Lightning, Release Notes, Winter 18

Winter 18 Release Notes


So, the Winter 18 release is nearly here and as I am easily pleased, here are some of the things I can’t wait for:

Out of Office – Users always set their OOO on email but have been unable to in Salesforce. It has always been an annoying thing when you Chatter a user regarding something important only to find out that they haven’t been in the office for the last week! Well, now when you go to mention a user you will now see an OOO meesage next to their name to highlight that they are not in the office – so sweet!



Lightning Background Colour – So one of the things a lot of people mentioned about Lightning is the lack of contrast/density between headers and sections. Well, Salesforce have now improved on that with a funky Trailhead background for the time being but i dont think it will be too long before you will be able to customise this to your hearts content. To access this, go to Setup > User Interface > Themes and Branding and ENSURE it’s switched on


Lightning Background


Enhanced Lightning Report Builder – OMG, this is fr*ggin awesome and love the way the report builder has been setup as it now reflects the Lightning experience.



Clone Lightning Pages –  One of the things that bugged the hell out of me was when I need to create Lightning pages. Previously, if you were creating different layouts based on app preference for example, then you would have to create a new one everytime which was very laborious. Now you have the ability to clone an existing page to make your life a whole lot easier/sweeter. Personally, I could kiss the person(s) who created this simple functionality.

Emojis in Chatter – For those people who cant write a sentence without the use of an emoji somewhere then you’ll be please to know that emojis are now available in Winter 18. As the Salesforce Release Notes say, “Even in business, there’s a place for evil pumpkin heads!”. Personally, I can’t wait for the arrival of GIFs if that ever happens!?



Opening Favourities – You can now open your favourities in a tab using right mouse click

Release Logo – So one of the things I instantly noticed is Trailhead is now the face of the release logos with Winter Astro/Yeti Astro/Skiing Astro representing Winter 18.



For a full comprehensive list of all the updates coming in the Winter 18 release then please look at the ‘release notes for adults’ that Salesforce painstakingly put together for each new release which can be found here.

If you’re not on Lightning and you ‘prefer’ Classic then shame on you!


Lightning, Uncategorized

Utilitizing Utilities Uniquely

Soooooo, in the Winter ’17 release Salesforce decided to ‘heat things up’ by introducing the Utilities bar which in my opinion is amazingly awesome in its own little way.

This new utilities bar which is located at the bottom of your Lightning page (once added to your Lightning App) and has a few use cases directly out of the box. Instead of adding Chatter to your page layout as a tab, why not add it to your utilities bar? Using a Visualforce tab to open an object? Add this to the utilities bar instead. Got a Flow you want to be triggered manually by a user? Add it to the utilities bar. If Rakesh Gupta or Jennifer Lee haven’t already covered this in a Process Automation Hour then this is a great time and I’m taking all the credit for suggesting it! lol

In case you haven’t already worked it out, Utilities gives you another element to styling your App by making them more intuitive for a user by eliminating tabs and making your creation look even more super swanky!

This is extremely helpful when you work in an environment that seems to have a million and one custom objects and tabs to match. The good thing is that you can use this functionality to show details without navigating from the current page. For instance, where I currently work, we are lucky to have WAVE Analytics (if you havent seen it then it will blow your mind) and use a few specific dashboards to help monitor progress from a high level. Rather than wasting up tab space and valuable page real estate, I added it to the Utilities section to free up space but still make it available within one click. The best part is that you are able to view dashboards etc without actually navigating away from the page.


You may be thinking “wow, that sounds really boring and don’t quite understand why you would get excited about nothing? You really need to get out more Tom!” and in some ways you are completely right. I do need to get out more I agree, but this is exciting stuff in my opinion. If like me you are all about the User Experience (UX) then you will want to ensure that you are giving possible experience to your users. As I always say, “a system can only be great if the UX matches especially when you are reliant on others to feed the system with data.”

