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Friday, January 29, 2021

Salesforce Spring 21 (SP21) Release Date

Salesforce Spring ’21 (SP21) Release Date. Here is Salesforce Spring ’21 (SP21) Release Notes 

It might still be Winter, but the Salesforce Spring release is right around the corner. As I’m sure Salesforce veterans know, the three Salesforce releases per year are when us Admins, Developers and Consultants get a bunch more features and tools to play around with and to delight our customers and users. If you’re new to Salesforce, you’re in for a treat!

There are many agenda items you need to prepare for with each release, but at this stage, there are only a couple of things you need to know: how to prepare your sandbox, and when your instance gets upgraded.

 

Salesforce Spring 21 (SP21) Release Date

Salesforce Spring ’21 Release Date

The first thing you should be aware of is when your production instance will be upgraded to the Spring ’21 release. It’s important that you test all your main use cases in Salesforce before this date to ensure that everything continues to work. Although there is rarely any chance of this, it’s important that these checks are carried out anyway.

The Release Date for Spring ’21 will depend on your instance of Salesforce, but the main dates are on Jan 16th, Feb 6th, 12th & 13th. If you already know the instance your production Org is located on, you can head over to Salesforce Trust and click on your instance name and hit “Maintenances”, this will show you the date of the Salesforce Spring ’21 release hitting your Org.

If you don’t know your instance, the quickest way is to head to company information within Setup in your Salesforce Org (Or look at the URL link of Salesforce in your browser if you are not using Lightning or MyDomains). If you’re new to Salesforce Trust and would like to learn more, I recommend checking out Ines Garcia’s post regarding signing up for notifications on Trust.Salesforce.com.

 

 

Spring ’21 Sandbox Preview Information

The second thing you should be aware of is how and when your Sandbox is going to be upgraded. This is extremely important as this is the first opportunity you will get to test your system on the new release. You can sign up for a pre-release Org here, but these, of course, will not have any of your configurations.

Salesforce has two release windows for Sandboxes, which depends on whether your sandbox is a “Preview” instance or “Non-Preview Instance”. Stay tuned for more information on Sandbox Preview, but the first upgrade will happen on Jan 8th 2021. 

 

Spring ’21 Pre-Release Org

As mentioned above, Pre-Release Org’s are a great way to get familiar with the new release before it hits your Sandbox’s. These officially came out on the 10th December, and you can get access to one right away from this link.

Since the release notes haven’t been announced yet, you can perform what is usually referred to as a “Treasure Hunt”, to try and find out what has changed since Winter 21.

Spring ’21 Release Notes

Although the dates mentioned are some of the most important of the Salesforce release cycle, the most anticipated date is for the Salesforce Release Notes. This is the first glimpse of the features and upgrades that are being applied across the Salesforce suite of products. Release Notes are scheduled to be released on the 21st December, and have a new home over at Salesforce Help.

The Salesforce Ben team will be bringing you the latest updates and features of Spring ’21 so sign up to stay in the loop!

Get early access to the release by signing up for a pre-release org

Sign up for the Spring ’21 pre-release org for a sneak peek into the Developer edition features weeks in advance of the release. This is a standalone environment that will allow you to test away without worrying about breaking anything.

Preview the release notes

Come December 21, we’ll have the release notes available here. For any newcomers here are a few tips you can follow when going through the notes. Also, be sure to check out the updates from You Asked For It! where we deliver changes based on thoughts you shared on IdeaExchange.

Last but not least, tap into the Release Readiness Trailblazer Community Group where you can continue to get updates, share your favorite features, and ask questions about the upcoming release.

January 8-9: Remember to refresh your sandbox

January 8-9 is the refresh deadline to get early access to all the Spring ‘21 features in your sandboxes, but you need to take action before January 7, 2021 (the day prior to Sandbox Preview) for your sandbox to take part in the Spring ’21 Preview. This is a chance for you to have more fun with customized features beyond the Free developer environment. Read the Sandbox Preview article for everything you need to know.

January 8: Gear up for our latest release module

Are you ahead on your badge game already? Gear-up for our latest module, jam-packed with what you need to know about the Spring ’21 release. This includes what will be featured and how you can best navigate the tools available to power-up your business solutions.

January 12: Release overview deck and feature matrix

Get hands-on with an interactive experience and take a look at the Release Overview Deck (ROD). This is where you can create internal training for your users, review setup screens, and learn how to use new features. Once updated for the Spring ’21 release, you can review the release matrix with an overview of which features immediately affect your users.

January 29 – February 5: Release Readiness Live

Product Managers and Developer Relations are back to share the latest features and functionality to help you develop faster: enhancements to the Headless Commerce Toolkit, Lightning Web Components, APIs, Sandbox Source Tracking, CLI Scanner – plus, how you can write better queries, faster with all the news on SOQL.

Register for Release Readiness Live here.

February 12: All Orgs are now on Spring ’21!

Keep the following in mind to stay up-to-date on all release updates:

Join us on the Release Readiness Trailblazer Community Group where you can continue to get updates, share your favorite features, and ask questions about the upcoming release.

Follow us around the world as we demo key new features and share valuable resources to help you learn about Spring ’21.

