Each year, Salesforce releases three seasonal updates that provide enhancements and key upgrades to their product offerings. Those releases take place in the Spring, Summer, and Autumn, albeit with Salesforce calling them Spring, Summer, and Winter.
At the time of writing this post, we are right around the corner from the rollout of the Winter ’24 release (for reference, the Winter release always bears the name of the next calendar year), with that release being due for rollout across most Salesforce instances in October. In this post, we are going to share a sampling of standout highlights that we think might be useful for our non-profit customers.
But before we get to that, we thought it would be worth providing some brief instructions on how to find out when your org will be upgraded to the Winter ’24 seasonal release.
Finding out when your org will be upgraded is simple, it just takes a few steps. You will first need to know what instance of Salesforce your org is running on. To find out your instance, you need to go to Company Information which can be found in Setup using the Quick Find search bar. Once on the Company Information page, simply locate the Instance field, and grab the instance number (it will be something along the lines of UM8 or CS26). Once you have that instance number to hand, you will be ready to carry out these steps to find your release date.
The Major Release items listed in the maintenance tab are the dates when your org will be upgraded to that release. For this release, you will be looking for the Winter ’24 Major Release.
Now that we’ve covered how you can find the dates for when your org will be upgraded, let’s get on to the release highlights we think are worth noting for this release. This will not be an exhaustive list as there are other excellent articles that cover release highlights that we would encourage you to check out (links below). For now, we want to cover 4 updates as we think they are helpful to know.
For many customers, usage of the Salesforce Mobile App is key to ensuring they deliver a high-quality service. However, it has historically been a bit of a challenge to ensure that end users have a clean and pleasing UI, only seeing the fields they need, when they need to see them. This is where Dynamic Forms come into play. Dynamic Forms allows Admins to use the power of custom visibility rules on a Lightning Record Page to control when sections of fields, or individual fields appear. For example, let’s say that you are using Opportunities for Donations in NPSP and you want to display a section related to Gift Aid when a checkbox for Gift Aid is marked as TRUE; this is something you can do with Dynamic Forms by creating a Field Section and setting the custom visibility rule up to ensure that the section only appears when that checkbox is marked TRUE. Dynamic Forms have been available on Desktop for the last couple of years for Custom Objects and last year they were added for most Standard Objects (still no sign of it for Campaigns though). In this upcoming release, Dynamic Forms for Mobile will be generally available, bringing this functionality to the Salesforce Mobile App.
Dynamic Forms for mobile replicates the functionality of Dynamic Forms on Desktop. Admins will need to consider how they design their pages though as the layout on the Mobile App is different to the Desktop version of Salesforce. So, it may be worth considering what sections should appear on Mobile only, what sections should only be visible on Desktop, what sections should be visible on both and how all the sections should appear and behave in both locations.
To enable Dynamic Forms on Mobile you will need to go to Setup and search for Salesforce Mobile via the Quick Find search bar and then enable Dynamic Forms for Mobile from there.
Next up on our list is Custom Error Messages for Record-Triggered Flows. It’s no secret by now that Salesforce are pushing users to Flow for most of their declarative automation needs (I say most because things like Approval Processes still exist). In this release, Salesforce are delivering on a request from many Salesforce professionals. That being to give us the ability to add Custom Error Messages to Record-Triggered Flows. This new element provides Admins the opportunity to create a custom message that will display on screen when appropriate. In our testing of this functionality so far there are two main use cases for this new element, the first is as a validation rule. Say for example you want to ensure that the Amount field for a Donation is populated when the Donation stage is set to Closed, then you can use a Custom Error Message in a Record-Triggered Flow to highlight this with a warning message just as with a Validation Rule, but unlike a Validation Rule you can add multiple messages to same error component. This means that you could display a general pop-up alert when the error occurs and a note against the field to make the error really pop on your screen. The second use case is for error handling via a Fault Path. This would be where you display a Custom Error Message on screen when a Flow fails due to a fault. This second use case will take a little work to get right as you will need to be able to guess why your Flow is failing to customise the message adequately.
Below is an example of the component in action:
In the example above, I configured a Flow to return an error if an Opportunity was closed without an Amount being added. In this use case, the Flow flags up the error as a modal as well as an in-line field message to highlight where the update needs to be made before saving.
The next update we wanted to share is the ability to see what permissions are enabled in a Permission Set or Permission Set Group more easily. It was announced in 2022 that Salesforce will eventually be retiring permissions on profiles in favour of using Permission Sets and Permission Set Groups to handle permissions going forward. The retirement is still a while away, but Salesforce is laying the groundwork for the eventual retirement with key updates such as this one. In this release, Admins will be able to easily see what is enabled in a Permission Set or Permission Set Group by going to said Permission Set and clicking on the new View Summary (Beta) button. This button will then display a page like the one shown below.
In this example, we created a Permission Set Group to show you what was assigned to that Permission Set Group via its associated Permission Sets. In this view, you will be able to see what User, Object and Field Permissions are enabled. As noted, you can display this summary for both Permission Sets and Permission Set Groups, however running the summary from a Permission Set Group will display all the Permissions from both the group and its child Permission Sets. This update will come in very handy for those who use Permission Sets.
The final item on our list for this post is Mass Quick Actions for Related Lists. If you use Quick Actions, this update is for you. This update allows Admins to add Create or Update Quick Actions to a related list to allow you to make changes quickly to records in bulk. In terms of updating records, this new addition will currently only allow you to update 100 records at a time. Mass Quick Actions can be added to both standard related lists via Page Layouts and to a Dynamic Related List as is available in Lightning Record Pages. For standard related lists, the list type must be an Enhanced List for Mass Quick Actions to be able to be applied and work.
When you add these into your Related Lists in your environment, please be aware that any changes you make will apply to ALL records you update. For example, if you create a Quick Action to bulk update Contacts from an Account record and the action includes the First Name and Last Name fields, the Mass Quick Action will apply any changes you make to those field values to ALL the records you select. So, like with the Custom Error Message highlight for Flow, please take the time to consider what fields you want to be included in a Mass Quick Action before adding them, as you may run into problems doing bulk updates to fields including items such as names and other contact details. Our advice would be to only include fields in a Mass Quick Action that would apply to all records being created or updated. If there are fields that should differ, refrain from including them.
So that’s our four top updates we think you should know about for the upcoming Winter ’24 seasonal release from Salesforce. As stated at the beginning, this is not an exhaustive list of updates, but below we have shared some additional resources for you to check out and get a bit more of a flavour of this release.