computer with icons floatingSo Spring ’13 has already sprung and without much fanfare.  Sure the Country and State picklists were a nice addition (if you requested it and went through the setup and customization to make it work) but it was uneventful as Salesforce releases go.  Now Summer ’13 is heating up and boy does it sizzle.  The first and most exciting change coming in Summer ’13 has got to be the end of Portals for new Salesforce Orgs.  I know it sounds sad, but while we say goodbye to Portals we welcome the new and social Chatter Communities.

Customer and Partner portals were game changers way back in the old days of 2007 (yes, I scoured old release notes to find when it went GA), back in a time before Enterprise organizations were Social.  In Summer ’13 we say goodbye to an era when companies spoke to you, not with you and customers were meant to be seen, not heard.  Back before Enterprise Organizations transformed into  Customer Companies.  Are you a Customer Company?

So today as we look back at some of the great features released in Summer ’07, we also celebrate what’s being born in Summer ’13.

Summer ’07 was a good release, loved by customers and admins alike ( Developers were just being born).  We saw great features come from the life of the Summer ’07 release such as:

  • Apex Code – The world first Multi-tenant programming language (only free in Unlimited Edition)
  • Advanced currency management
  • Multiple Sandboxes
  • Rollup Summary Fields
  • Recycle Bins

It’s hard to imagine a time when rollup up summary data had to come from Excel, Recycle Bins were only in your garage, and the only people who created triggers were gunsmiths.  It was a simpler time but somehow me made it through.  Back in 2007 we poured through 84 pages of release notes!

Today as we begin to explore the Summer ’13 release, we breeze through  278 pages of release notes packed with new features and enhancements that we couldn’t imagine in 2007.  Sales Cloud, Service Cloud,,, and exactly why are you Touch(ing) my Mobile? (The first iPhone wasn’t released until June 29th 2007).

The other big change in Summer ’13 is the Chatter Publisher Actions.  When I heard the claims that Marc Benioff was going to be moving Saleforce in a direction to allow users the ability to work completely within a  Chatter UI, I thought surely he must be mad.  Chatter was genius but trying to run completely out of Chatter is going to far.  Well the Chatter Publisher Actions not just made that a reality, but it is almost impossible to resist.

Now you can create records directly in a chatter feed.  Not just can you, but unlike the Quick Create menu, Create Actions will enforce required fields and validation rules.  This is something that quick create can’t match.  I don’t know about you but I am all set to disable quick create in my orgs.  If you need even greater flexibility you can use Visualforce to create completely custom actions.

When you combine this with the Pilot of Enhanced Profile Page Layouts the possibilities seem limitless (except for the known limitations which you can find in the release notes).  I know I’ve barely scratched the surface of Summer ’13 but out of fear of being called a Salesforce geek I am going to save those for another day.  Meanwhile grab a drink (#WhySFDCAdminsDrink), put your feet in the pool and relax while you read through the full Summer release notes.