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7 Best Beta Features in the Salesforce Winter 20 Release
Salesforce has made some pretty exciting changes in recent years. So, there was a lot of excitement surrounding their Winter 20 release. What makes this offering even more interesting is the inclusion of beta features. These features are not guaranteed to carry over into later releases. However, it's still fun to poke around and see what they do.
We've compiled a list of some of these new beta features, and how you could use them in your own set up. Some are a little esoteric, meaning that you might not even notice them or understand what they do from a user's perspective. But we love details, so we've pinpointed the ones you'll want to know.
Enhanced External Services: Better Connections for a Better Tomorrow
The External Services feature was initially introduced in the Spring 2019 release as a beta feature. It is still in beta and can be activated in all of the sandbox orgs. It's intended to be used to connect to outside services. All new registrations can benefit from using more-complex swagger2 schema, which disregards Apex word and character limitations. Users can also receive ongoing benefits as they are brought online.
Another feature is that if you find yourself editing or registering a new connection to an external service, then Enhanced External Services allows you to get upgraded features so that you save yourself time down the line. You will find this change in Lightning Experience in Enterprise, Performance Unlimited, and Developer Editions.
To use this new feature, you need to turn it on first and register new external services. This is done in the same way that you did it before, so there aren't any new steps that you need to be aware of. All of the actions that you take will be generated as External Service Actions inside Flow Builder.
If you want to recreate existing registrations so that you can receive the new Enhanced External Services benefits, then you need to do a few things. Copy the name, schema, and characteristics of existing registrations and place them into a new registration. You will also need to update the flows that use the old Apex Action to the new External Service Action. The last step is to delete the old registration.
Einstein Search: A Smarter Way to Work in Salesforce
Einstein Search lets you search faster and more meaningfully by providing you with more actionable results. At the time of this writing, this feature is currently only available in English. The results give you a tailored set of search items that make the overall search experience all the more intelligent and useful.
The idea behind Einstein Search is that provides enterprise clients with better search results. When used properly, it will empower users with search results that will facilitate in completing a sale or resolving an issue that is specific to their environment.
Another issue Einstein Search hopes to tackle is the presence of information silos within enterprise organizations. These silos often form between departments, making the flow of information and communication difficult. Getting relevant search data quickly and easy, can help break down information silos.
Some data is also not suitable for searching due to confidentiality issues or privacy concerns. Einstein search hopes to help with the five most frequently searched objects. Currently, these results are limited to accounts, opportunities, contacts, cases and leads. But more objects will be added over time.
Einstein uses Salesforce AI, which provides an advanced layer of machine learning to traditional search technologies. Each user will be able to personalize their results, giving them a more organic and relevant search experience in CRM.
Read Right to Left in Reports and Dashboards
Reports and Dashboards now offer support for right-to-left languages — and locales such as Hebrew, Urdu, and Arabic. Hebrew and Arabic are offered as end-user languages, while Urdu is a platform language. These changes allow for more regional customizations and readability in these markets.
Reports and Dashboards have been restructured so that the flow is better and are they are more readable. The reasoning behind these changes is that when a user is working with a right-to-left language, parts of the report builder translate the language, but the layout is still displayed in left to right. This affects readability and is not an optimal user experience.
Keep Your URLs Alive in Lightning Experience
If you are using hard-coded references in your company's original URL then you might have issues when you enable My Domain. Instead, you will need to use the Hard-Coded URLs tab that is found in the Lightning Experience Configuration Converter.
This will help you identify and remove all of the hard-coded URLs in place and update them. The Hard-Coded URLs tab is a new enhancement that replaces the Hard-Coded URLs section of the Lightning Experience Readiness check.
You will find this feature in Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic in Enterprise, Professional, Performance, Unlimited and Developer editions that have My Domain enabled. In order to activate this feature, you will need to enable the Customize Application and Modify All data permission options.
This tool basically replaces all of the static references to your original URL with new My Domain URLs. You can change the URLs one at a time or in batches depending on your preferred approach.
Profile-Specific Search: Putting the Pro in Profile
The revamped search features in the Winter 20 release extend to Profile-specific search results. If you need detailed information about specific role players, you should be able to get that information from your searches. There are profile-specific layouts that allow you to customize and fine-tune the search results for each object within the unique profiles within your organization.
This feature applies to Lighting Experience in Unlimited, Enterprise, and Performance editions. In order to use the profile-specific search results layouts, you will need the Einstein Search Permission set license.
To set up the search results layouts for an object based on a user profile you can do one of two things. The first is to enter search layouts in the Quick Find box and then select Search Layouts. The second option is to go to Object Manager, select an object, and then choose Search Layouts.
Report Basics: Row-Level Formulas, Field-to-Field Filters, Unique Value Counts
There are more exciting new features in the Reports and Dashboards department. Updates were made to the tools that will help you fine tune the information they return. Row-level formulas give you a better understanding of the data in your reports. You can use field filters to sift through data to get the most relevant information that relates to your queries. The new count summary feature gives you an idea of how many unique results were returned in your report, as well as in each individual group.
There are many new features within this update including row-level formulas. This allows for search results that are fed into your reports to have formulas applied directly to the corresponding rows. This means that there is no need to export data into a spreadsheet to apply formulas. It can be done directly inside the report. New filters mean that you can now compare values from two different fields, allowing you to create more dynamic reports with better data input and range selection.
It's Back: Count Unique Values in Report Results
This feature lets you see how many distinct values there are in s report by giving a unique count. This helps with readability in most instances as multiple results with the same value will be numbered, instead of being displayed repetitively.
These results will appear as a grand total at the bottom of each report as a subtotal for each of the groups that you are querying.
The Winter 20 release includes a lot of promising updates and new features. While not all of them will make into to later releases, they are worth the time to explore. If you know how to leverage features that become mainstays, you're ahead of the curve — and your organization is already benefiting from those features.
If you would like to take a technical deep dive into the details of this release, check out the official Salesforce release notes. New to Salesforce or Salesforce Lightning? CBT Nuggets trainer Jamie Grettum has training to get you up to speed.