Salesforce · Salesforce Releases

Highlights of Winter’20 Release Notes : Part I

Greetings Trailblazers!! This is the moment that Salesforce enthusiasts eagerly  wait for, Salesforce releases. In this winter’20 release Salesforce has yet again brought many exciting features both for admin and developer. Sandbox will be upgraded on 6th and 7th of September as well as, your organization will get look and feel of Winter’20 release.

In each release Salesforce comes up with solutions to most voted ideas, below are some of the trending ideas and highlights of winter’20.

Lightning Experience: A Modern and Intelligent User Experience

Lightning Experience is a completely reimagined interface.Check out the new features and considerations in this release.

  1. Lightning Experience Transition: Critical Update and Transition Tools 

    As mentioned in the Spring ’19 release, Salesforce turns on Lightning Experience on a rolling basis in Winter ’20 to empower users to move faster, do more, and be more productive. Users still have access to Salesforce Classic after Lightning Experience is turned on.

  2. Turn On Lightning Experience and Don’t Look Back 

    As of October 12, 2019, you can’t turn off Lightning Experience after it’s been turned on. The Turn on Lightning Experience toggle is grayed out in the Lightning Experience Transition Assistant. We and our users can still switch between Salesforce Classic and Lightning.

  3. Lightning Experience Configuration Converter: Scanning and Preparing Visualforce Pages and Hard-Coded URLs : 

    Streamline and automate common transition tasks using the Lightning Experience Configuration Converter. Salesforce has enhanced the support for Visualforce pages and JavaScript buttons, and made the Actions and Buttons tab generally available.

    • Prepare Visualforce Pages for Lightning Experience (Beta) : 

      Most Visualforce pages work in Lightning Experience, but salesforce is making it easier to find and update the ones that don’t. Visit the Visualforce Pages tab in the Lightning Experience Configuration Converter to search your org to get a report on your org’s Visualforce pages. Scan your production org to out which pages your users view the most—and which they don’t use at all. As a beta feature, the Visualforce Pages feature in the Lightning Experience Configuration Converter is a preview and isn’t part of the “Services” under your master subscription agreement with Salesforce.

    • Update Hard-Coded URLs for Lightning Experience (Beta) : 

      Hard-coded references to our org’s original URL might not work when we enable My Domain. Use the Hard-Coded URLs tab in the Lightning Experience Configuration Converter to root out all our hard-coded URLs, and then update them with a single click. The tool replaces static references to your original URL with new My Domain URLs. We can select individual URLs and replace them one at a time, or replace all hard-coded URLs at once. The Configuration Converter is a standalone tool that lives outside of Salesforce and so it is recommend that we run it in a sandbox or Developer org first, and then migrate our changes to your production org.

  4. Keep Record Context When Switching from Salesforce Classic to Lightning Experience 

    When you switch from Salesforce Classic to Lightning Experience, you land on the same page in Lightning Experience, if it exists. If the same page doesn’t exist in Lightning Experience, you are redirected to your default landing page, which is determined by the org default or your customizations.

  5. Try New Lightning Features with the Lightning Extension for Chrome 

    The Lightning Extension lets us roll out new features on a continuous basis. The initial release of the Lightning Extension contains three new features.

    • The Component Customization feature helps declutter your screen.
    • The Dark Mode feature gives Salesforce a dark theme that’s easy on the eyes.
    • The Link Grabber feature makes all Lightning links open in a single browser tab.Screenshot (307).png
  6. Lightning Experience  – Recycle Bin 

    We now no longer have to switch to Salesforce Classic to access the Recycle Bin. We can now view, restore and permanently delete the items in our Recycle Bin. We can’t restore reports and dashboards. We need to switch to Classic to access them in Recycle Bin.

Salesforce Surveys: Free Sending, Customized Email Invitations, and an Improved User Experience

  1. Send Surveys for Free

    We no longer need a license to create and send surveys. Anyone who has been assigned one of the provided four profiles can create and send unlimited surveys for free.
    Enable surveys, and assign one of the profiles to users who create and send surveys.

  2. Send Customized Email Invitations for Improved Response Rates 

    Send customized emails that contain a link to a survey question or to launch a survey. You can send email invitations to leads, contacts, and users in your org.
    To email a survey invitation, in the active version of the survey, click Open. On the Send tab, click Send Email.

