Dreamforce 2014 Reflections

Dan Fowlie October 22, 2014

Dreamforce 2014 was of course the biggest and best yet. Every year Dreamforce gets bigger and grander. No doubt 2015 will be bigger still. The question is often asked “Will Dreamforce ever leave San Francisco?” But Salesforce is San Francisco, the heart of the company is there.

The big announcements of Dreamforce have been well covered in the press. New buzzwords Lightning and Wave have arrived. The good news is that these new products go beyond their names and have real substance to them.

Lightning

Overshadowed by Wave, Lightning may actually pack more punch. As a combination of new UI features, Lightning will change the way customers customise their Salesforce.com instance. Previously, overriding a standard page in Salesforce required recreating the entire page to enhance functionality. In doing so you lost many of the great Salesforce features such as page layouts that are easy to edit and manipulate. Lightning allows far more micro-customisations. If you don’t like the Salesforce date picker, you can swap it out for a custom lightning date picker.

The Lightning UI which already powers the Salesforce1 mobile and tablet applications will also eventually come to the desktop, giving it a much needed overhaul to stay fresh in a modern, flat design world. In this case, the product is very real and available to developers to start building Lightning components immediately.

Wave

Wave is Salesforce’s move into the BI / Analytics space. It’s an area that has been weak for Salesforce and a natural next move as Salesforce seeks new revenue opportunities. Rather than acquiring, as they have done in the Marketing space, Wave is a ground up, mobile first and fresh approach to analytics.

Wave got the bigger share of attention due to some very impressive visualisation capabilities. What’s unclear is how much of what was shown was smoke and mirrors. Rumours suggest a staggered rollout for Wave based on geography over several months.

Demonstrations showed many different data sources including SAP and Oracle as well as Salesforce of course, so I would suspect Wave will be a standalone offering competing with the likes of GoodData and others.

Trineo and Westfield

There were some proud moments for Trineo as our work alongside Westfield Labs was showcased heavily across the week. There were bus shelter advertising, displays, and screenshots included in keynote presentations. The week culminated in Trineo’s CTO Abhinav Keswani, responsible for our successful partnership, presenting alongside Thiago Figueiró, VP of Engineering and Production at Westfield Labs, on how Westfield have migrated legacy APIs to Heroku. Abhinav has declared he is going to up the ante and do two presentations next year!

Salesforce Essentials

Over the next few weeks, Salesforce will be running their “mini” Dreamforce events Salesforce Essentials at various locations around the world. Trineo will be present at the Sydney and Auckland events on November 25 and December 10th respectively. I’d highly recommend checking these 1 day events out if you are in a city hosting an Essentials event.

Next year

Dreamforce 2015 will be back September 15 next year. We will have to wait and see if Salesforce continues their charge into new areas or cements their position with the current offerings.

Dan Fowlie

Dan Fowlie

With more than a decade in the ecosystem, Dan lives and breathes Salesforce. He applies business acumen to client challenges to come up with solutions that extracts the most value out of the platform. Outside of work, Dan embraces "Kaizen" and likes to hack his day to day life as much as possible.