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Learnings from TrailheaDX

April 13, 2018

At the end of March, Salesforce hosted their annual TrailheaDX conference in San Francisco, a two-day experience providing new learnings from Salesforce engineers, product leaders and Trailblazers. The conference is aimed at anyone who builds on the Salesforce platform, so both admins and developers can garner a lot of value from all of the content within the expo and more specific sessions.

Among the factors that have allowed Salesforce to become so dominant in the CRM market are the frequent updates and efforts to improve the platform that Salesforce releases multiple times a year. TrailheaDX is a great example of this, stimulating conversation about where the platform is heading in future releases.

Eager to join in that conversation, Traction sent a few passionate builders down to San Francisco. Among them was Dane Peterson, Cloud Technology Team Lead, who shared some thoughts on a few topics that came up at the conference. Whether you're a customer, a Salesforce administrator or a developer, these advances have the ability to impact your organization in a positive way.


If you're considering Quip as your document collaboration platform (or even if you've already adopted it), this bit of news out of TrailheaDX is going to have broad implications to you. Third party live apps for Quip will be made available on the AppExchange. While Quip has previously released live apps like the Kanban board, calendars and checklists, this announcement opens up a lot of potential for development on the platform by third parties. At TrailheaDX, Salesforce demonstrated the new Taskray live app, showcasing task management and Gantt chart functionality. Another great third-party app coming to Quip is Altify's Relationship Map, a product that allows teams to visualize account contacts and hierarchies all within a consolidated Quip doc. For Dane, what's best about this Quip announcement is that we are going to see a lot of creativity in how people leverage the platform. What that ultimately means for organizations adopting Quip is that the platform will become far more adaptive in its use cases, allowing users to reduce the amount of swiveling they need to do between various platforms.

Google Voice

The recent popularity of voice recognition products like Amazon Alexa and Google Home seem to have spilled over into the world of Salesforce. One demonstration at TrailheaDX showcased Google Voice being used to navigate reports. Immediately, Dane thought of some great applications for this tech in his own area of specialty - field service. Mobile workforces could benefit substantially from an integration with Google Voice, sending voice responses to appointment requests or informing their customers that they are on their way - all hands free. As Field Service Lightning becomes a more widely adopted product in the Salesforce ecosystem, integration with Google Voice may prove to be a key feature once more information is released.


Our partners at Gearset shared some top tips with everyone at TrailheaDX to optimize release management. Traction leverages Gearset as its go-to deployment tool, so all of our customers stand to benefit from any improvements in how we use Gearset. These were the three top tips Dane gathered from Gearset:

  1. Leverage Git as the single source of truth: Git is a version control system that allows developers to track changes in their code, ensuring that they can always access previous versions of code. Leveraging Git as the single source of truth allows for consistency and reliability throughout deployment.
  2. Help developers code in solo environments with scratch orgs: Scratch orgs allow for deployments of metadata and code that can be easily disposed of and offer developers the ability to test various preferences and configurations, providing a lot of flexibility in how they develop and deploy solutions.
  3. Push commits upstream with CI (continuous integration): Continuous Integration allows developers to push new commits upstream to test new features against the full code base (and other new features being introduced by other developers). There are times when developers will deploy functionality that negatively impacts other areas of a particular system. Therefore, with CI, developers are informed of any repercussions early on, and don't have to wait until “deployment day.”

If you work with Salesforce in a delivery capacity and are looking to leverage this insight, Dane has a suggestion for you. You'll need robust test classes to ensure that changes aren't sabotaging other parts of functionality. Relying on QA to manually test after every deployment is not a realistic option. If you're a customer, all of this should simply mean that project releases will run as smoothly as possible, as Dane and the other TrailheaDX attendees are already looking to incorporate these tips into projects at Traction.

Community Cloud

Salesforce is increasing the flexibility of Community Cloud with four new Community templates due to be introduced in the next release. The templates are bringing additional granularity in styling, allowing admins to customize the header, navbar, search and icons. Far from being restrictive, Community users will be able to really alter the look and feel of the template. Providing this personalization natively may reduce the amount of project work required by eliminating the need for custom UI in a lot of cases. If you work in project delivery, like Dane, this is going to make your life easier and increase your efficiency. For Salesforce and Traction customers, these templates mean better overall personalization, ensuring that communities are kept on-brand and ergonomic. Did you miss out on the TrailheaDX '18 experience? Get your expo fix in by visiting Traction at our annual conference, TractionForce. Click here to register for free or find more information.

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