On the Ninth Day of Winter ’12 Marc Benioff Gave To Me – Cloud-Based Flow Designer, A New Enhanced Reports Tab, Global Search Improvements, Siteforce General Availability, Divisions and Quotes Now Married, Private Chatter Messages, Chatter Files Enhancements, Social Contacts in Salesforce and New Features and Enhanced Usability.
Okay so the Ninth Day of Winter ‘ 12 is going to be huge for half of us. Today at 8pm NA1, NA6, NA7, NA8 and NA9 will be down for maintenance. I know we usually hate maintenance periods but this one is special, if your Salesforce instance is on one of these servers when you wake up at 2:01 a.m. you should be logging into WINTER ’12! For the rest of us, myself included, we will have to wait until next week to have Winter ’12 in our production orgs. So to mark this much anticipated release, we will be covering another major feature of Winter ’12 which is the new Cloud-Based Flow Designer.
Salesforce has been working hard on their Visual Workflow tool Flow. Flow is already popular in the Call Center settings because of the ease of integrating call scripting applications. However, Flow is an amazing tool for many other applications as well. For those of you that haven’t tried Flow yet, it is an easy way to use a Visio like Visual Designer to quickly and easily create complex workflows. With Flow you can drag and drop Forms, Branching Logic, Read/Write to the Salesforce database and even Apex calls. This is the ultimate tool for using Clicks-Not-Code.
For previous users of Flow, or its predecessor VPM before it was rebranded last release, Sparks or the visual design file that creates Flows, were built using a desktop tool only available for PC’s, tough on all of us Mac-heads. Now with the Release of Winter ’12 a new Cloud- Based design tool is scheduled to be released. While there are some known limitations with the Cloud-Based version compared to the desktop version, this will be a huge step forward in helping more Salesforce users adopt Flow.
I’m looking forward to watching my twitter feed on Saturday to hear the reaction from all of those who received the new release, and I expect nothing but joy. And if you are on one of the servers being updated, make sure to go to bed early because rumor has it if you are not asleep Santa won’t bring your penguins. Hopefully you haven’t been bad because then you just might wake up to a Bug Infested, On-Premise Oracle server under your tree that will require additional software purchases, lengthy installs, a new IT Department. It’s enough to wish for the days when we just received coal in our stockings, or maybe that was just me. HAPPY WINTER ‘12