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Experts Weigh In: Eight Notable Salesforce Features in 2023

December 19, 2023 in

It’s been a big year for the Salesforce ecosystem. Between the incredible features in the Spring ’23, Summer ’23, and Winter ’24 releases, the largest AI event of the year, and many announcements in between, the Salesforce ecosystem is an exciting place to be right now as a customer and a partner.

And we couldn’t think of a better way to close out 2023 than to have some of our expert consultants, business analysts, architects, and more share some of their most notable features to hit the platform this year. It would be impossible to capture them all, but there are some that stand out, and we can’t wait to see how the Salesforce platform evolves in 2024!

Salesforce Public Sector Solutions and Investigative Case Management

Contributed by Director of Salesforce Solutions Andrew Sartorius.

In 2023, Public Sector Solutions (PSS) use cases continued to expand, and Salesforce rolled out additional innovative solutions on the platform tailored specifically for government agencies. (Click here to learn more about Public Sector Solutions.)

For the Winter ‘24 release, Salesforce announced it would bring a justice and investigative case management solution to PSS. HigherEchelon views investigative case management as a natural extension of Salesforce’s out-of-the-box composable case management tools. We believe this toolset provides more flexibility for legal organizations to tailor specific business rules and workflows – that often differ from one legal jurisdiction to the next – than narrow COTS solutions in the market.

We are excited to start leveraging and applying this data model to legal case management requirements across federal and state/local justice agencies.

Dynamic Forms, Dynamic Actions, and Dynamic Related Lists

Contributed by Salesforce Consultant Michele O’Brien.

A better and more personalized user experience can go a long way when it comes to adoption, and with a series of Salesforce features improved this year, admins have the power make Lightning pages more customized and user-centric.
Though Dynamic Forms, Dynamic Actions, and Dynamic Related Lists were available in some form prior to this year, attention on and development of these three features continued this year. Admins can use these no-code capabilities to display the right information at the right time based on specific criteria.

At a high level, the same Lightning page can have different actions, fields, or related lists based on specific criteria such as profile, permission set, and more. These three features provide each user with their own unique and streamlined experience while also saving build time and minimizing technical debt. We can’t how Salesforce continues to improve dynamic capabilities in the future.

Set Field-level Security for a Field on Permission Sets Instead of Profiles

Contributed by Salesforce Business Analyst Nicole Soeng.

Salesforce is moving away from assigning field level permissions at the profile level, and this feature, initially in beta in Winter ’23, makes it easier to follow best practices.

By enabling the “Field-Level Security for Permission Sets during Field Creation” setting in the User Management Settings of any Salesforce org, admins can automatically add read or read/edit permissions directly to permission sets at the time of field creation.

When admins create a new field, Salesforce will automatically identify the permission sets in the org that have access to that object, then provide the option to select either read or read/edit access for each of the permission sets. This feature saves time and encourages admins to switch from using profiles to permission sets for field level security.

New Salesforce Certifications and Learning Opportunities

Contributed by Lead Salesforce Consultant Katie Levy.

Salesforce certifications are globally recognized credentials indicating areas of expertise in specific Salesforce products and functionality. They’re a fantastic way for our team to show our customers what where our expertise lies, and to help any organization or agency looking to implement Salesforce trust in that expertise. Collectively, the HigherEchelon Salesforce Division team has nearly 350 certifications representing expertise from administration to development, security, consulting, and much more.

For many members of the HigherEchelon team, certifications also represent opportunities to learn, grow, stretch knowledge, and skill up as the Salesforce platform continues to evolve, which we’re always excited about. And to see Salesforce continue to emphasize knowledge areas critical for anyone in the ecosystem is encouraging. Between certifications like Salesforce Certified Business Analyst, Data Cloud Consultant, AI Associate, Sales Representative, new Associated Professional exams, and Trailhead badges, it’s hard not to get and stay excited about how much there is to learn.

Search and Display Data Table Results in Screen Flows

Contributed by Senior Salesforce Consultant Stephanie Maenza. 

The HigherEchelon Salesforce Team loves flow, a declarative automation tool, and as Salesforce continues to make improvements to it, we’d be remiss in not including at least one flow feature in this list.

For admins, displaying a searchable, filterable table of records to a user in a screen flow used to require some extra engineering. This year, an out-of-the-box (OOB) Data Table component for screen flows arrived in beta with the Winter ’23 release and improvements were made all the way through the year.

Make a record collection in the screen flow, select the record collection for the data table component, pick the fields to display, check “Show search bar”, and you’re ready to go!

Validate Input Using Custom Error Messages in Record-Triggered Flows

Contributed by Salesforce Solutions Architect Ryan Fondulis.

Another one for the flow-natics! It’s common practice for admins to use validation rules to ensure user input in a field meets specified criteria, and error messages can be set to appear on a field or at a specific place on the page.

With the new Custom Error flow element, there’s even more flexibility when it comes custom error messages. This new Winter ’24 feature lets us bring the full power of Flow to our user input validations and gives us the ability to deliver a more tailored, useful error message. Let’s look at a use case where only a contact record’s owner should be able to update the email address.

Using a Validation Rule:

Using a Custom Error Message:

Enhanced Send Email Flow Action

Contributed by Salesforce Consultant Jonathan Barreda.

If it is not clear at this point, the HigherEchelon Salesforce Division loves flow! With the Summer ’23 release came a notable enhancement to the Send Email Action, offering a more robust approach that seamlessly associates sent emails with specific records and making them visible on activity timelines. This addresses a previous limitation where emails from flows weren’t automatically logged to the relevant record.

The introduction of the Dynamic Recipient option takes this improvement to the next level, empowering users to dynamically select recipients based on the record data within the flow. This not only enhances the precision of communication but also bridges a gap that existed in previous versions.

View Permission Set Summary (Beta)

Contributed by Senior Salesforce Consultant Sean Book.

Our team keeps a close eye on all things security and visibility, and with the move away from field level and other permissions on profiles, permission set groups and permission sets are best practice to determine user access. These features allow for enhanced flexibility and granularity in assigning access in any Salesforce org. But while the move away from profile-based permissions made it easier to manage access needs across different users, roles, and situations, many clicks were required to understand which permissions are assigned to which permission set.

Salesforce helped solve this problem with the “View Summary” option for permission set groups and permission sets. In a single click, admins can now see all the object, field, and user permissions assigned to a permission set along with the permission sets assigned to a Permission Set Group and vice versa. Our team appreciates any opportunity to more easily manage and understand complexities like this, and though it’s still in beta with Winter ’24, it’s a great feature to try!

Ready to Jump In to the Salesforce Ecosystem in 2024?

We’re ready to help! Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how HigherEchelon partners with organizations to help quickly and successfully implement Salesforce, and helps organization maximize their investment. (We’re good at improvements in existing orgs, too!)