The Salesforce Summer Release 2020 – what’s new?
To be honest, 2020 feels pretty bumpy right now – in all areas of life. Salesforce, too, has understandably postponed the Summer '20 release, originally scheduled for May 8 (Sandbox preview) and May 15 – June 12 (production instances). Nevertheless, the latest release notes from the Salesforce universe offer some highlights that we've collected for you in this blog post.
An Important Change in the Gmail and Outlook Integration Portfolio
To start with, we'd like to mention an important change in terms of Lightning Sync. This is especially relevant for companies planning to purchase and implement Salesforce after the Winter '21 Salesforce release. This is because from Winter '21 onwards, Lightning Sync will no longer be available to new Salesforce customers who have not yet activated this feature.
Instead of Lightning Sync, the „Einstein Activity Capture“ feature can now be used to synchronize sales reps‘ contacts and events between Google or Outlook and Salesforce. Einstein Activity Capture offers more functionality, is more integrated into Salesforce's Einstein AI approach, but may require additional licenses (the first 100 licenses are included for all Sales Cloud customers).
Important to know: Einstein Activity Capture has certain limitations when it comes to data storage. Data captured by Einstein Activity Capture is only stored outside of Salesforce for 24 months and therefore does not affect Salesforce data assignments. However, there are no additional costs for data storage.
Salesforce is thus consistently continuing on the path towards AI-supported technology. What this means for the future of Lightning Sync remains to be seen.
Improvements to the Kanban view
The concept of process driven guidance is constantly being improved – and we are very happy about that! With the latest release, users who use guided flows also benefit from the Kanban view. Users who use a flow to define key fields and guidelines for a sales process or project now also get corresponding Kanban views. In this way, sales employees retain an overview and can call up all information at a glance via detailed views.
New Options in Flow Builder
With each release, Salesforce is moving more and more former „code only“ features to the Flow Builder interface (#morePowerToTheAdmin). This will delight flow experts, who will have even more possibilities for the design of guided flows. But more possibilities also mean more complexity – so flows are becoming a science in themselves. Nevertheless, we are big fans and are especially happy about the new platform Event-Triggered and Record-Triggered Flows.
Dynamic Actions on Lightning Pages (BETA)
Ok, it’s beta, it’s desktop only and for custom objects only. But it’s a start! Until the Summer '20 release, several page layouts were necessary to offer different action buttons. This is now a thing of the past, and we have the ability to add Dynamic Actions to the Highlights panel for custom objects in the Lightning App Builder.
It's obvious that Salesforce wants to move away from the old page layout editor. Especially when knowing that with the „Dynamic Forms (Non-GA Preview)“ enhancement, the next major development to create more flexible pages is already on the way. Dynamic Actions on Lightning Pages may only be a small improvement for now, but in the context of the Big Picture it means more flexibility for admins to make processes more user-friendly.
Pardot Developer Sandboxes (BETA)
Sure, sandboxes are not a new phenomenon in the Salesforce universe. But Salesforce Pardot Sandboxes are! The open beta version is generally available with the Summer '20 release and is provided via a Full Copy Salesforce Sandbox.
However, we don't want to get too excited about it, because if you want to use developer sandboxes in Pardot, you must own a Pardot Advanced Edition and already have a Full Copy Salesforce Sandbox in use. Also, just like the previous Pardot training instances, a Pardot Sandbox does not yet bring the advantages that one would normally expect from a Sandbox: Although we can create and test new configurations in Pardot Sandboxes, we have to manually recreate everything in the production instance when we are satisfied with the setup in the sandbox. There is no integration deployment option (yet) for data and configurations from the Prod. Another shortcoming: When the Salesforce Sandbox is refreshed, the Pardot Sandbox is deprovisioned. So you have to start over again with every refresh.
But since it's still the beta version, we think this is a very exciting step towards a full-fledged Pardot Sandbox as we normally know it from Salesforce. We are looking forward to it!
Upgrade to Salesforce Pardot Connector v2
Until now, older Pardot Accounts that were provisioned before February 11, 2019 were not able to upgrade from Salesforce Pardot Connector version 1 to version 2, which is used by all Pardot customers whose account was provisioned after February 11, 2019. With the latest release this is now possible!
Why upgrade from Connector v1 to Connector v2? What are the advantages of Connector version 2? First of all, of course, all new features regarding the sync between Salesforce and Pardot are made on the new Connector version. So if you want to benefit from all improvements and customizations, you can only do so with the latest version. A direct advantage of the v2 is that instead of a full Salesforce user license you can now use the B2BMA Integration User for the connector. So a Salesforce license is free again and we can save hard cash!
Another new feature: With the Salesforce Pardot Connector Version 2, the Salesforce Pardot Sync can now be paused (whereas in v1 the whole sync had to be deactivated). To pause the sync, select „Pause Sync“ in the settings on connector v2. If the sync is paused, the user interface will immediately display a message and also a note that after 30 days of pause a complete data sync is necessary. The „Sync Metadata“ option is also particularly useful, allowing you to query the latest fields or picklist values for fields from Salesforce even during a paused sync. The field configuration data from Salesforce is transferred to Pardot, but no prospects are synchronized. That's a thumbs up from us!
Security policy updates and changes for guest users
An important take-away from the release notes for communities is a security policy update from Salesforce that may affect guest users of public Salesforce sites (e.g., sites based on site.com, force.com, or communities). The following areas can be affected:
Data Visibility: Guest users may lose access to certain data.
Record Updates: Guest users can no longer update or delete records.
Guest Flows: Some creation flows of guest users may be interrupted.
User Visibility: Guest users may lose access to the visibility of community members.
Important to know: In the current release there is still the possibility to disable the automatic activation of this update. However, in the Winter '21 release the update is forced and there is no longer the possibility to opt-out. So we should start thinking about the effects on our instances right now! Here Salesforce offers various tools and help articles for handling this update.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud
The new Journey Builder Path Optimizer
In this release, Marketing Cloud is pulling an A/B Testing for Journey Paths out of its sleeve: The Path Optimizer will be available to all Journey Builder customers from Summer '20. The feature lets us test the flow of activities and communications across the entire customer journey and shows which paths deliver the best results based on various email engagement metrics. Depending on the results, new contacts or leads can then be automatically or manually assigned to the most successful paths in running Journeys.
To optimize different population segments or milestones, it is possible to place several Path Optimizer activities within the same journey.
Pause and resume journeys in Journey Builder
The Marketing Cloud is also following suit here: With the latest release, Journeys can now be easily paused and resumed in Journey Builder. Until now, journeys had to be stopped completely and then rebuilt if companies wanted or needed to pause their communication for various reasons. Now we can pause running journeys for up to 14 days, temporarily interrupting the processing of contacts during the journey and the sending of messages from Journey Builder.
This works both directly through the Marketing Cloud and via REST API Request.
Improved Send Time Optimization Recommendations
A small but very useful update: Improved Send Time Optimization Recommendations. This AI feature of the Marketing Cloud is part of the Salesforce Einstein Analytics portfolio and provides users with recommendations for email delivery based on for example Message Open Likelihood Scores for different times and days of the week.
The Einstein Send Time Optimization Dashboard now shows the results of Einstein's modeling even more clearly.
The Summer '20 release will be rolled out in all productive instances from June 12 – July 18. The exact release window for your own instance can be viewed at https://status.salesforce.com/.