Winter ‘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 either as a comment on this post in the Trailblazer Community (just don’t forget the hashtag #Winter21Treasure!)
Even though we are only a couple of days in, there have already been discoveries within Winter ’21 that are sure to blow your mind! Here are my top personal favourites discovered so far:
1. Flows Can Handle Deletions
This is a BIG one! From my understanding, there’s not been a straight-forward, easy way for non-programmatic admins to handle deleted records… until now! All you need to do is create a new Record-Triggered Flow, select if you want to build in Freeform or Autolayout mode (WHAAAT?! I’ll come to this later), and select when the Flow is to be triggered by clicking on the Start element. Simple!
One thing to note, you can’t run an ‘After Delete’ Flow, only ‘Before Delete’. This is different to Create or Edit Flows.
2. Analyze Lightning Pages to Improve Speed & Performance
Have you ever built a big, beautiful Lightning Page for an object and hyped it up as an ‘exciting new change’ to your users, only to have them come grumbling back to you about how slow it is? Well, those grumbles will be no more!
There’s a new ‘Analyze’ button at the top of the Lightning App Builder that will tell you if you should make some changes to give your users a better experience.
3. Autolayout Flows
When creating a new Flow, you’re now able to select from the original ‘Freeform’ mode or the new Autolayout mode. If you’ve used Pardot’s Engagement Program Builder, you’ll feel right at home!
The Flow starts at the top and Elements are added along the line by clicking the + icon, as opposed to dragging them in from the panel on the left.
I once used the ‘Inspect’ tool in Chrome to replace the text on the release notes to convince a few colleagues who were obsessive about getting the lines in a Flow to be straight that Salesforce had released an auto-layout tool. When they figured out the release notes were fake, they weren’t happy. Hopefully I’m off the hook now that it’s real!
4. Debug Flow as Specific User
Once ‘User Impersonation’ has been enabled in Process Automation Settings, you’ll be able to debug a Flow as any user within your org. This makes the process of testing a Flow for everyone in the system a lot quicker and easier.
5. Trigger Flows on Record Conditions
You can now choose if a Triggered Flow runs every time, or only when a record meets specific criteria, similar to Process Builder. For example, in the screenshot below I’m working on a Flow that will trigger any time a Lead record is converted.
Thanks for the find Rakesh Gupta!
6. Automatically add New Fields to Custom Report Types
One of the most painful things I dealt with (and many of my clients and colleagues) when learning to use Custom Report Types was the fact that new fields wouldn’t be immediately accessible, unless I added them in. You’ll just need to enable it in the Reports and Dashboards Settings, and away you go!
7. Access Deleted Fields
There’s a brand new easy way to access your deleted fields. Once on an object and in the Fields and Relationships menu, there’s a new button that makes this super easy. From here, you can choose to permanently erase the field or restore it.
There’s been a minor tweak to the Object Manager List View. Instead of ‘Custom’ being a checkbox column on the right-hand-side, there’s now a new ‘Type’ column that identifies Objects.
8. Optimizer Can be Scheduled
Salesforce Optimizer assists you as an Admin to configure their org in a way that keeps customizations clean and simple. Optimizer got a makeover in Summer ’20, and you can now have the Optimizer app run automatically every month to ensure that minor changes don’t have a negative impact, and if they do then they’re caught and allow you to get back on course before things spiral into a major chaotic mess.
Thanks for the find Parik Dhody!
9. Restricted Profile Cloning
With this feature enabled, you won’t have to worry about any nasty surprises when features are enabled for your org after you’ve built custom Profiles (ie. someone getting access without your knowing when it’s enabled for the entire environment.
This feature can be enabled in User Management Settings:
Thanks for the find Raja Kumar Pallepati!
10. Easily Manage Subscription from Setup
This one’s nothing too crazy, but you can now manage your subscription (ie. buy more licenses) from any screen – simply click on the cog up the top right and click Subscription Management, where you’ll be taken to the checkout.
There you have it! Those are my favourite features that have been uncovered so far. There’s stacks more out there to be found, and I’d encourage you to sign up to a pre-release org yourself and see what you can find.