The Spring 17 release of Salesforce is scheduled to hit servers on the weekends of 4th and 11th February (the Salesforce Status site has the latest information) and once again Clive Platt and I will be running another of our world famous BrightGen release webinars on Feb 8th to cover the key features for our customers. Sign up to join us here.

The release notes for Spring '17 weigh in at a hefty 481 pages and we've been through each and every one of them to identify the top 5 features that we are most excited about.

1. Setup Opens in a New Tab
If, like our consultants, your job is configuring and developing Salesforce rather than using it, you'll be in the habit of opening 5 tabs if you need to change 5 objects. Up until now this meant switching out of the Lightning Experience back to Salesforce Classic setup, but no longer - choosing the the All Setup option from the Setup menu opens a new tab - there's even a handy icon to remind you!

All Setup

2. Assign Record Pages by App
We've been able to assign page layouts by Record Type and Profile since forever, but in Spring '17 this is taken to another level for the Lightning Experience, where pages can be assigned by Record Type, Profile and App. So when your Service Manager gets the Account page setup just as she wants it, the Sales Manager isn't affected.

3. Filter Reports via URL Parameters in Lightning Experience
It was never supported by Salesforce, but we all used URL hacks in Salesforce Classic to pass filter parameters to a report. When Lightning Experience came along, URL hacks didn't work, which meant users had to switch back to Classic to run the reports, and often they'd forget to switch back when they were done. In Spring '17, report filtering via URL parameters not only works but is officially supported!

4. Kanban all the Views!
Well, not quite all the views - Knowledge and Tasks aren't supported for example - but whenever you're in a List View, click the List icon to see if you can Kanban it.

All Setup

5. Custom Healthcheck Baseline
The Setup Healthcheck Tool was introduced in Spring '16 and we were big fans from the outset - nothing is more important that the security of your data. The baseline this measured against was pre-defined by Salesforce, which meant that if you needed a higher minimum standard (working a regulated industry for example), you had to check each area manually to ensure that you hadn't fallen into the no man's land between your minimum and the default. Simply export the standard baseline, modify it to your more stringent requirements, and import it back in!

Choosing just five features was rather a challenge, given the sheer volume in the Spring '17 release. If you'd like to find out about some more of them, why not join our release webinar on 8th February - sign up here

Keir Bowden is CTO of BrightGen, a Certified Technical Architect and multi-time Salesforce MVP - you can find him on twitter @bob_buzzard.