The Genie is out of the bottle
Today Salesforce announced the release of Genie during the Dreamforce keynote. Genie is a generalization and rebranding of the Customer Data Platform (CDP), and how it is used within Salesforce. CDP had joined the Salesforce product portfolio after the acquisition of Israeli startup Datorama in 2018, and it had been perceived as something specific to B2C marketing data.
The decoupling of CDP from a pure marketing use opens the platform to integrating better other sources of data, and should drive sales of the refreshed SKU if Salesforce and its partners can articulate how it can be relevant in different industry contexts.
This is similar to what happened when Salesforce decoupled OmniStudio from the industry clouds from Vlocity, to provide extra features and tooling to the other industry clouds, like Financial Services Cloud and Health Cloud, which had been developed in-house by Salesforce.
From the perspective of a Financial Services practitioner, it is going to be interesting to figure out what we can build with this new shiny tool.
It is worth mentioning that this announcement consolidates Salesforce's steering away from vaporware announcements during keynotes. Real artists ship, as I mentioned last year.
There is a trend towards integrating all of Salesforce's acquisitions onto the platform:
- Genie brings Datorama onto the platform stack.
- Marketing Cloud and Commerce Clouds are being brought into the platform (it was announced today in the developer keynote).
- Slack Canvas brings Quip (and its ability to present Salesforce records) into Slack.
- Heroku is slowly being repositioned as an enterprise tool and will become more Salesforce-ified over the next months.
- MuleSoft is driving some platform-specific products and features, like MuleSoft Composer or the ability to use the DataWeave language within Apex.
Hyperforce is likely enabling part of this transformation. From a portfolio management perspective it makes sense to build and exploit as many synergies as possible, and it opens interesting bundling models that are common in software companies with large portfolios.
A treasure trove for developers
Here are some juicy bits that should make developing within the platform a tad more exciting:
- DevOps Center has been mentioned to be free. And there will be some sort of free tier for Code Builder.
- Salesforce will release (ETA October 2022) a code scanner that will provide early feedback on code quality.
- It will be possible to embed a Screen Flow into an LWC.
- Hyperforce will enable quick creation of sandboxes. This could make them as disposable as scratch orgs.
- A new sandbox type, called a Scale sandbox, will let us make performance tests. It will be an additional investment for current customers.
- Generics in Apex. Nuff said.