Was Dreamforce 2019 the best Dreamforce ever?!
Yes, yes it was! But it was so different than the Dreamforces of the past.
Over the years we’ve been spoiled by career-changing announcements such as Chatter, Salesforce1, Lightning, and Einstein. But this year there really was no big announcement. For the first time ever, post Dreamforce, I don’t feel an urge to try out that next great feature.
…But then how is 2019 the best Dreamforce ever?!
The short answer is Salesforce doesn’t need a career-changing feature every Dreamforce anymore. Just like how Apple no longer needs to blow our minds each keynote to stay in our hearts.
The totality of Salesforce’s innovation has brought us to a point where the industry is bigger than anyone could have predicted, and we lucky to be witnessing greatness.
Here are the top 10 things you need to know from this year’s Dreamforce:
1. Customer 360 Truth is here
Ask any Salesforce employee and they’ll say Customer 360 Truth is the big announcement of 2019.
Customer 360 Truth is that one, singular view where you can see everything you ever wanted to know about a customer… but wasn’t this announced at Dreamforce 2018?
As a customer who only uses four Salesforce clouds versus the 22 shown in the demo – I really have a hard time seeing what 360 does versus the regular Salesforce 18 digit ID!
Gotta buy more Salesforce products I guess!
2. The true BIG moment of Dreamforce: Keynote Protestors!
15 minutes into the Dreamforce Keynote the unthinkable happens: a protestor stands by the main stage, disrupts Marc Benioff’s speech, and brings the entire keynote to a halt.
Mr. Benioff is suddenly thrown into one of the pivotal moments of his career. Millions of people are watching in a state of shock, wondering what he’ll do. A wrong move could cripple the Ohana forever.
Without missing a beat and in the name of free speech, Marc gives the protestor 30 seconds to speak his mind to the audience. A countdown timer appears on the screen.
It was a surreal moment that I’m still thinking about today.
In case you’re wondering, the protestor was speaking out against Salesforce’s contract with the CBP.
3. Tableau hits the Keynote stage!
Wondering what Salesforce’s massive $16 billion acquisition of Tableau means for the industry?
Well, the Dreamforce Keynote probably opened up more questions here than they answered.
If you didn’t know, Tableau is one of the world’s leading companies in the analytics space. Think super advanced reports and dashboards. Think Einstein Analytics.
Is Tableau going to replace Einstein Analytics? Is Salesforce going to sell two competing products in the same space? Are the products going to merge? These questions went unanswered!
4. Einstein Voice – create custom skills
I’ve always loved the idea of Einstein Voice. Virtual assistants are all the rage these days.
Now we can make our own Einstein voice commands – no code required. For example, create a custom voice command for sales reps that’ll tell them if they’re on track to hit their quota.
While I believe that it’ll be a few years before Einstein Voice is well adopted (just like in our personal lives), tech like this makes me wonder how other companies can possibly compete with Salesforce!
5. Developer Keynote – Evergreen functions are here!
The big developer announcement this year was Salesforce Evergreen.
Evergreen makes it easy to hook into Salesforce events when using non-Salesforce technologies. Your Node.js app, for example, can quickly be triggered by a Salesforce Platform Event.
The Evergreen announcement mentions non-Salesforce technologies no less than 15 times. It’s time to embrace the fact that you need to know more than just Apex and Lightning long-term.
Not gonna lie, I watched every minute of the Developer Keynote and I still don’t fully understand what Evergreen is. This seems to be the new normal for most Dreamforce keynotes!
6. The REAL Developer Keynote hero – Lightning sandboxes!
Finally, an announcement that I understand!!
Lightning Full Sandboxes are here, and despite my best Googling, little has been published online.
Here’s what we know:
So when would we use Lightning Full sandboxes versus regular Full sandboxes? Great question!
7. Mulesoft is the future of integration
When Salesforce acquired Mulesoft in 2018, I thought it was cute. What a convenient little tool it was for making any integration easy. I expected it to sit quietly in the back seat of the car.
But keynote after keynote, Salesforce has given Mulesoft big minutes in the spotlight.
Suddenly it’s starting to make sense to me. Salesforce is just a small part of the equation these days. No longer do you have Salesforce sitting alone in your company. It needs to talk to everything. Pretty much every keynote announcement reinforces this. Salesforce is now part of the enterprise.
