First, let me apologize, as this post is long overdue. Salesforce CMS went GA in…
3. Salesforce Summer 19 Features – Communities, Chatter, Quip, myTrailhead & Files
Sorry for the delay in getting to part 3 of our Salesforce Summer 19 release write-up. I had some international travel the last two weekends and was able to spend some time pub crawling around London and then this past weekend was actually up in Montreal with the family. I’m back in the US and ready to get going. In our first part we covered all of the Sales Cloud and Platform features, while in part two we hit all of the Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning features. In this part we’re going to focus on all of the Collaboration features: Communities, Chatter, Files and for the first time some Quip and myTrailhead as well.
It goes without saying now, that all of these features are pretty much Lightning only. Communities in particular has been in Lightning for years now, so I’ll call out something that doesn’t require it, but the assumption is everything is Lightning for the below. Alright, let’s get at it. Sirius XM & Pandora put together a top 500 Indie songs of all time list for Memorial Day weekend, so I have that blasting out (if you’re an indie fan, I highly recommend following the playlist for this – although, the fact that Phoenix winds up ahead of any Radiohead songs is essentially a travesty. Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire ahead of them? Ok, maybe. Phoenix??? Come on). As always, the order is based on what I think are the coolest features.
- Salesforce CMS – The new Salesforce CMS is the biggest feature for Communities in Summer 19. To start with, Community CMS has been upgraded to “Salesforce CMS” and has transitioned from a CMS that’s only available from the Community Builder and Content into an App accessible from your internal Salesforce instance. Don’t worry, if you’ve already started using the first rendition of CMS from your Community Workspace Content, Salesforce has provided a migration assistant to help you take advantage of these new features. Please note, this is a beta, so test this accordingly. To get started with Salesforce CMS Communities need to be enabled and users must have Salesforce CMS enabled from Custom App Settings on their assigned profile or permission set. I think a big thing to note here is that while this is a CMS, it is very focused around Content in your Community versus managing / centralizing assets. I’m not a web designer, so I might be butchering the terminology here, but basically, this isn’t how you’d ensure your style sheets are consistent across all your web properties, or that your logo asset is the same everywhere. This is more about allowing users to build content – like blog posts – within your Community. You still want to use the various CMS integrations Salesforce has been releasing for more of the asset controls. With that said, I think the other new features make a ton of sense. First up, you can now build Content Workspaces and manage them all centrally. Previously, if you had multiple Communities, each Community had its own and you had to bounce between them to manage this. Now it’s all in one spot. Tied to this, you have way more access controls for these. Users can now be added to specific Content Workspaces and they can be given one of two roles: Content admin or a Content Manager. An admin is able to add / manage the other contributors as well as manage all content. The managers can only manage the content within that workspace. Finally, from a user profile you can give them access to Author, Publish or Contribute to these Workspaces. The fact that these are all by the Workspace instead of the whole Community really gives you a better way to invite others to help manage the Community without handing them the keys to everything (again, remember, this is all beta, so definitely test this stuff out). In addition to all of the great security and contribution changes, we also get the ability to push content between Communities. This was always pretty painful, so this is great to see that content can be shared across Communities but still centrally controlled. All great stuff and it’ll be very interesting to see where Salesforce continues to go with this (thanks Taylor for the assist in understanding this one).
- myTrailhead – Not sure what other bucket to put this in, so I’ll include it with Collaboration, but Summer 19 releases the long anticipated myTrailhead. Right out of the gate, I just need to mention that this is an additional cost, but this is a very exciting new feature that has a ton of potential. Essentially, myTrailhead is a way for you to take the extremely popular Trailhead platform and create one for your own users. A lot of the Trailhead features that you already know and love are available here. You can create your own content within myTrailhead or even link to content outside of it to create learning objects. From there you use the Trailmaker to create your own trailmixes – which are learning paths – that your users will be guided through to get badges as they complete them. Similar to Trailhead, you can create quizzes within your content to make sure they users understand it and add videos or graphics to the content itself. All of this can be branded however you’d like to make it match more to your company’s experience. It’s not pixel level yet, but you can control the imagery and colors. Overall, without a doubt, this will be expanded for many releases and will be a strong focus on Salesforce’s. The real benefit here is Salesforce is so invested in this platform for their own certification and training, that the platform will continue to expand just to support Salesforce’s own needs. Keep in mind, this is a v1, so it probably has some features missing, however, it’s a v1 built on a platform Salesforce has been using and building up for a few years now so I think it’ll be a much deeper feature set than most v1s are.
