Welcome to the Spring '09 Release Preview page for developers. Here is where you will find the latest information on what's new and hot for developers in the Spring '09 release.
This page provides pointers to the critical resources, as well as a description of many of the new Force.com platform features.
About the Spring '09 Release
New and Updated Features
Here is a list of new and updated features in the Spring '09 release. For more details, see the release notes.
- Sites Audit Trail - Track changes to your Force.com Sites, with this new feature that allows you to improve your website governance processes. Force.com Sites now includes more information in Setup Audit Trial and Site History about the site related changes, so that you can easily answer who changed what and when questions for your sites.
- Sites Robot.txt and Favicon Support - Improve Search Engine Optimization of your Sites by using the new features to easily assign robot.txt and favicon files to your sites.
- Sites Standard Pages - Control standard page visibility for your Sites by this new feature that lets you set the visibility controls of the Home Tab, search pages, ideas pages and lookup standard pages for your sites.
- Sites Packaging - You can now package up sites related Visualforce pages and Apex Code, and install these into environments that don't have Sites enabled.
- Apex Editor Code Assistance - The IDE now provides Apex code completion suggestions, highlights parse errors, and updates the outline view as you type.
- New Metadata Support in Spring '09 - This release adds Custom Sites, Customer Portals, and Partner Portals, as well as enhancements to Schema Objects, Profiles, and Reports.
See the Force.com IDE Release Notes for more details.
Force.com Web Services API
- Broader Compatibility with External Web Services - There is now support for a wider range of WSDL types and relaxed timeout limits on callouts. Force.com lets you call out to external web services. In the Spring '09 release, a wider range of WSDL types are supported such as ref, attribute, any and all - enabling you to easily consume web services containing these types without having to make any modifications to the service. Apex callout time limits have been relaxed to allow calls lasting up to one minute. If developers want calls to time out sooner, they can set their own, custom timeout value.
Database and Reporting
- Summary Report Data Snapshots - Analyze data for long term trends with the new ability to snapshot summary data, in addition to the snapshotting of detail data. Using an Analytic Snapshot based on a summary report, you can now use snapshots across large amounts of data, where only the summaries will be stored, as well as create historical views of metrics, KPIs and other summary data. These stored metrics can then be used in reports and dashboards.
- Data Grouping Functions - Analyze aggregate data with this feature that lets you access grouped data, including previous group value, parent group value, and context choice for CSF (Custom Summary Formula) calculations. Benefits include increased analytics power for aggregate KPIs (e.g. "period-on-period" comparisons and "me as a % of all"), and better evaluation of differences between months/weeks/days of data.
- Delegated Data Administration - Delegate data administration to non admin users. The benefit of this feature is that it allows you to grant view all and/or modify all records on any object to non administrators, without giving the Modify or View All Data Administration permissions or requiring complex sharing rules. These permissions enable your users to report, search, modify, transfer, share, unlock, or approve any record regardless of sharing settings on an object basis.
- Dashboard Finder - Dashboards will now be easier to find with the new dashboard finder, which allows you to type any word of the folder or dashboard name, and get a list of matching dashboards. Be free of your bookmarks as you use a facebook-style search box that suggests the matching dashboard to your search.
- Enhanced Page Layout Editor - You can now create page layouts with a drag and drop WYSIWYG interface. The enhanced editor lets you quickly customize page layouts with an improved drag and drop design, Quick Find, Undo/Redo, and the ability to modify a mini-layout, clone a layout, or switch to another layout directly from the editor. Additional functionality includes support for blank spaces, and edit-in-place.
- Cross-Object Workflow for Custom Objects - Update parent fields from child records without code in this new feature. You can update a field on a parent record by creating a field update action for a workflow rule created on a child record. When working with a many-to-many relationship object, you can update fields on either parent. This enriches the workflow logic and minimizes the need for coding.
- Access to Email Logs in the Application - You can now track email deliverability by running reports on the email logs and inspecting all outbound email logs from the platform. This provides you with greater visibility into email delivery, and a great tool for troubleshooting delivery issues.
- Mobile Web Tabs for iPhone - You can now create mobile-ready Visualforce Tabs for the iPhone. This enhances the client with a near-limitless method of extension - enabling you create content for the iPhone using the Visualforce user interface framework. The hybrid iPhone client that supports this functionality will be released next month.
- New Opportunity Save Behavior - The behavior of the Opportunity object has been enhanced so that all standard and custom save logic is consistently fired, aligning the behavior across the Force.com platform. For more on this feature, visit the New Opportunity Save Behavior wiki page.