Explore Spring ’24 Release Updates with Jennifer Lee

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Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Jennifer Lee, Lead Admin Evangelist at Salesforce. Join us as we chat about what you need to do to be ready for the upcoming Spring ’24 release.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Jennifer Lee.

Video content for the Spring ’24 release

If you’ve come across any Admin Release Readiness content, then you’re probably familiar with Jennifer Lee and her army of GIFs. That’s why I was excited to sit down with her and talk about what’s coming in the Spring ’24 release and what content is coming out to help you get ready.

Jennifer’s comprehensive blog post about her top Spring ’24 release features is a good place to start, but she’s also putting together a truckload of video content that is not to be missed. There will be new episodes of “Automate This!” and “How I Solved It” on YouTube.

Meanwhile, on Salesforce+, mark your calendar for a special Admin Preview Live on Thursday, February 8th at 9 a.m. (PST). Join Jennifer and all the PMs for presentations, demos, and everything admins need to know for the Spring ’24 release. It’s all a part of Release Readiness Live, which will be on Salesforce+ next week on February 6th, 7th, and 8th.

Spring ’24 release highlights

For Jennifer, the release notes are like an onion—you always seem to find something new each time you go through them. Some features she’s particularly excited about include:

  • Enhanced security management, like error messages that appear if you try to delete a permission set that is still assigned to users or permission set groups
  • Flow enhancements like text templates, Repeaters (no more placeholders!), and debugging data cloud-triggered flows
  • An email alert page in setup to see which flows are sending things to your users
  • Better report ownership management

Sandbox best practices for release management

Jennifer also fills us in on some best practices for sandboxes to get your production org ready for a new release. You want to have two sandboxes: one that matches your production release that you use for deployment, and one that’s on the upcoming release to try out new features. That way you have somewhere to prep for the future without accidentally breaking your current deployment.

Finally, Jennifer recommends that every admin should pull up “release updates” in the quickfind. That’s the easiest way to see what changes coming up and how long you have to get ready. Armed with your pre-release sandbox, you’ll be ready for all the new features before they’re auto-enabled.

This episode was a great supplement to all the other Spring ’24 release content we’re putting out there, so be sure to take a listen. And don’t miss Admin Preview Live next Thursday, February 8th at 9 a.m. (PST).

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Full show transcript

Mike:
Salesforce does three releases a year, and I don’t know about you, but I could use some warm weather thinking. So this week on the Salesforce Admins podcast, we are going to get release ready with Jennifer Lee, who is lead admin evangelist here at Salesforce, she was an MVP. You know her for all of the flow stuff that she does. By the way, she’s got a really cool thing she’s going to talk about on this podcast that’s not release ready, but I bet you’re going to want to hear that. Then of course, we talk about some of the release features that she’s not going to feature on Release Readiness Live, which is next week if you’re listening to this. So this is a fun episode. We’re going to help you get release ready. Let’s get Jennifer on the podcast.
So, Jennifer, welcome to the podcast.

Jennifer Lee:
Hey, Mike, thanks for having me.

Mike:
Yeah, well, it is springtime, despite the fact that I think you and I have been indoors for the last, I don’t know how many days, and it’s freezing cold, but spring ’24 release features are right around the corner. You had an awesome blog post about it and we were looking through the release notes and heck, it’s about to drop for everybody, so why not do a podcast to talk about it, right?

Jennifer Lee:
Super excited.

Mike:
Before we get into that, what else you got going on? You’ve got some video series and stuff coming out this year. I want to make sure that people up front know about that before we start talking about all the fun release stuff.

Jennifer Lee:
All right, so if you haven’t heard about Automate This, it’s a livestream series that I do monthly on the Salesforce Admins YouTube channel, so check that out. We also do deep dive blogs on it as well from our trailblazers. We’re going to be bringing back How I Solved It back to the YouTube channel, so very excited to continue to feature awesome admins doing amazing things on the Salesforce platform. So, that will start next, actually this month.

Mike:
This month, yeah. It’s February already.

Jennifer Lee:
This month on the 21st.

Mike:
Clock’s ticking down. Here we go. Yeah, I mean to sit and watch Jen Lee build flows live, we should charge tickets for that, but you can just watch it for free on YouTube.
Okay, so we’ve got some pilot, some beta, some GA features coming in the spring release. What are you excited for?

Jennifer Lee:
A few things. So when we’re talking about security management, I’m going to geek out on security, of all things.

Mike:
Hey, it’s the security stuff’s cool. It keeps us doing our jobs. People overlook that.

