What is it like to be Struck by Lightning?

A few days before the announcement one of my Admin friends sent me a link to the pre-release login.  Lucky me, it was still open and I was able to quickly get in and play with the new Lightning Experience!  I’ve had time to explore and find updates that I’m really looking forward to, but some that concern me.  I want to remind everyone (again), this is a pre-release org that I’ve been working with.  This doesn’t mean it will be like this in the Winter ’15 release, but currently in the ‘first look’ this is what we have.

So with that noted, here are my top 10 under-the-radar takeaways:

Lightning Experience Enabled by Permission Set

This was inferred by the fact you can assign Lightning’s UI by Profiles, but a nice verification that YES it is available in Permission Sets as well!

Lightning Experience Permission Set

Updated User Profiles

I’ve never been a huge fan of the current User Profile.  These new views are much more slick and are really just a copy of the new UI for our objects.  There is also a nice BIG button for us to get to the User Detail if we need to play with the Profile or Role that is assigned.  I think doing something like a Facebook cover page would be cool here, but I don’t see anywhere to change that blue screen at this time.

New User Profile

New Setup Menu

This was a surprise to me.  I personally just click through to the correct Setup item as opposed to using the Quick Find.  I’ve got them memorized and would rather just quickly make my clicks than type.  Well, now they’re throwing us for a loop again with a new organization of the Setup Menu.  This means I should probably start using the Quick Find instead.

New Object Management Setup

There are two parts to this!  I’m a huge fan of these update, as it really just simplifies everything!  The first update is that all of the Objects (Standard and Custom) are in the Object Manager section of the Setup Menu.  If you click on this you can see that we even have a ‘Find in page’ search bar for just these objects!  I really think the combination of these two features makes it easier for a new Admin to find the Objects they’re looking for.

Object Manager

Now, the second part of this is that the Standard Objects are now setup like Custom Objects.  All of the sections (Fields, Validation Rules, Page Layouts, and more) are on one screen.  You’ve also got the lovely hyperlinks to help you quickly get to the right section, as well as the ‘Find in page’ search bar!

Standard Object setup as Custom Object

Where is my Easy Button?

I’m a huge fan of putting a Flow into a Button.  The new UI seems to get rid of the Buttons I’ve grown to love and now is pushing towards us using Actions instead.  There are workarounds, like putting a Flow into a Visualforce Page and having that be called from the Action.  But, it doesn’t always play nice.

Relate All the things!

So, one awesome thing about Notes is you can keep relating different types of Objects to it.  I haven’t looked on the backend of this to see how its working and what tradeoffs we will have to deal with, but this is pretty cool to be able to associate a Note to tons of different Object types.  You simply select the Object’s Icon and then you can either Create a new Record from within your Note or search for an existing one.  The new record is created ‘in-screen’ so you aren’t even redirected anywhere!  This is a great feature I am sure we will see added to most Lookups in the future.

relate all the thingsNotes Related To

New Account

Where is the Arrow?

If you’re anything like me, you like to go to a Record and hit the arrow on the right sidebar to quickly create a new Field, edit the layout, or view the Object.  I’m sorry to be the barer of bad news, but that is not anywhere to be seen!  Maybe Salesforce has plans for adding such a feature, but our right sidebar is looking very lonely.

The Arrow


This is of course near the top of everyone’s list of the Lightning Experience.  Now, one thing they didn’t show is that they’ve actually not made any changes to the Report Builder yet.  Also, there are apparently some limitations (http://docs.releasenotes.salesforce.com/en-us/winter16/release-notes/lex_gaps_limitations_analytics.htm) that you might run into.  When I say some, there are quite a lot… so go read up.  I am sure they’ll fix the majority of them before it is released.  The biggest annoyance I’ve noticed is that you must save every report before you can Run it.  Also, note that the Report Builder itself hasn’t changed, and you’ll still be doing your Admin magic in the older UI.

Report Builder Page

If I was to run this report after saving, it looks like this:

Oh, the Dashboards!

This is by far every single Admin and Developer’s dream, Dashboards that don’t look like they’re from the 90’s!  This is an area that is being written on all over, and because of that I’ll just spend a moment talking on it.  Everyone is excited about how we can have more than 3 columns, but my biggest joy is that we can create a HUGE chart that will let us see all of the picklist values we want!  (I didn’t load up enough data to show this, but you can see by the sheer size of this chart we are covered)


Hopefully you are as excited about this new update as I am.  I see a whole lot of value from these changes and I am hopeful that Salesforce will solve as many of these shortcomings as they can.  It has been a long time coming, but I think that our wait has been worth it!

One thought on “What is it like to be Struck by Lightning?

  1. Kevin Hartigan August 31, 2015 / 7:10 pm

    Thanks for putting together this detailed update David!

    This will definitely help limit my confusion once I get to click around the new UI.



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