An Admins Top Tips for Preparing for the next release...
Don’t forget to check out our Winter19 Release Highlights
Salesforce automatically updates your instance of the platform three times a year for free. The upgrade usually takes place out of hours. This means there is no need to download anything or spending time to work out when you can take the system offline to upgrade.
However, as the updates always include new features here are my top tips in preparing for the release.
Join in the conversation
The Salesforce success community is a hotbed of knowledge, ideas and people. Everyone wants to help, and the release readiness group offers a great insight into what will be coming in the next release. Be sure to ask any questions to these Salesforce Gurus. The release readiness group always has a handy spreadsheet with a breakdown of each feature, I find this perfect for adding my own notes to.
Know when it’s coming
To be prepared you must know what is coming and when. Familiarise yourself with the Salesforce Trust Calendar which includes the release date.
Know what is coming
You need to know what features are included in the release to know what steps you need to take. Your first port of call is the Salesforce Release Notes, these are in a handy searchable HTML format, which makes it really easy to find the release details for the features you utilize the most.
Since trailhead arrived in 2016 it has totally revolutionized the way we can train ourselves. Trailhead offers a badge in release readiness. With new badges being added all the time it is the place to get upto speed.
Check out the release preparation badge. https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/trails/sf_release_prep
Look out for any Auto Enabled Features
When reading the release notes pay attention to auto-enabled features. These features are automatically turned on with the release, so you want to prepare for them carefully. The easiest way to find them is by using the online version of the release notes, which has filters for features enabled for users, developers, and admins.
Make sure you prepare others in your organisation of the upcoming release. Do you have workaholics who may be online during the scheduled downtime? Make sure that you let them know, during the 5 minutes down time they will not be able to save any records. During my time as a system admin, I used chatter and would remind people a few days before and then on the morning of the upgrade.
Is there a change that is going to make their life easier with little impact to them? Make sure you communicate these updates to the team. Again, this is a perfect example where you can use Chatter for this.
Test Out Features
As my mum always said you learn the most by doing, so make sure you get a hands-on experience by testing out any new features in a Sandbox preview. Salesforce provides a window for you to refresh your sandbox to the next release, this gives you a head start in checking out any new features.
If Sandboxes are new to you, check out these Salesforce Sandbox Trailhead Modules. https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/modules/alm_deployment/units/alm_sandbox
Watch Salesforce Release Readiness Live
If you have time make sure you check out the Salesforce Release Readiness live, the broadcast includes product managers providing roadmaps, demos and technical overviews. The dates for Release Readiness Live will be announced in the Release Readiness group in the success community.
Look out for Hyphen8 Release Highlights
Here at Hyphen8 we know you may not have time to study the release notes, so we will be posting what we think are the main highlights (and any actions you need to take) from the Next Release for Not for Profit organisations in subsequent blogs. https://hyphen8.com/blog/
Enjoy the Enhancements
Salesforce is constantly evolving to enhance the platform, enjoy the latest enhancements. If something is a total bugbear of yours you can upvote suggestions in the ideas community which may be included in the next release.