Winter ’22 Release – Top 10(ish)

The Winter ’22 release is right around the corner and the release notes and previews are up and running. I’m throwing my hat into the ring regarding summarizing some favorite new features. Here I will apply the usual disclaimer that my bias is towards Platform/Customization, Service Cloud/Salesforce Field Service, and Revenue Cloud. Additionally, I failed miserably in getting a pre-Release org, so am impatiently waiting to test these items out in full….another way of saying that I reserve the right to change rankings later!

The usual cast of characters are putting out their summaries, which I would always recommend above my own, with many more to come.

UnofficialSF / Alex Edelstein: Winter ’22 Flow Preview. As usual, the ultimate guide to all things Flow.

SalesforceBen / Ben McCarthy: Hottest Salesforce Winter ’22 Features

AccidentalCoder / Vibhor Goel: Another Flow preview guide, and always a favorite.

Salesforces News Technology Stuff / Tushar Sharma. Another good list of Winter ’22 features.

ForcePanda / Narender Singh:  Not posted yet, but keep an eye out as Narender’s inputs are always great.

LinkedIn: Daryl Moon is consistently all over the release features. Also, Parthiban Vijayan and Aniket Kohale are sharing individual pulls from the Release Notes pretty frequently so check them out as well.

Without further ado, let’s get into the Top 10 items that piqued my interest...

10. Case Email Association Moving from Ref Id to Header

This one isn’t really a favorite, but is something where I imagine nearly every org will have a stake in seeing that they’re prepared. We all know (and love?) the Ref Id string in the Subject or Body of emails to allow auto association back to records (Cases typically). Summer ’22 will enforce a Release Update moving from the Ref Id to email Header information instead. Melissa VanDyke from GearsCRM posted a great summary on this change that is well worth the read, as you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for the change!

9. Scoping Rules (Beta)

Scoping Rules requires separate activation, but caught my eye as a way to focus search results and visibility of records based on User attributes. I’ll be interested to play around with this one to see what level of granularity we’re given and how well we can target results. In a large Global organization, with heavy volumes of transactions records especially, 99% of the records will be completely irrelevant to any single user, so whittling these down is intriguing. Perhaps a big improvement for user experience here.

8. View Lightning Web Component Dependencies in Tree View

Relatively small change here, but this is a big convenience improvement when trying to quickly view LWC dependencies from the UI. Previously you could only see information like Created Date/Last Modified, but not much else from the Setup menu itself.

View component dependency tree

7. Dynamic Interactions are Coming

Dynamic Interactions are going to be an amazing tool to allow fine grain and responsive control over Lightning App Pages. In its current iteration, Developers can expose Event properties in their Lightning Web Components against which Dynamic Interactions can be controlled on the Lighting App Page. As shown in the Pilot for Dynamic Interactions against Dynamic Actions Bar, it seems we can expect the availability of more standard options going forward: “You can use custom components as a source for Dynamic Interactions too, but the Dynamic Actions Bar component is the first standard component supported as a source for your interactions.”

Properties pane with new Events tab

6. Flow – Reactive Screen Components PILOT

Not going to lie – really hyped about this Pilot starting up around selections/output from one screen component directly feeding inputs to another on the same screen. The end result here is the potential for more single page application optionality within Screen Flows. If it comes to fruition, and I have 110% faith in the Flow team, then this will shift the solution selection process away from LWC and into Flow for many use cases.

5. Salesforce Functions GA Coming (?)

Seems the wait for Functions may finally be over, with GA advertised as somewhere around Winter ’22 release. I’ll keep this short but keep an eye on the Documentation Center.

4. Reports & Dashboards Inline Edit – New Field Types Supported

Adding on to a really nice new feature from Summer ’21, additional fields have been made available to Reports’ inline editing capabilities. Date, Picklist, and Lookup fields can now be updated from the Report itself. This is a great time-saver for data quality review and maintenance especially.

Inline editing on the report run page

3. Flow Debug – Change Record Values During Debug

We’re now able to set record values while executing the Debug process. This is huge in terms of initial Flow testing during the build phase to make sure all potential conditions are covered. Additionally, it will help in debugging specific scenarios where things haven’t gone according to plan, and the offending record state may have changed since it initially triggered the problem. Really excited for this update!

The Debug flow window with record field updates.

2. Search Results Object Configuration

One of the most common ‘core’ Salesforce questions I’ve received over the past few years has been ‘Why does Object X not show on my search results’ or ‘Why do Jane’s results look different than John’s? I don’t like that.”. Being a true tech visionary, I would give some overwrought explanation about the 4th industrial revolution and the powerful AI driving every aspect of our lives – and most importantly our search results on Salesforce. Excuses no more it appears, as we’ll have the ability to append specific Objects to the always searched list thanks to Search Results Object beta.

Setup page to select search results objects

1. Cheating – Flow Button Label Customization and Roll Back Previous DML

As is my prerogative I’m going to cheat by putting a couple more Flow nuggets in the same spot on the list.

Flow Button Label Customization sounds silly, but I’ve probably gotten 100+ requests over the past couple years to change the button labels. This was previously only available via this clever components from UnofficialSF, including Flow Button Bar from David Fromstein. Now it’s standard on Flow Builder, and will be one of those ‘easy wins’ that we love so much in terms of keeping customers happy.

Select the Use a custom label radio button and enter text for the button label in the footer.

The ability to Roll Back Previous DML based on subsequent results is also a great improvement for the management of complex or sequential updates — effectively giving us save point functionality in flow. This was previously a pain to deal with as you’ve have to find the records via a query and then delete them if you encountered an error later on in the Flow. Flow team to the rescue again. Personally I think the Flow team needs to offer unlimited PS hours to rework all existing Flows each release so we can take advantage of all the new functionality!

Flow Builder canvas with the Roll Back Records element

Bonus. Revenue Cloud – Finance Book Periods Expansion

I’m convinced this got slotted in based on my highly popular (80 points) Idea….definitely not a coincidence. In any case, this is actually an important change for standard periods, but critical for custom periods as it was previously borderline unusable. No more, as the extension has been done to 180 Open periods at a time, which gives plenty of flexibility.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully this contributes to the excitement for Winter ’22 !

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