook is an amazing plugin that works with both Gmail and Outlook to help your Sales folks be more productive in their day-to-day activities. As part of the release, an update will be added that will your users to more easily find the contact/ lead they are looking and remember it the next time. “The new interface makes it easy to identify the number of matching records, and relate email content to the Salesforce records your reps choose.” — I am hoping that this will help my end users with the issue of not being able to select a lead when a contact already exists.
I don’t know about you, but I love using Process Builder (click not code!) but many times I have myself in need of hard coding a User ID or a Queue ID. Well, luckily as part of this release, those days will finally be behind us! As well as this additional feature, you can now access encrypted fields from within your processes and also trigger processes when a Platform Event occurs.
The beginning of the end for Classic?
The company I work for, and many others out there, are still using Salesforce Classic 100% of the time. This poses an interesting thought when looking at the Winter ‘18 release because the number of features for Classic are significantly dwindling. This new release, from a Classic point of view, is only offering about 5 new/updated features, which then begs the question, is this the beginning of the end for Classic?
I have spoken to several colleagues about this question and many seem to agree that with this release and the previous one (which actually switched the checkbox on a User from “Lightning User” to “Classic User”) that there is a strong feeling of drive towards switching to Lightning.
I also found that there was some subtle wording in the release notes that indicating Salesforce relaying this message: “…either exclusively for a few releases or in tandem with Lightning Experience as it evolves…” To me this indicates that they expect users to start moving over to Lightning in higher numbers over the next few releases. This in fact was enough motivation to get my company starting to think about having a conversation around Lightning. However, we do unfortunately fall into that category of a company that has lot of custom VF that will need reworking into Lightning Components.
Whatever your view on Lightning with this upcoming release, you better consider it into your roadmap if you want to get ahold of new features!