Spring ’21 Treasure Hunt: Preview Orgs Are Live!

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Spring ‘21 pre-release orgs are live, so it’s time for a preview party! We’re gifted with some wonderful improvements to the platform we love. The exciting period of time where the changes are released in preview orgs kicked off towards the end of last week, where we are able to explore features before they’re pushed to Production, and play freely without any impact to our business operations. Now is the ideal time to learn how we can harness these new powers to our advantage when they are released (full details here).

As usual, there’s a unique Trailhead Treasure Hunter badge that you can earn by posting about treasures you discover! You’ll need to post your treasure as a comment on this post in the Trailblazer Community (just don’t forget the hashtag #Spring21Treasure!)

Even though we are only a couple of days in, there have already been discoveries within Spring ’21 that are sure to blow your mind! Here are my top personal favourites discovered so far:

1. Manual Record Sharing

Finally! I can’t be the only one who’s been looking forward to this becoming a standard Lightning feature for as long as I can remember, right?!

I discovered the “Sharing” quick action in the screenshot below from the standard Opportunity page in the preview org:

Your users can now share their record using a standard Lightning UI and grant ‘Read’ or ‘Read Write’ access to other users or groups of their choice.

2. Time Based Flow Actions

I’ve said it before (and will repeat it until it becomes the common truth): Flow will soon be the ONLY tool that a functional Admin uses to create Salesforce automation.

Flow is adopting features from other Salesforce automation tools left, right, and centre. Today, you can set time-based actions from within a Record-Triggered Flow, exactly like Process Builder can. This was a gap that Flow had that stopped a lot of my colleagues and clients from shifting to Flows completely.

On the Start Element of a Record-Triggered Flow*, you’ll see a ‘Scheduled Paths’ option, similar to the below.

Note: this is only available in Freeform layout, not Auto-Layout as yet.

From there, you can configure multiple scheduled paths. In this example, I’m sending an email a week after the Send Date of the first on a custom object called Scheduled Email.

This is a major step in the right direction, enabling Flow to replace Process Builder almost completely.

3. Guidance Center

The new in-app learning within the Guidance Center has incredible potential to not only empower but SUPERPOWER your users. It may seem like an extra icon in the top navigation bar that is easy for users to ignore, but as an Admin, you should ensure that’s not the case in your org. With any platform, having user documentation or ‘playbooks’ are nice, but having In-App Guidance right there where your users need it – at the click of a button – is invaluable.

The Guidance Center is completely customisable. You can show your users anything they’ll need to see for their role and for your business.

It’s worth noting that the In-App Guidance is part of myTrailhead (paid extra, with a 30 day free trial).

4. Screen Element Layout Changes (Multi-Column Support)

Screen Flows allow user data to be collected and used in a Flow. Now in Spring ’21, Admins can configure smarter screens and make use of wider monitors by adding columns into a Screen. The new Section component is a configurable layout that allows up to 12 columns to be added to a page.

5. Prior Value in Record-Triggered Flows

Accessing prior values of records is something that’s been available to developers through Apex forever, but it’s finally something that’s coming to Flows in Spring ’21.

As mentioned by Rakesh Gupta, this will be particularly helpful when working with Multi-Select Picklist fields.

6. Localization Support in Lightning App Builder

Users can now have their own custom labels for Lightning Components. Use custom labels to translate Lightning Components into different languages, perfect for orgs with users from multiple locales.

Thanks for the find M Hamza!

7. Rich Text Emails in Flow Actions

Rich Text email templates (saved as a Text Template variable) can be used within the Send Email action!

Simply customise your text within the Text Template, and populate it into the Body field to use it as the email body.

Thanks for the find Rakesh Gupta!

BONUS: New Key Prefixes

Dan’s (@FishOfPrey) got a keen eye! A bunch of new key prefixes within new pre-release orgs as part of API Version 51.0.

A key prefix is the first 3 digits of a record ID that indicates the object. For example, every Contact record begins with 003, so a Contact record ID would look like 003D0000001aH2A.

Here’s a list below:

Thanks for the find Daniel Ballinger @FishOfPrey!


There you have it! Those are my favourite features that have been uncovered so far. This feels like a leaner release feature-wise so far, but the changes that have been delivered are quite impactful.

This is very much the case when it comes to Flow, as it’s pulled one of the few features from Process Builder that it didn’t have yet (Time Based Actions). It’ll be exciting to see some of the more hidden features when the Release Notes come out on December 21st.

Sign up to a pre-release org yourself and see what you can find.

3 thoughts on “Spring ’21 Treasure Hunt: Preview Orgs Are Live!

  1. Thank you, Tim, for the list of goodies.
    I’ve noticed that the Manual Sharing is missing the ‘Reason’ column.

  2. I am wondering if they implement some toggle for flows letting them run in system context instead of user context. This is currently a privilege to process builder and scheduled flows. Since these are now natively available through flows – would be a good opportunity.

  3. The Spring ’21 release notes originally had a whole section about a new Loyalty management feature that was to be released, but this seems to have been removed from the release notes. Does anyone know anything further about this?

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