Please help me welcome two of my favorite guest bloggers, Mike Gerholdt and Mike Farrington to kick off the MVP Corner in style. Mike and Mike square off to tackle their favorite Spring '12 features. So without further ado...take it away Mikes!
I don’t think it’s fair to reduce the over 170 pages of release notes to a few bullet points. For Spring ‘12 Salesforce has packed the release with a ton of features. That said, as an Admin I go through the release notes with what I consider the WIIFM Factor- or the “What’s in it for me” factor. And oh my, there is a lot in it for Admins who want happy users. Let’s get started.
I know the release notes state that Chatter Messenger is in pilot, but believe me this will be a great thing when it goes GA. Before I started this post I made a list of the ways I collaborate with users and at one point I just quit because the term fragmentation came to mind. Chatter messenger helps clean up the fragmentation! Now I can realistically start dumping email and my IM for Chatter and Chatter messenger. So let’s put the WIIFM factor on this for users- this means you start and stay in Salesforce for all your collaboration needs.
Ok, how many times have you said “Where is that Chatter post you put up about ….?” I wish I had a nickle for everytime I said that. Well, bookmarks to the rescue! This feature may seem minor but the ability to bookmark and recall a vital chatter message could be key to closing a sale or making a customer happy. I’m excited for both of these features because they decrease the number of reasons for a user to not use Chatter.
Attach Files in Chatter Comments
When you finish reading this post go to your orgs Chatter feed and check to see how many posts say “Where is that document that....?” And see how many comments there are telling the user where to find it. I bet its a few. Now reimagine just being able to serve up that document or file in a comment. Done and done in Spring ‘12. In fact, these three enhancements to Chatter make email look like a telegraphy.
I’ve literally saved the best for last. So say it with me “Cross-Object Workflow” [exhale]. Yes, that is the double rainbow Button-Click Admins have been waiting for and the much needed features to give developers a few extra moments in their day. I’m already thinking of some of the great workflows I can create to have a custom child object updated from an Account (Standard Object).
I don’t want to sell some of the features I’m excited in short- like Social Accounts and Cloud Flow designer, but at some point I should let the other Michael get his moment in the limelight. However, I consider these four the jab-cross-hook-upper cut combination.
I agree, there is A LOT packed into Spring ’12 for developers too. I found it pretty easy to make my platform picks, however, because several enhancements (in my opinion) will open up the most possibilities for my cloud coding kin out there.
Salesforce Mobile SDK
Speaking of opening up possibilities, what’s better than a helpful SDK? Dreamforce 2011 keynotes included the word “mobile” 528 times (I just made that up) and they are backing up that trend with the goods to get developers mobilized! A kit to handle OAuth and tokens, data on the device, and allows you to develop for iOs or Android using HTML5 and Visualforce? Gotta love it.
Dynamic Visualforce Components
This is a big one… you can now create elements on a Visualforce Page using Apex. If you’re a “Model-View-Controller” veteran you know exactly how helpful it can be to create or manipulate elements through your code. As someone who creates managed packages designed to work in any given org every “dynamic ____” enhancement that has come out has ended up being invaluable; I anticipate this will be no different.
Paging Using the OFFSET Clause (Developer Preview)
How many times have you heard a developer say, “I would have coded it this way… BUT I would have had to handle pagination”? Pagination is annoying (that’s right I said it). But the new SOQL keyword OFFSET sounds like it will be a big help in this department. I can’t wait to try it out… might help me turn a new page in my developer experience (yeah, said that too).
Not one of my “picks”, but wanted to include a heads up that test classes you create going forward DO NOT have access to data in the org by default, they must create their own test data. So no more “Select Id from Account limit 1” bologna.
There you have it for the “blue side of Saasy”. Happy coding, everybody! Mike, I enjoyed being the Ebert to your Siskel… we’ll have to do this again some time!
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