All posts in Salesforce

Salesforce Spring ’18 Release Notes Review

Spring is in the air… if you are in the Northern Hemisphere… in Australia (where I am) it is stinking hot Summer in the air.

By now your sandboxes have been updated and you should be wondering when will that Bear be watering my production environment. The answer is Feb 11 (for APAC orgs.)

Below I have reviewed the release notes and provided a greatest hits list for some of the new features that caught my eye. Please reach out if you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them.

Lightning Changes

Personalized Navigation

Lightning Apps allow Admins to select the Tabs that will be available to users, but with this feature, the power to customise the application tabs is in the hands of your users (like it was in classic.) Users can reorder, remove and rename the tabs in their application.


Themes in Lightning Experience

Last release Lightning introduced the coloured background to increase the contrast within the application, now these can be customised to your preferences or branding guidelines.

Create themes that control the colours, banners, images and avatars for your org. The themes can be applied at the org level and at the application level.



Salesforce is changing the URL used in Lightning Experience. The new format is now readable, for example:

  • Current format: https://<>/one/
  • New format: https://<>/lightning/o/Account/home

This feature needs to be enabled in all orgs that were created prior to Spring ‘18.


Quick Text and Macros

Macros are available in Lightning apps on most standard and custom objects. Quick text joins your Lightning Experience toolbox. is now the Lightning Platform has been renamed Lightning Platform. That is all.


Path Updates

The Path feature is now available on Cases, Accounts and Campaigns.


Collapsible Sections Lightning Component

There is a new component in town, think of it like the Salesforce Tabs Component but vertically stacked. You can put any other component within a section of the component.


Salesforce Surveys

I imagine that there would be a lot of businesses on the AppExchange that are concerned that Salesforce has built their own functionality for what was a classic and well used flatform extension.

Surveys can be added to Lightning Pages and Communities. This will be a fantastic way to collect information.


Duplicate Jobs

Administrators can now run a duplicate job check to get all the records that match the defined duplicate rules. This will make keeping a database nice and clean.



This release see’s the Salesforce Flow engine get a massive upgrade. The tool seems to be getting more and more customisable. These features seem to require the standard flow engine to be extended with the help of Lightning Components and code (which means you’ll need a developer.)

Some of the noteworthy features:

  • Customise the styling of a flow with a lightning component.
  • Upload files into a flow
  • Override the standard header and footer of a flow
  • Launch Flows into subtabs of lightning console apps
  • Launch a flow from an object specific action
  • Bulk flow handling improvements


LinkedIn Advertising Integration with Leads

Link your LinkedIn advertisements with Salesforce Leads. This integration will allow a mapping from your LinkedIn advertisement into your Lead object.



Shield platform encryption keeps getting attention and featured. This release brings many new features to the table for those customers who require encryption of their customer database.

Some of the notable features:

  • Bring your own key. Now you don’t have to use the Salesforce generated key, but can generate one yourself and upload it to Salesforce.
  • More fields are available for encryption on Contracts and Opportunities now.
  • Encryption can be applied to Activities, Emails, Email to Case and the name of a custom object (pilot feature.)
  • Include encryption fields in duplicate matching rules.
  • Mass decrypt fields. If you want to make a change to the fields that you encrypt or change a tenant secret, then you can now disable encryption for a field and the system will decrypt it automatically.
  • Check your encryption coverage statistics.


Sales Cloud Features

Lead Conversion Control

The Lead conversion process can now be controlled by your administrators. Take control over the default Opportunity creation process when a Lead is created or hide the section all together.


Campaign Enhancements

The Campaign page now has a quick component which allows Leads, Contacts and Person Accounts to all be added to a Campaign from the one screen. From the Campaign Members related list, click Add Contacts.


Opportunity Splits now in Lightning

That is all.


Service Cloud Essentials

A new Service Cloud license has been created called Service Cloud Essentials. This is targeted at Small businesses looking to build their CRM customer services platform. Not much more detail on this yet, but looks to target those smaller businesses that usually look elsewhere when they see the Salesforce sticker price.


