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2020-10-26

Salesforce Release Naming

Mountains
Photograph by Timothy Eberly

Salesforce major releases are a big thing for customers and partners. They happen three times a year and while there are no "upgrade projects" for Salesforce customers as the releases are rolled out by Salesforce and configurations, customizations and even custom code continue to work without going through an "upgrade project", they always come with lots of new features and changes.

The naming of those releases is a bit special though and takes some getting used to, so this post explains what it means if you start hearing of a "Winter 21" release in September 2020.

There are three major releases for the Salesforce core platform each year, named after the seasons winter, spring, and summer. There is no fall release because, in fall, Salesforce is holding their big annual customer conference Dreamforce.

The release name consists of the season and the year in which the season ends, which in the case of the winter release means that by the time the release is rolled out, it is already named after the coming year. In addition to the release name, every release has a number that is mainly used for internal purposes. Here are the numbers, names, and approximate deployment dates of the coming three Salesforce releases (exact deployment dates vary, as not all Salesforce instances are updated on the same day):

Examples: Release Name, Deployment Date, Release Number
Winter 21, October 2020, 228
Spring 21, February 2021, 230
Summer 21, June 2021, 232