Mastering Spring ’18

It’s been a few years now that this series of posts has started, where I’m begging you not to discard the release notes and instead do study the new features as you would to prepare a certification. It’s important as a Salesforce professional to master what’s in the new release and make the most of it.
You’ll find below a selection of resources that should help you in becoming a “Spring ’18 ninja“.

Salesforce has now opened the doors to the certifications maintenance exam (until November 2, 2018) and I always recommend clearing your maintenance “before Salesforce starts talking about the next release“. This will avoid unecessary confusion around feature availability. I also ask to consider the thickness of the release notes as a blessing rather than a pain…

My method to prepare for the release consists in enjoying the journey first (steps 1 to 4) so that when you get serious and drill down into the details (steps 5 and 6) the learning becomes easier. The maintenance exam (step 7) is just the red tape, not the actual objective.

  1. πŸ“Ί Watch some videos
  2. 🐻 Get your Trailhead badge
  3. 🌍 Browse the best blogs
  4. πŸ“˜ Read Salesforce’s resources
  5. πŸ„ Learn the Release Notes
  6. ☁️ Play around with your DE org
  7. πŸš€ Take the exam

New Release Study: It’s not about the maintenance exam. It’s about configuring Salesforce to its best in your next project. Your clients will thank you for that!

Videos

πŸ“Ί Salesforce has a YouTube Channel where you’ll find all of their release specific video content. I find it a great way to start your new release study work.


In a different style, you may also want to have a look at the Release Readiness Videos videos. They’re an hour long entertaining talk shows discussing the ins and out of each of the Salesforce modules.

Trailhead

🌲 You can now access the current and previous release trainings on Trailhead. So, go ahead and have fun learning the new features with the trail Prepare for Salesforce Releases.

Blogs

🌍 I have handpicked the posts below from the best bloggers in the Salesforce community. They provide a different perspective and interesting use cases for the new features.

Salesforce Resources

πŸ“˜ To start with, I strongly recommend that you join the Trailblazer Community group Release Readiness & Feature Adoption.
Salesforce’s key resource when it comes to new releases is the one stop-shop Release Overview microsite. I like the posts from the Salesforce Developer evangelism team and there’s always lot of useful links to discover on the partner release resource page.To finish, you may also like the refreshing layout used in the Release Preview document to present the new features.

Release Notes

πŸ„ I guess you know it by now, the Release Notes come in two flavours.

  • PDF file: I use them in the train, downloaded on my iPad to make the best of otherwise wasted commute time.
  • HTML page: I use them on my laptop when I need advanced search capabilities.

Special Announcement

⚠️ Summer ’18 will bring a change to the URL format and Spring ’18 lets you test it via critical update that you can activate in a sandbox. Some custom code or AppExchange may stop working so it’s important for you to test ASAP in a sandbox and fix accordingly before being hit by Summer ’18.

Before:

[code lang=md]
https://<lightning.domain.com>/one/one.app/#/sObject/Account/home
[/code]

After:

[code lang=md]
https://<lightning.domain.com>/lightning/o/Account/home
[/code]

For more information, check Salesforce’s FAQ on the topic.

Play Time

☁️ Now, get one of your DE orgs and try out what are, in your opinion, the most important features. When done, configure the feature which feels the more complex to you. I also like to run some keyword searches in the HTML version. For instance, if “Leads” are a current area of interest for you, search what’s new for “Leads” in the new release. Play around, have fun, learn.

Exam

πŸš€ At this stage, the maintenance exam will be a breeze. I’m doing the exam using two monitors with WebAssessor on the main screen and two browser tabs on the second screen: (1) HTML release notes & (2) a DE org ready for quick tests.

⚠️ Note that Salesforce announced at TrailheaDX ’18 that certification maintenance will gradually move away from WebAssessor to the Trailhead platform.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Mastering Winter ’18

Ok, here we go again!
Salesforce just opened the doors to the certifications maintenance exam (until July 13, 2018). I hate to focus new release study on the exam only, but it’s a nice way to validate your work has paid off. Here is a training plan I put together to ease the learning toward new release mastery. The idea is to enjoy the journey first (steps 1 to 4) and then get serious, drilling down into the details (steps 5 and 6).