Jennifer Lee:
Yeah, so when you go and try and delete a permission set, previously if it had people assigned to it or it’s assigned to a permission set group, it allowed you to delete it, it didn’t even tell you. Now we’re going to throw up an error and let you know someone’s assigned to it, so get rid of them first before you go ahead and delete it or just check first that you really want to delete that permission set. So thanks to Cheryl and team for putting that in. But a lot of the things that are going into this release, surprise surprise, are flow enhancements, being the Flownatic that I love, so.

Mike:
I’m just shocked you didn’t start there. I’m going to throw a curve and talk about one security thing, talk about fly. That’s like being a hamburger reviewer and being like, so they have chocolate shakes at this burger restaurant, but let’s talk about burgers.

Jennifer Lee:
So threw you guys for a loop, huh?

Mike:
A little bit, yep.

Jennifer Lee:
So I love the reactivity that’s been going on in screen flows and Adam White and team, Sam Raynard, have been doing amazing things. So continuing on with reactivity, being able to have one component behave a certain way and then another component react to that. So, they’re adding text templates, display texts going GA. They’re also adding as a beta feature, Repeaters. Now when you think of a Repeater component, think of like you’re filling out an application and let’s say you’re adding beneficiaries. Instead of thinking ahead and thinking like, oh, this person’s going to add five and I’m going to put five placeholders, what about just adding the one? Then you let the user decide, hey, I want to add another and add another. So you don’t have to build out this UI that has 10 placeholders or something. It’s letting the user take charge and they’re adding and removing accordingly. So I think that’s got to be super cool for screen flows as well.

Mike:
I’m watching your GIF on that right now on this blog. I’m thinking, how many times haven’t we built flow, really cool flow components on a page? Then they had to go through it and like, okay, now I’ve got to do this again, because you’ve got to add somebody else. Now they can just bang, bang, bang, bang, add them all.

Jennifer Lee:
Or you thought they’re going to add five and they needed 10.

Mike:
[inaudible 00:05:29].

Jennifer Lee:
Then they complain about your form.

Mike:
Well, I mean, this is always the question I would ask in doing requirements gathering. So what’s the maximum insane crazy number you would think we could add? They’d be like, oh four, I don’t ever see us adding more than four. You’re like, the third use case they give you is like seven. You’re like, awesome. We’re just going to add 10.

Jennifer Lee:
Then a couple of other enhancements. So that data table component. So now when you search for other records, it doesn’t clear out your previously selected records, which is good. Then when you have flows that use email alerts, you can go to the email alert page and setup and see what flows are using it.

Mike:
Oh, that’s so cool.

Jennifer Lee:
No more guessing where it is.

Mike:
Or no more just guessing how many emails I’m sending with all of my flows.

Jennifer Lee:
Then the last piece on the data cloud front is now you could debug your data cloud triggered flows, rather than build them and fingers crossed, hope they work.

Mike:
Right? Oh wow, yeah. You start off with, I’m going to geek out on security stuff. I think it’s the debug stuff that we need to see more of. Everybody always talks about all the building of flows and stuff, but nobody ever gets into the debug and everything that you read or you go to events is always how you troubleshoot stuff. I feel like it’s not that people just don’t love the debug, it’s that people just don’t spend time in the debug. That’d also be a really cool place. Just call your, have a tech bar that serves coffee and scones and has free internet, and you call it the debug. Nope, not with me? All right, let’s talk about more release features because Mike’s not got a good coffee shop name yet.

Jennifer Lee:
Don’t make me laugh because I might go into a coffee thing.

Mike:
Yeah, the winter has been hard on us East Midwesterners, I got the Barry White going, so.

Jennifer Lee:
Jen Lee has a bronchitis going, so that’s great. We don’t talk for a living.

Mike:
No, no. I have a friend of mine that has a podcast and he texted me a couple days after Christmas, he’s like, dude, I broke my ankle, I got to go into surgery. And I said, good thing you talk for a living. He didn’t find that funny. I did, because I said, you could be a marathoner. Nope, all right, zero for two. What else you got, Jen? There’s some cool stuff in here. I mean, I’m busy watching all the GIFs in your posts.

Jennifer Lee:
I love creating those GIFs because it brings the feature to life. It’s not just a description of what the thing is, but you actually get to see it.

Mike:
Yep, and it also doesn’t feel like a commitment like watching a video, like click here to watch this video. It’s like, no, it just plays. But yeah, I mean the release notes should have more GIFs in it, add that to the idea exchange. I can feel somebody crying already over that.

Jennifer Lee:
So some of the other changes on the analytics side, the reports and dashboard side. Now when you have changes in report ownership, I guess before you needed to do a clone of it and start from the beginning, now you could just change owners, so that’s big. Then they had widgets that were only available to, I think it was enterprise and unlimited. So now it’s available across the board for all editions, which is like, you have a widget and you have a widget, doing the Oprah thing.

Mike:
Wow. No, that’s good. I just saw your GIF on the email thing. I’m still stuck on that.

