I hope everyone had a great weekend. Summer 21 actually went live in the second…
1. Salesforce Summer 21 Features – Lightning Sales Cloud, Einstein Sales Cloud, and General Enhancements
3. Salesforce Summer 21 Features – Experience Cloud, CMS, and Salesforce Anywhere (Quip)
Well, this is a big day. Harry is finally letting other Gearys help write his cloud Release Blogs! While the… ahem, little people have helped blog on specific product release features, Harry typically keeps big Release Blogs for the Clouds close and tight and has all the fun. I feel special, so you bet I am going to ride this wave into the ground! I may even throw myself a barbeque in honor of the event…I can imagine my acceptance speech now…
“Thank you all so much for coming to this very important event, honoring ME, the person Harry let contribute to the Summer 21 Release Blog. Being a member of Gears, which was recently named one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces of 2021, I thought it really couldn’t get better, but I was wrong…”
Yadda yadda yadda. Then everyone would cheer, and ask for my autograph… I’d get a promotion… a raise…
::Jill stares off into the sky, imagining all the new opportunities heading her way::
Well, a girl can dream. While I do that, I can also give you some deets about the upcoming release for Experience Cloud, CMS, and Salesforce Anywhere (Quip). I planned to include the updates to Chatter and Files, but they were minor, so I will keep my focus to the first 3.
We have a lot to get to, so let’s get started with Experience Cloud.
Guest User Changes – First, you may have noticed a theme among the most recent releases… Guest User changes. Salesforce is still focusing on this unauthenticated user experience and security model. In this release, we are seeing some more changes and adjustments to the guest user, but nothing earth-shattering this time.
- You can now grant guest users access to records owned by high-volume users. Of course, this option is only available if you have high volume users, and it is only available for guest user sharing rules (not owner-based or criteria-based rules).
- Secondly, today when you create an Experience Cloud or Salesforce site, Salesforce automatically creates a guest site user. In any site created before the Summer ’21 release, the email address for the site guest user record was that of the Salesforce user who created the site. This would cause headaches because if in any event there was a footer or a standard link to reach out to the site admin, it would go to the email of the user who created the site. After the Summer ’21 release, the system generates a dummy email address to use in the guest site user record. Update your unauthenticated guest users in sites created before Spring ’21 to the provisioned guest user license, which gets updated automatically.
- Guest users can now create Email Message records on the Case or Activity object. Of course, they cannot access those messages, but create is a great win!
Enhanced Developer Productivity – There are a bunch of updates that aimed at enhancing developer productivity. While I wouldn’t consider these the “sexy front end” changes we love to rave about with Experience Cloud release (what do we want? LIGHTNING COMPONENTS! When do we want them? IN SUMMER 21!), they are great for those who are looking for more control over branding, styling, and security.
- As of Summer 21, Lighting Web Runtime Templates [LWR] are available to all (previously only available to Salesforce CMS customers). So, what are LWR templates? Harry did a deep dive of LWR in his Experience Cloud Post for Spring 21, so I will let you review that in your free time, but I will give you some basics. LWR stands for Lightning Web Runtime, and the template lets you develop digital experiences using the LWC programming model. It provides custom URL paths for unauthenticated sites (no more /s at the ends of your URLs!), enhances developer productivity, and supports the development of robust LWCs and themes that follow modern web standards. Most of the code you write is standard JS and HTML, making the model very easy to learn. One thing to note about LWR Templates is that while they give you more control over styling and design, they do not come with many standard components (you can still use the branding editor). You will definitely need an experienced developer (or access to a team of experienced developers through a super awesome Salesforce partner, wink wink), and ideally a web design team, as you are really working with a clean slate with these templates.
- Also GA are Styling Hooks. Styling hooks use CSS custom properties that make it easier to customize the styling of your components. If you are using Lightning Web Components and the Lightning Design System, they will allow for customization within your components. You can set a single hook that affects many of your components and make branding easy and consistent. A note that these do not apply to themes, which is supposedly on the roadmap.
- With this release, you can also adopt a single certificate CDN (content delivery network) to protect your brand and site security. The CDN can manage any number of the 10 single domain certificates you get when you purchase Experience Cloud, so you don’t have to manage them yourself!
- Lastly, if you are making API calls from your site that has nicknames enabled, you can hide the first and last fields in the SOAP API, which is a great change for those who did not want to expose this personal information of their customers.
Miscellaneous Experience Cloud Updates – There are some small enhancements that are not related to developer productivity as well:
- We are getting tabbed navigation, which assists with the mobile experience of your site (easier for that one-handed scrolling)
- There are some improvements to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- With Summer 21, you can improve your authenticated users’ experience by caching your site’s Visualforce pages on their web browsers (also, if you are using Visualforce, you may want to consider migrating to a Lightning Community, we can help with that!)
