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We are obsessed with feedback at Salesforce. We believe trust only exists when there is transparency — and strive to communicate openly and honestly with our customers at all times.

We love feedback so much that we created the IdeaExchange in 2006. It’s a place where members of the Salesforce community could suggest and vote on new product features to build. But as Bret Taylor shared in a recent article, much has changed since 2006. He reminded us: “There are now more than 65,000 ideas on the IdeaExchange, reaching a point where it is no longer conducive to fostering a meaningful dialogue with our community that helps shape the direction of our products.”

So, it almost goes without saying that it’s time to rebuild the IdeaExchange — of course, with your help.

However, while we reimagine the IdeaExchange community, we thought we'd give you an update on what's happening with all your requests. And in the spirit of transparency, here's a progress report — the first in a series called, “IdeaExchange Top Hits: Where Are They Now?”

 

What's the #1 most requested product feature?

 

About 11 years ago, one customer suggested that we make her life easier by designing dependent page layouts on the Salesforce platform. Since then, more than 8,000 Trailblazers have supported that idea — and hundreds have shared comments like “we need this pronto” and “will this ever see the day of light?” Our response is long overdue.

 

Who's driving the dynamic page layout roadmap?

 

Eric Jacobson is one of the technical minds behind the Lightning experience. As VP of Product Management, he considers dependent page layouts to be a “north star for Platform.” After years of roadblocks and delays, the roadmap is finally taking shape. We're excited to announce that a working pilot is now available for a select group of customers to test. The beta release is expected in the next year, with the final release being rolled out incrementally thereafter. Eric is confident this will create a more dynamic and powerful user experience, but he’s also asking for continued patience: “Bear with us. It’s taking longer than any of us would like.”

 

So, what’s the hold up?

 

Up until now, the platform wasn't capable of supporting dynamic page layouts. “You couldn’t deliver this feature in a way customers would want to use it with Classic,” said Eric. “The platform would have forced constant page refreshes to accommodate logic — and that wouldn't have been usable.” With usage of 30 million page layouts and more than 650,000 changes per week, we needed a solution that could scale with demand. This is where Lightning comes into play. Thanks to this new platform, Eric's team can now build upgraded page layouts with a lot more ease.

In order to get this off the ground, we need to first prepare the back-end infrastructure. (For the technical readers out there, that means rebuilding APIs and metadata from top to bottom.) That process will take time — which means a bit more waiting — but Eric believes it'll be worth it in the end.

Dependent page layouts will be one of a series of upgrades made possible by reinventing page layouts and integrating editing into the Lightning App Builder. This will also allow Eric to address more than a dozen top requested features on the IdeaExchange all at once, accounting for more than 200,000 IdeaExchange points. “We plan to deliver a product that is much more holistic, flexible, and dynamic.” He and his team are working hard to anticipate customer needs and deliver solutions customers that haven't even been thought of yet.

 

What will the end product look like?

 

We will introduce more flexible, customizable, and capable layouts with the following features:

  • Break up the Page: Take a single layout and place field sections onto different parts of a page
  • Enhance Dynamic Lightning Pages: Add conditional visibility for fields and sections
  • Client-side Validation: See validation rules evaluate immediately vs. when trying to save the record

 

Share your voice

 

This rebuild is obviously a massive undertaking. We are grateful for your continued support and involvement in this process. Because of your feedback on both IdeaExchange and social media, dynamic page layouts has become a top priority for us. All your tweets are making an impact, including this one: “When this idea was created, Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana.” (Makes us all feel old, right?) Just know that your voice continues to drive innovation here at Salesforce. We are excited that the pieces are finally in place to deliver on this long-awaited and much requested feature.

So, how can you get involved on the IdeaExchange? Here are a few options:

  • IdeaExchange Co-Innovation Roadshow: Join us in a city near you for an intimate discussion and feedback session on the IdeaExchange. Details and locations to be announced soon.
  • Follow #RoadtoIDXr on Twitter for real-time updates