- Streamline User Management – We’ve had this one in Classic for a while and it was sorely missed, but now Lightning gets the ability to manage users directly from the Contact record too. From the Contact you can create, disable or view the external user. Great to have back.
- Contextual Filters for Einstein Analytics Dashboards – This is a sneaky cool feature. One of the most underrated features of Einstein Analytics is the ability to drop dashboards into a page layout with a Lightning component. When you open that record, the Einstein Dashboards can be set to automatically filter to that record’s information only. It’s super powerful and a great way to give super relevant information about an Account, Opportunity, Case, etc. right in the record itself instead of making a user go filter it themselves. With this new feature, all of this becomes standard for Communities. You can setup your dynamic filters for your records and using the Einstein Analytics Dashboard component show off these dashboards to your Community users too. Love it.
- Partner Central: Account Relationships Enhancements – In Spring 19 we talked about a huge new feature for Partner Central called Account Relationships that allows you to create complex hierarchies and relationships to support your more advanced Partner models – like if you have a Distributor / Reseller chain, or a Partner with a lot of subsidiaries. With Summer 19, this gets beefed up even more. First up you can now share Marketing budgets, fund allocations, fund requests and fund claims across those relationships. In particular this is super useful for when you have a Distributor / Reseller model. Typically the Distributor is responsible for all of its Resellers, so you would give the MDF money to the Distributor only and they would then figure out what Resellers get it. This lets you track all of that nicely. Second, we get the ability to edit the sharing rules around the Account Relationships. Previously you could only create new ones and you couldn’t edit, so this is nice. Finally, we get a new report type so we can pull in these Account Relationships into reports. Definitely a critical feature if you’re using this and awesome to see. This is such a powerful feature, I suspect we’ll see it continue to be expanded for the next few releases. Great stuff.
- Partner Central: Channel Program Member Updates – Two very quick updates to Channel Program Members. With Summer 19, we can now enable history tracking on the object and the limits for how many members you can have has been massively expanded. Previously you could only have 5,000 channel members and now you can go up to 50,000. Big jump for sure.
- Partner Central: Marketing Funds Updates – In addition to being able to share Marketing Funds across Account Relationships as we mentioned above, we get a couple of other quick enhancements here as well. First, we can now create lookup fields that link to the Funds objects. You can now add these for fund claims, fund allocations and fund requests. In addition to this, you can now add Path to these objects as well to track the different stages. Budgets, fund allocations, fund requests and fund claims all now support the Path functionality.
- Sharing Sets with Leads – Sharing Sets have been expanded a ton lately and that’s all goodness as they can be a ton easier to work with. With Summer 19 Leads are now supported with Sharing Sets too. That’s it. Pretty obvious from there. Go share.
- Enable Partner Users to Send Emails from Cases – Interesting update here which really is a cross of Communities and Service Cloud. Many customers leverage Partners to provide some level of customer service to their customers. Sometimes it’s tier 1 support and then your internal team acts as the escalation point, other times, the partner actually owns the service relationship entirely. A nice enhancement now let’s partners leverage the Email functionality directly from a Case so that they can respond to a Case via email directly from your Community. Big benefit here is you get to see the Partner’s response to your customers as it’ll be tracked on the Case – as well as your Salesforce will still receive the response back from your customer. Lots of potential here if you’re in that shared service model with your partners.
- Login Enhancements – We get a few quick updates to logging in and security with Summer 19. The first is you now have the option to increasing the complexity requirements of your Community user’s passwords. We can now make them require at least three of the following: one number, one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter and one special character. Never hurts to force more complex passwords. Once you bump up that complexity, we now have the ability to see how many failed login attempts a user has made right on the user record. This would be handy to monitor for users that might be under attack and someone is trying to hack into their account. For those of you using the passwordless login functionality, we can now build custom verify pages. Oddly, this is using Visualforce and not Lightning (really weird), but you can now build a completely custom page to handle the Verify page branding and functionality. Previously you could add a logo, and change colors but you were stuck with the default page. Finally, for brand new instances, Community users now start with a much more locked down profile. They no longer have API enabled by default and they will start with minimal access to your objects. For older customers you still have what you have, but it’s nice to see the default tighter security wise than wide open like it used to be.
- Mass Quick Actions – Mass Quick Actions are now also available in Communities. They function the same was as they do with Lightning Experience – allowing a community user to select up to 100 records from a list view and then fire a mass update. Huge for Partner users working with a lot of records, but I can also see Customer community users that are heavy users of your Community benefiting from this as well.