Social Customer Service

Social Customer Service gets an overhaul this release with the ability to view even more information about your customers social presence, sentiment and author labels.


Lightning Experience Report Builder

Still in Beta but with heaps of new features added, the Lightning Experience Report Builder now lets you use buckets, cross filter records, summarise data and use formula columns.


Salesforce Winter ’18 Release Notes: a tardy review!

Author: James Keaney

I know Spring ’18 is around the corner, but I thought I would back fill my release notes summaries. (Apologies for the tardiness of this post.) There were some big changes in the Lightning Experience features in Salesforce’s latest release, and I am pleased to have reviewed the release notes to bring you this post of the features that I think are the most notable. I hope everyone has had a great break over the New Year!


Lightning Experience Gets a New Look and Feel

The biggest change in this release was the UI updates made to the Lightning Design System. Most notable is the new blue background colour that you would be used to by now. This can be hidden and reverted back to the uniform grey white. This background will become fully customised in one of the upcoming releases.

Leads: Speed Through Lead Conversions with Added Flexibility

The Lead conversion process has been upgraded in this release. Now users can enjoy the feature parity with the old classic conversion process. The new conversion screen allows users to create new Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities from the Lead, as well as being able to take advantage of the matching rules engine to match an existing record.

Expand Your Reps’ Email Reach with List Email

Emails can now be send from list views to multiple contact, lead and person accounts. This will merge fields as well. This is one of those features that users have expected but lived without for years.

Edit More Records at Once with Mass Inline Editing

List views can now edit records in line, up to 200 at a time.

Route Work to Agents in Lightning Experience (Generally Available)

Omni Channel is now GA in Lightning. This means that the Case routing feature that allows you to switch the way you take on cases in your business is available in the nw Lightning Experience. Agents can now accept or reject Cases based on their skills and status. This also includes the ability to push web chats to agents.

Build Macros and Save Time in Lightning Experience

Actions can now be built by agents using Macro’s in Lightning. Build a macro for your team to quickly close a case or put bulk Cases on hold.

Use Case Milestones in Lightning Experience

Milestones and Entitlements are now support in lightning experience. This includes a new lightning component which shows the time and details of the current support milestone on a Case record.

Chat with Customers in Lightning Experience

Web Chat is now fully supported in Lightning. The console now comes alive with chats that can be routed through Omni Channel into a window which allows you to communicate live with your customers, view their past chats and even link to a Case record.

Lightning Report Builder (Beta)

Orgs can turn on the Lightning Report Builder to try out the brand new reporting engine that you will get to know and love this year. The report build is build with the new design in mind and include automatic report type selection based on your groupings, edit charts in the builder. Keep in mind that this is in beta and includes a long list of features that are not supported. You can hand this out to individual users with a permission set if you want to try it out.

Embed Dashboards on the Home Tab and in Lightning Apps

Dashboards can now be added to the home page app in Lightning experience. This is a big win for ensuring that the right information is in the right place for your users.

Make Your Lightning Pages Dynamic

Lightning pages can be set up to be made Dynamic. This means that you can control the visibility of a component based on the record attributes. For example, for a Case which is for a Contact that is not in the system, display the create new Contact flow that will create the record and link it to the case on the screen. If the Contact is linked, then the flow will be hidden.

View Related List Data Quickly with Related List Quick Links

A new component has been introduced which allows you to hover and view related lists in lightning the same way that used to be in Classic!

Track Time with the Time Field Type (Beta)

There is a new field type in town: time! This can be used to track the time of cases, events and project management. To support using time in formulas, this beta release introduces the TIMEVALUE and TIMENOW functions, as well as new HOUR, MINUTE, SECOND and MILLISECOND functions.


Thank you for your time and attention. If you have any questions please reach out to me and the team at Cludo.