    Screenshot (308).png

Search: Search Results That Reflect How You Navigate and More Details About Your Search Results

  1. See Which Objects Were Searched at a Glance 

    On the search results page, it’s easier for users to see which objects were searched and how many results were found. No more wasted time guessing.
    The Top Results page shows the best results for the objects we use most. In the sidebar, objects are listed in order of relevance, so the best matches are at the top, just like they are in the search results pane. Previously, objects in the sidebar were listed in the same order as our Lightning Experience navigation tabs.

    Screenshot (309)


  1. File Sharing Limits Increased

    Previously, files could be shared a maximum of 100 times, which includes shares with records, people, and groups. The file sharing limit has increased to 2000.

Lightning Flow

  1. Process Builder
    • Prevent Invalid Processes from Being Saved : 

      Previously, processes with warnings were saved, leading to potential issues upon activation. Now, processes are not saved if they contain warnings. Instead, we’ll see a corresponding error, so we know what to fix.

    • Reference Custom Metadata Type Records in Process Builder : 

      Reference custom metadata type records from a Process Builder formula to automate our business processes reusing functionality that we define. To change a value, we can update it in the custom metadata type instead of in our process and any hard-coded formulas that our process uses.

    • Integrate Einstein Predictions Using Prediction Events : 

      Einstein features, such as Prediction Builder, automatically write predicted values to AI prediction fields. Subscribe to the AIPredictionEvent platform event to capture these changes in a custom process that runs actions based on values Einstein predicts.
      When Einstein features write prediction results back to AI prediction fields, custom logic, such as Apex triggers, workflow rules, and assignment rules, aren’t run for efficiency reasons. To add custom logic based on Einstein prediction results, use processes, Apex triggers, flows, or Streaming API to subscribe to AIPredictionEvent. Each time prediction results are written back to a Salesforce record, an AIPredictionEvent event is created and AIPredictionEvent subscribers are notified. To capture changes made by Einstein predictions, create an event process that uses AIPredictionEvent as the event trigger. Add matching conditions, process criteria, and actions to match your use case. Here’s an example process that’s triggered by AIPredictionEvent messages.
      It reassigns Leads with high predicted score values.

      Screenshot (310).png

  2. Process and Flow Design
    • Manipulate Complex Internet Data in Flows Without Code Using Apex-Defined Data Types : 

      Flows now have the ability to manipulate the kinds of complex data objects that are typically returned from calls to web services. Create Apex-defined variables in flows and directly process JSON returned from web calls.
      Previously, Apex Actions and External Service Registrations were used to manipulate web data, but that data had to be in the form of primitive data types like strings and numbers. Enterprise data from the web retrieved via integration solutions like Mulesoft is rarely composed solely or primarily of primitive data types.
      With the new Apex-defined resources in flows, a flow no longer needs to use Apex code to process complex JSON returned from web calls. A developer defines an Apex class to serve as a pattern for automatic conversion from web to a flow, and then full manipulation of the resulting objects can be carried out in a flow using declarative approaches and no additional code. This solution is particularly useful for connecting flows to rich external web objects accessed via Mulesoft and REST calls. If a data type is not supported, flows can pass the value to an Aura component and you can use Apex to operate on it.

    • Keep Users in the Know with Notification Builder : 

      Send customized notifications when important events occur. For example, alert an account owner if a new support case is logged while trying to close a deal. Or, send a notification for a unique workflow built entirely with custom objects. Previously, you could send only standard notifications for use cases predefined by Salesforce. Notification Builder puts you in control of who needs to know what and when.
      Add the Send Custom Notification action to a process in Process Builder.

      Screenshot (311).png

Lightning App Builder

  1. Get More Options When Creating Record Pages : 

    Salesforce added more options to choose from when you create a Lightning Experience record page. You can still clone the existing record page view, or you can clone the new Full view option. The Full view option gives your users a view that is similar to Salesforce Classic.

