It has been fascinating to see internally how quickly the Chatter Publisher Actions have changed the way we use Salesforce. Put simply, this feature allows an administrator the abiltiy to define actions that sit inside the Chatter Publisher, below is an example of adding a Publisher Action to a Property custom object. Here we are giving our users the ability to quickly and easily create new Listings (another custom object) directly in the Chatter Feed.
Sound like something you could use? What type of ideas are you thinking about, which new application will you build that is heavy with inline analytics?
Not sure about you, I always found the Developer Console to be a bit crowded and not the easiest to use. With Summer '13 the Developer Console has been redesigned to give it a slick, more IDE look. Tabs have been migrated into a menubar to clean the interface, log, tests, problems etc have been moved down in tabs to the bottom and they have also included Apex code completion. Yes, thats right, Apex code completion in the Developer Console with Summer '13.
Force.com Canvas is GA with the Summer '13 release. I first wrote about this feature after Dreamforce last year, back then it only allowed you to embed an application on the Chatter tab, but boy should you see it now. Not only can you now embed Canvas applications inside a Visualforce page to place windows to external applications on Accounts, Contact or custom object pages you can add multiple apps to the same page. This release of Canvas also provides a framework for sending messages between these two external applications! See Ryan Upton demo this feature as he and Samantha Ready walk through their favourite features in the Developer Webinar.
Some interesting enhancements around Apex, however I think the biggest one is Chatter in Apex (or the feature formerly know a Connect in Apex). If you have ever written triggers against the FeedItem or similar Chatter objects then this is the enhancement you have been waiting for, my favourite application of this so far is simple object creation. We had a requirement to allow Chatter users, via their Chatter mobile applications, the ability to create an object and assign it to a team member. We built a trigger that fired on insert of a FeedItem, searched for a pre-defined #tag and created that object. The team member that was @mentioned in that post was set as the owner and a workflow was fired as the result of creation of the new object.
We are changing the endpoints for the API in this release. Prior to Summer '13 the endpoint for the API was instance-api.salesforce.com, API endpoints now use a hostname of the form instance.salesforce.com. Now I know that no one would need to update their code for this change because who hard codes things like the API endpoint URL, right?...... RIGHT? However I thought I would mention this as something that is a curiosity and nothing more.
On top of this, there are another slew of additions to all the APIs along with enhacements to sandboxes (can you data template?) and the further additions to the Metadata API (Approval Processes!).
There are over 270 pages of enhancements and new features documented in the full release notes, definitely something worth downloading and reading. So go get the release notes and find out which features are important to you.