Salesforce Summer ’17 Release: Service Cloud is now on the Lightning Experience

James Keaney – Director and co-founder at Cludo

This weekend Salesforce will upgrade their platform to the Summer ’17 release. This release will bring the Service Console on to the Lightning Experience.  I have singled out some of the new Service Console release features that modernise the Service Cloud with the Lightning Experience.

Service Console:  The Service Console is now Generally Available in the Lightning Experience.  The console allows you to view multiple related records in one multi-tab interface.

Split View:  view a list view on the left of your screen to keep track of any list of records that you need to work on.  Manage your assigned Cases efficiently. 

Compact Case Feed:  The case feed is now easy on the eye in Lightning.  Get a quick look at the details in the feed and expand it out to view the full details.

Case Hovers:  View a Case’s details with just a hover, this includes the the latest updates from the feed.

Omni Channel for Lightning:  Omni Channel is now beta in Lightning.  Have your staff manage their availability and accept the Cases that need routing.

Keyboard Shortcuts: This was mentioned in my first post, but this will be a real boon for support staff looking to process Cases and records quickly.

Person Accounts: they are now supported in the Lightning Service Console.

Social Posts:  reply to social posts from the case feed.  This works for Twitter and Facebook posts.

Support Entitlements for Lightning: This feature is on the way to being fully supported in Lightning.  Some related lists from Classic do not yet work.  I would expect this in the next 1-2 releases.

Lightning Knowledge: The Knowledge feature is now Generally Available in Lightning. View and associate articles with Cases in the new interface.

Release Notes:

Upgrade Times:

AP4: June 11th 3am EAST

AP1: June 11th 3am EAST

AP2: June 11th 4am EAST

AP5: June 11th 5am EAST

AP3: June 11th 5am EAST

AP0: June 11th 5am EAST

Salesforce Summer ’17 Release: Google and Microsoft Integration

James Keaney, Director & Co-Founder

Integrating your email and calendar with Salesforce is one of the most valuable features you can enable for your users.  It will drive adoption and make the platform work for your team.  An example of this is the new Contact sync feature:  now a Sales rep can keep their Contacts up to date in Salesforce, from within Outlook or Gmail and know that the details that they keep up to date in Salesforce will automatically be synced down to their phone via their Contact address book.  Personally, this is my favourite feature.

Summer 17 on June 11 will enhance this integration yet again.  Some of the noteworthy enhancements are listed below:

Relate whilst you compose: relate emails to records whilst you compose them.  This will save your Sales reps time navigating back to their sent items to associate an email to a Contact.

Lightning Email Templates: Create, share and use lightning email templates from within Lightning for Gmail/Outlook.  Make it quick and easy to send repeatable content to customers and prospects.

Stay logged into Lightning for Gmail:  Salesforce session will be preserved now.  No more logging in every 4 hours.

Attachment selector: choose which attachments to save to Salesforce.

Events stay up to date:  Now when your events are sync’d through Lightning for Gmail and that event changes, those changes will be kept in sync.

Contact Sync:  Contacts can be sync’d between Salesforce and Google in both directions now. (Careful!)

Sync Frequency:  Contacts and Events will now sync more frequently with Gmail and Outlook.  

Salesforce Summer ’17 – Features for Admins

James Keaney, Director of Solution Architecture 

Salesforce will upgrade their platform on June 11 to the Summer ’17 release.  Last week I covered some of the new features that I am looking forward to.  This week I have a few new features that I think will make Salesforce Administrators lives easier.

Package Path:  Now you can migrate the Path metadata between environments.  Admins who have implemented Path will be thankful for the amount of time it will save them copying and pasting text and re-selecting the key fields.

Flow Lightning App component: add your visual flows to Lightning Record Pages. This feature is generally available now.  This is the best thing since sliced bread if you are a flow guru.

Launch Flows in Lightning runtime from buttons, links and custom tabs:  Visual flows are now executable in the Lightning Experience.  This now works within the new environment so no more blank screens and empty windows.

Flow redirect: use a retURL parameter to control where your flow returns when executed from the Lightning runtime.

Dynamic flow screen fields: This pilot allows you to select which fields on the UI of a visual Flow display based on user input.

