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Salesforce Spring ’20 Release

Peter Skeffington steps in for Greg to give his highlights from the Salesforce Spring '20 release.

The latest release from Salesforce, Spring ‘20, has been in production for a few weeks now, time enough for us to have played with some of the new features and evaluated those that we think could have the biggest impact in the world of Non-Profit.

Assign Tasks to Queues

There is a long overdue improvement to Tasks with the ability to assign Tasks to Queues. We have been getting around this limitation by writing code for years! The screenshot below shows that this is now just an additional option on the Assigned To field of a Task. From a Non-Profit perspective, this might be particularly useful around project-based activities such as organising events where a team wants to have a single queue for all tasks and then individuals grab the tasks that are appropriate for them.

Merge Cases

Cases are used by a lot of charities as the mechanism for logging requests from those they help. It is relatively common to end up having duplicate cases, either from different people that are all reporting the same issue or from the same person calling in and speaking to different agents. In this situation, there may be a requirement to combine these multiple cases into a single case, so that your time is effectively focused.  This is now possible without the need for the “Modify All” permission by adding the Merge Case button to a page layout.

You configure Case Merge options in the screen below. You can choose to keep the merged Cases or delete them.


Some important reporting features that were previously in Beta went into General Release in Spring ‘20 as follows:

  • Unique count

The ability to count the number of unique occurrences against a field e.g. how many individuals logged cases with us this month. Where someone may have logged more than one case, the unique count enables you to get at the number of unique users. You need to turn on Grand Total on the report to see this count.


  • Filtering across columns

The ability to compare one column with another and filter based on a rule between these two fields e.g. only show me records where the Donors postcode matches the postcode of a Volunteer.    


  • Row formula

The ability to add a column based on a formula constructed from other fields e.g. Show the number of days between the case created date and our last action on the case.


Last, but not least on reports, there is a great improvement (albeit currently in Beta) around the subscription to a report. You can now opt to receive the results of a report subscription as a formatted spreadsheet so that you can manipulate the data.


Clone with related records

Something that has been standard in CPQ (and Classic) for a while, which has now been made generally available on other objects, is the ability to clone a record along with its related records. You just need to add the relevant action to the page layout. For example, you might want to clone a donation Opportunity and, while previously this would not have carried forward any related records, such as the Opportunity Contact Role or Products (shown below), this is now possible at the click of a button.

Salesforce Surveys

For those of you that use Salesforce surveys, there have been a lot of improvements around the functionality of a survey. You can now add images to question, welcome and thank you pages, have a color-coded scale added for the Net promoter Score and create more sophisticated logic for questions. Check out more about using Salesforce surveys here. For those that haven’t yet used Salesforce surveys, these are a good way of polling your own people on any subject you think might help you better deliver your mission.


URL Hack

Something that is getting quite a lot of coverage out there is the URL hack. This has been available for reports for a while and enables you to run a report as a URL, passing in variables to be used as filters in the report, but this is now available for any page in your environment. For instance, if you want to have a button to create a new record and you want to pre-populate certain fields, you can call the URL of the relevant record create page with the required variables to set the fields. Here is a good blog that explains how to use this capability.


Flow (for the more technically orientated)

Finally, my personal favorite improvements are all in Flow, a tool that we use a lot and I encourage everyone to consider using. Salesforce have made it pretty clear that Flow is going to be the future of workflow and process management (most probably replacing Process Builder):

  • Trigger flows

Flows can now be launched based on records being created or updated, or both. This also gives the capability to perform an automated flow on a record before it gets saved. For example, you could override the priority on a case based on certain criteria and apply this before the record gets updated. This could be done using Process Builder before, but it is much faster to use an auto launched Flow and in addition, it ensures that if you do have a Process Buiilder running over the object, it will pick up the updated value.

  • Related field referenceability


You can now reference related fields in Flow (previously only available in Process Builder). For instance, you can access a Record Type name directly from the primary object as opposed to having to put in another Get Record statement.


  • Running Flow in system mode


A really cool new feature in Flow is the ability to run a screen-based Flow in System mode. Essentially this allows you to override security settings within a specific Flow. For example, you may not want someone to have the ability to delete a certain record unless it happens through a carefully controlled Flow. You can make sure they don’t have delete rights in their profile but still enable them to delete a record through the Flow. This enables you to ensure they don’t see any delete buttons anywhere else except through the button that controls your flow. There are numerous other use cases for this. You will find the option in the advanced settings on the Flow. Be aware that you have to allow View All data on the object for the profile, but you can get it to obey sharing rules.

  • Irrevocable Apex actions


Finally, there developers can now create irrevocable apex actions that can be reused for many objects and importantly in flow. No worries if you are not a developer, you can just download those created by 3rd parties such as Unofficial SF. These enable you to do some sophisticated work with record collections and the like in flow. My personal favorite is the Action that enables you to filter values from a record collection that match a formula and place them in a different record collection.


Yet again, lots of good stuff in a Salesforce release. Here are the official full release notes.


Peter Skeffington

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