Adding to the utilities is super simple so let me show you. First, go to Setup and type ‘App’ in the Quick Find box


You now need to edit the App that you wish to change. Simply click the drop down arrow and click ‘Edit’. In this scenario I am editing the ‘Admin’ app


App Edit

Select ‘Utility Bar’ and then click the ‘Add’ button. You will now be prompted to make a selection as to what type of component you want to add. Due to the amount of tabs on our App, we are going to add the ‘Chatter Publisher’ to the Utilities bar to save space.  Select ‘Chatter Publisher’


Your screen will now look like this

App Add

In this scenario we’re not going to amend anything so you can just click ‘Save’ and then ‘Done’.

You will now see this little sexy icon in the bottom left hand corner and when clicked will now open up Chatter Publisher ready for you post away!



How easy was that, like seriously, how easy was that?



Begone and start creating your masterpieces now!


Salesforce Coding for Noobs – Part 1

It comes to a point where eventually you may want to start dabbling with code but not necessarily become a developer. This is exactly where I stand to this day. I need/want to learn the small things like how to build simple triggers, visualforce pages to help solve minimal issues but all the materials online may as well be written in Arabic. I find that about 99.99% of it all has the assumption that you know about the fundamentals such as loops, classes, methods objects etc.


This is to help give you some of the basics fundamentals or at least an understandable definition and help make our transition somewhat more easier. Maybe one day you’ll be as awesome as Bryan James, David Liu, Enrico Murru, Keir Bowden or Jeff Douglas (to name a few) and this post was what started you of? If it does, then well done and I can safely know that at least one person has read my blog!


One of the easiest ways I have found to understand coding is to think of it as baking a cake. You have your ingredients, recipe, utensils, equipment and then your finished product. In essence, it’s just a set of instructions and like baking a cake, you need to do things in a certain order. This isn’t always the case but I’m sure it is a majority of the time

This first part is addressing the jargon that’s thrown about which will help make Arabic sound more like a native language:

String – Not something you tie your shoes with nor does it come out of a can. It’s line of text which can be anything you want with pretty much any combination of characters. Sometimes it’s required to be written between quotation marks (” “).

Boolean – True or False and nothing else in between. Can be represented as 1 for True and 0 for False.

Object – Not something in physical format but in basic terms, it’s a data table. Bit like a spreadsheet that your sales team loves to use on a regular basis.

Apex – The language developed by Salesforce. Think of it as taking the stone wheel and then reinventing it into the pneumatic tire/tyre we know and love today

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language is the standard language for creating web pages and web applications. Easiest way to remember is that it is the blue prints to the page you are viewing as to what goes where.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets describes how HTML displays on your screen. It can turn the most boring of pages into something super sexy

JavaScript – Language commonly used in web development to add dynamic and interactive awesomeness to a website

Variables – The sole purpose is to label and store data in memory. It’s basically a value that can change(s) depending on conditions or on information passed.

IDE’s – Stands for Integrated Developement Environment and has absolutely nothing to do with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. This is what you use to create your coding master pieces.

Loop – Basically it means to keep doing a specific thing until something tells you to stop. I’ll let you come up with your own way for remembering that one.

Method – Basically a small set of instructions to do something magical. Think of it as paragraphs in a Harry Potter book.

Class – Something that is formed as part of random methods. Think of it as a chapter in a Harry Potter book that creates something magical.

InterfaceEnrico Murru describes an interface in layman terms as “A class that ‘implements’ an interface defines the methods provided in the interface. An interface does not say anything but only states how a class can say something. Basically think of it as a car’. In that case, the following would be a way of breaking it down in more simpler terms:

  • Interface = Car 
  • Class(es) = How to build it
  • Method(s) = How to create the engine/turn/move/indicate etc.

Bryan James confirmed this was an accurate representation so I’m happy with this representation.

Hopefully this has provided some useful information in a way that has made it easier for you to understand? I know I havent covered every aspect of coding but we all have to start somewhere and in my opinion this isn’t a bad start.

I now need to learn how to put this all together now for part deux ……..

If there’s anything I have fundamentally got wrong or any suggestions in what should have been added then please comment below.