  1. πŸ“Ί Watch some videos
  2. 🐻 Get your Trailhead badge
  3. 🌍 Browse the best blogs
  4. πŸ“˜ Read Salesforce’s resources
  5. πŸ„ Learn the Release Notes
  6. ☁️ Play around with your DE org
  7. πŸš€ Take the exam

New Release Study: It’s not about the maintenance exam. It’s about configuring Salesforce to its best in your next project. Your clients will thank you for that!

##Videos
πŸ“Ί Salesforce has a YouTube Channel where you’ll find all of their release specific video content. I find it a great way to start your new release study work.


In a different style, you may also want to have a look at the Release Readiness Live Admin and Release Readiness Live Developer videos. They’re an hour long entertaining talk shows discussing the ins and out of each of the Salesforce modules.

##Trailhead
🌲 You can now access the current and previous release trainings on Trailhead. Ideally, you should only need access to the current release, as it’s always best to stay up-to-date with the current release.
So, go ahead and have fun learning the new features with the trail Prepare for Salesforce Releases.

Trailhead Winter 18

As for the previous release, the Winter ’18 Trailhead module is a only summary which makes it an excellent place to start after the less involving videos.

##Blogs
🌍 I have handpicked the posts below from the best bloggers in the Salesforce community. They provide a different perspective and interesting use cases for the new features.

##Salesforce Resources
πŸ“˜ To start with, I strongly recommend that you check the Release Readiness & Feature Adoption page and maybe join the Trailblazer Community Group.
Salesforce’s key resource when it comes to new releases is the one stop-shop Release Overview page. I also like the posts from the Salesforce Developer evangelism team.

##Release Notes
πŸ„ I guess you know it by now, the Release Notes come in two flavours.

  • PDF file: I use them in the train, downloaded on my iPad to make the best of otherwise wasted time.
  • HTML page: I use them on my laptop when I need advanced search capabilities.

##Play Time

☁️ Now, get one of your DE orgs and try out what are, in your opinion, the most important features. When done, configure the feature which feels the more complex to you. I also like to run some keyword searches in the HTML version. For instance, if “Leads” are a current area of interest for you, search what’s new for “Leads” in the new release. Play around, have fun, learn.

##Exam
πŸš€ At this stage, the maintenance exam will be a breeze. I’m doing the exam using two monitors with WebAssessor on the main screen and two browser tabs on the second screen: (1) HTML release notes & (2) a DE org ready for quick tests.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Mastering Summer ’17

I was talking to one of my friends from the community at a Dev Group the other day and was surprised to hear that they were simply skimming through the release notes “because they’re getting too big these days“. I argued that as a professional there’s no magic, you do need to learn what’s new if you want to use the cool new features. It may be that we need to start specialising ourselves as a consultant, but there’s no doubt that we need to stay current.
So, in this spirit, I’m trying to ease the transition to the new release by bringing in this one post all the resources that will make it easier for you to digest the β€œSummer ’17” release notes.
If you haven’t yet read my old but maintained post, Preparing Your Maintenance Exam, I suggest you do it now.

Summer '17

##Training Plan

My approach to is to enjoy the journey first (steps 1 to 4) and then get serious, drilling down into the details (steps 5 and 6).

  1. πŸ“Ί Watch some videos
  2. 🐻 Get your Trailhead badge
  3. 🌍 Browse the best blogs
  4. πŸ“˜ Read Salesforce’s resources
  5. πŸ„ Learn the Release Notes
  6. ☁️ Play around with your DE org
  7. πŸš€ Take the exam

New Release Study: It’s not about the maintenance exam. It’s about configuring Salesforce to its best in your next project. Your clients will thank you for that!

##Videos
πŸ“Ί Salesforce has a YouTube Channel where you’ll find all of their release specific video content. I find it a great way to start your new release study work.

In a different style, you may also want to have a look at the Release Readiness Live Admin and Release Readiness Live Developer videos. They’re an hour long entertaining talk shows discussing the ins and out of each of the Salesforce modules.

##Trailhead
🌲 You can now access one full year worth of release training on Trailhead. Ideally, you shouldn’t need it, as it’s best to always stay up-to-date with the current release but at least you’ve got this flexibility.
So, go ahead and have fun to learn about the new features with the trail Prepare for Salesforce Releases.

The Summer ’17 Trailhead module has been shortened to four units and focuses on the frequently used clouds. It’s an excellent way to dive into “learning mode”.

