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Salesforce have invested heavily in facilitating automation with a ‘clicks, not code’ approach to deliver more value to customers by helping to reduce the dependency on having Salesforce developer resources.
Presenter: Matthew Schutz
Date: October 21st 2016
Time: 20 minutes
Key terms: Workflows, Visual Flow, Lightning Process Builder
- @0.50 — Workflow, Process Builder and Flow are all point and click (aka declarative) Salesforce tools.
- @2 — Approvals — Workflows — Lightning Process Builder — Visual Workflow — Apex Code (simple to complex). The automation tool you need depends on the type of business process that you’re automating.
- @3 — Lightning Process Builder is ‘workflow on steroids’. A big benefit with Lightning Process Builder is that you, in effect, merge multiple workflow rules together. There are limits on how many workflow rules your Org can have, and so replacing multiple workflow rules with a single Process Builder can be very beneficial.
- @3.40 — with Lightning Process Builder you can create records, submit records for approval, update child records, post to Chatter, and also have multiple related workflows merged into 1 process (this is powerful as you can determine the order in which the workflow rule enters).
- @5.40- Visual Flow is more complex than Process Builder or Workflows. Generally, Flow is used to take input from users in a ‘form like’ structure. A flow is an application that can execute logic, interact with the SF database, call Apex classes and collect data from users. You can build flows by using the Cloud Flow Designer.
- @9.00- Combining a Process with Flow(s) brings admins closer to the power of Apex with ‘point-n-click’ functionality.
- @9.10 —Combining a Process with Flow(s) means that you can run Flows without user interaction (no need to press a button) and pass values to variables from your Process to Flows. Being able to determine the order of execution for multiple Processes and Flows is so helpful. In contrast, workflow rules don’t have a determined execution order and this can be incredibly detrimental because it can have ramifications on Apex triggers if those triggers don’t leverage best practices to avoid recursion; which would increase the likelihood of hitting governor limits.
Matthew’s presentation covers the different declarative automation tools with information on their respective pros and cons and use cases. The Salesforce declarative tools are improving with each release and they enable customers to ‘do more with less’ and enable customers to have a lower technical debt.
However, as is the case with many technologies, if they solve a set of problems (‘how can we automate in Salesforce without hiring developers or consultants?’), a new set of problems are created. The new set of problems can be discovered in very complicated Salesforce orgs which rely hugely on the declarative automation tools and consequently, debugging becomes increasingly challenging. This is a topic which is discussed in several podcast episodes from the excellent ‘Good Day, Sir’ series.
In addition to Matthew’s presentation, ‘Learning Salesforce Visual Flow’ and ‘Learning Salesforce Visual Flow and Process Builder’ by Rakesh Gupta are some very comprehensive resources for learning more about the Salesforce declarative tools.