Salesforce Winter ‘18 Release Highlights: My Top 5

If you logged into a sandbox on a preview instance today, you were greeted by a friendly Yeti Astro. Even though it’s only barely beginning to feel like fall today in the Pacific Northwest, welcome to Winter ‘18!

The Winter release is always a big one, given that it always drops very close to Dreamforce week. They seem to save the juiciest new features for Winter so they have plenty to brag about at the big show. So let’s hit the slopes with Yeti Astro!

Here are the five things I’m most looking forward to in Winter ‘18. (Spoiler alert: they’re all improvements to the Lightning Experience!)

1. Lightning UX Love!
There are LOTS of user experience tweaks in Lightning this release, including improved contrast and less white space on records and in list views.

 

2. Time Data Type in Beta!
No more hacky workarounds or horrifyingly long picklists to track times of day, like the time of a class that meets every Monday, or what time a day care center opens. And as an extra bonus, there are new time-related formula functions, too! (I’ll be presenting on Fearless Date and Time Formulas at Dreamforce ‘17! Come explore these with me!) It’s definitely still a beta with some pretty big limitations, but it’s fun to start thinking about use cases.

 

3. List View Improvements, including mass inline editing in list views!
Here’s another that’s been a long time coming in Lightning. I know several nonprofits who still have particular list view-driven tasks that they need to switch back to Classic for, because they need mass inline editing. No more switching! Do it in Lightning! They even added this little contextual help bubble, which I think newer admins will greatly appreciate:

 

4. Dynamic Lightning Pages!
The Lightning App builder got a handful of great improvements this round, but this one really puts the power in the admins’ hands. Now on record homes, you can make components appear conditionally based on field values on the record! Does a client have some critical status? Display a rich text area component in the sidebar that says in big red letters, “HANDLE WITH CARE”. Is a key lookdown lookup field populated? Show the related record in the sidebar!

 

5. Lightning Report Builder!
It’s only a beta in this release, but the gif in the release notes shows a beautiful update to the trusty old report builder. I can’t wait to get my hands on this, though I will admit I’m sad to read that it doesn’t yet include cross-filters. The linked release notes have instructions for enabling this.

Finally, I’m intrigued by the guest user access to Communities, but need to learn more before I get too excited. Now go forth and explore in your pre-release org or preview sandbox! What fun gems can you find?