The Salesforce Spring 13 release is right around the corner. There are many new enhancements to the product, but perhaps the one we are most excited about is the beta release of State and Country Picklists. In our opinion, this was long overdue! This new feature will allow users to select states and countries from predefined, standardized lists, instead of entering state and country data into text fields. This will allow for faster and easier data entry AND will help ensure cleaner data which is key for reports and dashboards.
This beta release of state and country picklists makes the picklists available in the shipping, billing, mailing, and “other” address fields in the Salesforce standard objects Account, Contact, Contract, Lead, Person Accounts, Quotes, and Service Contracts.
For the beta release, 249 countries are supported, as well as the states and provinces of the US and Canada. You will be able to access and use the new picklists in most places that state and country fields are available in Salesforce, including:
- Record edit and detail pages
- List views, reports, and dashboards
- Filters, functions, rules, and assignments
In this beta release, there are some limitations with the State and Country Picklist. They will not work with:
- Campaign Members
- Translation Workbench
- Salesforce to Salesforce
- Salesforce Touch or Salesforce Mobile
- Visual Workflow, packaging, or partner portals
- Custom indexes or outbound messages
Implementing State and Country Picklists
Since the process of transitioning to the new picklists isn't a mere toggle button, an admin should carefully follow the following steps:
- Configure the state and country picklists in the Metadata API. This step is optional but recommended. For more information, read about the AddressSettings component in the Metadata API Developer's Guide.
- Scan your organization’s data and customizations to see how they’ll be affected by the switch. You probably need to convert data and update such customizations as list views, reports, and dashboards so they continue to work with the new data type.
- Convert existing data. The conversion process lets you map the various values in your organization to standard picklist values. For example, U.S., USA, and United States all map to US. Note: New organizations include sample account and contact data that you should delete prior to implementing state and country picklists. Choose Setup > Data Management > Mass Delete Records. Then choose the option to Mass Delete Accounts or Mass Delete Contacts.
- Turn on the picklists for your users.
- Optionally, rescan and fix customizations that might still need updating so that they work with the new picklists.
To watch a video about this new feature and how to implement it, click on the image below.
To view all of the Spring '13 Release Notes, please visit: https://na1.salesforce.com/help/doc/en/salesforce_spring13_release_notes.pdf
Are you excited about this new feature? Got your eye on another feature in the Spring 13 release (like Chatter Tasks or an updated Salesforce for Outlook)? Sound off below!