New Setup look and feel: the Setup has been given another lick of paint.  The Setup resembles the Console allowing for multiple tabs for each of the setup options.

Migrate Communities:  You can now move communities between orgs.  This will make administrators lives much simpler when creating or updating a community portal.

Salesforce Summer ’17 Release Dates and Overview

James Keaney | Director of Solution Architecture 

Summer ’17 is coming June 11 (in Australia) so it is time for me to give you a quick run through of my favourite features that caught my attention as I ‘digested’ the release notes.

I encourage you to peruse through these items and see what catches your attention.  If you are a Salesforce user already, please send me a message if you would like to discuss these features and how they might be turned on for you.

Upgrade Times:
AP4: June 11th 3am EAST
AP1: June 11th 3am EAST
AP2: June 11th 4am EAST
AP5: June 11th 5am EAST
AP3: June 11th 5am EAST
AP0: June 11th 5am EAST

Lightning focus: Salesforce have updated the Lightning experience migration assistant to help customers check their readiness for the migration as well as trying to prove out the value of the new interface.  If you want to migrate to Lightning, this assistant will help inform you.  I would also recommend talking to an expert who will give it to you straight.

Lightning off: You can now make the Lightning Experience the only interface for your users.  No more classic.  If you’re game.

Keyboard shortcuts: Users can now interact with records using their keyboard. I recommend issuing out some communications after Summer 17 goes live to your users to instruct them on the useful shortcuts.

To view the available keyboard shortcuts, press:
Windows: Ctrl+/
macOS: Cmd+/

Lightning Console Apps: The beta Lightning Console is now generally available. If your users prefer to have access to multiple records at a time, then this is feature that you can easily turn on and make available for your users. (Think Service Console for Lightning.)

Field History in Lightning: This is one of those features that was missing from the get go that made little sense to the average admin punter. Now you can add the related list to your Lightning pages that shows you the Field History on your records.

Lead Account Matching: Account matching when converting Leads is being improved so that it is in line with how it works in Classic. You will be able to have multiple matches and even match against person accounts.

New Contact Record: Now when you create a Contact from an Account record you will inherit the phone numbers and address from the Account.

Lightning Dialer: Lightning Voice has been renamed Lightning Dialer. This is the integrated way to make calls from Salesforce through your telephony system. The dialer now supports a call list so users can add records to the call list that the dialer will queue up automatically.

Classic Email Templates in Lightning: Classic templates can now be accessed from the Lightning Send Email Activity. This is good.

Lightning Email Composer: Compose messages in a new pop out editor that allows you to edit the email whilst continuing to use Salesforce. Your email signature will now be added into the editor so you can see the whole message as your recipient will receive it.

Kanban by Owner: Group the Kanban view by owner. This is a good way to view the workload of your teams and allows your to change the owner with a simple drag and drop.

Duplicate checking between Contacts and Leads: check for duplicates with the new standard rules that check for the same record that may exist already as a Lead or Contact.

Surface Duplicates across objects: create duplicate rules that check for duplicate records between two objects.

Dashboard filters: Add filters to your dashboards from Lightning Experience.

Combination Charts: plot two sets of data on the one chart within a Dashboard. Nice one!

Create Report and Dashboard folders in Lightning Experience: Another one of those “I can’t believe I have to go back to Classic for this…”

Customise the Files Details Page: create custom fields, pages, buttons for files. This takes files to the next level and becomes a viable option as a light document management system in Salesforce.

Drag and Drop Files: drag files onto a record to quickly upload it to Salesforce.

Validation Rules on Files: collect quality information on your files when your users upload them to records. A new two step upload process will ensure users follow a naming convention or set the appropriate field for a file.

Maximising value from your Salesforce investment

Ian Goodwin, Managing Director

Recently I was speaking with a client who asked, “How do we ensure we get maximum value from a Salesforce solution?” She went on to say, “Many of the people I talk to who have implemented Salesforce are frustrated that, in spite of the platform’s great features, they are not getting the benefits they expect. How do we ensure we’re not one of these?”

