One of the great things about’s annual three release schedule is that it allows for piloting and previewing new features before they get rolled out to the general audience.  This allows us to test things out more thoroughly while developers and admins are kicking the tires of the features themselves.  Summer ’12 has some great features going generally available, and here’s your quick list to them:

Single View State

One of my personal favorites from Spring ’12, Single View State will compress multiple form bindings down to a single viewstate with Visualforce instead of creating different ones.  If you are unfamiliar with viewstates, go to any Visualforce page with the Apex form component and view the source in your browser.  Scroll down until you see large block of random characters.  That’s the viewstate, the magical block of hashed information which tracks changes between the server and client and prior to Single View State, every form required a viewstate of its own.  With Summer ’12, each page, even with multiple form components, will only have a single viewstate – reducing page and traffic bloat.  Single View State does not require any action from the developer to enable.

SOQL Offset

Previously if you had wanted to jump to a specific point in a potential set of SOQL results, as opposed to bringing everything down and parsing through it clientside … you would need to rely on some kind of autonumber or similar field in order to remember your place.  Now with Offset if you want to cleanly request SOQL results in blocks, you could use a method like this on your controller:

Now your client can just send an integer up and retrieve the next 100 records after that number.  So sending “findMerchandiseAfter” 100, will bring down records 101-201.

Schema Builder

While Schema Builder was readily available in Spring ’12 it was a beta release with some key features missing. For instance, you couldn’t control field permissions from the Builder interface, so before any profile could use the new data structure it had be set off the custom fields section of the object definition.  It also lacked support for key field types like autonumber, formula and picklist.  In Summer ’12, the full functionality of Schema Builder will be available and resolve these issues.

Here’s a quick video on the new functionality:

Be sure to catch Sandeep and Pat showing off Summer ’12 by registering for next week’s webinar.

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