  2. Quickly Build Contextual Filters for Einstein Analytics Dashboards : 

    The Wave Dashboard component is now called “Einstein Analytics Dashboard”. And you get a new Filter Builder option for record pages.
    With the Filter Builder, you can point and click to configure dynamic filters for your embedded dashboards. This makes it easier to set up a dashboard to show the relevant data for each record page in which it appears.

  3. Display Einstein Discovery Predictions in Lightning Experience Record Pages : 

    Add Einstein Discovery predictions as a standard Lightning component in any record detail page. In the Lightning App Builder, drag the new Einstein Predictions component onto your record page. Then simply choose a prediction definition, set prediction units, and select display settings. On the record page, predictions are updated in real time, and no writeback to Salesforce is necessary.
    Drag the Einstein Predictions Standard Lightning Component to the page layout. Choose the prediction to show and, optionally, configure the settings.

  4. View Quip Notifications Directly in Salesforce : 

    By adding the new Quip Notifications component to your Salesforce Home, record, or app pages users are notified every time they’re @mentioned or when a colleague updates or comments on their embedded Quip documents. Users can then search their notifications, filter for unread notifications, and even mark notifications as read. All this without ever leaving Salesforce.

    Screenshot (312).png

Objects and Fields

  1. Show Einstein Predictions in Formula Fields

    Einstein Prediction Builder generates probabilities and predictions, like how much a customer is likely to pay for a service. When creating a custom formula field, you can now reference AI prediction fields.
    When you create a custom formula field, refer to a prediction-based number field in the formula. For example, create a number field to predict the payment for a service named LikelyCost__c. Select AI Prediction, then create a formula field called
    InitialOffer__c with a formula of LikelyCost__c * 1.5. In this case, LikelyCost__c is a numeric AI Prediction field, and InitialOffer__c is a custom formula field. The resulting value is powered by Einstein Prediction Builder.

  2. Work with More Custom Objects in Your Org

    Salesforce has raised the total hard limit for custom objects in an org to 2,500 so that we can install more custom objects from packages. Each Salesforce edition has a specific limit on the number of custom objects that we can create in your org. Beyond the edition limit, the hard limit governs how many custom objects we can install from managed packages, such as apps publicly posted on AppExchange.
    The new 2,500 limit includes the maximum number of custom objects created and installed in our org.

General Setup

  1. Create Objects from Spreadsheets

    Now with a few clicks, you can create a custom object by importing its fields and field data from a Google sheet, an .xlsx file, or a .csv file. Not only can you create an object and its fields quickly, but when you’re done, all its data is there, too.
    You can create a custom object from a spreadsheet in two places: from the Create button on any page in Setup or from the Navigation Items tab inside a Lightning app. Edit a Lightning app, go to the Navigation Items tab, and you see a new Create button at the top of the Available Items list.

    Screenshot (313)

  2. Gain Insight into Your Company’s Installed AppExchange Packages

    Discover how your company is taking advantage of the AppExchange packages that you’ve installed by reviewing usage summaries.
    Usage summaries are available for managed packages that have passed security review.
    From Setup, enter Package Usage in the Quick Find box, and then select Package Usage. To download a .csv file of your managed package usage data, click Request Summary.
    The link to download a requested usage summary expires after 15 minutes.

  3. Define More Field Types for Big Objects

    Custom fields store all the information unique to a big object in your org. Previously, you had to store specialized data, like email addresses, in a generic Text field type. You can now use the Email, Phone, and URL field types with big objects. Defining specific types stores data more efficiently and adds data-specific field-level validation for your big data.
    Keep the field lengths in mind when building your index, which has a maximum length of 100 characters. URL fields are too large and can’t be included in the big object’s index.
    • Email – 80 characters
    • Phone – 40 characters
    • URL – 255 characters

  4. Protect Your Custom Settings and Custom Metadata Values

    When you define custom settings or custom metadata, use Schema Settings options to make sure that your values are available only for Apex, flow, and formula operations. This extra level of security hides fields and values from the Enterprise WSDL, prevents access through SOAP API, and requires users to have Customize Application permission.
    From Schema Settings in Setup, enable Restrict access to custom metadata or Restrict access to custom settings.

  5. Require Customize Application Permission for Direct Read Access to Custom Settings (Critical Update)

    Currently users without Customize Application permission can read custom settings using different APIs that are provided by Salesforce.
    Following the “secure by default” approach, read access for users without Customize Application permission will be revoked with this update.


