Although not yet officially announced, Salesforce has a bevy of updates planned for its Spring '13 release, and we've got a snapshot of some of the heftiest possibilities.
Updates are planned for most of the Salesforce product lineup, and many of them will be automatically visible to all users. However, there are some items that will only be available to administrators, and still others that will need to be setup first.
Chatter, Sales Updates
Chatter tasks will now appear in a record feed whether it was created for a lead, an account or a custom object. This was obviously a highly requested feature as anyone who works collaboratively can see how important it is to have that information in the feed.
Additionally, tasks can be created right in the feed too. This feature can actually be toggled on and off depending on if admins think it is the best option. Searching within a Chatter group feed will also become available with the new release. All public groups, and any private groups a person is a member of will be searchable. Searchable items should include hashtag topics, mentions, and files posted in the group.
Furthermore, searches can be refined by using wildcards, operators and quotation marks to match on exact phrases. Public groups posts will also now be seen by a wider swath of people including those in a person's All Company feed, and that includes posts by people who aren't members of that group.
Internet links are a popular sharing item, and a few select websites will have expanded previews like thumbnails, descriptions and video players. A handful of sites like YouTube already had this functionality, but it will be expanded to things like forbes.com, online.wsj.com, wired.com and reuters.com among others.
For Sales, Salesforce for Outlook will include the Salesforce Side Panel for Outlook. This is one of the items that needs to be setup, so it won't be automatically available to all users.
Highlights of the Spring '13 Salesforce release.
Analytics, Mobile + More
Who doesn't like running reports from their iPad? With Salesforce Touch it's simple to do, and the Spring '13 release includes the option to view dashboards. Access the dashboards tab from the tab panel and see the last dashboard viewed on any device.
There are a few minor updates here, but it's worth noting the dashboards are different on Salesforce Touch than on the full site. Touch dashboards don’t show Visualforce components, filters, or source reports. This update will be available to all users, but they must have Salesforce Touch enabled to see them.
For developers, there's a Mobile SDK for building native, HTML5 and hybrid apps. Chatter for Android v2.6 and Chatter for iOS v2.5 will also be generally available, but they need to be setup. The Android version makes it easier to collaborate from the mobile app by providing the All Company and Bookmarked feed views.
For Web users, Salesforce will support Internet Explorer 10 with the Spring '13 release, and Apple Safari on iOS will not be supported. As we said at the top, these updates aren't official yet, so it's possible some things could change upon launch. In the meantime, let us know in the comments if you're a Salesforce kind of person and how much you've explored the slew of updates that are coming.