These questions led me to reflect on a career spanning over two decades where I have worked on countless technology programs and projects across a range industries and led the delivery of CRM solutions into a range of organisations. You name it and I’ve seen it – the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve seen fantastic CRM technology well implemented yet not achieve any of the expected business outcomes.  

So what is the sweet spot in delivering a vibrant, viable and effective Salesforce CRM solution? What do organisations considering a CRM solution need to focus on to ensure objectives are met, desired outcomes are produced and expected value is delivered? Fundamentally, it’s about delivering an effective capability. And in my book, effective capability delivery is achieved through the synthesis of 3 elements – alignment, execution and managing change.  

The first element, alignment, reflects the criticality of ensuring the envisaged solution is positioned to achieve the results the organisation expects. It’s about clarifying objectives, outcomes and value expectations. To help establish this, ask “what does the solution need to do?”, “what does the organisation expect to get?” and “how will it be measured?”.

The second element, execution, is about ensuring not only that that the work defined in the project plan is completed, but that there is a coordinated focus on the People, Process and Technology dimensions that combine to deliver the CRM capability. At the end of the day, Salesforce, for all its brilliance, is a tool, so unless the other non-technology pieces of the puzzle are comprehensively addressed, the expected results of a CRM initiative will typically fail to be realised.

The third critical element is managing change to ensure effective user adoption of the CRM solution. This is about bringing users on the CRM journey and transitioning to a better way of operating by providing adequate levels of training and support to ensure the new CRM technology and related processes are adopted and that the change ‘sticks’.

Put these 3 elements together and you will have a viable and effective Salesforce CRM capability that hits the sweet spot and delivers expected business outcomes and benefits.
Obviously synthesising these elements is easier said than done, however with the right Salesforce delivery partner, you can start your journey with confidence.

Want to know more? Get in touch 


Salesforce Spring ’17 Update Has Landed | Bonus Post

Spring ’17 is here.  But what does that mean?

In a nutshell it means that Salesforce have upgraded their platform (this happens 3 times per year.)  This release includes some new features within the lightning interface that being it in line with the functionality of the older Salesforce Classic interface.

If you want an overview of some of the specific features that I am excited about, please look back to my previous posts:

If you are an admin, create a new application for your users to use the new Lighting Console for Sales or Service.  Remember to pilot it first with a small set of users and provide instructions for changing between apps and/or interfaces.

Bonus feature review:

Salesforce Reports and Dashboards get some enhancements that will make lives in Lighting much more productive:

  • Users can now subscribe to reports in the Lighting Experience (previously only available in Classic)
  • Reports can be filtered via URL parameters. This used to be a feature in Classic that was achievable via a URL hack.  Now it is a fully supported Salesforce feature for the Lightning Experience.  This means that you can now place links within your record pages to reports and filter them based off of data from the source record.
  • Dashboards are now visible as other users in the Lighting Experience (previously only available in the Classic interface.)
  • Use chatter within Dashboards to share report charts.  This will be a great way to bring users into a conversations about actual performance.
  • Funnel and Scatter charts are now available in Lighting Experience Dashboards.  Now you can represent your pipeline as a funnel (like it always should of been!)

Salesforce Spring ’17 Einstein, Service Cloud & Communities Update Review

Salesforce Einstein

Salesforce has been buying up AI companies in the last 12 months and we are now starting to see these feature trickle into the Salesforce platform with the Spring ‘17 release.

Sales Cloud Einstein

Sales Cloud will get the first set of AI features on the platform.  Salesforce is introducing these features slowly as I think they are busy working on the real production ready version of AI which we will likely see in 2018.

Some of the features that AI does bring this year though is:

  • Automatic logging of your emails to the appropriate Account, Contact, Opportunity record.
  • Automatic lead scoring (0-99) based on the attributes of the Lead record
  • Smart insights on your Opportunities (smart alerts, predictions)
  • Account Insights through news and key business developments


The big one for Service is the new Lightning Console.  This makes Lightning a real thing for customers using Classic Console apps.  (Though the migration between these two would likely not be a quick project…)

The other new feature for Service is that Knowledge is now available in Lightning.

