Salesforce is all about managing your valuable data in a way that allows you to provide personalized services to your customers. The CRM platform allows you to record, store, track, and analyze records that facilitate the automation of a range of processes. Right from sales and marketing to accounting and app-building, Salesforce helps you optimize your data with a few simple clicks.
One of the key highlights of Salesforce is the fact that it allows users to automate business processes. Whether you need to manage your leads, create customizable reports, or move your Salesforce data using Salesforce data migration tools, the CRM platform helps you leverage a number of tasks performed by your team members. This helps your employees save time and effort that would have been otherwise invested in undertaking manual processes. Salesforce flows allow users to work smart instead of hard by automating business processes.
What Is A Flow In Salesforce?
A Salesforce flow, also known as Lightning flow, is an application used for automating complicated business processes. It allows users to gather specific datasets and performs automated processes using the same. Salesforce users can build individual flows based on their needs and preferences with the help of Flow Builder. Flow Builder allows you to develop code-like logic without the need for a programming language. This makes the process of building Salesforce flows easier and faster.
Types Of Salesforce Flows
Salesforce flows can be divided into five major categories as follows:
These Salesforce flows can be used for running automated tasks in Salesforce. They can be invoked by users from process builder, Apex class, record changes, set schedule, or platform events.
These are autolaunched flows that can be launched at a specific time and for a specific frequency for every record in batches. These flows run in the background for automating your business processes.
These Salesforce flows have a distinct UI element and require inputs from Salesforce users. You can launch screen flows either as an action or embed them as an element on a Lightning page.
These are the autolaunched flows that run in the background when a user creates, updates, or deletes Salesforce records.
Platform Event-triggered Flows
These Salesforce flows run in the background when a platform event message is received.
When Should You Use Salesforce Flows?
Salesforce flows can be created and used when you need to automate complicated business processes. However, it is important to determine the kind of automation required before building a flow. For this, users need to determine where the data required for the concerned process originates from and where it is required to go. Always make sure that you consider whether the required results can be achieved through a Salesforce flow, a process, or a workflow field update.
When Should You Not Use Salesforce Flows?
Here are some common situations wherein you should avoid using Salesforce flows:
- It is never advisable to create a Salesforce flow when a complicated logic is involved that can be managed better with an Apex code.
- Creating a Salesforce is not an ideal option when your Salesforce edition limits the number of flows a user can create. Salesforce Essentials and Professional editions provide users with a limit of five processes per process type and five flows per flow type. While operating on these editions, it is advisable to use a process.
How To Build A Flow In Salesforce?
Here are the major steps you need to follow for building a flow in Salesforce:
- Start by opening the Flow Builder.
- Type “Flows” into the Quick Find Box in Setup. Select the option of “Flows”, followed by clicking on “New Flow.”
- Select the flow type based on your requirements, followed by clicking on “Create.”
- Now, drag the elements you are willing to use to the canvas. Every element represents a specific action that can be executed by the flow, such as reading/writing Salesforce data, executing business logic, displaying information regarding flow users, collecting data from flow users, manipulating data, etc.
- Connect the selected elements to ascertain the order in which they need to be executed during the run time. Make sure you connect the “start” element to another element to begin the flow.
- Once the elements are connected, save the flow.
After you have created a Salesforce flow, always make sure that you test it before activating the same.
Difference Between Salesforce Flows And Processes
Users often get confused between flows and processes in Salesforce, using the terms interchangeably. Here are the major differences between the two:
- Salesforce processes are more user-friendly with respect to setup and management as compared to Salesforce flows.
- Flows allow users to add screens to enter data, while processes do not provide you with this facility.
- A Salesforce flow can be invoked by users, triggered by a change in the records, or scheduled to run at a specific time and with a specific frequency. On the other hand, a Salesforce process runs automatically when the required criteria are met. Users can also invoke a process by creating one using the Process builder.
- While Salesforce flows can be paused by users, processes cannot be paused and keep running until the criteria are being met.
- While the actions of Salesforce processes are executed in the order of their appearance in the process definition, flows often have a more complicated order of operations.
- Salesforce flows can be used for cycling through multiple Salesforce objects (related and unrelated). On the other hand, processes are limited to the base and related Salesforce objects.
- While processes can be triggered only after a record has been saved, users can design Salesforce flows to be triggered when records are created, updated, or deleted.
The Final Word
These were some of the most basic yet important aspects you should know about Salesforce flows. Effective creation and configuration of Salesforce flows allows you to streamline some of the most complex business processes, increasing the overall productivity of your organization.