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Learn What’s New for Platform Developers in Winter ‘20

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Easily find all the references that use a custom field.
  • Understand the changes in what’s calculated in the number of concurrent long-running Apex requests.
  • Understand the ways you can use the new ApexSettings metadata type.
  • Hide the default label for Visualforce page components when using Lightning App Builder.
  • Check the custom object and setting count to see if you are approaching the limit.

Salesforce Certification—Special Maintenance Policy

If you currently hold the Salesforce Platform Developer I credential, you do not need to complete this module by the previously posted April 10th certification maintenance deadline. Instead, your Salesforce certification will automatically be maintained into the next release cycle.

There is no action required, and your certification will not expire. Your certification status will be updated by April 10, 2020. We'll send you an email confirmation to let you know when we've updated your status.

Of course, we know you want to keep your skills up to date and learn about the latest features. This module contains lots of great info about the Winter '20 release, which you can explore without worrying about deadlines. In the Winter '20 release, Salesforce introduced a number of great feature enhancements. Let’s take a look at some of the more important ones.



Although anyone can earn this badge, this module is designed for Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I developers. This level of knowledge and experience is assumed in the instruction provided. 

Check a Field’s References and Find Where It Is Used

With the click of a button, you can view the references to a custom field before making any edits to the field. This allows you to see where a field is used so any changes can be accommodated by others who use the field in formulas, Apex classes, or many other contexts.

The list shows the reference contexts.

  • Validation rule
  • Layout
  • Formula field
  • Visualforce page
  • Apex class
  • Apex trigger
  • Email template (Salesforce Classic, text based)
  • Field set
  • Flow (query)
  • Lightning component markup (attr)
  • Process Builder (criteria)
  • URL button (formula)
  • Lightning page (related list single)
  • Lookup filter (lookup and master detail)
  • Reports (column)

To see this detail, click Where is this used? on a custom field’s detail page as shown.

Custom field’s detail page with the Where is this used? button highlighted.

After clicking Where is this used? you see the field reference details.

The Where is this used? window for a custom field that shows the references to this yield.

Callouts Are Excluded from Long-Running Request Limit

Every org has a limit on the number of concurrent long-running Apex requests. This limit counts all requests that run for more than 5 seconds (total execution time). However, HTTP callout processing time is no longer included when calculating the 5-second limit. We pause the timer for the callout and resume it when the callout completes.

This change applies to callouts made directly from Apex, including SOAP callouts generated by WSDL2Apex. It also applies to callouts from other platform features, such as External Services and External Objects.

Expand Apex Testing with the ApexSettings Metadata Type

Use the new ApexSettings metadata type to augment Apex testing with aggregate total tracking, serial execution, and prevention of auto-number gaps. You can also use ApexSettings to suppress debug log details in unhandled exception emails.

Here are some ways you can use the ApexSettings metadata fields.

  • Use the enableAggregateCodeCoverageOnly field to enable tracking of aggregate, instead of detailed, totals for Apex test coverage data.
  • Use the enableDisableParallelApexTesting field to enable serial execution of Apex tests.
  • Use the enableDoNotEmailDebugLog field to suppress Apex debug log details in unhandled exception emails.
  • Use the enableGaplessTestAutoNum field to prevent Apex test executions from incrementing auto-number fields for non-test records and creating gaps.

Hide the Default Label for Visualforce Pages in Lightning App Builder

Would you like to hide the default label for Visualforce page components that are included in Lightning pages built with Lightning App Builder? Previously, a Visualforce page showed the default label for the page above the component. Now, Lightning App Builder has a Show Label option so that you can choose to hide the default label.

To use this feature, launch Lightning App Builder and add a Visualforce component to a page. The Show Label option is selected by default. To hide the Visualforce page label, just deselect the Show Label option. 

Monitor Your Custom Object and Settings Count in System Overview

Each Salesforce edition has a limit on the number of custom objects that you can create in your org. Beyond the edition limit, a hard limit governs how many custom objects you can install from managed packages, such as apps publicly posted on AppExchange.

You can use the System Overview to compare the number of custom objects and settings that you’ve created against the total number in your org, including the ones installed from packages. This lets you understand how many custom objects you can still create or install before you reach the limit.

Also with the Winter ’20 release, the total hard limit for custom objects in an org increases from 2,500 to 3,000.

To access the System Overview information, go to Setup. In the Quick Find box, enter System Overview, and then select System Overview.

The System Overview screen showing the custom objects and custom settings counts for an org.

Your Custom Objects + Your Custom Settings shows the number of active custom objects and settings created by you and users in your org.

Total Custom Objects + Total Custom Settings shows the number of active and inactive objects in your org, including the objects created by you, created by users in your org, or installed from packages. This number includes soft-deleted custom objects that are still waiting to be hard deleted.