The Winter 11 release is just around the corner and I've scoured through the release notes and picked out some of my favorite new features and enhancements. I didn’t hit all of the items in the release notes so make sure you pull up the PDF and check out all of the goodies for this release. Also check out the Winter '11 Force.com Platform Release Preview page.
- A new Global search with advanced search functionality and content. From the header search box you can search more records, including articles, documents, products, solutions, and Chatter feeds, files, groups, and people. You can also search more fields, including custom fields, and long text fields such as descriptions, notes, and task and event comments. You can use wildcards, operators, and filters to refine your search. This should be great for users as search was lacking.
- A new user interface header displaying Global Search (if Chatter is enabled), a new drop down menu under user's name for setup, my profile and logout, and restyled apps menu.
- The Setup section now displays with the new enhanced (blue) interface.
Salesforce for Outlook If you use Microsoft Outlook then you are going to love the Winter 11 release! Over 37 pages of the release notes are devoted to Salesforce for Outlook. It looks to be a huge upgrade from Connect for Outlook. Salesforce for Outlook adds sync for multi-day events, adds "email added" indicators, enhances filtering of synced contacts, prevents duplicate contacts from being created, moves administration settings to the cloud, searches contact roles when adding new emails, allows syncing of all events, provides simple contact sync, and provides support for Windows 7 64-bit and Outlook 2010. There are a ton (I mean TON) of changes so make sure read the docs. Sales Cloud Enhancements
- Quote templates are now GA and include repeating headers and footers, field alignment, rich text capabilities, simplified addition of graphics and preview during creation.
- You can now add attachments to events and tasks. Awesome!!
- A file attached to a Chatter feed on a record is automatically added to the record's Notes and Attachments related list as a Feed Attachment.
Chatter Enhancements Files - You can easily upload, store, find, and follow Salesforce.com files (Chatter files and Salesforce CRM Content) in the cloud using the Files tab. Files are accessible from the All Files, My Files, Files in My Groups and Files in My Workspaces list views. Chatter files and CRM Content Files are not the same but it looks like they are both using Content on the backend. The Files tab requires no administration and can be used right away however Salesforce CRM Content requires administrator setup and includes workspaces, content packs, and content deliveries. Files are stored in fully searchable file repositories known as workspaces. So just to recap, Salesforce.com now includes Files, Content, Documents and Attachments.
- Next to the Home tab there is now a Chatter tab. This tab displays All Chatter (feed updates, including posts, status updates, group updates, and record updates), To:Me (posts to your feed), People (people you follow) and Groups (updates for groups you are a member of).
- You can now enable following for events, tasks, reports, and dashboards.
- Knowledge base users can now follow a published article if Salesforce Knowledge article types are enabled for Chatter.
- You can share a Chatter file on an existing record.
- You can share private Files to Chatter feeds.
- You can add Chatter Topics to posts and comments to tag and categorize your updates. This is similar to Twitter hashtags.
- Chatter now provides recommendations on Chatter Groups you should join.
- You can configure Salesforce.com to send you Chatter email digests from your groups.
- ISVs can now include Chatter in packaged applications.
Service Cloud Enhancements
- The new Service Cloud Console is GA. The new console seems to be much more feature-rich and visually appealing than old console and now uses primary and sub tabs for navigation along with the new UI theme. Users can also write notes (an interaction log) on records that appear on primary tabs. Only supports SoftPhones built with CTI Toolkit v.3.0.
- New CTI Developer's Toolkit to build CTI adapter.
- High Volume Customer Portal User License now available so that a large numbers of users logging into yous Customer Portal does not affect its performance.
- Create security sharing sets to group high-volume portal users by their profiles and target them with different levels of access to records.
- Web-to-Case limit increased to 5000 new cases per day (was 500 cases per day).
- On-Demand Email-to-Case limit increased to 2500 email messages per day.
Analytics Enhancements Real-Time Report Builder is now GA and very slick! Provides drag-and-drop report columns, display report type on report, show long report type names, easier customization, better sorting, and consistent button placement. It takes a little time to get used to so make sure you watch the video.
- You can now create custom report types on some Chatter objects.
- Authorized users can switch the running user from the view page of dynamic dashboards.
- Reports and dashboard have Chatter feeds! Follow posts, comments, files, and links, as well as field updates for your favorite report or dashboard.
- New option to the Drill Down to field for dashboard components so that users can click on a chart or table elements, axis values, or legend entries, they are taken to the detail page for that record.
- The Force.com IDE for Winter '11 will be released after all instances have been upgraded.
- You can now view a custom field's API name on the Custom Fields & Relationships related list of the standard object's fields page or the custom object's detail page. One of my favorite enhancements!!
