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Winter 22 Release Notes: What I Liked

Here are some of the features that are not related to Flows from the upcoming Salesforce Winter 22 release that I found interesting.

Salesforce Release Notes are now available and they can be viewed in the new Salesforce Help site.

When reading through the entire release notes I was looking at things that will impact the way I use Salesforce. As a Salesforce Functional Architect this ranges from things that might be minor in nature that have an impact in setting up or rolling out Salesforce, or it could drastic changes in Salesforce related to access or automation. There are many more changes that I might not touch on at all, so I urge everyone to go through the release notes on their own as well.

As I write this the new Help pages are sluggish and slow, making the process of going through such a long document a very frustrating experience. So I recommend that you download the notes in PDF format by clicking on the buttont on the top right of the page for a better reading experience.
Restriction Rules For Sharing

The best practice for sharing data in Salesforce has been to provide the most basic permissions required at profile and object level and then figure out how to provide more to people who needed more as there was no way to take away data access permissions on an exceptional basis; until now. With Restriction rules you can set an arbitrary exception to a criteria of data and the side effect of this will be an increase in sharing complexity.

I will think twice before implementing this in bigger orgs with already complicated sharing calculations to avoid any major overheads at system level. This is a great feature on paper, but I would urge everyone to exercise a lot of caution with this due to the implications it has.

Sharing Rule For Products

This is yet another legacy limitation that has been taken away and we can now set visibility for Products and share it at a more granular level as opposed to adopting hacks to show and hide products and their details among users in the system.

Dynamic Gauges

I have never been a fan of hard-coding things and due to this reason I have avoided gauge charts in Salesforce Dashboards as much as possible. That is changing for good now with an option to set dynamic values which would make this chart actually useful beyond sales demoes. That said, I haven’t seen it in my pre-release org as yet as features are still being gradully rolled out for testing.

Hierarchial roll-ups

This is for Einstein Analytics aka Tableau CRM. Rolling up values to create different summaries were not always simple in Data Prep. It has now been updated to work as everyone expects it to work. The value now rolls-up to different levels if the data is being summarised at multiple levels.

Salesforce Functions

Functions is finally GA, but I still don’t know what the pircing implication will be for this feature which will let you create custom code that might require more compute than what Salesforce generally offers. The fallback has always been to create an external service in AWS or Heroku and invoke them via API, but this led to consuming of other limits such as the one for callout. Based on the documentation, my guess is that it is being powered by Heroku.

Clamp Down on Browser Extensions

Apparently CORS could now be used to clampdown on access to Salesforce APIs by browser extensions. This is a big one from an enterprise security perspective. Do note that this is whitelist and extensions not on the list will not be be able to request resources. My reading is that this will affect use of browser extensions like Salesforce Inspector.

Custom values in Forecast Categories

The default values available in Forecast Categories made little sense for most industries and their sales processes. So this change that lets you change the existing values and even add new ones is a big improvement in terms of onboarding customers to a platform. There are still a lot of these rigid parts of Salesforce sometimes adds friction in Salesforce setup and I’m happy to see that list grow shorter with each release.

New Product Alert: Workforce Management

A lot of companies have their entire support and field service teams on Salesforce, but there is no easy way to understand how the teams are aligned from an availability perspective or how evenly the work is distributed without going down the route of custom development. Omni-Supervisor view provides a good snapshot for the moment, but it doesn’t capture trends and what-if analysis that is required by staffing teams. That is the context for this product and it will be an additional purchase listed at $50/user/month (ouch).

Salesforce Data Pipeline changes

An ETL tool within Salesforce has always sounded too crazy to be true and we finally received it in the last release in the form of Salesforce Data Pipeline. This release has made the process of setting up connections required for this much simpler. I’m yet to work in a project that is using this though.

Start Preparing For MFA Changes

Muli-Factor Authentication is going to become mandatory going forward so please start preparing for this change. If you’re using SSO then start looking at what MFA tools are supported by your SSO provider. This is a very important change from your security purpose and should not be ignored.

Flow Related Changes

There are so many that I can see and I will go into those in more detail in a separate post.

Salesforce Industries

Pay a lot of attention to the products that come under Salesforce Industries. A lot of the functionality here will be the key to implementations in the future. Think of the them as Flow on steroids. I will write separately about this.

Easier B2B Commerce

Setting up B2B commerce site is now like setting up a regular community and I wish B2C has this capability sooner or later as well.

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