Up until now, reporting was primarily a view-only tool. You mainly built Salesforce reports to visualize your data in different forms, slice and dice the data, add charts to it, and build dashboards. But as we think about what’s next for reports, what if we were to reimagine the entire concept of reporting? Is reporting primarily a tool to view your data? Or can we make it a single-stop shop where you can act on your data as well? What if we build functionality that lets you edit your data directly from a report? Perhaps in the future, we could also add annotations to parts of your report? The annotations could notify other teammates of a discrepancy or change and even create new tasks and events. The possibilities are endless.
With this vision in mind, we came up with Inline Editing on Lightning Reports. As some of you may have already seen, the Summer ’21 release introduced Inline Editing for Text, Number, and Checkbox fields. Currently, we only allow single field edits, and the report refreshes after every edit.
But this is only the beginning! We have an entire roadmap for Inline Editing ahead of us (safe harbor).
In the Winter ’22 release, we plan to include more data types for Inline Editing, including Lookup, Date, and Picklists. And eventually, we want to support multi-field editing.
Let’s dive into each of these. A Lookup is a Salesforce relationship that connects two objects together using a reference field. Reference fields can be added to the standard, custom, and external objects. The behavior of a lookup differs from the other field types because it can refer to the current entity or another parent entity. For example, in the standard Opportunities report, both the Opportunity Name field and the Account Name field are of the type Lookup. To make things intuitive for end-users, we’re designing Inline Editing so users can change Opportunity Name as text while changing Account Name as a lookup from a list of existing values.
For Date fields, different regions and locales have different formats for displaying dates. For example, the US uses MM/DD/YYYY but Italy’s format is DD/MM/YYYY. We’ve adapted our picker component based on these differences so you can easily edit the date fields in your own locale.
Regarding Picklists, in Winter ‘22, we will support all types except controlling and dependent picklists. Since a report is built across multiple objects, you’ll be able to Inline Editing picklist values across different record types.
Why isn’t a certain field editable in my report?
If a field isn’t Inline Editable (shows a lock icon on hover), it could be due to the following reasons:
- The data type isn’t supported. Check the releases and roadmap mentioned above to find out what’s currently supported.
- The field-level security for the field doesn’t allow you to edit it. Always check to see if you can edit the field in the page layout view. If not, most likely you won’t have privileges to edit it on the report.
- The record type plus page layout combination that’s assigned to your profile doesn’t allow you to edit the field. Inline Editing in reports follows the Salesforce architecture.
- Other restrictions apply. For example, you can’t edit the Amount when the Opportunity is closed.
More restrictions are documented here.
So what’s next after we allow you to Inline Edit different data types? With Multi-Field Editing, you’ll be able to Inline Edit a number of fields in consecutive order before saving your changes. This will be helpful when you want to make multiple changes on the go at once, such as updating work item status in a work item report or assigning bugs to a user. Rather than the report refreshing after each edit, you can make a bunch of changes and then refresh your report.
How do I enable Inline Editing?
Inline Editing is currently (Summer ’21) in Closed Beta so we can test out the feature with a limited set of customers. To enable Inline Editing, follow these steps:
- Submit a ticket with Salesforce asking to enable Inline Editing for your Org. Most customers prefer testing the feature out in a sandbox before enabling it in Production.
- Enable the Inline Editing perm in your org by going to Settings → Reports & Dashboards. Select the checkbox “Enable Inline Editing in Reports”.
Once enabled, Inline Editing will be enabled for all users in your Org. It’s not controlled by a user perm.
Have we missed any use cases that you’d like to see? Are there particular scenarios you’re concerned about? Do provide feedback and let us know how we can improve the product.
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