Thought fellow Salesforce users might find this blog post by my coworker Smi Ellong (a solution architect) interesting.

Read it on the bluewolf site !

Hidden Gems From The Salesforce Winter 14 Release

 

POSTED BYsami ellong

Salesforce’s Winter 14 release will deliver many highly anticipated features, as many popular ideas were implemented. In this post, I wanted to bring some attention to what I call “hidden gems” of this release. These are pieces of functionality that might not get much coverage but will definitely prove to be useful for organization andadmins alike. Note: Some of these are pilot features, so you might have to contact Salesforce to get them enabled in your org.

Enhanced lookup search now searches all fields
Lookup fields are the glue that holds all Salesforce records together and enable a lot of the great functionality provided by the Force.com platform. That being said, the lookup search functionality is occasionally frustrating as it can be challenging to find what you are looking for. In Winter ‘14, Enhanced Lookup Search will now search more than Name fields and will allow users to search through all searchable fields. For example, when searching for a Contact, you will now be able to locate them by their email address or a custom ID such as a customer number. Make sure you have the Enhanced Lookups enabled in your org in order to take advantage of this.

Note: Enhanced Lookup Search is only available for accounts, contacts, users, and custom objects.

Increased Chatter post and comment size
Many organizations are using Chatter to collaborate internally, and it’s replacing email as the preferred method of communication. The maximum length of posts and comments has been increased from 1000 to 5000 characters. This will allow users to share more information with each other and cut down on the number of posts as each one can contain more information. This simple change can help increase Chatter adoption.

Using email to post to Chatter groups (pilot)
Chatter group members can now post to the group via email. This can also increase Chatter group adoption as it’ll be faster and easier to post via email. I imagine someone waiting to board a plane would prefer this option over opening up the Chatter mobile app and locating the group to post.

Send and add email in Salesforce for Outlook
Adding sidebar functionality to Salesforce for Outlook in Winter 13 basically brought Salesforce into your inbox by providing search functionality and one-click email association to records. The one issue was that the sidebar did not include the classic “Send and Add Email” functionality that users were familiar with. Users had to choose between the two, which was a tough choice as both are very useful. Now the two-step process of sending and associating (if you have the sidebar) is gone. You can associate the records as you send them, all while leveraging the powerful search functionality provided by the sidebar.

Social network fields available on list views
For organizations with a B2C business model, leveraging social media can be crucial. The Social Accounts and Contacts feature provides a way to tie your Salesforce records to social media accounts. With these fields available in list views, you now have the ability to see what social media accounts an Account or Contact is associated to without having to drill into the record’s detail page.

Using Data.com with state and country picklists
State and country picklists are now standard Salesforce functionality, which will result in cleaner data and less user frustration. When in Beta, the main issue with this feature was that it was not supported by Data.com. This is no longer a problem. Users are now able to enter clean data using picklists and receive clean data from Data.com.

Description field for sharing rules
Sharing rules are a great tool to control access to records and depending on your security requirements, you can end up with a lot of them. Having a description field on these will provide greater insight into what a sharing rule is used for, especially in orgs with complex sharing models.

Manager groups
Manager groups provide an additional tool to share records. Manager groups can be used to share records with your management chain, instead of all managers in the same role based on the role hierarchy.

Every user now has two manager groups they can share records to:
1. Managers Group: Your direct and indirect managers
2. Manager Subordinates Group: You and your direct and indirect reports

A simple use case would be a custom object for performance reviews. The object can be set as Private and then shared to your Manager group. This will ensure that only those you report to can see the records as opposed to anyone in your Manager’s role.

What Now?
Read the full release notes and official Winter 14 overview here.