TrailheaDX 2020 Round-Up: Announcements, Session Summaries and More!

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TrailheaDX is an annual Salesforce event aimed at Admins, Developers, Consultants & Architects – or anyone who is actively building on the Salesforce platform! The event content covers new features, products updates, and roadmap information – a Salesforce Trailblazer’s dream!

This chapter of TrailheaDX was the first time the event went virtual, as a combination of live and pre-recorded sessions. Salesforce is working hard to recreate the #Ohana energy and excitement of an in-person event that we are all missing.

“Validity”

The event was made up of 40 sessions and 65 product demos split across 4 tracks (developer, admin, architect, community & ecosystem) – plus a keynote, and other sessions (like Circles of Success run by Salesforce employees). A Developer conference with the caveat that declarative is considered development #LowCodeLove!

Here’s a summary of what happened at TrailheaDX 2020:

TrailheaDX Keynote

The keynote started powerfully with ever-engaging Leah McGowan-Hare who introduced Jennifer Hudson (yes, the award winning singer) who performed sitting on the stairs of her home.

Sarah Franklin (EVP & GM Platform) ran a very polished keynote live from her home. She called out the challenges we are all facing, as 4 crises we are having at the same time: Health, Economic, Social, Leadership. She reinforced Salesforce’s commitment to equality and diversity.

There were some excellent product launches and demos, and they even managed to award a Golden Hoodie to Justin Smith remotely.

Work.com was front and center, with case studies and interviews on how organizations are using it to reopen safely – including UC Berkeley, Walmart, Sunbasket, and nCino.

What’s New? Product Announcements

As with every major Salesforce event, there are important product announcements*. Most of the new launches were showcased with short product demos.

*Note: announcements are made under Safe Harbor, so you will need to confirm the Beta and generally available (GA) dates. 

Salesforce Anywhere

Salesforce Anywhere enables remote teams to collaborate more easily within Salesforce on mobile and desktop. This is taking the core platform and adding chat/video collaboration capabilities – think Google Chat/Slack meets Chatter. This is delivered being in partnership with AWS, Siemens, Tanium and Zoom. It will be available in beta (sign up here) and GA some time in the fourth quarter this year.

CodeBuilder

The dev tools area got a big boost with a set of announcements, showing Salesforce’s commitment to a more governed release management (DevOps) lifecycle.

CodeBuilder is built on Microsoft’s Visual Studio Codespaces, a web-based developer environment. This is an addition to VSCode, the desktop IDE.

Wade Wegner, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Salesforce. “with Code Builder, Salesforce developers get the best of both worlds — a web-based environment for developing wherever they are and all the productivity-boosting tools that make building apps on the Salesforce Platform faster and easier.”

The CodeBuilder pilot, which will be available for a limited number of customers, launched at TDX20.

DevOps Center

DevOps Center is starting to address the issues of managing a change from user stories through to deployment, spanning Analyze, Build and Deliver in the lifecycle.

The app is being built to integrate with the core platform and all the developer tools. Most importantly, it will replace Change Sets with a better experience. Whilst the roadmap is exciting, the early releases will have limited functionality. Sadly it is not likely to be into development preview until the end of 2020, and there is no view on pricing (not expected to be free).

Salesforce Functions

Salesforce Functions give the ability to build code using Node.js, Java and Apex that can be run on-demand with elastic scale in a serverless environment.

Admins or developers can call Functions from existing Apex code, Flow or even distribute them as part of AppExchange packages (currently in beta).

Data Privacy Manager

Data Privacy Manager will provide data privacy and consent compliance is made up of 17 consent objects that will be made available as part of the core platform.

The Data Privacy Manager app pilots from 1 August and it provides data deletion, anonymization and portability.

This many custom objects will make populating the data quite challenging, but there is a lightweight Salesforce Labs app called Consent Capture Flow Solution.

Work.com

Work.com is a set of apps to help employees return back to work safely. It launched on 1 June but is continuing to evolve with new functionality and new ISV apps.

Trailhead Go

Trailhead Go takes the Trailhead experience we all know and love and makes it available on mobile (iPhone and iPad). The iPhone app is now available on the AppStore.

Sessions Overview

There was plenty going on throughout the day – here are some stats: 40 sessions, 65 product demos and 9 Circles of Success.

All the sessions across the 4 different tracks (Developer, Admin, Architect, Ecosystem & Channel) are available here. plus the demos.

The Circles of Success Sessions are listed here:

Lightning & Platform

  • Lightning Component Development Best Practices
  • Lightning Rollout Best Practices
  • Enhancing your CRM with Einstein AI
  • Transform Your Business with Process Automation

Technical Debt

  • Decluttering your Org

Development & Security

  • Sandbox Best Practices for Developers
  • App Development with Salesforce DX
  • Securing Salesforce Account Access with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

True to the Core – Ask Me Anything with Salesforce Executives

The True to the Core session is a chance to ask questions to Salesforce executives, this time featuring Bret Taylor, Parker Harris, Sarah Franklin, and a number of the Product Managers. The questions were posted from attendees in the live chat stream, and the moderator did not cherry pick only the easy questions!

Here are some interesting questions and answers:

    • Will Classic be deprecated? – Parker Harris: “No, we will never leave you alone, but Lightning is the future”.
  • Will Process Builder be deprecated? – “No, but Flow is the future”
  • Cost of data storage seems excessively high – Bret Taylor: “We are always looking at lowering the cost of ownership of Salesforce.”

Fireside Chat with Trevor Noah

Rounding off the day was a fireside chat with Trevor Noah. Leah McGowan-Hare did an awesome job of driving the discussion on racial injustice, and Trevor is one of the most thoughtful, engaging and intelligent voices.

Final Thoughts

Was this TrailheaDX that some old times like me remember and love: walking the halls of Moscone, collecting badges, plushies and hugs? No, but this was a great alternative, driven by innovation and I am sure will set the benchmark for Dreamforce.

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