Hidden Developer gems in Spring 11

I like to dig through the Platform release notes a few time searching for hidden gems. Here are a few I uncovered.

Call me corny, old fashioned, or just plain nerdy, but with each new release of the Force.com platform I like to read the Release Notes a few times. The first time I look from a high level—what trends are there in the release, how has a particular product moved ahead etc. Next pass I look closer at major Force.com changes which will impact a lot of developers—fieldsets, Javascript remoting etc. But my favorite pass is where I comb through the Force.com updates looking for hidden gems.  

Here are a few of the gems I came across when looking at the docs:

1. Lots of small, but significant changes to the Chatter objects: LastModifiedDate on the *Feed entities allowing you to sort on most recent FeedItem or Comment, CommentCount and LikeCount include on *FeedEntities (I can hear the cheers from here!), and plenty more.

2.Customizable error messages to display to users when their password is locked, or they are changing their password.

3. New ContentDocumentLink object allows you to access the document in Salesforce content and where it is shared. This is super helpful when uploading a file via Chatter, and knowing where it is shared etc. This leads into another important change, you can now query,edit, and delete chatter files using the standard ContentVersion and ContentDocument objects.

4. Development Mode Footer shows Controller Extensions – I saved my favorite gem for last. This minor change in the UI saves an amazing amount of time when coding online. Coding in the cloud is all about working smarter after all!

What gems did you uncover?


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Hidden Developer gems in Spring 11