There is not much else to report within the Service Cloud, but do not underestimate these two new features.  They are a massive deal for Service Cloud customers as it brings them onto the Lightning platform.


Spring ‘17 brings a large amount of changes to the Communities product.  This is a product that Salesforce intends to grow and sell to new and existing customers.  It is a powerful product that can allow your customers to interact with your business directly as well as enabling a community around a product or your brand.

Some of the new updates to Communities that I think are worth mentioning are:

  • If you are on a version of a community template prior to Oct 2015, then you will need to upgrade your template.
  • Lightning Bolt gets more functionality.  Lightning Bolt is what Salesforce call managed packages on the AppExchange for custom Community offerings.  This will make setting up a community for your business processes even easier.  It will mean that your requirements might have already been built and optimised by one of Salesforce’s many ISV’s or consulting partners.
  • Custom Lightning Components can now be created specifically for communities.
  • Reports and Dashboards can now be added to communities pages
  • Create new records from lookups.  Just like your internal users do in Lightning, this is now available to your community users
  • Tasks are now available in Communities
  • Kanban modifications can now be given to community users.  This is a feature that was mentioned in a previous blog post of mine.  It will mean list views are able to be visualised and customised by community users.
  • Community Workspace is now the hub for all activity relating to your community.  All the tools are now accessible in the one place: builder, administrator and your dashboards.

Salesforce Spring ’17 Google Integration Review

Now, I know not everyone in the business world uses G Suite for their email, calendar and apps, but for those who do, Salesforce bringing their integrations to G Suite is the best and most welcome feature in a long while.

Lightning for Gmail

This is the best. I have been using the pilot for a few months now allowing me to be able to view the Contacts, Accounts and other information right from Gmail. Operating Salesforce from Gmail is a massive time saver.  It is also a great way to ensure that the data you have in your org is clean and present.  As emails have all the Account and Contact details in user signatures, it is easy to use the Lightning sidebar in Gmail to create and update records.

Now that this feature goes mainstream (from pilot to beta) it gets the addition of:

  • Inline editing in gmail (never leave GMAIL!!!!)
  • Drill down into a records detail, lists, chatter and activities
  • Relate emails to records with Enhanced email. (Brilliant!) The Enhanced email object is now an object that represents an Email, gone are the days of an Email being logged as a type of Task.

Admins and developers will now be able to customise the way that Lightning for Gmail is presented to users.  Customising the objects and components that are delivered.  Gmail + Salesforce now becomes a weapon.

Lightning Sync for Google

This integration connects a user’s Google Calendar and Google Contacts to Salesforce.  All in the background.  Now Sales reps can manage their days or weeks and know that the activities are being logged and assigned automatically to the right Contacts and Accounts.

The new feature here is that Contact sync is available.  This will make keeping an address book up to date between the two systems.

How hard is it to set up these Google integrations?

Not that hard, because Salesforce and Google are both cloud apps, they both utilise a framework that makes connecting these applications relatively straightforward.  As it is all cloud based, it means that rolling out these features requires turning them on, no software to install in Outlook.

Microsoft Integration

All of the above mentioned with the Google integration applies to the Microsoft Integration.   These features require Exchange to either be run from Office 365 or on the latest version if run internally.  So the tricky bit for a business is spending the effort on migrating to Exchange 2016 or Office 365.

Salesforce for Outlook

One thing I do want to get off my chest is that Salesforce for Outlook might seem like it brings all the features to the table if you are on an earlier version of Exchange, but the nature of rolling this software out makes it a painful thing to manage for IT teams.  In my view, the effort is best spent to migrate to the latest version of Exchange or Office 365.

Thanks again for reading.  Looking forward to the Spring ’17 update in a few weeks.

James Keaney | james dot keaney at cludo dot com dot au