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June 25, 2020

Salesforce Summer 2020 Release – Part 1: First Impressions

TL;DR – Summer ‘20 is a game-changer!

Generally speaking, the Summer of 2020 is a game-changer. Between COVID-19 and protests around racial inequality and police brutality, our lives will never be the same. And they shouldn’t. As we continuously learn and grow, we should become BETTER versions of ourselves. As I adjust to remote work, cancelled vacations, and early prep for a who-knows-what of my kids’ upcoming school year, I am torn between getting involved and staying safe. I struggle to find balance. How we handle ourselves during this time speaks to our values, our character, and our care for the world around us.

Specifically, the Salesforce Summer ‘20 Release is a game-changer too! In this release, Salesforce will become a BETTER version of itself, allowing us, as Administrators, to continue wielding this powerful tool in new ways. The 548-page Release Notes, though lighter than some previous releases, brings us brand-new features to favorite functionality, a reason to dust-off that Trailhead account (shame on you), and several quality-of-life updates to help us in our day-to-day workflow. Let me start by breaking down my first impressions of the Release. In my next blog post, I’ll dive into my favorite features.

In-App Guidance Builder

I’ve long been an advocate of turning Salesforce into your training platform. In-app training programs are crazy expensive. I have preferred using Rich Text Lightning Components and Component Filtering to easily build my business processes directly into the platform. That may now be a thing of the past! This feature, if it lives up to my expectations, will give us much more flexibility to not only create, but most importantly maintain, our training materials.


No matter how hard we try, we can’t force users to use Salesforce. In a previous life, I was a heavy Excel user who analyzed segmented data. There are still functions I perform where I find Excel or Google Sheets to be faster to complete (this is also how I know I’m getting old). In Summer ‘20, we’ll now be able to attach .csv files to subscribed Reports. My initial reaction: GREAT! I need to think about this one a bit more though.

Lightning Flow Builder

Hold onto your seats. This is where the magic happens! If you’re anything like me, you may have spent way too long NOT learning Flows. That mistake is now catching up to you! The updates coming out for Flows will allow Administrators to do even MORE! If you’ve ever wished you could run Debug Mode without committing changes, now you can ‘Rollback Changes!’ How do you handle Flow errors? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a report you could run on the errors to help you troubleshoot? There is now! You can also use these reports to track adoption of a Screen Flow!

Quality-of-Life Updates

Recently, I was met with a need from a group of users to help them quickly work through a list of records, to identify categories for each. The need was going to require clicking on individual records, evaluating each, then returning to a List View to click the next record for review. I ended up building a new Console App, for temporary use, because Standard Navigation Apps were missing the piece I needed: Split View. NO LONGER!

The Lightning Experience (LEX)

Always a focus of new Salesforce releases, Lightning updates are another reminder to migrate! If you’re still on Classic, you are holding on tight to the past, and there’s increasingly less of a reason to do so.

If you’re still holding on, regularly check the What are the Gaps Between Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic Help Article from Salesforce, which walks through the feature parity between the two interfaces. You may be surprised. Shameless plug: If you get stuck on a feature you need, but can’t find a replacement, reach out. We can help you find a solution.

Beware this Feature!

It gave me pause when released as a Beta feature in Summer ‘19. Now it’s GA in Summer ‘20. ‘Full View’ allows a Lightning User to view a record in the same layout as Classic. That means the entire record, including Activities and Records, is available all in one, single, scrolling view. What’s the problem? The power of Lightning for your users lies in your ability to configure the user experience with Nested Tabs, Paths, Lightning Components, Lightning Web Components, Filtering, Screen Flows, and MORE. Using the Full View places limitations on the benefits your business and your users will receive from LEX. There are two situations where I see this being used in Salesforce:

Migrating from Classic to Lightning
  • Expectation: “This will be great for our users. It will be easier for them to accept the migration.”
  • Reality: Change is difficult. It WILL be challenging for your users. The odds are better than you will find yourself stuck in this view by settling for it now. Instead, work with your users and stakeholders to maximize the benefit of the LEX migration.
Migrated from Classic to Lightning – And Users are Unhappy
  • Expectation: “Users have been upset by too many changes. If we change to Full View, at least it will be easier for them to be more productive. It will help them accept the other changes we’re placing on them.”
  • Reality: Change is DIFFICULT. If you’re planning to revert a change due to push back from your users, it doesn’t necessarily mean the decision was wrong, but the process can be improved. Focus on getting constructive (qualitative and quantitative) feedback from your users. Ask ‘Why?’ 5 times to find out the root cause of the frustration. Chances are GREAT the frustration is manifesting in the layout you provided. You can improve it, but I’ll argue, this is NOT the answer.

Over the next several days, I’ll dig into the Features and report back on my favorites. There’s a ton of value, and I’m excited to see them live up to my hype!

Still Need Help Converting to LEX? We got you. 

At Shift3 Technologies, we use a consultative approach to help you determine the best strategy to identify your challenges, implement appropriate solutions and enhance your systems. Come clicks or code, we have your Salesforce back. Concerned about your Lightning transition? Check out this 5-minute read. For a free consultation, email [email protected] or call 559 560 3300 today.

This post was written by David Akina, a Multi-certified Salesforce Admin, cat dad and human dad. David has become a regular contributor to the Shift3 Technologies blog and is currently a key presenter for the California Trailblazer Series.

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