 

10 of My Favourite Salesforce Spring ’21 Features

We’re nearing the end of one of the strangest years of all time, but there is hope around the corner in the form of 2021. Until then, we have the Salesforce Spring ’21 release to distract us. It’s that time of the year where Admins, Developers & Consultants get a bunch of new features and functionality to play around with, as well as users getting new productivity features and improved UI.

Having just announced the release datesandbox preview, and pre-release org information for Salesforce Spring ’21, the release notes are also now available! So in true Salesforce Ben fashion, let’s dive into our top 10 features of this release…

 

 

1. Flow Updates

Flow is truly becoming the rising star of the Salesforce platform, with huge updates being made with each release, and Spring ’21 is no different.

Tim Combridge has already given us a sneak preview in his Spring ’21 Treasure Hunt post, but here are a few standout updates…

·         Lightning Flow has now been renamed to Salesforce Flow. This incorporates a set of features that includes Process Builder & Flow.

·         Flow now has the ability for time-based flow actions to be set

·         Screen elements now allow for Multi-Column support

·         Prior Values are now accessible in Record-Triggered Flows

Stay tuned and sign up to our email newsletter for more Flow updates.

2. Lightning Page Performance


Since Winter ’21, Salesforce has provided us with an overdue feature. The ability to analyze Lightning page performance. The previous update provided some high level information about page loads time, but in Spring ’21 the Page Analysis feature will show us predicted load time, as well as performance breakdown by component.

In addition, you will also be able to analyze page performance on mobile.


3. Einstein Opportunity


Salesforce Einstein & AI is fast becoming an imperative, not a nice to have. This was highlighted a few weeks ago when Salesforce announced that Einstein now delivered 80+ Billion predictions a day!

This is further being democratized by Salesforce offering a number of features for free, including Salesforce Opportunity scoring. However, previously this has required 200 Opportunities to be closed in order to have the necessary data available to make predictions.

With Spring ’21, Salesforce has developed global scoring models. This means for smaller, or new Salesforce customers, they can get up and running with Opportunity scoring a lot quicker.

4. Manual Sharing


Admins will be able to rejoice everywhere, the “Sharing” button is now available in Salesforce Lightning! Your users will now be able to share a record to a user, or group of users, just like back in the day with Salesforce Classic.


5. Create Relationships to Opportunity Product Object


It’s been 12 years since an idea was created on the IdeaExchange for this functionality, but finally, you will be able to create relationships to the Opportunity Product object.


6. Salesforce Meetings


With the vast majority of the world’s meetings taking place virtually at the moment, there is no better time than to take a look at Salesforce Meetings. Announced at the virtual TrailheaDX back in September, Meetings is set to supercharge the way sales reps prepare and conduct their engagements with customers. There are a couple of main features that have been highlighted in Spring ’21

·         The Meeting Digest screen gives you a summary of any meeting you are attending. Including attendees, any opportunities you are discussing, tasks, activities, and meeting insights, powered by Einstein.

·         In addition, you have Meeting Studio. This provides a platform to help keep customers and prospects engaged virtually. Allowing smooth transitions between sharing content, as well as a place to take notes, document next steps, and collaborate with their team.

7. Monitor Login Metrics


Back in 2018, Salesforce released the Lightning Usage App, that provides insightful adoption metrics about your Salesforce Org. Salesforce has extended the functionality of this Dashboard to now provide login metrics.

This provides out of the box insights, diving into how users are logging into your Org. E.g. Password free using SSO, using 2-factor or any other multi-factor authentication. If you are tightening up how users login to your Org, then this is a great way to report on your success.

8. Quip Rebranded to Salesforce Anywhere


Collaboration has been at the forefront of Salesforce’s mission for a number of years. We have seen two huge moves this year in the form of Salesforce Anywhere, a new suite for collaboration directly on Salesforce records, as well as Salesforce’s biggest acquisition ever, snapping up Slack for $27.7B.

Within the release notes for Spring ’21, Salesforce Anywhere has expanded to include all the features from Quip. Is this the start of a new offering that includes Salesforce Anywhere, Quip & Slack?!

9. Article Answers


One amazing statistic from Salesforce last month, was the fact that Einstein Bots are now being used more than ever. With a 300% increase in bot sessions since February, which is 680% increase year over year, we are truly living in the future.

One feature that is currently in pilot is the ability for Knowledge articles to be automatically suggest to customers based on their interaction with the bot. Just one feature that is building up Einstein Bots to be a necessary channel in your Service organisation.

10. In-App Learning


If you’ve signed up for a Pre-release Org, you might have noticed a new icon at the top right of your screen, this is the “Guidance Centre” that provides an In-App Learning experience.

The idea behind it is to enhance your internal training programs, by making learning easily assessable to users within Salesforce. The Guidance Centre provides recommended Trailhead modules based on your role, or the page you are currently visiting.

In addition, Admins can create Learning Paths using public Trailhead modules, or myTrailhead modules if you use this product.


Bonus – Release Notes Home


You may have noticed that Release Notes now has a new home, over at help.salesforce.com.

Spring ’21 is the first release to be shown here, and includes an improved user experience, updated UI, as well as search and filters. You will also find all of the previous releases on here as well.

Summary

I hope you enjoyed this summary of our favorite Salesforce Spring ’21 features. Did we miss any out? What are you most looking forward to?

Let us know in the comments below…