Even though for those of us in New England it feels like Winter just ended, Summer 18 is right around the corner and the release notes are out. (I have to admit, I am not sure about the Summer 18 logo though. First, I’d never want to go snorkeling with a bear. It’s not that I’m scared of bears, but swimming with one just isn’t really on my to-do list. Second, is this particular bear looks like it’s stalking you a little. Like it’s coming out of the lake after it’s been spying on you for a while. Maybe I’m projecting some deep-seeded terror here, but I am not looking forward to that bear staring at me every time a page refreshes for 4 months until Winter 19 comes out.) Back to the release itself – I sound like a broken record with this, but it’s another big one. A lot of Einstein improvements across all of the clouds (including the highly anticipated Chat Bots in Service Cloud) really stand out to me and I think we’re getting to a tipping point with Einstein. It’s been a while since the Einstein announcement and Salesforce has been steadily beefing it up and embedding it across all of the clouds. With Summer 18, if you step back and look at all of the AI enhanced features we now can choose from, it’s pretty impressive. Maybe it’s just me, but I think Einstein is no longer just a curiosity, it is officially a major feature for Salesforce.
For the Summer 18 write-ups, we’re going to break this write-up into four parts which I’ve detailed below. This post will be all about Sales Cloud, Einstein for Sales and platform changes.
- Part 1 (this post!) – Sales Cloud, Platform and Einstein for Sales
- Part 2 – Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning
- Part 3 – Communities, Chatter and Files
- Part 4 – Einstein Bots for Service
As always, there’s no particular order outside of my own excitement around the features. At this point, the assumption is you need Lightning to use these features, but if something also works in Classic I’ll call that out (psst. If you’re still on Classic with no plan to Lightning, contact us. We can help!). Let’s get at it.
- Reports & Dashboard Improvements – There are a ton of standard Lightning Report & Dashboard improvements with this release.
- Sub-Folders! – The folders for Reports & Dashboards now support sub-folders! Such a simple enhancement but this is terrific. Create sub-folders to help organize your report folders and keep things organized. If you’re like me, the reports tab has been a cesspool of organization that my OCD has been struggling with for at least 8 years as I’ve just dumped endless reports into the same folders. Now we can organize away with sub-folders and get things nice, clean, and organized! One note is the security for the reports is still at the top-level folder. So no granular level of security down at the sub-folder level.
- Lightning Report Builder is GA – It’s been in beta for a bit so it feels like this has been GA for a while, but with Summer 18 it’s official. As part of this, Salesforce fixes one of the bigger annoyances in that you can now change date column grouped by the date granularity (CY, FY, Month, Week, etc.). Glad they slipped that in as that was the biggest reason I was dropping into Classic Report Builder. Overall, it does take a little getting used to, but I do like the new builder.
- Group & Measure in Lightning Tables – I’m already a huge fan of the Lightning tables where you can display a list of records to peruse right in the middle of a dashboard. With this feature they get even more powerful. Now you can group up those details by a field and then add summary (measure) columns to that grouped table. These measure columns need to be numeric (currency and percentage fields count) and they can be used to Sum, Average or find the Min/Max the values by the group. Very slick.
- Report Exporting – Great to see this added to Lightning. Now when exporting from a Lightning report you have the option of keeping the formatting or just exporting the raw data.
- Joined Reports – Joined reports are now supported in Lightning. With Lightning you can now get up to 5 blocks of data joined together which is pretty crazy. This is beta though and there are still a lot of limitations to it. Seems like this will be much more fully supported with another release.
- Report & Dashboard View Improvements – It’s not exactly the ability to create list views of your Reports and Dashboards but it’s pretty close. You can now pick and choose which columns you want to see within the tab and sort by any of those columns. It would be nice to see this evolve into List Views for reports, but I’ll take this with my sub-folders above.
- Chart Enhancements – Along with all of the above, we also get a few quick hitters to enhance Charts within Dashboards. You can personalize horizontal bar charts a bit with the option of adding Chatter Photos to the axis if you have it grouped by a user column. If they don’t have a photo Astro is popped in there as the default. You now also have more flexibility on how to display the units within the charts. You can adjust these to be shorted numbers and you now have the option to show the values within Line Charts. You can also choose whether to display Currency Symbols within the Chart. Finally, bar charts now respect the sort order of the second level grouping.
- Use the Report Chart for a Dashboard Component – This fixes something that’s always been a little annoying. If you have the chart you already want within the report itself, now when you leverage that report in a Dashboard, you can just default the component to use the chart from within the report. Nice and simple.
- Add Links to Dashboard Components – Pretty cool little feature here. Now you can add a link – to either a Salesforce record or an external website – onto a dashboard component. So, if you have something that is supporting the Dashboard as a reference or maybe a help document that explains how the metrics in the Dashboard were built you can link to it directly. Pretty handy.
- Add Others to Dashboard Subscriptions – Lightning Dashboards now allow you to add other users to the subscriptions of Dashboards.
Well, that’s it for part 1. A ton of enhancements to Einstein and some great new productivity features across all of Sales Cloud. Can’t wait to get my hands on this. Next up in part 2 will be Service Cloud and Field Service. As always, if you have any questions or you’re looking for help on implementing some of these features or Lightning in general, feel free to reach out and we’ll get right back to you.