I think its standard practice for folks with SFDC blogs to rip into the pre-release notes for each upcoming release and pull out there faves. I’d be remiss to whiff on another opportunity to do so, so I figured I’d share my thoughts.
First, if you haven’t seen them yet, they’re available through Developerforce here.
Here are some of my (geeky) favorites:
Partner Support Console – Login to your subscriber orgs and live like a real user. This will make debugging about 10,000x easier. Not that I ever need to debug the Starter Pack… right? Right?
String Conversion of Number Fields – This sounds really esoteric and random, but is actually kind of an annoyance for dev. Basically, if I do a string.valueof(x) where x is a sobject number field, Salesforce gives me back a decimal, regardless of what the value is. So if I’m using a number field for an age, my age would be returned as 31.0. No more in Winter 12.
isScheduled/isFuture/isBatch – this isAwesome. And if you use schedule/async/batch apex, you know why.
Readonly/onInstall Annotations – Really nice annotations for retrieving unlimited readonly data via SOQL, and also marking certain tests as explicitly on package install or not, really big helps.
Higher Governor Limits – Yup, up, up and away. Again.
Native JSON Support – If you’ve ever tried using something like Apex2WSDL, you’ll know how much better this can potentially be.
Developer Console and Schema Builder – Awesome new tooling. You may have seen glimpses of this in the Apex CSI console already, but this takes it to the next level.
Tons of other great stuff also, way too much to mention here. Make sure to check out Visualforce Charts (ZOMG