Top 5 Fave Spring ’18 Features

Spring is in the air and everyone is buzzing about the new Spring ’18 release features. Now that we’ve had a chance to test them out, our very own King Koo is excited to once again share the Top 5 favorites. Make sure you read the full article for the bonus feature that is deemed a hidden gem.

1. Customizing Navigation Bar

One of the things we loved about Classic was the ability to customize the navigation bar of apps. This feature is now available in Lightning, but even better! In Classic, you can add any custom tabs, Web tabs, or Visualforce tabs to your navigation bar, and you can do all that in Lightning and more. In Lightning, you can now add a specific record detail page, a specific report or dashboard as a tab, and assign it a name that means something to you. This really puts you in the driver seat because you have the ability to quickly access items that you need the most. You might even think of this as an alternative way to access your Favorites (which was released a year ago in Spring ‘17). Kindly note, you can only do the above for Lightning apps, so we strongly advise to upgrading your Classic apps, if you have not already done so.

2. Theming & Branding

Did you check out the video demoing the navigation bar below? You might have noticed our Third Wavers in the background image and that the header has a slightly different background from what you’re used to seeing. That’s right, theming and branding have arrived! While Winter ‘18 introduced the very basics, Spring ‘18 steps it up so you can now designate your own color and background images on any page including chatter pages and your personal profile page. We fully anticipate this is only the beginning and will become easier and easier for you to bring your brand into your Salesforce instance. Be sure to note, that even though theming and branding applies across your instance, the admin has the ability to keep app-level branding the way it is, if you prefer not to apply theming and branding to all apps.

3. Paths on Standard Objects

Path (previously known as Sales Path) was introduced back in Spring ’15…how time flies. We hope that by now you are using it or have at least heard of it. Path is great because it gives you a visual indication of where you are in your workflow, what the key information and best practice is, and what you need to do to move to the next stage. Path was first rolled out for a few standard objects and then extended to include all custom objects in Spring ‘17. Since then, a few standard objects are still left without paths, but this release sees it finally implemented for campaigns, accounts and cases. While we still look forward to contacts joining the family, you can currently use them to track if your prospect account has become a customer; where you are in your long-term global campaign; or to determine what you need to do to close those difficult support cases.

4. Enhancements to Analytics

Lightning Report Builder was introduced last season. Even though it is still in its beta, more and more features are now available. You can now do bucketing, cross filtering, role hierarchy filtering, and summary formulas. This bridges more gaps that have been existing between the Classic and Lightning versions. In the dashboard world, two very popular wishes have been granted in this release: You are now able to customize the color used in your dashboards, and you can now subscribe to dashboards! The latter is huge because so many users rely on these dashboards being emailed to them every morning so that they can make more informed decisions.

5. Audience Targeting in Communities

Audience targeting in Community Cloud used to be at the page level. That means if you would like to provide location specific content to five of your major markets, you need to prepare five pages, which can grow to become a maintenance nightmare. Starting in Spring 18, you are now able to perform audience targeting at the component level. You can consolidate all the information on one page, and use Audience Targeting to determine whether to show or hide the component depending on the location of your community member. What’s more, you can also use your Salesforce’s User data as part of your audience criteria.

BONUS. New Built-In Formulas

We decided to put this one in as our hidden gem because it is partially undocumented from Salesforce’s own release notes. So, consider it like a “hidden track” that was once popular with music CD’s (for those who remember what those are). When creating formula fields, there are now new date functions like AddMonths, WeekDay; some new functions to support the new Time datatype such as Hour, MilliSecond, Minute, Second, TimeNow, TimeValue; and then some other functions like CurrencyRate, MCeiling and MFloor. Since these are for the most part undocumented, we do not want to speculate what they are used for, but make sure to google them from time to time. Salesforce is aware of the lack of documentation and is working on it. Regardless, we think this is great because these predefined functions help make them simpler to write, not to mention the ongoing battle with 4000-character limits on formula field size.

There you have it! We hope you are as excited about the updates as we are. Until the Summer ’18 release, have fun exploring and testing them all out. And if you haven’t made the switch to Lightning yet, what are you waiting for? Check out why it’s time and don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for support.

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