Winter ‘23 preview orgs are live, so it’s time for a preview party! The exciting period of time when changes are available in preview orgs (note that this link will not work until Preview Org Sign-Ups are live on December 16) is about to kick off – we will then be able to explore the new Salesforce release features before they’re pushed to Production. It’s the ideal time to learn how we can harness these new powers when they are released officially (full details here).
As usual, there should be a unique Trailhead Treasure Hunter badge up for grabs – earn this by posting about the treasures you discover (as a comment on this post in the Trailblazer Community with the hashtag #Winter23Treasure).
Alright, alright, alright… Even though we are only a few days in, I have already made Winter ’23 discoveries that are sure to blow your mind! Here are my personal favorites so far…
New Flow Filter Operators – In/Not In
Here’s another long-requested feature that is finally being added into Flow – we now have the ability to check if a value is IN or NOT IN a Collection of variables. Rather than using a hacked-together solution with multiple Loops, Decisions, Assignments, and duplicate Collections – something that wasn’t very scalable when it came to the number of Elements it would execute, you can now do it directly inside the Data Elements (Get, Create, Update, Delete Elements).
In the example above, the requirement is to get a Collection of Leads where the Id is contained within another Collection of Text Variables (in this case, Lead Ids). And… that’s it! It’s so simple now – just a quick check to make sure that the Id is in the Collection, and you’re on your way. It’s super clean, and will make a huge difference when building flows.
Multi-Select Lookup in Screen Flow
Normally the term “Multi-Select” makes some Salesforce enthusiasts gnash their teeth in anger, but in this case, it’s a great thing! The Winter ‘23 update allows for the maximum number of record selections in a Lookup element to be increased from 1.
If you are looking to build a Screen Flow and need your users to select multiple records, you don’t have to implement a Custom Data Table component (or an out-of-the-box one!) to do so. Now you can empower your end users to select multiple records in a single field.
Update Related Records for Record-Triggered Flows
I’ve been an advocate for replacing what I call “Legacy Automations” (i.e. Workflow Rules and Processes/Process Builder) with Salesforce Flow for far longer than most. When I first saw Record-Triggered Flows being released, I started trying to figure out ways to build out new declarative automation using nothing but flows (sometimes to my detriment).
When I see new features like this – some of the very few features that Process Builder can perform but Flow struggles to – I get super excited. With Salesforce Flow already becoming the only declarative automation tool that Salesforce will be supporting in the future, it makes sense that any remaining Process features that aren’t currently available in Flow will make their debut in no time at all.
Flow Datatable Component (Native!)
I’ve been using and recommending the custom Flow Datatable Component built by Eric Smith and the team at UnofficialSF – it’s been by far one of the most valuable custom Flow components, and I use it on a regular basis. With Winter ‘23, it looks like Salesforce themselves are taking notice as there is a new, out-of-the-box Data Table component for Screen Flows!
I only came across this after reading Adam White’s post on the Unofficial SF blog, but had to push this towards the top of my list as I can see it being one of the most valuable, if not the most valuable Flow feature in this release.
I am unable to get it working at the moment in the org I have access to, but have provided screenshots from Adam’s post (which you can read by following the link above).
Search Canvas Elements in Salesforce Flow
This will go down as another of those small updates that has a dramatic impact on Salesforce Flow building efficiency – rather than scrolling through the list of new Elements you could create, you can simply type to search for it instead.
Personally, this will be something I use all the time – I have no idea where most Setup Menu items are because I use the Quick Find bar so much. I feel like this feature will be something I use in a similar way – constantly.
Flow Builder Toolbox UI Changes
After creating my first Screen Flow in the Winter ‘23 preview org, I was greeted by a refreshed Flow Builder interface with a collapsible Toolbox and a reassuring pop-up letting me know that nothing had been entirely removed, just neatly tucked out of the way!
Just to confirm – it’s the very same Toolbox that you’ve come to know and love in the modern Flow Builder, only now it’s collapsible to give you a slightly larger canvas. You also have a new “Select Elements” button so you can manipulate multiple Elements at once. Neat!
Larger Screen Flow Editor Modal
I only realized this one after I went back to trying to edit Screen Flows in a Spring ‘22 org and felt extremely cramped – in Winter ‘23, the pop-up modal that displays when editing a Screen element in a Screen Flow takes up significantly more of your screen, giving you room to breathe when editing!
This is particularly beneficial when working with Screen elements with multiple columns, giving you a more realistic view of what your end users will see when they interact with your flow.
Enhanced Domains Required
I won’t go into the specifics of it in this post, but there have been some huge changes as to how major browsers are handling cookies, which is resulting in Salesforce changing the way their domains work. You can read more about Salesforce’s Enhanced Domains here, but the big news with Winter ‘23 is that they will be required for all sandboxes and non-production orgs starting in this release.
When you log in to one of the Preview Orgs (I retained mine from last time), you will be greeted with a banner along the top with the following message, and a link to enable enhanced domains:
“Enhanced domains are enforced in Spring ’23. We recommend that you test and deploy this high-impact feature before enforcement”.
Clicking the link will take you to the Salesforce Help article I referenced earlier and guide you through how to perform the update. In short, this can be done in the My Domain page in Setup.
Bonus: What’s Not Here Yet – Migrate to Flow (Process Builder)
The death of Workflow Rule and Process Builder in favor of Salesforce Flow is something I’m excited to see play out. Salesforce already has a Migrate to Flow tool available that can move Workflow Rules to Flow with just a few clicks, and one of the biggest questions I get is this: “When will I be able to migrate Processes to Salesforce Flow the same way I can with Workflow Rules?”
This was one of the first things I checked when I saw the new Winter ‘23 logo with Brandy the Fox, and I can now confirm that the Migrate to Flow tool does not support Process migration… yet! It is coming, and it’s looking like it will be in the very next release – Spring ‘23 (estimated release in February 2023).
I have included a copy of Salesforce’s Retirement Timeline for Workflow Rules and Processes for your reference. In the meantime, you may want to consider an alternative method for moving to Salesforce Flow: the Rebuild and Enhance method. I’ve written about this in the past, which you can read about in more detail below:
- Migrate Salesforce Workflow Rules & Process Builder to Flow
- How Many Flows Should You Have Per Object?
- How to Structure Your Record-Triggered Flow Strategy
- Ultimate Salesforce Flow Foundation Course (50% off until August 31st, 2022!)
There you have it! These are my favorite features (uncovered so far!), including a few that I’ve read about but not yet been lucky enough to get my hands on. As usual, there are a handful of larger upgrades and a plethora of smaller ones that are going to make for an even more polished experience for admins, developers (both declarative and programmatic), and end users alike.
It’ll be exciting to see some of the more hidden features come to light when the Salesforce Release Notes are released on August 17, 2022.
Don’t forget to sign up to a pre-release org to see what you can find – remember that the link will not work until Preview Org Sign-Ups are live from August 11, 2022.