Everything You Need to Know About Flow Trigger Explorer
Record-Triggered Flow was the solution that Salesforce created to allow Flow functionality to be automatically fired when a record event occurred (create, edit, and delete). The single best practice when creating Record-Triggered Flows followed the Apex and Process Builder best practices that came before it: One per object.
Since its release, Record-Triggered Flow has been significantly enhanced by Salesforce, with a new tool allowing admins and developers to create a one-for-one copy of legacy automations as Record-Triggered Flows. The ‘one per object’ best practice has evolved to offer another Record-Triggered Flow option: One per object or multiple per object with Entry Criteria. Given that many businesses opt for multiple flows per object, there had to be an easy way to dictate the order in which those Record-Triggered Flows were triggered for a specific object. Enter, Flow Trigger Explorer.
What Is Flow Trigger Explorer?
Flow Trigger Explorer was launched by Salesforce in the Spring ‘22 release. It allowed admins and developers to visually see the order in which their Record-Triggered Flows would run against a specific object. It broke the flows down into ‘Fast Field Updates’ (flows that run BEFORE the save to the database), ‘Actions and Related Records’ (flows that run AFTER the save to the database), and ‘Run Asynchronous’ (flows that run separately to the record Transaction so their functionality doesn’t hold up the record save).
Flow Developers were also given the opportunity to set a ‘Trigger Order’ value in the Properties of a Record-Triggered Flow that prioritized flows by number. These values could be set when building individual flows and allowed for the order weight to be set in the flow itself. This was reflected in the Flow Trigger Explorer so all flows could be seen together in the order that they would execute.
The Summer ‘22 update brought enhancements to the Flow Trigger Explorer, allowing Flow Developers to click and drag flows after clicking the ‘Edit Order’ button to easily rearrange the flows with nothing more than a few clicks – how very Salesforce!
How Can I Access Flow Trigger Explorer?
Salesforce Flow Trigger Explorer can be accessed in two ways. Firstly, anytime you are working within a Record-Triggered Flow in the Flow Builder, you will notice a blue link when the Start Element is selected: ‘Open Flow Trigger Explorer for Object’. This quick link will open the Flow Trigger Explorer for that particular object in a new tab in your browser, so you don’t need to worry about losing your unsaved Flow progress.
The second way to access the Flow Trigger Explorer is to access it directly from the Flows menu in Setup. This will not take you to any particular object, but once the Flow Trigger Explorer is opened in a new tab, you can easily navigate to the object you’re looking to analyze – again, with just a few clicks.
How to Use Flow Trigger Explorer
Because Flow Trigger Explorer gives you a top-down view of all the Record-Triggered Flows that will trigger against a specific object, as a Flow Developer, you are able to use it to organize the order in which your flows will run. You can also use it to troubleshoot issues in your org related to your declarative automations.
Not only will Flow Trigger Explorer display all flows currently active against an object for a specific event or scenario, it will also show you the flows that are not yet active. If you find yourself with a greenfield Salesforce org (i.e. a fairly new org or one with no Flow automations yet), you can use the Flow Trigger Explorer to create your Record-Triggered Flows and order them correctly before activating them.
Best Practices When Using Flow Trigger Explorer
It’s worth highlighting the Asynchronous Flows section again. If you are using After-Save Flows that have time-based actions in them, you will notice the same flow appearing in both the After-Save section and the Asynchronous section of Flow Trigger Explorer. This is so that a Flow Developer is able to see not just the path that is triggered first, but also if there is going to be additional functionality executed down the track.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re using a Subflow inside one of your Record-Triggered Flows, it will not appear within the Flow Trigger Explorer.
What I Wish I Knew
Before Record-Triggered Flows were around, Autolaunched Flows were triggered using either Process Builder or Apex (if you were looking to trigger them on a schedule, or in conjunction with an existing Apex automation). Having followed the Process Builder Best Practice of creating a single Process per object, I (as well as many others) became quite confused when things like Trigger Order, Flow Trigger Explorer, and Migrate to Flow came into existence, which seemingly broke this rule, and with no additional guidance from Salesforce.
The messaging from Salesforce sat somewhere between ‘Continue to use just one flow’ and ‘use multiple flows’, depending on what and where you were reading. I’ve written an entire article about this discussion in the past, and have recently updated it to reflect new information that I’ve gathered in recent times.
Ultimately, both methods are correct and using Flow Trigger Explorer makes it easier to see all flows at a birds-eye level. This can be helpful if you’re looking to create multiple small Record-Triggered Flows with specific Entry Criteria, or if you’re looking to merge multiple flows together into one of the three Record-Triggered Flows per object (Before Create/Edit, After Create/Edit, Delete).
Flow Trigger Explorer is one of those features released by Salesforce that is so simple, yet so beneficial. Once you’ve used it, you’ll start to wonder how you managed multiple Record-Triggered Flows in the past, and you’ll see why Process Builder and Workflow Rules are being deprecated in favor of Flow.
Flow Trigger Explorer will allow an admin or developer to see all the Record-Triggered Flows against a particular object event, broken down into Before, After, and Asynchronous actions. This insight can be used to optimize Record-Triggered Flow Automations that are being created, or enhanced to achieve new business goals.