The Winter ’22 Salesforce Release for Experience Cloud & CMS

A Release Overview and My Top 5 Experience Cloud & CMS Updates
Phil Weinmeister

Salesforce’s Winter ‘22 release is here. And, since it’s the Winter release, we don’t actually have to wait until 2022…we get it this year! As far as the DXP world goes, Salesforce has included 35 updates for Experience Cloud and just 1 update for CMS this time around.

To help you assess the impact, importance, scope, and value of this release for Experience Cloud, I’m including something I introduced for the first time in my last post (Summer ‘21 release): release impact metrics. These metrics, while subjective to a degree, should help you quickly gauge each release overall and against past releases.

Additionally, I’ll share my personal top 5 for Winter ‘22.

Phil’s Release Impact Metrics

NOTE: While this is ultimately a subjective exercise, I do think carefully about each section and review every single update for consideration when making my assessments. Transparently, this is a “real” take on each release. I will call out amazing releases as amazing and sub-par releases accordingly, as well. Feel free to reach out with any feedback at phil.weinmeister@7summitsinc.com. Thank you!

Volume/Scope

Winter '22 Volume Scope Slider

The Salesforce Winter ‘22 release contains 35 Experience Cloud updates and 1 CMS update. While this is still not a large release when compared to the last few years of releases, it is the most since Summer ‘20 and the first in over a year to break the trend of the volume staying the same or decreasing. Cheers to that!

Degree of Innovation

Winter 22 Degree of Innovation Slider

A few updates stand out as innovative, including:

Like with Summer ‘21, many updates are incremental additions, security enhancements, or expected updates based on a product’s standard growth lifecycle.

Game Changers

Winter 22 Game Changers Slider

I was fairly disappointed with Summer ‘21 in this category. However, I confidently believe that we have a few to be considered game changers this time:

End User Excitement

Winter 22 End User Excitement Slider

I am definitely more excited about Winter ‘22 than I was with Summer ‘21, which was a bit of a bland release. Personally, I’m excited about the following:

I’m looking forward to unpacking this one.

Overall

Winter 22 Overall Slider

Assessment: It won’t go down in history, but it’s the first in a while to grab attention.

I’m pleasantly surprised and relieved. It’s been a rough 18 months of small releases that just haven’t put me on the edge of my seat. Hopefully, this isn’t a blip and we’re moving back in the growth direction.

Phil’s Top 5

My top five, in descending order:

#5: Archive Experience Cloud Sites (Closed Beta)

Salesforce’s summary: We heard you loud and clear: You want a way to archive a site in Salesforce after it has outlived its usefulness for your business needs. To archive an inactive site, use the Archive Site button on your site’s detail page (accessed through the Salesforce CMS app). Don’t worry, though. If you change your mind, you can always unarchive it. When a site is archived, its URL is unavailable to all users, including admins. Instead, users see a Site under maintenance page. You can archive up to 100 sites, and archived sites don’t count against your Salesforce limit of 100 sites.

#4: Add Content to LWR Sites with New Components

Salesforce’s summary: Create pixel-perfect sites, populated with content from Salesforce CMS and other data sources, with new Lightning web components for your LWR sites. Look for these new components in Experience Builder: Banner, Button, Horizontal Line, Image, Text Block, Tile, and Video.

#3: Make Cross-Cloud Connections with the Marketing Cloud Form Component (Pilot)

Salesforce’s summary: Experience Cloud and Marketing Cloud make a great team. With the new Marketing Cloud Form, you can use your microsites to capture visitor information and send it directly to Marketing Cloud. Spin up a new site, and use the Marketing Cloud Form component to create Marketing Cloud data extensions and collect contacts that can be stored directly in Marketing Cloud.

#2: Use Audiences as Criteria for Other Audiences

Salesforce’s summary: Instead of recreating audience criteria, reuse an audience as criteria in another audience.

#1: Capture Leads and Deliver Fresh Content with the Microsite Template

Salesforce’s summary: Enjoy the flexibility to create a site and deploy it to customers without the bulk of a full website. The new Microsite template showcases best practices and gives you a new way to use Experience Cloud’s latest technology. With the ability to gather user data and create leads directly from your site, opportunities are easy to track.

In Closing

Dive into Salesforce’s Winter ‘22 release and take advantage of the latest Experience Cloud and CMS updates. Make sure to get started early in a release preview org or, if applicable, a sandbox; don’t get caught by surprise. Good luck and let me know what you find valuable!

Phil Weinmeister is the VP of Product Management at 7Summits. He is a Salesforce MVP with 20 certifications and has authored three books that guide readers through leveraging Salesforce in their digital solutions.

Read Phil's insights about the must-know Summer '21 enhancements!

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