Salesforce Lightning is getting ready for prime-time.
With the Salesforce Spring ‘17 release, the Lightning user interface is noticeably faster and more enjoyable to navigate, with pages loading smoothly and much more quickly. Couple that with some super impressive enhancements and this release brings the tipping point of a large-scale user migration to Lightning closer and more inevitable than ever.
Here are some of the most salient elements of the Spring ‘17 release through our eyes.
There are a ton of great enhancements around Files. One of the biggest changes we’re seeing is with Files versus Attachments. As Salesforce users know, they are not the same. Attachments have smaller limits and don’t allow for previews inside of the SFDC UI. Files (Chatter Files) are much more flexible, can be up to 2 GB, allow metadata customization and previews inside of the UI. Overall, we love the broader flexibility of Files.
Attachments are being phased out and can’t be uploaded to records in the Lightning UI. Starting in the next release (Summer ‘17), users won’t be able to use the Notes & Attachments related list to attach files to records in Lightning Experience and will need to use the Files related list instead. Start planning for the transition now by adding the Files related list to your record layouts.
Deeper Google Apps Integration
The integration with Google’s G Suite is being reengineered. Salesforce integrated more tightly years ago, but then retreated from that somewhat, and now the integration is back in full force. With Lightning for Gmail and a fancy new Chrome extension, users get a Salesforce sidebar inside of Gmail which provides contextual information for contacts when viewing email from them, or sending a new one, inside of Gmail.
For the Gmail sidebar integration – Enable the Lightning for Gmail tab and get the Lightning for Gmail Chrome extension. That is fairly straightforward.
The Lightning Sync for Events setup is now similar to the Salesforce for Outlook configurations, providing more granular options. The setup process can be complicated, though it’s a one-time setup.
For additional help setting up Lightning Sync for Google (Calendar and Contacts) check out this post.
With the new Utility Bar, you’ll have quick access to up to ten items at the bottom of your Lightning app. If you’re using a Classic app (set of tabs), simply migrate that to a Lightning app and customize it. Very cool and super useful.
Filtering Reports with URL parameters in Lightning Experience
The “URL hack” is (almost) back. Users can filter reports using parameters passed in through the URL. This is a great for flexibility when linking from external sources to a specific report. This shows Salesforce is still using URL parameters in Lightning, which potentially provides broader customization possibilities for admins and developers alike.
The Kanban View
The Kanban View is now available on (almost) any list view and with sub-tabs for different record types. It’s not yet available on Tasks, though.
Person Accounts in Lightning
Support in Lightning began in beta a year ago, and more features continue rolling out. Multiple new features make switching to Lightning much easier for those using Person Accounts and waiting to transition.
This release removes one major sticking point, which was the inability to customize the Person Account page. Better support for Person Accounts when relating contacts to multiple accounts enhances the usability of this feature even further.
Financial Services Cloud
Add business entities to households, create relationship groups, add an individual client to multiple households to visualize financial relationships, create Cases from financial accounts, sync account and contact owners, and more! You can read more about some of the great new enhancements here.
Our developers are looking at a few useful new features, including the Predictive Vision Service REST API, significant OAuth Enhancements for Connected Apps, support for IoT devices, better Lightning Component debugging in-browser, the lightning:container tag for building apps using third-party libraries and the ability to share Lightning Apps with non-authenticated users.
Visualforce enhancements include baking the Lightning Design System right in, and removing a ton of boilerplate code formerly required to migrate old pages to the new styling. Several changes to the API, including the new Lightning API and Apex enhancements, provide better access to Files and more reliable testing.
There is a lot to love in this release for developers.
Finally, the funniest Idea that was delivered in this release:
We could make this post another hundred pages long, at which point it would simply turn into the release notes themselves. Though the enhancements don’t make it perfect and there is still work to be done, Salesforce is making great strides with Lightning. You can check out all of the shiny things for yourself here.
While you’re checking out the new Lightning features, check out this video of ProcessComposer in the Lightning UI.