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Recently I was asked to create an excel sheet for my company of all the relevant features Salesforce has added in the Spring Release 19'

Now someone is asking me to go through one of our orgs and let him know if the new release has any impact on the system and if there is anything we need to take care of.

I'm still fairly new to Salesforce, and I have not really done much of anything in the the actual org yet. I assume my best bet is to search through classes and pages for old method names that have been updated in the release.

What is the normal protocol when a new release is out? Does it usually have an impact on your orgs or is it just general updates and changes that only might impact your org depending on the situation? How do you prepare?

Thanks

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It is rare that you would need to take any action based on a release. The platform is designed with backward compatibility in mind, and for the most part, they don't break things unless they accidentally introduce bugs. Those, you can't predict, and they are often fixed quickly.

If you want to figure out what action you might need to take based on a specific release, look at the Critical Updates section of the Release Notes. Usually, however, these are actions you can take to improve certain aspects of your org, rather than actions you must take.

Another step you can take is to search for "deprecated" and see what comes up. If you pull down the PDF and search this term, you will find:

Deprecated Default Values Without Square Brackets for Array, Set, and List Attributes

Setting a default value without square brackets is deprecated and can lead to unexpected behavior. To set a default value for these attribute types, surround comma-separated values with []; for example, default="['red', 'green', 'blue']".

Where: This change applies to orgs with Lightning components in Lightning Experience, Salesforce Classic, and all versions of the Salesforce app.

How: Here’s an example of attributes for an array, a list, and a set.

<aura:attribute name="colorArray" type="String[]" default="['red', 'green', 'blue']" />
<aura:attribute name="colorList" type="List" default="['red', 'green', 'blue']" />
<aura:attribute name="colorSet" type="Set" default="['red', 'green', 'blue']" />
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One way to investigate the impact of a new release is by using a Preview Sandbox.
Certain sandboxes on specific servers are updated a couple of weeks before the production environments are updated. You can use these to do your regular regression tests that you would do when you would release new functionality to Production. This process should be part of your prerelease activities for every new release.

Another thing that can be useful in your case are the full release notes(also pdf), but perhaps the Release Highlights Trailhead module is better as you will not be overloaded with details.
Finally, the Release in a box contains a powerpoint with release highlights as well as videos on new functionalities.

Most of these links are Sprint '19 specific, but the Sandbox Preview process remains the same every release, as well as the release notes. The Release in a box also gets updated every release.

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A new release can or cannot have an impact on your existing build. It typically depends on what area may have been impacted. I can tell you from my personal experiences that things supposed to work in new release were broken and that we had to reach out to Salesforce for an urgent patch.

A typical approach that I follow whenever a new release is announced is as below. The preparation though starts quite early and that there needs to be some prep work already done. This approach gives you sufficient time to validate things before any major release.

  • Identify the major functional areas in your application (especially built on with heavy customizations)
  • Create a regression suite identifying major test scenarios around those areas
  • Review the release notes for any major changes that may impact any customizations
  • Sign up for Pre-release Preview Instance
  • Validate the major areas by running the regression to identify any potential issues
  • Follow up with Salesforce for any potential bug/Fix issues if required

These resources are a good starting point on this topic:

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