Plus, every solution on the Certified Technical Architect Review Board uses Mulesoft. Invest!
8. At least two new Architect certifications!
I kid you not, every single person I talked to at Dreamforce wants to be a CTA one day. This is a far cry from just a few years ago when no one knew what a Technical Architect was.
The Architect path has come so far. Kudos to the Salesforce team and for community gems such as Ladies Be Architects for blazing this journey for us.
And now the Architect journey takes its next step forward. Beyond the CTA, we have at least two new certifications. Check out the Partner Keynote at 36 minutes for more info!
9. The best part of Dreamforce is the community
Community driven events are the real can’t-miss sessions of Dreamforce.
If you miss a keynote, or even your favorite session, you can always catch it later online. Miss a community event and you missed your chance forever.
Most of my favorite moments this Dreamforce were from community events led by WIT Developers, Ladies Be Architects, Salesforce Saturday, and RAD Women Code. There’s nothing quite like unwinding with ultra nerds like you after a busy day at Dreamforce.
Pro tip: at Dreamforce, make sure to attend at least one community driven event a day!
10. Free swag is dead at Dreamforce.
The days of coming home from Dreamforce with 50+ t-shirts are over.
This year, Salesforce didn’t give out a single official t-shirt. Not even if you finished any of the event quests. I was so desperate I ended up buying one from the store.
The expo was no better. Among the hundreds of booths, you were lucky if you got 5 shirts.
Well, fortunately there was some top quality swag given away by yours truly!! In case you’re wondering, the answer to the free t-shirt puzzle is ARCHITECT!
If you didn’t get a free t-shirt from me, don’t worry, I’ll have a global contest coming this year!
Hope to see y’all at Dreamforce next year!
P.S CONGRATS to Lauren Zolp for winning the Golden Hoodie this year!! Lauren is a former Air Force linguist who found herself unemployed. In six months (with a newborn baby!), she learned to code, passed the Platform Developer I certification, and got a job as a Salesforce Developer. Incredible!
It was great meeting you at Dreamforce. I’m into week two of your coding program and I not only feel like I’m beginning to understand Apex, but I feel like process builder and flow make a lot more sense as well. Can’t wait to keep at it and see where this takes me!
This year i spoke at dreamforce in the 360 meadow theater, in my presentation i spoke about mentors, both having one and being one. I put up a picture i took of you and I from Destination Success in vegas a couple years ago. thanks for being a great mentor.
Ben that is very awesome of you! Thank you!!!
Hey David, By any chance are you coming for Trailhead Dx in India
Ha ha ha if the organizers invite me I might!! If not, I’m going to try to make it to one of the community Dreamin’ events!
Hi David! Fun running into you at the event! I can’t find much info about the API Portal they announced at the developer keynote. I did manage to get it to the portal they showed on the big screens by typing out the URL.
thanks for summarizing this game changing event, as not everyone from the community was able to make it to DreamForce this year.
IMHO the biggest announcements at this Dreamforce was the point 5 – Evergreen functions. Salesforce is moving forward to be more open and compatible with other technologies(think about Lightning Web Components), in fact, its long term technological superiority depends on being able to flawlessly communicate with legacy technology stack and, at the same time, provide options to quickly develop specific functions with non-Salesforce IT ressources.
The other big announcement for me was Full Lightning Sandbox – together with Salesforce DX it will increase both velocity and quality for new Salesforce implementations.
I’m looking forward to see your next article on the Evergreen functions, as you can greatly explain Salesforce and its values from both technological and business perspectives.
Thank you for your hard work!
Thanks again for sharing the Dreamforce 2019 keynotes..great to know the upgrades/news/changes:)
Keynote 6. ‘The REAL Developer Keynote hero – Lightning sandboxes!’..here it’s mentioned as 28 days refresh interval time however actual refresh interval on Lightning sandbox is 29 days.. :) happy to correct it.
Thank you Syed, updated!!
Boring yes-person here. As someone that didn’t attend but tried to absorb twitter as best I could, thank you *so much* for your summary – I really appreciate your personal, holistic view (and thank you for the time and effort you put in, as always, to write and share it).
Having attended previously, and despite the lack of big announcements, I know I’ll be back next year. I really like your pro tip on 1 hour’s worth of community events a day. It rings so true, and is where my best connections have been made.