The Winter release is scheduled for this coming weekend. There is some new functionality that will be available right away that requires no work on an Admin’s part. If you are an admin, you should either be ready to make config changes over the weekend when the system is back online or you should communicate the changes this week to prepare your users for the change. This is especially important if the Admins are on West Coast time and will not be available to field support calls/emails while their East Coast and European colleagues are online:
- The Salesforce UI is getting a new look and feel. Everyone is being defaulted to the new UI. You do have the ability to change it back if you’d like. Go to Setup | Customize | User Interface and select the “Salesforce Classic” User Interface Theme. This change is Organization-wide. Rather than changing it back, I would suggest keeping the new UI and communicating of the change to your users this week.
- The “New…” links (New Account, New Contact, etc.) are moving from a bar under the tabs to a drop down box in the sidebar.
- Users will be able to create recurring Events. It’s pretty self-explanatory on how to do it.
- The Reports tab will be improved with the ability to search for a report based upon keywords in its title or description. A “Recent Reports” sub tab will also exist on the Report UI for easy access to recently run reports.
Some of the “Editions” are being upgraded. As an admin, you should do some testing of these prior to rolling them out to your users:
- The Outlook Edition is getting updated. I suggest testing this prior to rolling it out to your users. Outlook Edition 2.0 looks to be a combo of the old Outlook Edition and the Intellisync offerings.
- The Offline Edition is getting updated and improved. This one should be pretty straightforward to upgrade. Don’t forget to remind your users to synchronize their current offline databases before upgrading. We wouldn’t want any hard work they’ve done offline to be lost! It is possible that the new install will “upgrade” the old install vs. uninstalling it and installing the new one, thereby maintaining the offline data even if the user doesn’t sync before upgrading. I haven’t tested that, however. To be on the safe side, sync first.
I’d be interested in hearing about your experience with the Winter ’06 upgrade. Please comment on this post regarding issues, tips, thoughts, etc.