##Blogs
🌍 I have handpicked the posts below from the best bloggers in the Salesforce community. They provide a different perspective and interesting use cases for the new features.

##Salesforce Resources
πŸ“˜ I strongly recommend you check the Release Readiness & Feature Adoption resources page and maybe join the Success Community Group.
One of the great resources I found there is the Customer Resource page.

The Salesforce Developer evangelism team regularly publishes release centric posts.

##Release Notes
πŸ„ I guess you know it by now, the Release Notes come in two flavours.

  • PDF file: I use them in the train, downloaded on my iPad to make the best of otherwise wasted time.
  • HTML page: I use them on my laptop when I need advanced search capabilities.

##Play Time

☁️ Now, get a one of your DE orgs and try out what are, in your opinion, the most important features. When done, use whichever features feel confusing or complicated to you. Play around, have fun, learn.

##Exam
πŸš€ At this stage, the maintenance exam will be a breeze. I’m doing the exam using two monitors with WebAssessor on the main screen and two browser tabs on the second screen: (1) HTML release notes & (2) a DE org ready for quick tests.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Mastering Spring ’17

Every time Salesforce ships a new release and however thick are the release notes, I do advocate for in-depth study! This is the only way that a Salesforce professional can stay on top of their game! Today, we’ll review the information available for β€œSpring ’17”. If you haven’t yet read my old (but maintained) post, Preparing Your Maintenance Exam, I suggest you do it now.

##Training Plan

My recommended approach to is to enjoy the journey first (1 to 4) and then get serious, drilling down into the technical detail (#5).

  1. πŸ“Ί Watch some videos
  2. 🐻 Get your Trailhead badge
  3. 🌍 Browse the best blogs
  4. πŸ“˜ Read Salesforce’s resources
  5. πŸ„ Learn the Release Notes
  6. πŸš€ Take the exam

New Release Study: It’s not about the maintenance exam. It’s about using Salesforce’s most suitable features in your next project. Your clients will thank you for that!

##Videos
πŸ“Ί Salesforce has a YouTube Channel where you’ll find all of their release specific video content. I find it a great way to start your new release study work.

In a different style, you may also want to have a look at the Release Readiness Live videos. They’re an hour long talk shows discussing the ins and out of each of the Salesforce modules.

##Trailhead
🌲 You can now access one full year worth of release training on Trailhead. Ideally, you shouldn’t need it, as you should always stay up-to-date with your certifications, avoid confusing features availability, turn the page and focus on the current release.
So, go ahead and have fun learning about the new features with the trail Prepare for Salesforce Releases.

The Spring ’17 Trailhead module is seven units long and spans across most Salesforce clouds. It does take some time to go through it especially if you drill down into the resources provided. But, it’s an excellent way to prepare your brain for the Release Notes.

##Blogs
🌍 The posts below are hand-picked from the best bloggers in the Salesforce community. They provide a different perspective and interesting use cases for the new features…

##Salesforce Resources
πŸ“˜ I strongly recommend you check the Release Readiness & Feature Adoption resources page and maybe join the Success Community Group.
One of the great resources I found there is the Customer Resource page.

The Salesforce Developer evangelism team regularly publishes release centric posts. And you can also find quite a few interesting resources on the Partners site.

##Release Notes
πŸ„ I guess you know it by now, the Release Notes come in two flavours.

  • PDF file: I use them in the train, downloaded to my iPad to make the best of otherwise wasted time.
  • HTML page: I use them on my laptop when I need advanced search capabilities.

Don’t hesitate to turn on a DE orgs and try out whichever new feature feels important (or confusing) to you.

##Exam
πŸš€ At this stage, the maintenance exam will be a breeze. I’m doing the exam using two monitors with WebAssessor on the main screen and two browser tabs on the second screen: (1) HTML release notes & (2) a DE org ready for quick tests.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Mastering Winter ’17

In my series of Salesforce release posts, I’m focusing today on β€œWinter ’17”. If you haven’t yet read my old (but maintained) post Preparing Your Maintenance Exam I suggest you do it now.

Training Plan:

My recommended approach is to get high-level awareness, get a feel for the new release and then drill down into the technical information.

  1. πŸ“Ί Watch some videos
  2. 🌲 Get your Trailhead badge
  3. πŸ”Ž Browse some blogs
  4. πŸ“˜ Read Salesforce’s resources
  5. πŸ„ Learn the Release Notes
  6. πŸš€ Take the exam

Sorry to repeat myself here but, as said in previous posts, I always stress the fact for us Salesforce professionals, it’s important not to see the exam as the primary objective of each new release study. The exam only validates that you’re comfortable with what you learnt.

