Another release has dropped into our AP1 pods so I thought I would take some time to run through some of the highlights from the 90 new features that have arrived in the latest release.

Chatter Publisher Actions

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. 

Publisher Actions


Well, I guess the first thing to mention here is that Dashboards are now available in the iPhone version of Touch, so now along with your iPad users, iPhone users can also access the dashboards they have permissions to view on their phone. The biggest analytics news with this release is the Analytics API, a programatic means of accessing your report data in Salesforce! This has been released as an invitation only, closed pilot but a full release should be on the way shortly. Build your report using the report builder that everyone is familiar with today and using the Analytics API you will be able to call to that report in code and retrieve a JSON string of the metadata and data to allow you to dynamically build visualisations anywhere in your application. Do you have a favourite Javascript visualisation tool? No worries, this is what the Analytics API is built for. 

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?

Developer Console

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.

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 10.28.38 AM

Canvas is Generally Available 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. 


Apex and Visualforce

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.

Some new  Visualforce tags are available in this release as well, support:clickToDial and chatter:userPhotoUpload are now available. For those who are building HTML5 applications using VF there is a lot more control of how this page renders now, allowing developers to suppress html and body tags and also to specify a cache manifest for offline storage. For those interested in Javascript Remoting, check out the OAuth authentication option now available and also know that the default timeout for JS remoting is also configurable.  


We are changing the endpoints for the API in this release. Prior to Summer '13 the endpoint for the API was, API endpoints now use a hostname of the form 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.