New Release

HTTP Callout (Beta) in Salesforce Spring 23

With each new release lately the Salesforce Flow team has been bringing some amazing features. I am really excited about the introduction of HTTP Callout (Beta) in Spring 23′. It really starts to open up the possibility of more resources for admins to start doing more with clicks and not code. This allows an admin directly inside of flow to make an HTTP Callout to perform a Get on an external system previously this would require either an invocable apex action or an external service be created in Salesforce. Andy and I took sometime over the last couple of weeks to test it out and you can see our video here to see our discussion and brief demo but let’s take a deep dive walkthrough on how we configured it and the steps to take. For this testing and demonstration we found a simple api that has a free use tier that allows for a set number of callouts to validate a phone number and return validation information you can find more on Api Layer and the documentation here.

Before you can create an HTTP Callout you first need to create a what’s called a Named Credential a Named Credential is what Salesforce uses to validate you are able to use the external service you are making the call to.

Step 1 in Setup go to Named Credentials

Step 2 Click on New (At the time of this post New is not working in Pre-Release Orgs so follow 2a)

Step 2a Click on the Drop Down to the right of New and click on New Legacy

Step 3 Add Named Credential Details

Step 3 Create a Custom Label to hold the api key you got from APILAYER (this is only necessary if an api key is required it is for our use case)

Step 4 New Fields I created 2 fields on the Lead Object Phone_Number_Details__c a rich text field to hold the information about the phone number that will get returned in the callout and I also created a checkbox field called Phone_Number_Validated__c that is checked true or false if a phone number has been validated in the service

Step 5 Let’s make a flow – In this example I am using a record-triggered flow that will fire when a lead is created. I set two conditions on Phone to make sure this fires only when there is a value in the Phone field. I also marked it to include an Asynchronous path since we can only make a callout Asynchronously.

On the asynchronous path click on the “+” and then add an action

After clicking on action a modal will pop up and you will want to scroll down to the bottom of the left panel and click on “Create HTTP Callout (Beta)”

Next fill out the details for the HTTP Callout Action you are creating the name is all one word no special characters or spaces, make sure to add a description because you will be able to reuse this in other flows without a need to create a new one so make it easier on other admins, devs and your predecessors so they know what it does, and finally choose the named credential you created in Step 1.

On the next screen we want to give it another label and description along with setting our Method which in the beta is only GET which means we can only retrieve data from an external service. We can also optionally set a URL Path in this case we will use ‘/validate’ this path comes from our api documentation that says this is what we want to do on the service. We are also going to set some Query Parameter Keys this is the data we want to send to our service for our use case we want to send the apikey and the number both of them have a datatype of string we use the names and data types that are from the api documentation; I also made both required otherwise the call will fail. The task is to give an example of what a successful json response will look like once again we get this from our API Documentation. After you paste your example click review and you should see the data structure on the right click done.

Step 6 Configure the new action you created. Give it a name and description like all best practices. In the apikey input I am referencing the label I created in step 3 using the global variable for label and in the number field I am referencing the phone file using the Record Variable from the lead

Step 7 Almost done I created a text template to populate the Phone Details Field I created. In the text template I am referencing the outputs from my service I just created it will create what’s called an Apex Defined Variable I can reference specific pieces of data.

Step 8 Update the Lead Here I am updating the Lead Record that is my Triggering Record updating the Phone Validated and Phone Detail fields.

Step 9 Debug, Validate, Activate, Deploy – Next up debug your flow make sure you set to debug on the asynchronous path and review your debug details and validate it is doing what you expect. Once it’s validated activate your flow and deploy it 🙂

Step 10 Take a deep breath exhale, pat yourself on the back, put on your superhero cape, and enjoy your drink of choice

Views and opinions in this article are my own and do not represent that of Salesforce

Note: To watch the demo on Youtube click below.

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Video

Diagramming Salesforce Solutions – Matthew Morris – Video

Matthew Morris, Salesforce Innovation Director at Capgemini, presented about “Diagramming Salesforce Solutions” for the Jacksonville Florida Architects Trailblazer User Group on 10/13/2022.

I would like to thank Matthew Morris for this wonderful presentation. Please find the YouTube video and the presentation file in pdf format below.

