2 min read

Dispatches from Dreamforce 2021

Here are some stray notes on what I saw at Dreamforce 2021.
Dispatches from Dreamforce 2021
Photo by Denys Nevozhai / Unsplash

At Dreamforce 2021, we learned how Salesforce was envisioning the integration of Slack into the platform, their concept and plans for Hyperforce, and what case swarming is.

No groundbreaking announcements

The ground floor was used to explain the role of Slack and what Hyperforce is about, both of which were introduced in 2020. This is good. Real artists ship.

Consider how recent tentpole announcements ended up in the graveyard: Einstein Voice Assistant (DF 2018) was retired in 2020, Blockchain (TDX 2019) never took off, Salesforce Anywhere (pre-DF 2020) was positioned as the next generation of Chatter, lived on for a while as a Quip tier, but has by now been banished into oblivion. We could go on with features that pivoted mid launch (for instance, the initial solution for Customer 360 reached end-of-sales in less than two years), or with features that have been in beta enough time to be rebranded once or twice — remember when Salesforce Functions were called Evergreen?

The architect keynote

We saw the launch of the inaugural Architect Keynote. This is a welcome addition, and with great concent and ideas, but I was left feeling that there is a bit of an overcrowding of the keynote space, with obvious overlaps in certain subjects across keynotes. I can imagine that most of the audience in this session also attended/watched the keynotes for admins and developers, but, over the next months, as Zayne Turner's team continues defining and sharpening the architectural body of knowledge, this should be less of a concern.

Other ideas

  • OmniStudio was completely absent from the mainstream set of events and keynotes. Perhaps it is only intended for industry solutions.
  • No word on quality of life changes for administrators and developers. Setup remains an awkward turducken of Visualforce screens embedded into a clunky Lightning set of frames that pushes the limits of usability, and the patience of admins and superusers.
  • If there is a session that makes attending a full-fledged Salesforce conference worthwhile, that is True to the Core. The first face-to-face edition after the COVID hiatus was watered down. Over half of the allotted time was dedicated to a self-serving review of vaporous innovation concepts that relegated the voice of the Ohana to the background. It felt like something in between wasted time and a lost opportunity.
  • Still no word of custom interfaces. What are those and why should you care, you may ask? That deserves an in-depth post of its own. Stay tuned.