Jennifer Lee:
You’re just distracted by my GIFs.

Mike:
No, just the fact, I mean, I think I remember still old school, building a workflow and thinking, how cool is this? But you never had the ability, you always had email templates and you’re like, I have no idea how many workflows are using this, but to see this as a related list, like, oh, okay, so these two flows are using this workflow or using this email. I love it. It’s the simple things sometimes. There’s the data table one.

Jennifer Lee:
Yeah, or if you needed to make a change to it, now you know which things are impacted by that change that you’re making.

Mike:
Yeah, yeah, because the number of times I’ve messed up emails before, that’s always a constant. I think we’re a little late in this coming out because by now a lot of admins have read the release notes. They probably have their idea, but thinking ahead for the summer release, because I’ll be honest with you. The summer release was always super hard for me because vacation and I wanted to be on vacation and then there was stuff coming out and then you had users on vacation. But thinking ahead to the summer release, what are some sandbox strategies that Evan should think about?

Jennifer Lee:
So when we’re in this pre-release cycle, that’s when some of the sandboxes are in pre-lease, some aren’t. So if you haven’t heard the term pre-release, that means you get to have your sandbox be in the upcoming release as opposed to your current release, which is what your production org is in. So the strategy that I’ve used when I was an admin is, when you’re in the cycle and you have a path to production. Let’s say you have multiple sandboxes that you build in, and then you push it from a dev sandbox to a UAT sandbox to some other sandbox to production, that’s your deployment path. You want to make sure that it’s on the current release.

So sometimes your sandbox, we’re going to say, CS15, let’s say that that was slated for preview and that’s a sandbox that you use in your production deployment. Well, you don’t want it to be in preview, you actually want it to be in the current release because your production is in the current release. What you want to do is build things and test things before it goes into production, as in being in that same release. You don’t want to deploy something going from a higher API version because the newer release goes up an API version. You want to deploy like to like, not from higher to lower. The reason is because that new release might have enhancements to the thing that you’re building, and now you’re building on this newer thing, production doesn’t even know about it. You try to deploy it, chances are you’re going to run into a deployment error and you can’t contact Salesforce support to help you because you went from preview to a non-preview. So definitely keep that in mind.

There is a timeframe, a window, and I believe, well, we provide resources that tell you if you want to stay on that current release or you want to move off of preview and go back to your current release, here are the actions you need to take, and that requires a sandbox refresh, for example. But we have blog articles that talk about that, so go to our release ready page and you’ll find blog posts on that, but make sure that your deployment path is on the current release.
But at the same time, you also want a sandbox that’s on preview because you want to test your current features and things like that, the things that you’ve currently built, and make sure they continue to work as expected and that you don’t get some weird behavior as a result of something new that’s coming out. So you definitely want to refresh and test the things that you have.

Mike:
Yeah, and I mean, even for example, we were in something like this, this time last year when reactive components came out. I was working with you to build the demo for our world tour. I couldn’t figure out why in one of my environments I couldn’t make the reactive component work, and here we need to check a box and go to a different API version. Similar, but yes, I mean you just want, yeah, pressure test against everything. Make sure it works current, make sure it’s going to work when the upgrade happens because you’ll nine times out of 10 be asleep, not sitting around pining for new-

Jennifer Lee:
Yeah, you don’t want to get that call.

Mike:
Right? Hey, I don’t know why this component doesn’t work, because it’s always a component. It’s never anything in the background. It’s always like an email didn’t fire or a component is just saying insufficient privileges. Well, did you unplug Salesforce and plug it back in?

Jennifer Lee:
Reboot.

Mike:
Reboot.

Jennifer Lee:
Control, alt, delete.

Mike:
Control, alt, delete, yeah. Is there anything else that we should think about during release time, either before or after?

Jennifer Lee:
Oh, yes. So release updates. So you can get to release updates in setup, just go into the quick find, go to release updates, and then you’ll see a list of upcoming release updates or you see things that you’re behind on. Hopefully you don’t, but Salesforce gives you ample time and they announce, okay, we’re going to put this release update out there. You have until X date before Salesforce enforces it, and they auto enable it. So when you go into release updates, it tells you all the information you need to know about whatever that update is, how to go about testing it. So definitely go in a sandbox, test it out. Sometimes there are things that might require you to make changes to something that you have in your org so that it doesn’t break when we auto enable it in a future release. So definitely go through it periodically to see if there’s anything upcoming, and then spend a time to allocate to actually testing it, making sure it doesn’t break anything there. In some cases, you can enable it in your after you’ve tested it so everything’s cool, but you definitely don’t want to miss the deadline, we auto enable it and then it breaks something in your production org.