- Developer and configuration-only sandboxes can be refreshed every day.
- You can delete sandboxes at any time but you can't create a new sandbox to replace the deleted one until the refresh interval has passed.
- Change Sets (Beta) - You can perform a test deployment of an inbound change set to view the success or failure messages that would occur with an actual deployment.
- Inline editing is now supported for rich text area fields on detail pages with the ability to upload images to a rich text area field.
- OAuth version 2.0 is now supported for authenticating Web applications that access data in a Salesforce.com instance. Thank you!!
- You can now use Salesforce as an identity provider (SAML 2.0) so your users can access other applications directly from Salesforce.com using SSO. Utilizes both Identity-provider-initiated and Service-provider-initiated logins.
- Force.com Flex Framework is GA. The framework facilitates the development of Flex-based desktop and Web applications that leverage Salesforce.com logic, data, and security.
Force.com Sites Enhancements
- Sites URL Redirects - set up site URL redirects to inform users and search engines that site content has moved (supports redirect types 301 and 302).
- Customizable My Profile Page - a new Visualforce page for your Force.com site and Customer Portal that enables users to update their own contact information.
Governors and Limits Simplified
- Tests no longer run in a separate context. Now grouped with triggers, anonymous blocks, Visualforce controllers, and WSDL methods.
- Total request time for one callout (HTTP request or Web services call) has been removed.
- Maximum size for a callout (HTTP request or Web services call) has been removed.
- General heap size has been raised from 2 MB to 3 MB.
- Batch Apex heap size is now 6 MB.
- Apex classes and triggers have been raised to 1 million characters long (not counting comments, test methods, and classes defined with @isTest).
- Org Apex code capacity has been raised from 1 MB to 2 MB.
Apex and Visualforce Enhancements
- Visualforce support for record types ... finally!! Using the apex:inputField component, picklists only display picklist values based on the record type. If the <apex:inputField> component is bound to a dependent picklist with a rendered and editable controlling field, only options compatible with both the record type and the controlling field value display.
- Default values - For apex:inputField components, if an object has a field with a default value, the Visualforce page will be rendered with the default value already set.
- New chatter:feed component - Displays the Chatter feed for a record.
- New chatter:feedWithFollowers component - An integrated UI component that displays the Chatter feed for a record, its list of followers, and optionally, a header bar that allows users to show or hide the Chatter feed and subscribe to it.
- New chatter:follow component - Renders a button for a user to follow or unfollow a Chatter record.
- New chatter:followers component - Displays the list of Chatter followers for a record.
- New knowledge:articleCaseToolbar component - Allows custom article-type templates to include case detail information.
- New knowledge:articleRendererToolbar component - Allows custom article-type templates to include voting capability.
- The apex:detial component now has a new showChatter attribute that specifies whether to display the Chatter feed, followers list, and header bar for the record
- isRunningTest method - Returns true if the currently executing code was called by code contained in a method defined as testMethod
- REQUIRED_FEATURE_MISSING Exception - Throws this exception if Chatter is not enabled and your Apex code relies on Chatter being enabled to function properly.
Improved System Log Console is GA. The System Log console is a separate window that displays debugging information, as well as its cumulative limits and source code. It can be considered a context-sensitive execution viewer, showing the source of an operation, what triggered that operation, and what occurred afterward. View State Inspector Available is GA. The View State tab lists which Visualforce elements are contributing to the size of your view state. Web Services API
- New objects for Report, ReportFeed, ReportTag, CaseArticle, ContentDocumentFeed, Dashboard, DashboardFeed, DashboardTag, EventFeed, KnowledgeArticleViewStat, KnowledgeArticleVoteStat and TaskFeed.
- The character limit for the Subject field on the Event and Task objects increased from 80 to 255.
- The User object includes new fields if Chatter is enabled - FullPhotoUrl, SmallPhotoUrl and DigestFrequency. These will definitely come in handy.
- The AllOrNoneHeader SOAP header allows the create(), delete(), undelete(), update(), and upsert() calls to roll back all changes unless all records are processed successfully.
- Support for binary attachments so you can submit batches containing binary attachments (i.e., Attachments, Salesforce CRM Content)
- The limit of batches allowed per rolling 24–hour period has been increased from 500 to 1000.
Visual Process Manager (aka Force.com Flow) — Pilot This looks really cool based upon the description. Force.com Flow gives you the tools to create an application for easily navigating users through a series of screens, and querying and updating Salesforce.com data, without writing any code. The Flow Designer lets administrators or business analysts quickly build the flow to connect screens together. It also allows you to execute logic and provides branching capability based on user input which can be used to build dynamic applications.