My Favorite Salesforce.com Spring '10 Features

For those that don’t have time to weed through all 171 pages of the Spring ‘10 Release Notes, I’ve pulled out a few of my favorites for your viewing pleasure. I didn't hit all of the items in the release notes so make sure you pull up the the PDF and check out the goodies in detail.

Entitlement Management - Service Cloud
By far the most detailed new feature at 45 pages! You can now set up entitlement management so that your support reps can verify if your customers are eligible for support, create and maintain service contracts, specify service levels on a per customer basis and enforcement of service levels with time-dependent, automated processes. There is a TON of stuff around Entitlement Management including service contracts and milestones so definitely take a closer look!

Quotes - Sales Cloud
A quote is a record showing proposed prices for products and services created from an opportunity and its products. You can create a set of quotes to show different combinations of products, discounts, and quantities so customers can compare prices. Each opportunity can have multiple associated quotes, and any one of them can be synced with the opportunity. You can also create and email PDF quotes.

Answers - Service Cloud
Answers is the newest feature of the Community application that lets community members ask questions, post replies, and vote whether they like or dislike a reply. It looks somewhat similar to Ideas in such that you assign categories to communities and then enable Answers for the customer and partner portals.

Knowledge Enhancements - Service Cloud
A ton on Knowledge enhancements including new API objects for articles, metadata components for data category groups, describe calls for data categories, SOQL and SOSL filter, field level security for articles, custom report types and access to articles in the partner portal.

SOQL Enhancements

New GROUP BY Clause
SELECT LeadSource, COUNT(Name) FROM Lead GROUP BY LeadSource

New HAVING Clause
SELECT Name, Count(Id) FROM Account GROUP BY Name HAVING Count(Id) > 1

Aggregate Functions (Finally!!!!)
SOQL now supports AVG(), COUNT(), COUNT_DISTINCT(), MIN(), MAX(), and SUM()

Date Functions
A slew of new date functions for SOQL to make your life easier.

Semi-Join and Anti-Join Support For Reference Fields
I ran into the issue all the time when writing queries. Now your subqueries can filter by ID (primary key) or reference (foreign key).

Force.com Apex Code Enhancements

  • The Apex scheduler is now generally available.
  • Callouts Enhancements including increased size limit, output messages with multiple elements (hurrah!!), new baked-in DOM class for parsing and generating XML content and enhanced two-way SSL authentication
  • Limits on the number of items a collection can hold have been removed. However, there's still a general limit on heap size. What!!??
  • sObjects are now created as Objects and you can create generic sObject collections: Set foo = new Set();
  • I'm don't this this is what Taggert was talking about during his DF09 presentation, but there are a lot of new logging features to check out on line 121. Check it out! Should make life easier until what Taggert revealed in on the roadmap for debugging is GA.

Visualforce Enhancements

  • component now uses Ext 3.0
  • Salesforce.com Stylesheets No Longer Called for PDFs

Force.com Web Services API Enhancements

  • New SOSL Clause for Filtering By Data Categories
  • New Support for API Version in Outbound Messages
  • Numerous new Objects to support Entitlement Management, Answers and Quotes
  • There are also some new and changed API calls
  • Support for Sites objects (Site and SiteHistory)

Force.com IDE
The Force.com IDE Spring '10 release is scheduled for February 15th. Not sure of the new features but from what I have heard in the past you should (safe harbor) be able to copy from from SOQL search results.

Complex Data Modeling with Multilevel Master-Detail Relationships
You can now include multiple levels in master-detail relationships. For example, in addition to defining a two-object master-detail relationship, such as Account—Expense Report, you can extend the relationship to subdetail records, such as Account—Expense Report—Expense Line Item. You can then perform operations across the master—detail—subdetail relationship. There are some caveats so check out the details.

Sandbox to Production—Change Sets Beta
Use change sets to move configuration changes via a web interface. New enhancements include clone an existing change set, cross-version upload, delete change sets, and a six month expiration of change sets.

New UI Theme
The new UI theme that was unveiled at DF09 is an org-wide update that will be available after February 5th, 2010. The new UI supports IE 7 & 8, Firefox 3.0.x and Safari 3.2.x. Sorry Chrome!

Dashboard Enhancements

  • With custom dashboard tables you can create tables with up to four columns, with column totals for number and currency summary fields.
  • With dashboard finder, you can quickly find a dashboard by typing its name in the search filter. All accessible dashboards matching that text are dynamically displayed in the drop-down list.
  • New visibility option for report and dashboard folders to deny access to a folder for portal users ("This folder is accessible by all users, except for portal users").

Secure Communication with External Websites
Encrypt sensitive date with certificates and key pairs whenever Salesforce.com communicates with a supported external website. Salesforce.com offers either CA-signed or self-signed certificates.

CTI 2.0 Toolkit
A new toolkit for developers and partners to build more robust CTI adapters for call center users.

Globalization Enhancements

  • Translation Workbench Enhancements
  • Translatable Visualforce Email Templates
  • Increased Maximum Limit for Rules
  • Lookup Filter Beta Enhancements
  • Number of Remote Access Application Authorizations Increased
  • Enable Sidebar Search Auto-Complete Setting
  • Enable Single-Search-Result Shortcut Setting
  • A number of Auto-Complete Enhancements
  • Standard Action Overrides are Packageable - Standard action overrides on buttons and links are now packageable for custom objects.
  • Personalized Email Alerts - You can now set the From Email Address in email alerts to the address of the default workflow user.

Limited Release, Beta and Dev eloper Previews

Adobe Flash Builder for Force.com - Developer Preview
Adobe® Flash® BuilderTM for Force.com is an Eclipse-based IDE for developing Force.com Stratus apps (Adobe Air apps that leverage Force.com logic and data). Stratus applications run seamlessly online or offline while taking full advantage of the security, scalability, and reliability of Force.com. I've been playing with Stratus for a few months and plan to have a really cool demo with code soon.

New Report Builder - Developer Preview
A new visual report builder for tabular reports (with limited functionality).

New Opportunity Page - Pilot
An improved opportunity detail page with highlight panels, recommendations, and drag and drop side tabs. Available after Feb. 5, 2010.

My Domain - Limited Release
You can brand your login and navigation URLs for Salesforce to create something like: https://appirio.my.salesforce.com. It also is more secure as it uses HTTPS.

Patch Updates for Packages - Limited Release
Automatically upgrade your managed packages with patches. A push upgrade is a method of automatically upgrading your customers to a newer version of your package. A package subscriber doesn't need to do anything to receive the push upgrade. If you are developing managed packages this is a must read.

Rich Text Support - Beta
A new rich tech field type that is production quality but with some known limitation. The max size is 32,000 characters including HTML tags and only .gif, .jpeg and .png images are supported.