- Finally Salesforce has made the topic enablement setting for Knowledge available in Lightning (previously only available in Classic)
- With this release, a user can see all of their posts in the feed on their profile page (before the feed would not include posts with comments they made in groups, on topic pages, and on records). This will help users better see their activity as a whole in one conversational timeline.
- Lastly, Salesforce has increased the capabilities of the Customer Community license by allowing those users to create, edit, and tasks they own, create tasks for others, and make updates on tasks shared with them. An important change for customers looking to allow their Customer Users the ability to manage to-do lists.
A few other notable mentions in this release:
- Salesforce is finally ending support for IE11 for Experience Builder sites. Now when a customer tries to reach your site on IE11, they will get a message they are using an outdated browser. Shouldn’t have a huge effect, but there are still some industries out there that are a bit behind on browser updates, so definitely something to be on the lookout for!
- With Salesforce having some downtime for some instances in May, a great new addition to Experience Cloud is the ability to set a Service Not Available page. This page will inform your customers that the site is down, and also give you the option of allowing users to still reach out for help (using email-to-case) even though they cannot access your site. This is a great backup for the (honestly rare) occasion that Salesforce is experiencing an outage.
- With Summer 21, Salesforce has included improvements for low-vision users with the addition of assistive text for images on forums or feeds. Assistive text helps low vision users better understand images on the page.
- Lastly, this release sees the introduction of path to Assets, so a Community User can see Asset statuses in a more visual way.
With the release tid-bits for Experience Cloud out of the way, I’d like to pivot to my new favorite Salesforce Product, Salesforce CMS. There continues to be a lot of excitement around what CMS can bring to the table, especially when it comes to Salesforce Experience Cloud. Some of our favorite features can be seen in our CMS blog here (yes, I still owe you that webinar, it’s on the list after “bask in the glory of Harry letting you write the Experience Cloud blog”).
This release brings a handful of new enhancements sure to further increase the appeal:
- The biggest one being the ability to schedule CMS content to publish and unpublish on certain dates. This is huge for an organization that wants to be more proactive with the content they are exposing.
- There is also a new feature to publish with an auto-unpublish, all in one step.
- With this release, you no longer need to set up a custom domain for your public channel in order to use CMS to share content. Salesforce is now offering a default domain to directly source your CMS content. This new offering does require MyDomain, and you can use this domain to serve CMS images to Pardot communication. We are seeing a lot of use cases combining Pardot and CMS, which could be a force to be reckoned with. We will be digging into that and providing you some information about those use cases soon!
- Lastly, users now can easily view the publication schedules. For CMS administrators, this is a big win. Now admins can quickly and easily see what CMS content they have out there, when it was published, where it is published, when it is due to expire, etc. Also within that schedule, you can link directly to your live site right within the CMS Experience page. No more jumping around to see the user experience. Our customers have definitely been asking for this feature, and Salesforce delivered. Boom.
With Summer 21, we saw lots of nuggets released for Salesforce Anywhere (the product formally known as Quip).
- If you are utilizing Salesforce Anywhere for customer-facing documents, you can now export those documents as PDFs, and also attach them to their related records using an Export to PDF action in Salesforce Flow. Customers who are using SA for things like Pricing Proposals can do so, and then attach them to their related Quote, or Opportunity, for example.
- With this release, Salesforce has made it easier to add templated versions of Salesforce records (and their related lists) directly to your SA templates by @mention-ing Salesforce Record or Salesforce Related List and choosing which fields you want to dynamically fill based on the Salesforce record.
- Summer 21 sees the introduction of Template Libraries (think Created by Me, for example). Prior to this release, you would have to switch back and forth between Quip and LEX to access those templates. With Summer 21, you can access these directly from the App Builder, making for a more seamless and easy experience.
- Salesforce has enhanced reporting on Quip Documents and User Engagement. With Quip engagement methods in Tableau, Tableau CRM, and Salesforce reports, you can decide where and how you are going to collect metrics. Now you can see how people interact with Quip templates and documents and how it affects their overall conversion rate!
- There are other small updates to the security around templates and authentication, permissions, etc.
So now you know what is in store for Experience Cloud, Salesforce CMS, and Salesforce Anywhere in the Summer 21 release. As usual, if you want help with any of these new features, don’t hesitate to reach out! Keep an eye out for the next blog release, where Harry will resume his usual coverage. Now, I have to go prepare my look for the post barbeque awards after-party… what ever will I wear?!