  1. Use Lightning Web Components in Standalone Aura Apps

    Adding a Lightning web component to a standalone Aura app is now supported. The naming convention to reference a Lightning web component is <namespace:camelCaseComponentName>, which is the same as the naming convention for using a Lightning web component in an Aura component.
    This standalone Aura app uses the myComponent Lightning web component in the default c namespace.

  2. Use Lightning Web Components in Visualforce Pages

    Add a Lightning web component to a Visualforce page to combine features that you’ve built using both technologies. Implement new functionality using Lightning web components and then use it with existing Visualforce pages.
    Adding a Lightning web component to a Visualforce page is a three-step process.

    • Add the Lightning Web Components for Visualforce JavaScript library to your Visualforce page using the <apex:includeLightning/> component.
    • Create and reference a standalone Aura app that declares your component dependencies.
    • Write a JavaScript function that creates the component on the page using $Lightning.createComponent().Use the <namespace:camelCaseComponentName> naming convention to reference a Lightning web component in a Visualforce page.
  3. Apex
    • Fire Platform Events from Batch Apex Classes (Generally Available) : 

      Batch Apex classes can fire platform events when an error or exception is encountered. A batch Apex class declaration must be using API version 44.0 or later to implement the Database.RaisesPlatformEvents interface and fire a platform event. A platform event record now includes the phase of the batch job (start, execute, or finish) when the error was encountered. The start and finish methods of the Database.Batchable interface now fire platform events on error.
      To fire a platform event, a batch Apex class declaration must implement the Database.RaisesPlatformEvents interface.

  4. API
    • Limit User Access When Delegating Access to Metadata (Generally Available) : 

      Enable users to read and update metadata through Metadata API without assigning more access than necessary. Metadata API is used for deployments using change sets, the Ant Migration Tool, or the Salesforce CLI. The Modify Metadata through Metadata API Functions user permission doesn’t impact the direct customization of metadata using Salesforce Setup pages, because those pages don’t use Metadata API for updates.
      The Modify Metadata through Metadata API Functions permission is enabled automatically when either the Deploy Change Sets or the Author Apex permission is selected. The Modify Metadata through Metadata API Functions permission also includes read and update access to Apex when the user also has the Author Apex permission enabled.

    • API Only Users Can Access Only Salesforce APIs (Previously Released Critical Update) : 

      If a user has the API Only User permission, they can access Salesforce only via APIs, regardless of their other permissions. This critical update was created in the Spring ’19 release, but we neglected to mention it in the Spring ’19 release notes.
      To test this critical update, we recommend working in a sandbox.
      1. From Setup, enter Critical Updates in the Quick Find box.
      2. Select Critical Updates.
      3. Review the details for the “API Only Users Can Access Only Salesforce APIs” critical update.
      4. Click Activate.
      5. If any user can’t access the Salesforce UI, ensure that they don’t have the API Only User permission enabled.

Developer Console

  1. Format Your Code with Prettier in Developer Console

    The new Fix Code Formatting feature in Developer Console uses the Prettier code formatter to format your Aura components. This feature enables you and your teammates to use both Developer Console and desktop-based developer tools, like Salesforce Extensions for Visual Studio Code. Developer Console and Salesforce Extensions for VS Code now apply Aura component formatting consistently.
    Prettier is the standard code formatter in Salesforce Extensions for VS Code and for the apps in the Sample Gallery.
    To prettify the code in an open file, select Edit > Fix Code Formatting. Or, press Ctrl+Alt+F. To configure your code-formattingsettings, select File > Preferences and then adjust the settings whose names begin with Prettier:.

  2. Debugging: More Debug Log Storage

    Salesforce has raised the maximum size of a debug log from 5 MB to 20 MB. With the 20 MB limit, 99.99% of debug logs aren’t truncated. Salesforce has alsoraised the limits for debug log storage per org and debug logs that you can generate in a 15-minute window from 250 MB to 1,000 MB.


These were some of the highlights of winter’20 release notes. More highlights coming soon. Stay tuned!!
Check out the following link for complete release notes.
Salesforce Winter’20 release notes

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