Tom’s Tremendously Thrilling Top Tips


Are you new or relatively new to Salesforce? Do you feel unsure what way to turn for help regarding Salesforce functionality?


Then here are 10 of my top tips to make your life somewhat easier:

  1. Use the Success Community. This is a great place to ask questions about best practice and functionality and has saved my bacon many times!
  2. Develop a deep and meaningful relationship with Trailhead. This is your one stop playground where you can learn all things Salesforce in a fun and easy way.
  3. Attend your nearest Admin
  4. Get on Twitter. This is a great way to connect with many Salesforce like minded people and ask questions. Some great people to follow on functionality and updates are:
  5. Attend the Salesforce1 World Tour. This happens only once a year and is a 1 day event.
  6. Attend Dreamforce. This is a 3 and a half days of pure learning, networking and fun and worth every penny/cent in my opinion. This is like Disneyland for Salesforcegiphy1
  7. Use Chrome. It provides a better experience than IE and you can make use of extensions.
  8. Use Chrome extensions. These are little life savers that allow you to do certain things quickly. Some great ones are:
    • ORGanizer If Chrome and Salesforce had a baby then this would definitely be it
    • Quickly Login As Another User
    • Salesforce1 Sandbox Simulator
    • OneTab
  9. Use Johan Yu’s website to answer some of questions or find some new blogs/websites that may be of use:
  10. Get a personal sandbox and practice the hell out of what you learn. It always helps to have something you can look back on  and you can pretty much do what you like with it. Just dont use it for business purposes.


Obviously there are ton’s of other things you can do to gain experience but these were some of the things that have helped me. If you have any better suggestions then feel free to comment below.


Happy Salesforcing! (my new term)


Lightning, Release Notes, Summer 17, Uncategorized

Summer 17 Release Notes


So, the Summer 17 release is nearly available and as I am easily pleased, here are some of the things I can’t wait for:

Keyboard shortcuts – Whilst working in Lightning Experience you can now search for, edit, save, and close a record directly from your keyboard. So simple yet so awesome.

To view the available keyboard shortcuts, press:

  • Windows: Ctrl+/
  • macOS: Cmd+/

Keyboard Shortcuts

This is even better if you have one of those laptops where the mousepad has a mind of its own!

Adding Utility Icons – If you love the Utilities Bar then this tweak makes life even sweeter. To modify an icon image you had to manually insert the LDS Icon name to change. Now you have a pop-up window to make your selection.

Utility Icon

Make Lightning Experience the Only Experience – Need I say more. After all your hard work, you can now enforce your users to appreciate your ultimate creation and not switch back. This has to be by far the best part of the Summer release.

You Use Lightning

Preview Case Details with Case Hovers – Users can hover over cases to get a sneak peek at the details, including the description and latest update. No more opening the case record to get important information—talk about a time saver!Case Hover LEX

Field History – The long-awaited functionality of being able to see field history/tracking on your record in Lightning is now here! If you have the related list showing in Classic then it will now appear in the Lightning experience. This makes it more exciting than the POTUS at a wrestling match


Dashboard Filters – This is the one thing I love about dashboards in Classic and now it’s available in Lightning.


The final one that in my opinion makes me actually want to buy a beer for the person who did this is:

“Last Refreshed” Warning – Ever get that email/call from Sales where they say they are looking at the Sales Performance dashboard and the figures are just all wrong. They spent the WHOLE day entering new Opportunities and even filled in all the fields but the figures are way out. In their opinion it’s a waste of their precious time and that Salesforce is to blame. You then go on to tell them that if they had looked at the dashboard properly they would have noticed in hadn’t been refreshed in the last week. #WhyAdminsDrink

Sound familiar? Well worry no more. There is a big warning icon to notify them that it hasn’t been updated in a while – what more could you want?

Dashboard Last Updated.JPG

I hope you found this informative and easily digestible. What are some of the new feature/enhancements that you are looking forward to seeing/using?

