Salesforce Winter ’18 Release Highlights

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The winter release is always a big one and comes packed with great new features and functionality, and the Winter ’18 Release is certainly no exception! Let’s take a look at some of the top highlights that came with this release.

Catching Lightning

Some of the best and most powerful Salesforce Winter ’18 Release enhancements are centered around the Lightning platform. Lightning was already optimized for speed, efficiency, and performance, but with the new upgrades and features brought by the Winter ’18 Release it’s going to be even better than before.

A Captivating New UI – The big news for Salesforce Lightning users is the new high contrast UI. It is designed to feature more distinction between the different page content and background features so that it is easier than ever for users to find what they are looking for, and so that it is more pleasant to use. It also features less white space and typography changes designed to improve page legibility. However, if you aren’t a fan of the new look you can hide it in the Theme and Branding section.

Lightning Lead Conversion – The Lead Conversion function from Salesforce Classic is now available in Lightning too! It makes it faster and easier to create or edit accounts, contacts, or opportunities, create new tasks, or specify a record owner. It improves data management and maintenance by showing users possible duplicate accounts.

Configure Your Own Navigation Rules – Lightning Users can now configure their own navigation rules via the App Manager section, allowing them to set an object as a subtab of another object as they see fit for smoother, more intuitive navigation.

Lightning’s Shiny New Report Builder – The Winter ‘18 Release brings with it a beta version of Report Builder for the Lightning platform that makes significant simplifications to the Classic report creation process. With the Classic Report Builder users had to specify what type of report they were creating: tabular, summary, or matrix. The new Lightning Report Builder will be able to automatically determine that based on the info being added to the report.

Einstein Just Got Smarter

The Salesforce Einstein feature is packed with upgrades and enhancements coming in the Winter ’18 Release that make it even smarter and better than before. For example:

  • Einstein can now automatically add contacts.
  • With Einstein Activity Capture users can integrate their Microsoft Office 365 calendar experience with Salesforce.
  • The Einstein Discovery feature helps users detect extreme values, highly correlated values, identical values and more.
  • Einstein’s Partner Central automatically recommends popular files within the community.
  • Einstein’s Engagement Scoring feature displays a score based on how likely your subscribers are to perform various activities in response to an email like opening it, clicking a link, or unsubscribing.
  • The Einstein Language feature helps build language processing into apps by analyzing intent (See the Einstein Intent API) and emotion (see the Einstein Sentiment API).
  • Einstein Analytics brings the convenience of dragging and dropping columns, map zooming features, geographical data analysis, data visualization suggestions, and more!

List Views Look Better Than Ever

In keeping with the trend toward better visual elements and functionality, the Winter ’18 Release also brings with it some striking enhancements to the list views feature. Users can now have their columns width determined dynamically based on how much data is entered into the cells within the column. This ensure that the width is always optimized for easy viewing! Plus users can decide whether to have text wrap or show a clipped version for each column. The clone feature for list view is also now available for Lightning users, allowing them to close an existing list view for their new list.

Building Stronger Communities

The Winter ’18 Release includes some key features that will improve the Communities feature of Salesforce and boost user and customer engagement! For instance it is now easier than ever before to manage the style and appearance of your Community without having to create individual branding sets. You’ll also be able to manage external Community Users from the Lightning Experience platform without switching to Classic and there are new Community options such as the “Customer Account Portal” and the “Build You Own” option. Plus community users will benefit from better browser caching, shorter article URLs, and more features within Communities like Contracts, Price Books, Quotes, Orders, File Upload, and more. Finally, Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited Orgs can better tap into the Communities experience by creating up to 100 communities all without purchasing a separate Communities license.

These are just a few of the many highlights that the Winter ‘18 Release will bring. The Refinery Source is excited to see these upgrades implemented, and we look forward to helping our clients harness them for maximum value and benefit!

By Kevin Knight

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