Learn more than the minimum required to pass the maintenance exam. Keep your Salesforce skills in top shape, for the benefit of your future projects. Your clients will thank you…

Videos
πŸ“Ί Salesforce has a YouTube Channel where you’ll find all of their release specific video content. I find it a great way to start your new release study plan.

In a different style, you may also want to have a look at the Release Readiness Live videos. They’re 15 minutes talk-shows discussing the ins and out of some the new features.

Trailhead
🌲 Only the current and last release are available on the trail Prepare for Salesforce Releases. So, you won’t be able to use Trailhead to brush-up on an old release. But it’s fine; you’re always staying up-to-date, right?

The Winter ’17 Trailhead module is eight units long and spans across most Salesforce clouds. It does take some time to go through especially if you do it well and drill down into the resources provided. But, it’s a great way to prepare your brain for the Release Notes.

Blogs
πŸ”Ž I picked a few posts from some of the best bloggers in the Salesforce community. It’s great to see what use cases they find for the new features…

Salesforce Resources
πŸ“˜ I mentioned earlier the Release Readiness videos. In fact, there are more to it than just the videos. I suggest you check this great program and maybe join their Success Community Group.
One of the great resources I found there is the Customer Resource page.

The Salesforce Developer evangelism team regularly publishes great content and here’s their Winter ’17 post.

You can also find quite a few interesting resources on the Partners site.

Release Notes
πŸ„ I guess you know it by now, the Release Notes come in two flavours. Each has its advantage.

  • PDF file: I use them in the train, downloaded to my iPad to make the best of otherwise wasted time.
  • HTML page: I use them on my laptop when I need advanced search capabilities.

Exam
πŸš€ At this stage, the maintenance exam will be a breeze. I’m doing the exam using two monitors with WebAssessor on the main screen and two browser tabs on the second screen: (1) HTML release notes & (2) a DE org ready for quick tests.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Mastering Spring ’16

In my series of Salesforce release posts, I’m focusing today on β€œSpring ’16”. If you haven’t yet read my old (but maintained) post Preparing Your Maintenance Exam I suggest you do it now.

This post brings together all resources available into an organised training plan.

Spring 2016 release logo

Training Plan:

My recommended approach is to get high-level awareness, get a feel for the new release and then drill down into the technical information.

  1. πŸ“Ί Watch some videos
  2. 🌲 Get your Trailhead badge
  3. πŸ”Ž Browse some blogs
  4. πŸ“˜ Read Salesforce’s resources
  5. πŸ„ Learn the Release Notes
  6. πŸš€ Take the exam

Videos
πŸ“Ί Salesforce has a YouTube Channel where you’ll find all of their release specific video content. I find it a great way to start your new release study plan.

Trailhead
🌲 The Trailhead teams is introducing a new trail β€œPrepare for Salesforce release”. It’s a great way to get a feel for the new features spread across Clouds. But, don’t jum to conclusions, this is not enough…

Consultants need more than an overall understanding, they need to master their art and this means loads of studying for each new release.

Note that only the current and last release are available on the trail. So, you won’t be able to use Trailhead to brush-up on an old release.

Trailhead Badge

Blogs
πŸ”Ž I picked a few posts from some of the best bloggers in the Salesforce community. It’s great to see what use cases they find for the new features…

Salesforce Resources
πŸ“˜ The Salesforce doc team always come up with great presentations and video.
I would start with the β€œRelease Previewβ€œ, a high-level presentation of the new release, which is a quick and easy read.

If you’re a techie, you can find developer centric release information on the developer site. I suggest you watch the release Webinar recording and review the slides afterwards.

Release Notes
πŸ„ I guess you know it by now, the Release Notes come in two flavours. Each has its advantage.

  • PDF file: I use them in the train, downloaded to my iPad to make the best of otherwise wasted time.
  • HTML page: I use them on my laptop when I need advanced search capabilities.

