Salesforce Winter-16 – Managing a Successful Transition
Salesforce.com is continually driving innovation in cloud computing and customers enjoy the benefits of new features. However, the price of progress is keeping up with the pace of change – and the latest casualty is the forced obsolescence of standard ‘Classic’ pages.
Winter-16 is a watershed release for Salesforce user interface innovation. Salesforce needs old models to be dropped, to reduce legacy maintenance and compatibility issues. But can customers be persuaded to migrate from the Classic pages in which they are heavily invested – to embrace the new Salesforce1 mobile, Visualforce and emerging Lightning interfaces?
Will Salesforce Winter-16 force mass-migration?
Until recently, as Salesforce releases introduced new and improved features, the legacy approaches that they superseded were frozen so that their use couldn’t be extended. However, critically, these obsolescent features didn’t actually stop working. This has changed with Winter-16, which starts a forced migration of customers requiring any kind of enhanced user-experience away from the Classic user interface.
This time-frame has provided little opportunity for Salesforce customers with modified Classic pages to migrate to alternative approaches – and Lightning doesn’t yet provide a direct replacement for a modified Classic UI. The result is that a significant number of customers are caught in no man’s land – with many of their Classic user interface ‘mods’ disabled but with limited alternatives other than migrating from Classic pages.
Improved Apps support for Winter-16 and beyond
The Improved Apps vision is to drive Salesforce adoption, whilst striving to enhance the overall user-experience and usability. A major factor here is the way that we enable our customers to buffer their end-users from the complexities of raw constant change. The priority for Improved Apps is to ensure that the path forward, for all our customers to reach the latest developments from Salesforce, is also a bridge that allows them to travel safely from the old to the new at a manageable pace.
- Console and Salesforce1 Mobile user interfaces have never supported the capability to inject scripts. So, our recipes for delivering Improved Apps into these more modern user interfaces remain unaffected;
- Visualforce pages: Automated scripting has always been supported in Visualforce pages – and our recipes for supporting these pages reflect this. Furthermore, as a Visualforce replica of a Classic record-view page can be created with two lines of Apex markup – and our solutions added with two more – many customers have already replaced key Classic pages with Visualforce versions;
So, the real impact of this change is limited to script automation, on page load, in Classic pages, for Salesforce customers unable to either move away from Classic pages or deploy browser extensions. Even here, we support a variety of deployment options for Improved Help and Improved NoticeBoard:
- Improved NoticeBoard: Visualforce components:
- Sidebar Notification Banner: in small ‘watch’ form-factor;
- Embedded Notification Banner: in wide, ‘news-ticker’ form-factor.
- Improved Help:
- Show Improved Help’ Custom buttons or links, with scripts launched by user’s click.
- Visualforce components (due in our Winter-15 release, ETA 16 October):
- Embedded Help Panel: delivering user, page and context-sensitive help & training content for the current page;
- Pop-out Help Panel: using a sidebar launcher to pop-out the Help Panel as a stand-alone reference window that can optionally be synchronised with page navigation between Salesforce records.
Please see this FAQ entry that summarises Improved Apps deployment options by Salesforce User Interface.