takeaways

5 Salesforce takeaways from DF21

by Jon Shea

While DF21 was smaller and more intimate than DF19, there were still far too many exciting announcements and sessions to attend than any one person is capable of covering, but here are some interesting takeaways. 

 

Slack is the “Front Door” to Salesforce 

With the recent acquisition of Slack, it’s no surprise that this was a big focus at Dreamforce21. But beyond just evangelizing the product, we started to hear new concepts from Salesforce and unexpected POVs from Salesforce execs. A number of DF sessions emphasized a Slack-First approach to many core Salesforce domains such as Sales, Service, and Marketing

 

Thin work vs Thick Work 

Parker Harris, Salesforce.com cofounder, referenced this concept during the architect main session. While he didn’t share a comprehensive definition, it is likely a reference to thin vs thick clients and the fact that some work is perfectly acceptable to complete in Slack, based on data that resides in Salesforce, like deal reviews. Other work, such as call center operations, will likely remain in the familiar Salesforce UIs. “We have said blasphemous things like maybe you’ll never log into Salesforce again,” Harris noted. 

Demos of Salesforce flows running natively in Slack underscored the possibilities of these technologies working together. This is further supported by the new Trailhead content focused on Slack. 

 

Salesforce Easy

This is a broad initiative to simplify some aspects of the Salesforce platform. Harris referred to the fact that there can be a number of ways to accomplish any given task in the Salesforce platform, like process automation or data loading. Salesforce Easy will focus on the general simplification of overlapping features to provide one exceptional feature/function, as opposed to many partially duplicative functions. 

The BIG news is that Workflow Rules and Process Builder will be phased out, consolidating Salesforce’s declarative automation engine in Salesforce Flow. Workflow and Process Builder has been central to Salesforce automation for many years, and companies have spent countless hours leveraging these tools to automate business processes. 

All of that changes now. 

Starting in Spring 2022, Salesforce will begin to roll out tools to help migrate logic and functionality from Workflow and Process Builders to Flow. In 2023, the creation of new workflows and process builders will no longer be possible. 

If possible, stop creating new Workflows rules and Process Builders, and plan time in the near term for a comprehensive review of existing automation. An initial review and cataloging of what automations exist and what will need to move to Salesforce Flow is a key foundational element in preparing for this major feature consolidation. If your teams aren’t using flow yet, this is a great time to start learning. 

Need help cataloging years’ worth of workflows and process builders and determining if your automations are optimally designed? Contact Simplus to learn more and start preparing your Salesforce org for these shifts. 

 

Salesforce Functions 

Big news in Salesforce Functions! GA launching in Winter ‘22 changes the Governor Limits conversation and gives new tools to work around Governor Limits with complex and computationally heavy tasks. 

 “Are you running into governor limits?” This question from a Salesforce team member grabbed my attention at one of the Dreamforce21 booths in between the main stage sessions. “Yes?” I replied, quizzically, thinking, who hasn’t run into governor limits at one point or another? 

Governor limits are large design considerations in the Salesforce ecosystem that are well known to Salesforce veterans, but not immediately obvious to Salesforce newbies. Design methods to work within Governor Limits is a core pillar for many complex solutions. Governor limits have always seemed like an immutable entity that would bever change. Now, Salesforce Functions challenges that position. 

 

TL;DR

  Salesforce functions introduce some new and important concepts and capabilities:

1. Code in the language you want (well, JavaScript or Java to start, but more languages are on the way) and call that code from Apex. 

2. Functions run in their own compute environment independent of your Salesforce instance. This is the really cool part. Functions allow you to get around governor limits by running in a separate compute space. This opens up the possibility of executing computationally heavy workloads that previously would have run into governor limits 

3. Get the details here. 

4. Oh, and security. Because functions run within Salesforce, native Salesforce security is built-in, allowing developers to focus on development and know that security is taken care of. 

Are you running into Salesforce limits? Contact Simplus to learn more about Salesforce functions and how your org could be optimized for a better user experience and smoother operations. 

 

Hyperforce 

Initially launched in 2020, Hyperforce is a fundamental restructuring of Salesforce architecture building on the capabilities of public cloud providers such as AWS. This year, Salesforce focused on Hyperforce’s ability to support data residency in different global regions with an obvious reference to the privacy landscape in the EU.

Since GDPR went into effect, subsequent privacy laws (CPPA) and legal decisions (Schrems II) have only focused scrutiny on many privacy-related topics. Hyperforce will help global organizations comply with various data privacy laws by keeping data within specific geographic boundaries. This could significantly reduce risk for some organizations, but will also pose complex IT decisions,  for example:

We will see more global organizations adopt multi-org strategies to help segment EU data in local servers and systems. And how will this impact other areas such as global operational insights and reporting, customer analysis, and even data governance? Data privacy is certainly a complex and recently fast-developing field. It will be exciting to see how Hyperforce enables global organizations. 

Side note: There is a lot more than just data residency to Hyperforce, but that was just one takeaway from DF21. Read more here.

Do you have data privacy concerns? Connect with our experts to discuss your data challenges and risk and see how the Salesforce platform can help your organization. 

 

MuleSoft: More than just Middleware

MuleSoft has never been just middleware, but that is a common association. While MuleSoft does have industry learning middleware capabilities, it also has industry API management capabilities, and we saw these capabilities continue to expand at DF21. 

MuleSoft enables a true API first approach by providing a platform that allows for easy API creation, publication, and re-use. What does this mean for organizations? Now making data and functions accessible for use in internal and external applications is getting easier and easier. This can enable developers to move faster by reusing published APIs for different use cases rather than starting from scratch. It also allows for easier enterprise-wide API management and lowering maintenance costs. 

At DF21, MuleSoft announced some exciting new features coming soon that will continue to help with API management. Coming in 2022, API auto-cataloging functionality will allow organizations to automatically discover and describe all of their APIs—whether they are built on the MuleSoft platform or not. 

Why does this matter? Think discoverability. 

If you are a large organization with many development teams, keeping teams aware of what’s available across the organization can be challenging. Automatically cataloging APIs makes it much easier for teams to find what is already available thus saving time and effort. And hey, if a particular function isn’t available, guess what? The MuleSoft Anypoint Platform can help you quickly create those APIs, and make them available for use inside and outside your organization.

If you want to know more, be sure to check out Salesforce+, a recently launched streaming service that has recordings of all the DF21 sessions. Or call us! We can help simplify your processes with simple solutions. 

 

jon sheaJon Shea is a principal strategist for advisory services at Simplus.

 

 

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