- Creating Reports in Communities – This is an interesting one that we don’t see requests for too often, but in certain use cases, this can be extremely handy. With this new feature you can now give your Community users access to create their own reports. You need to explicitly give their profiles this access, but once they have it, they have access to the Report Builder. Obviously, if you do this, you need to be even more careful about your field level security – as just not putting fields in the page layout isn’t real security. Basically from the report builder they’ll have access to any field you haven’t removed access for. This looks like a closed beta to start, so you’ll need to ask to get into this, but if you find yourself constantly building reports for your key customers and partners, this will be something you want to look into.
- Task List Views for Communities – Similar to how you can create custom Task List Views in Lightning Experience, you can now create and expose these in your Communities as well. Especially on the Sales side where you are doing joint selling with your Partners, this is nice.
- Lightning Scheduler Component – The scheduling functionality is everywhere in Summer 19 and Communities is no exception. With Summer 19, we get several out of the box flows and a component to allow you to add Lightning Scheduler to your Community. These flows make it simple for your customers & partners to find the right person, topic, location and date / time to schedule up appointments with you. Lightning Scheduler has been really ramped up the last two releases and is definitely something interesting to add to your Communities. Keep in mind, this can work with or without authentication, so you can even use these in your public self-service Communities.
- Expanded Deflection Tracking – The Deflection Tracking component originally was only available in the Self Service template. Now it can be leveraged in the Customer Account Portal, Partner Central and the Help Center templates as well. As a reminder, this super handy component helps track if your content deflected the need to create a Case. It lets user’s select when the content helped or not with a Yes / Maybe / No (you can customize the text) options to select. Very useful for all content types.
- Tile Hover Toggle – First the tiles had an automatic hover, and then that was taken away. Now that hovers are back for tile menu options and you have control to toggle them on or off per tile. A nice happy medium to make everyone happy.
- Quip Enhancements – With Summer 19 we’re starting to see the beginning of Quip getting deeply embedded into the platform. I wouldn’t say this is a surprise – after all, Bret Taylor – Salesforce’s President and Chief Product Officer – was the former Founder of Quip. I would assume that means he’s a fan of Quip and it’s not just going to disappear. While Quip is an additional license cost, it is a powerful collaboration tool stand-alone and the deeper embedding into Salesforce makes it even stronger. I think there’s a little conflict with Quip and Chatter currently, but clearly this will be settled as Quip gets deeper and deeper embedded. For Summer 19, you can embed a Quip document right into a Sales or Service Cloud record (I’m assuming this will hit Communities eventually too). I don’t mean just adding a link, but rather have the Quip document right within the record itself and then quickly pop open Quip to begin collaborating with it. On an Opportunity record – use this to crowd-source your deal notes, on an Account record – perfect way to build out your Account plans, and on a Case record – maybe this is how you do a swarm to resolve a tough or sensitive issue. You do this with a simple to use Quip component that you can add into your Lightning page. Having it in the page isn’t too useful without your users knowing when they are needed. In addition to being able to add Quip into the record, you can also show all of the Quip notifications right in your Salesforce Home, app pages or the record page itself. This is done with another component and eliminates the need for your users to switch back and forth between Salesforce and Quip. Finally, you can now also leverage Quip Documents and Quip Chat directly in your Processes and Flows. From your these you can create auto-filled Quip templates or automatically generate a standardized Quip document. Finally, you can also automate messages that will go directly into a Quip Chat. A ton of power here for collaboration and I just hope that some day this goes the way of Content and is suddenly free for all users because I think the extra cost is the only thing holding this back from being a massive feature for all users.
- File Share Limits Increased – I hadn’t even realized there was a limit on how many times a File could be shared until seeing that the limit was bumped up for Summer 19. Previously you could only share a File up to 100 times (hmph) and now this has been bumped up to 2,000. That’s terrific to see, but not sure why there’s a limit on this to begin with. Seems like an odd restriction.
- Internet Explorer 11 Support – If you’re an admin and you’re using IE11 to configure Salesforce, I apologize, as that has just got to be awful. I would assume no one would ever do this willingly and you work for a company that is forcing you to (if you’re doing it willingly, I rescind my apology). Well, with Summer 19, that job just got a little tougher as the Community Builder no longer supports IE11. The Community itself still works in IE11, so this only impacts administrators – so I really doubt this hits many people.
Well, that wraps up all the Collaboration features. Nothing for Chatter itself this release, but some big stuff for Communities and some interesting direction with Quip. The official launch of myTrailhead is going to be huge as well. For our last post we are going to focus on Einstein Analytics. It’s been a while since we’ve discussed it and this is a big release for it. Thanks for reading, and as always, if you need any help or have any questions with these features, feel free to reach out to us.