Summer ’21: What/When is it and What should I do to prepare?

The Salesforce Summer ’21 Release is nearly here! In this post, we shall cover what Summer ’21 is, when it is and some recommendations on what you should do ahead of the Release. 

NOTE: Summer ’21 is currently in preview. This means this is still subject to ‘safe habor’ and change. 

Table of Contents

What is Summer '21

Salesforce has three release cycles each year, Spring, Summer and Winter. Each release introduces new features. Summer ’21 is the latest release. The features will be either:

  • Automatically enabled at release
  • Require Administrators/Developers to enable
  • Require Salesforce to enable (by request)
It is likely that not everything in the Release Notes (569 pages in the Summer ’21 Preview Release Notes) will be relevant to you. Nonetheless, it is important to be aware of it. Not only will it contain details of the latest and greatest features, it will often highlight Feature Retirements and background updates.   

When is Summer '21?

The schedule of major release cycles are available on the Salesforce Trust Site. To see the dates for your Salesforce system (Org), you can search for your Instance’s or Domain’s maintenance schedule. If you do not know how to find this, please follow the steps in this knowledge article. 
 
Salesforce staggers the release. This gives you time to review what the release will mean for you (e.g. new opportunities, maintenance etc). The key dates are as follows:
 
  1. Pre-Release Orgs Available: 15th April 2021
  2. Preview Release Notes: 20th April 2021
  3. Cut-off for Sandbox Previews: 6th May 2021
  4. Preview Sandbox Upgrades: 7th-8th May 2021
  5. Rollout of Summer ’21: 15th May – 12th June 2021
You can register for a free preview org here. For more information on the Release schedule, refer to this article.

What should I do to prepare?

Release Management is an important part of maintaining a Salesforce System. Whilst processes and needs will vary between businesses, here are a few tips:

Signing-up for a Pre-release org

If you are super-keen to see the latest features (safe-harbor), sign-up for a Pre-Release org. This will allow you to explore the features in a ‘new’ Salesforce system. 

NOTE: This will NOT have your business’s unique setup. Use this to explore/play in a brand new system. 

Pre-Release Signup for Summer 21
Screenshot of Summer '21 Pre-Release Form

Check if your Sandboxes are Preview or non-Preview for Summer '21

Sandboxes (test environments), are divided into two categories: Preview and Non-Preview. This is determined by the Service (Instance) they are on. More info here
 

If you have a Preview Sandbox, it will be upgraded to the Summer ’21 Release on the 7th/8th of May. This  will give you access to newer features ahead of live (Production) systems being upgraded. Use this to test new features/see what is coming up (bear in mind Safe Harbor). Unlike the Preview Org, this will allow you to see how Summer ’21 will impact your business’s unique customisations.  

NOTE: Like the Non-Preview Sandboxes,  Production will not be upgraded until a later date. You will not be able to deploy new features from the Summer ’21 Release into a system still on Spring ’21. 

Learn, Review, Explore & Communicate the Summer '21 Release

Use the various resources available to bring yourself up to speed:

Salesforce Releases are an exciting time. They provide everyone, whether Admins, Architects, Consultants, Developers and End-Users, the tools to use Salesforce in new and innovative ways. Be sure to explore what is possible and communicate this with your team. It could be that one of the new features being released solves a key business challenge! 

Summary

Summer ’21 is an upcoming Salesforce Release. It will provide many new feature enhancements, some of which will be explored in an upcoming post. Be sure to check out what is in Summer ’21 and how this can help you and your business. 

In an upcoming post, I will be sharing some of my favourite features from the Release Notes. To get the latest updates, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn. Thanks for reading and I hope you found this useful!

Bonus Penguin Fact

The earliest known Penguin, Waimanu, is estimated to have lived around 60 million years ago in what is now New Zealand. More info here

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