Salesforce issues three seasonal releases every year introducing hundreds of upgrades to the platform. The Winter ’22 release is rolling out now and brings with it some great new features. Even as Salesforce pros, we found ourselves excited about all that the newest release brings. We picked a few of our favorites that we anticipate Salesforce users, Administrators, and Developers alike will love. These selections certainly had us saying, “Now that’s cool!”
#1 Fun with Flows
The Winter ’22 release offers many Flow enhancements. Flows are the no-code solution for automation and guided visual experiences. Flows take a major step forward in their capabilities and ease of use with this release.
- Screen Flows: Roll Back Records Element
Flow now has a new element beyond Create, Read, Update, and Delete—Roll Back Records. When a flow runs, record changes are executed and saved to the database. The new feature rolls back the current transaction and cancels all its pending record changes. This is helpful for when a flow encounters an error, when business logic requires a user decision before moving forward, or for reverting from any breaches. We really like it for two big reasons. First, this feature eliminates the need to clean up bad data in the org when a flow doesn’t complete. Second, Roll Back Records is added easily to the flow rather than having to build the feature using code.
- Relabel Navigation Buttons in Screen Flow
Buttons like Pause, Previous, and Next were static and said the same thing for everyone, everywhere. Now, users can add a custom label. This is great because the buttons can indicate their role within the flow much better. By adding custom labels, buttons can better describe the navigation or provide a meaningful explanation of what happens when pushed.
- Configure Batch Size
Our experience shows that more problems occur with unregulated batch sizes for Scheduled Paths in a complex Record-Trigger Flow. Now you can restrict the number of records run at a time by configuring the batch size. This offers more flexibility inside a scheduled flow and helps improve performance.
- Debugging Enhancements
Winter ’22 delivers much more debugging functionality. First, now you can debug Scheduled Flows by selecting the path to check. Next, users can debug the change record to test how it impacts a flow. In addition to being able to debug easier, Winter ’22 offers more information to understand the debugging logs. Now you can capture information like API names, governor limit consumptions, and transaction boundaries. This feature is especially helpful when additional code is part of a flow.
- Send an Outbound Message
Flow Builder now includes the option of sending outbound messages to external services. This saves the time of adding a complicated workflow rule.
- Call a Subflow in Record-Triggered Flows
This enhancement gives more architecture to flows and allows for reusing complex logic without rebuilding it for each new flow. Instead of creating multiple flows that do similar jobs, you can add a subflow inside the Record-Triggered Flow and use it wherever needed.
#2 All Things Admin
Winter ‘22 includes many enhancements for Salesforce Admins to make life easier. Many of these common sense features had us thinking, “Well, where’s that been?”
- Dynamic Gauge Charts Chart nerds, this one’s for you. You no longer need to hard code a gauge chart. Historically, gauge charts only reported on static numerical goals. Now you can configure the chart by referencing fields in an object allowing the chart to give you the numbers that matter most.
- More Inline Edit Options for Reports This may be a small update but marks a powerful one. Inline editing previously offered limited options to edit data inside a report. This release expands those options to include dates, picklists, and lookup fields.
- Email Template Builder Updates With this update, you can dump the boring plain text email templates. Now the template builder allows users to create columns and rows, add indentations, and allows for longer subject lines.
- In-App Guidance by Record Type In-App Guidance previously used an all-or-nothing approach. The message appeared everywhere or nowhere. Now you can specify when and where In-App Guidance applies. Let’s say you have four different record types and only want a customized In-App Guidance message to show on two of them. Now you can easily adjust the settings so that it only appears where applicable.
#3 Nerdy Things to Know
We categorize this section of Winter ’22 updates as the “do more with less” section. These enhancements offer more functionality without requiring more code. That makes them efficient to implement without compromising on impact.
- Adding Asynchronous Path on Record-Triggered Flows Want to do more fancy things with even less code? Try adding an asynchronous path to a record-triggered flow. This enhancement brings lots of possibilities, but we particularly like that it allows for Salesforce to integrate with an external system easier such as sending a Slack message or updating a Heroku record.
- Expose Events in Lightning App Builder As part of Dynamic Interactions, users can define the events for a Lightning web component and expose them in the Lightning App Builder. Here’s an example of how that applies. Let’s say you develop something in code like a Google map. With this update, you can create functionality that whenever someone clicks on the map, an Admin can register the event inside App Builder and do something different as a result. Or, depending on what button a user clicks, the app can change what list view is shown. This enhancement allows for the configuration and development sides to work together more seamlessly.
- Performance Analysis Ever had a poor-performing Lightning page and struggled to figure out why? Salesforce helped fix that issue by offering a chart with metrics that show likely problems such as network or browser issues.
- Restriction Rules This update “changes the rules” on Salesforce sharing. Rather than sharing rules only granting permissions, now you can restrict users based on a variety of criteria. For example, you can create restriction rules to control which records specified user groups can see. Currently restriction rules only apply to custom objects, but it still represents a move in the right direction.
#4 Coming Soon: Winter ‘23
Other important Salesforce updates came out of Dreamforce 2021. While many more new features and enhancements are on the horizon, we want to alert users to an important discontinuation happening in one year. With the Winter ’23 release, Process Builder and Workflow Rules essentially go away. Old processes will still operate, but users no longer will be able to create using these programs. We are encouraging clients to start using Flows now. Winter ’23 will be here before you know it and we don’t want anyone scrambling to rebuild or rethink critical Salesforce operations.
The updates we touched on represent the tip of the iceberg for all that Winter ’22 has to offer. If you want to learn more, check out these helpful resources: