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The Winter 15 release of Salesforce hits the European instances on the weekend of October 17th/18th.

We'll be taking an look at the features we believe are of particular interest to our customers in the next of our eagerly awaited release webinars, featuring Keir Bowden and Clive Platt.  If you'd like to join us, you can sign up here.

In preparation for the webinar we've scoured the release notes, put Winter 15 through its paces in a pre-release org and drawn up a list of our favourite new features:

Duplicate Management

This may be a beta feature, but duplicate management in the application promises to be a game changer.

Custom Permissions

There's no longer any need to burn custom objects or pollute the user record with a bunch of custom fields to control access to custom features. Custom permissions can be assigned to users via profiles or permission sets in the same way as standard permissions and checked in formulas and validation rules via the $Permission global variable.

Unlisted Chatter Groups

Private chatter groups are all well and good, but users still know they are there. Unlisted groups don't show up in views, feeds or search results for non-members, and even users with view/modify all data can't access an unlisted group unless they also have the "Manage Unlisted Groups" permission.

Custom Lookup Fields on Activities

Another beta-feature, but one that will retire a bunch of code around the world. No more text fields to hold IDs and Visualforce overrides to make it behave like a lookup.

Chatter Questions

Here at BrightGen we use chatter extensively to spread knowledge around the company.  Chatter Questions formalises the Q&A process in the feed and allows the most useful reply to be selected as the best answer, making it simple for the answer to be found in the future by anyone encountering the same problem.

Full details of the Winter 15 release, including release notes and training, can be found at the home page.

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