For a full comprehensive list of all the updates coming in the Summer 17 release then please look at the ‘release notes for adults’ that Salesforce painstakingly put together for each new release which can be found here .

I also want to mention that images and wording (not all) in this blog were taken from the release notes but interpreted in my own weird way. If I done bad, then I’m sorry…




The Cowbell of Chrome Extensions

Are you an  #AwesomeAdmin ? Do you love working on Salesforce every day? Do you get frustrated when you need to see what the api name is for a field? When creating formulas, do you like the cascading effect? Do you switch between multiple orgs regularly? Do you like color coded org tabs? Are you fed up of reading these questions?


Well, worry no more as Salesforce MVP Enrico Murru is here to save the day with his very own Chrome extension ‘Salesforce ORGanizer‘ or ‘ORGanizer’ for short.


This extension has personally enabled me to retire 3 other extensions and possibly a 4th by the end of the month which is always a good thing. Some of this extensions capabilities are:

  • Login to ORGs
  • Check currently opened ORGs
  • Call frequently used links in one click
  • Fast queries
  • Execute Apex code on the fly
  • Auto Complete SOQL queries plus many many more


Enrico describing ORGanizer in his own words:

“ORGanizer has been created to help with the day-to-day functionality of a Salesforce Developer/Administrator.

Having 9 years of experience using the platform, I needed a way to store my user credentials in different ways (password, token, OAuth) to move easily between different Salesforce ORGs with a single click on the same browser window. Some of the daily pain points I was experiencing were:

  • Not being able to easily recognize which tab belongs to which
  • Quickly being able to access standard or custom ORG links (from setup links to custom apex pages),
  • To use a console of plugins right inside a Salesforce tab,

As a result, I decided enough was enough and went on to create the ORGanizer Chrome Extension. The ORGanizer brings together all these features, enhanced day by day thanks to the power of the Salesforce Developers community.

In a few months of being live, there has been more than 140 change requests and bug reports which have been delivered, with an additional 35 requests to be delivered in the next release. My aim is to have 1 new release a month and I am hoping that this is going to be a huge Salesforce Chrome extension supported by (as of now) more than 1000 active users.

This is an awesome adventure in which I casually stepped into at the end of 2016 which has given me satisfaction, love from the community and that is bringing productivity and good feelings to the Salesforce Community.”

So, what are you waiting for? Go and download it right meow and add some more Cowbell to your Salesforce experience!


Please comment below on what your thoughts or suggestions for this extensions are

I do not condone  Canadian Home Invasions


Lightning – What’s in it for me?

Lightning is very much like Marmite / Vegemite – you either love it or hate. There is no inbetween. Seriously, you love it or dislike it.


I personally have found a new love with Lightning and this has reopened my passion for Salesforce once again. Why though you ask? The reason is simply that Lightning gives you new and exciting possibilities with the system that aren’t currently available in Classic. It’s also helped reinvent the way a admin can manage the platform by allowing new functionality that would have previously required a developer.

Things like Kanban, Utility Bar (my new best friend), Sales Path, Assistant etc. will take your current awesome org and make it look like its been pumped up on ‘roid juice’.

Everywhere I have looked on the internet (apart from Salesforce and the Salesforce Success Community) shows posts that seem to want to put Lightning in a bad light but why? I will say that there are some issues that are slightly annoying such as the two column home page, maximum of 4 related list columns and campaign members related list is a graph rather than details but these are literally just a few which arent even worth worrying about. One of the main themes that I find people moan about the most is url hacking or more precisely, the inability to do so. In my opinion, if you have to heavily rely on url hacking then you have built a really shi*ty solution as this should be rarely used. As a solution, why not use actions instead which are really awesome or some funky Visual Flow solution that you saw being covered in the Salesforce Automation Hour recently?

With that aside, what you really want to be asking yourself is “Will Lightning stop me or my users from working?” No, unless you have some heavily over the top customisation then you’re up a creek without a paddle.


All I will say is that in my fortunate experience, our Sales team actually PREFER Lightning for its simplistic approach so maybe its time for a change of scenery?