Mike:
Breaking things is bad. You didn’t mention this, but I was scrolling along. Access fields from related objects on dynamic forums, forums enabled record pages. This feels like, oh wow, air. I bring this up because there’s literally a question in the Trailblazer community, and I’m going to respond to her after we get done with this podcast, where she was trying to pull in, she’s trying to write just a simple formula field to return a phone number. This would totally solve it, because why not just pull the field in? You can do that. Just wait for the release.

Jennifer Lee:
I just realized I forgot to mention all the features that I’m going to highlight on Admin Preview Live.

Mike:
Well, but that’s why you do the podcast because see, now they got to listen to all the features that didn’t make it on Admin Preview Live, but when is Admin Preview Live?

Jennifer Lee:
So you’re going to go on Salesforce Plus on Thursday, February 8th at 9:00 A.M. Pacific Time. We’re going to live stream the broadcast. So we’re going to go in the studio, all of the PMs, I’m going to be there as well. We’re going to be in-studio doing live presentations and live demos. So I’m going to be covering admin highlights. I’m going to cover four things, and cross object fields is one of the things that I will be covering.

Mike:
Oh, darn. Yay, teaser.

Jennifer Lee:
Then other things. The other things that you’ll just have to wait to find out.

Mike:
No, but look at all you get to find out on listening to podcasts ahead of time. Are you doing anything special for release live? Like we do shoes, I guess there’s no really footwear attire for release live-

Jennifer Lee:
No.

Mike:
… anymore. We used to do shirts for a while.

Jennifer Lee:
I’ll have to figure out what my outfit is.

Mike:
Yeah, maybe sparkly. Sparkly seems to be a thing. Maybe that’s out in 2024. Maybe it’s got to be something else, I don’t know. Cross out [inaudible 00:19:04].

Jennifer Lee:
Well, we’ll have to figure it out.

Mike:
I’m excited for this, little stuff. Jen, thanks so much for coming on the podcast and giving us all the cool stuff that you also included in your blog. But I feel like with the releases, you got to hear this stuff two, three times. It’s like peeling back an onion. Every time you look at the release notes, you find something else that you didn’t see before.

Jennifer Lee:
Oh, when I was a customer, I would love… So I would read through the release notes. Plus, I would always watch Release Readiness Live because I always find things that I didn’t catch while I was reading through the release notes. The release notes are pretty dry, so.

Mike:
I mean, they’re not a novel. But also, I felt like sometimes even reading your blog posts and seeing the GIFs, like the GIFs and that stuff, you read the feature and you’re like, meh, okay, but then you see a GIF or then you watch the Release Readiness Live of it and you’re like, oh, that’s so much cooler than it read in the release note. Well, I will be sure to include the links to all of these. As always, if you’ve got this far in the podcast and you have a suggestion for themed wear that Jennifer should bring to release. You should have an Easter egg, that something only somebody on the podcast would know about. Then we’ll put that on the thing and then see if anybody comments on it. Probably not, but it’s fun to think about.

Jennifer Lee:
Well, Diana Jaffe brought her lamp.

Mike:
I know, right? Who would’ve thought that a lamp would-

Jennifer Lee:
That was on the craze on X or Twitter or whatever.

Mike:
I know. Yeah, well, that’s okay. We have a goat as a mascot, so I’ll par for it. I’ll put the link in the show notes and then we will, we’ve got a week to prepare to watch you live on Release Readiness, so thanks for coming by and sharing some of that.

Jennifer Lee:
Thanks for having me.

Mike:
You bet.
Of course, that was another great discussion with Jennifer. Hey, How I solved It’s coming back, which is amazing. I love watching that video series. I also just, the fact that we can watch Jennifer do live flow solutions on YouTube is just the funnest part because that’s what I enjoy doing. Also, learning about flow because there’s still so much that I need to learn about flow, but there’s some pretty cool stuff in the release. I would love to know what is one of your favorite features. Go ahead and shout out on Twitter or any of the social platforms. Let us know.

Now, of course, if you enjoyed this episode, I need you to do me a favor. Can you share it with somebody? I mean, you’ve probably got friends that are getting release ready, right? Do they know about this episode? Do they know about some of the cool features like the reporting and the email stuff that Jen was talking about? If they don’t, all you got to do is tap the three dots, choose share episode, and then you can post it on social, you can text it to a friend. You take them to a coffee shop and say, let’s listen to the podcast together. I don’t know, throwing out ideas there.

Full of resources if you’re looking for them, admin.salesforce.com. That is where you’re going to find transcript of the show, the link to watch Jennifer do Release Readiness Live, which I’ll be tuning in for, and a link to the blog post where she has all those fun GIFs. Of course, don’t miss out on the conversation we have going on in the admin Trailblazer group that is in the Trailblazer community. The link is in the show notes. Hey, until next week, I’ll see you in the cloud.

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