Exam
πŸš€ At this stage, the maintenance exam will be a breeze. I’m doing the exam using two monitors with WebAssessor on the main screen and two browser tabs on the second screen: (1) HTML release notes & (2) a DE org ready for quick tests.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Mastering Winter ’16

In my series of Release posts, I’m gathering the best resources available on-line to master the new Salesforce features. Ultimately Salesforce professionals will want to pass their certification maintenance exam but, in reality, the goal is to stay on top of your art, not just tick the maintenance box…
Salesforce Winter '16 Logo
To start with, I’d like to share my approach when it comes to learning the new features:

Have fun first, then learn the release notes. It won’t hurt so much…

Blogs
πŸ”Ž Bloggers provide their own refreshing perspective on each Salesforce release. Below are my favourite posts for Winter ’16.

Videos
πŸ“Ί After reading these posts, let’s move on to Salesforce’s Release Channel on YouTube. They’re posting great videos, easy to watch to quickly get a feel for the release.

Salesforce Resources
πŸ“˜ The Salesforce doc team always come up with great educative content. I would start with the Release Preview, a high level presentation of the new release, which is a quick and easy read. You can find it in SlideShare too:

Next, try the Admin Quick Wins Guide; it highlights 7 important new features amongst the hundreds shipped in a release.

To finish, I suggest that you check the technical news in the developer site.

Release Notes
πŸ„ Okay, no more procrastination now… You need to bite the bullet and go through the release notes (either HTML or PDF). When you do, make sure that it sticks, don’t just skim through the pages. You could start with your area of interest then come back for the rest of the platform, then again read from start to finish. In any case, don’t skip them, and even read them several times if you can. You need to remember the new features if you want to stay on top of your game.

Exam
πŸš€ By now, you should be ready to pass your maintenance exam. I would suggest that you do so as soon as Salesforce opens the exam slot for this release (from November the 16th, 2015 to June 2016). To get organised around the exam itself, I suggest you read my post Preparing Your Salesforce Release Maintenance Exam.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Top Salesforce Blogs

I spend lot of time checking salesforce blogs to benefit from the research and experiences published by all the great experts out there in our community. Below are the most influential bloggers in the Salesforce ecosystem (sorted by alphabetic order).

My Favourites

Download My Reading List

You can import all the blogs I’m following in your favourite news reader providing it supports OMPL files (if not, try Feedly or Inoreader). This list includes my top blogs, of course, but way more than that… I hope you’ll enjoy reading this awesome content from the community.

Other Lists

Francis Pindar wrote a list of influencers’ blogs focused on Salesforce MVP. Check his post on Cloud Architecture. Ben McCarthy has got a great post too on the Ultimate Salesforce Blogs.

Others are trying to be more comprehensive. For instance, Johan Yu posted his own list on simplysfdc.com. But the “crΓ¨me de la crΓ¨me” of all Salesforce blogrolls is maintained by Oliver Hansen and is called… salesforceblogs.com!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Mastering Summer ’15

As I now do for every new Salesforce release,Β I’m compiling in this one-stop-shopping article the most useful resources available online related to Salesforce Summer ’15 release.Β This post will help you to master the new release capabilities.

Summer '15 logo

Blogs
πŸ”Ž Here are the best posts summarising the new features or highlighting the most important ones,Β all consolidated for you.

Videos
πŸ“Ί After reading these posts, a good next step would be to watch Salesforce videos on YouTube. They’re a great way to get a feel for the release.

I always watch the Developer Webinar and suggest you give it a go too. This webinar not only mentions but demos some of the most important new features.

Salesforce Resources
πŸ“˜ I find the Release Preview to be a very helpful summary of the new release. It could help you to quickly identify hidden gems. In a similar style, there’s the post Release Admin Quick Wins Guide on the Salesforce blog. It focuses on 7 of the new features.

There’s also the Developer Resources page which technical content is focused on the platform features, by opposition to any of the Salesforce’s Clouds.

Release Notes
πŸ„ The must-read document to identify and understand the new features is the Release Notes. It’s available as aΒ PDF documentΒ orΒ HTML page. You can pick whichever format works the best for you since the content is strictly identical in both versions.

Exam
πŸš€ The post Milestones of the Release Cycle provides general information on the timeline for the switch from one release to the new one.

The maintenance exam is available for approximately 2 releases after launch. Don’t be late or you will have to retake all of your certifications that are covered by the maintenance! You can read my post Preparing Your Salesforce Release Maintenance Exam and check how it works.

  • Date available:Β June 29, 2015
  • Completion deadline:Β February 26, 2016

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