Monday 1 August 2022

Winter! In August?

It's odd to be writing this post while here in the UK we are just coming off record temperatures, but in Salesforce terms it will soon be Winter. <Feel free to insert a variant on Winter is Coming here - I feel like I've done enough of that>. 

Winter 23 hits sandboxes on August 26th 2022 - like Christmas I'm sure it gets earlier each year, but more likely it's because this is the 14th Winter release I've experienced! 

If you want to try out the new release on your existing setup, then you'll have a couple of options

  • Check the location of your existing sandboxes and hope to find one that is part of the preview group.
    Not my preferred option, as I've usually cut sandboxes for a specific reason and carrying out regression testing on top of new work is a recipe for not doing either of them well.
  • Create a new sandbox, or refresh one that you don't need any longer, before August 25th, leaving enough time for the request to complete.  That way there is no need to rely on someone correctly identifying the preview groups and you have a shiny new sandbox purely to confirm that the release doesn't break your existing production setup - no human contact required.
You can find the full sandbox preview instructions here, including the preview groups if you want to do it the hard way. 

If you find a lengthy set of written instructions a bit dull, the Sandbox Preview Guide could be just what you are looking for. Simply enter the sandbox instance, choose what version of Salesforce you want on it - preview or stay on current release, and it will give you simple instructions as to what to do next. It's a beta app, so caveat emptor, but the possibility for serious damage looks limited.

There are other useful dates to be aware of for Winter 23

Pre-release orgs available August 11th

A couple of points to note about these:
  • If you signed up for a pre-release org in the past, chances are it's still there - I've been using my Summer '14 pre-release org for over 8 years now and it gets upgraded at the same time as the new ones become available
  • They are of limited use. Yes you'll get access to some new functionality before the sandbox preview, and they will get a bit of maintenance, but if you want to properly test your existing applications and configuration then sandboxes are a much better option. In my experience bug fixes come much later in pre-release orgs, if they come at all. Just use them as a chance to get a jump on the release treasure hunt.

Preview Release Notes August 17th

The key word here is preview - there's no guarantee that any of the features in the preview release notes will go live. Most of them do, but I've had more than a few last minute reworks of my release webinars when something has disappeared at the last minute. Keep checking the change log!

Production Goes live the weekends of September 9th, October 7th and October 14th

Don't get too excited about the first weekend - that is for Salesforce only, to give it a workout in the real world and hopefully pick up a few more issues that were will hidden. The rest of us will be in October, which will be on us before we know it.

If you prefer a pictorial representation of the timeline, check out the official Salesforce infographic, with lots more dates for their training events etc. It even mentions Spring '23, which is rather wishing your life away in my view. 

Life may be short, but it feels even shorter measured in Salesforce releases.

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