This topic was presented originally by Matthew at London Calling 2022, the community-led event in the UK; therefore, I would like to give them a well-deserved shout-out as well.

Youtube video:

Presentation slides:

Enjoy

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Flow Tips Newsletter, Uncategorized

Winter 23 Flow Formula Editor – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

Let’s get started with the Winter 23 Flow enhancements, shall we? Who doesn’t like to save time and effort?

One of the biggest improvements is the formula resource editor with the instant syntax check button.

This functionality first came for the start element and the collection filter in the previous releases. Now we get the same editor across the board in the flow builder.

No more writing a formula, saving the flow, and crossing your fingers hoping it won’t yield an error message.

You can check for errors as you build your formula on the same screen using the Syntax Check button.

One disclaimer is that I saw some inconsistent behavior in my preview Dev Org:

Some of the collection filter formulas I built that I thought should pass, did not pass the syntax check. But we still have time until the release. I am sure it will be ready by then.

Now content announcements:

  • I am super excited that my session proposal has been accepted for Florida Dreamin’ 2022. I will be presenting there for the third year in a row. My session is titled: “Flow Design & Mapping: From Idea to the Flow Canvas“. It will be super interesting, I promise you. Come and see it: Register for the event here.
  • Last week, I presented the new Winter 23 Flow functionality at a virtual Jacksonville Salesforce Saturday event. I tried out the new enhancements live and recorded the event. Watch Winter 23 Flow Features – Salesforce Saturday here.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 08/30/2022.

Read the previous issue of the newsletter here.

Subscribe to the weekly educational Salesforce Flow Tips newsletter here.

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Flow Tips Newsletter

Start Element Formulas – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

How cool are the brand new start element formulas?

One of the best use cases for it is the Record Type criteria. You can now check for the RecordType.DeveloperName or the RecordType.Name in your start element. This was not possible before. You either had to hardcode the RecordType.Id or defer the criteria to a decision element, making the flow less efficient.

What else can we do with start element formulas?

When you want to trigger your flow in case the triggering object record is created or updated, and you want to build sophisticated criteria, then the formula entry conditions are ideal for this purpose.

A popular use case is the auto-naming of records when a new record is created. For example, you can append the Industry picklist value to the Account name using a before-save flow.

Here is the formula resource that does that:

The difficulty is when you want to trigger such flow on create and update. If you don’t build your flow carefully, you will append the same thing to the name multiple times based on multiple updates. You will need to check whether the auto-name logic ran before if you want to avoid this outcome.

Here is the start element formula that ensures that:

I recommend you go and play with this functionality yourself if you haven’t already. You will like it. It is super powerful.

This is the only area where we have a function, a logical operator picker, and a syntax check button within flow.

If you have comments on this topic, please join the discussion on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 07/18/2022.

Read the previous issue of the newsletter here.

Subscribe to the weekly educational Salesforce Flow Tips newsletter here.

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Flow Tips Newsletter

Standard or Custom Object? – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

Recently, I posted polls on Twitter asking about standard objects: What cloud license does each standard object come with? The answers to these questions are widely unknown. You will see that only about half of the respondents got the answer right.

As a response to these posts Emily McCowan, an Architect, posted this writeup and clarified some of the confusion around this topic. Please read it, it is very good.

You may know the data model very well. You will also need to know what standard objects come with your license to decide whether to use them when the need arises.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 07/08/2022.

Read the previous issue of the newsletter here.

Subscribe to the weekly educational Salesforce Flow Tips newsletter here.

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Flow Tips Newsletter

The Importance of the Data Model – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

I wrote this several times before:

If you want to attempt Actions and Related Records flows, you need to know the schema very well. This can be easily done with the schema builder in your Org.

There is another good way for reviewing the data model. The Architect’s site by Salesforce has the data model diagram posted for the most popular Clouds. You can go there and view and download the diagrams in pdf, png and Lucidchart format:

Click here for the Architect’s Site by Salesforce.

You can see the Sales Cloud example image from the Architect’s site above. Please click on the image to see a bigger version.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 06/27/2022.

Read the previous issue of the newsletter here.

Subscribe to the weekly educational Salesforce Flow Tips newsletter here.

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Uncategorized

I Wrote For Salesforce This Week – Process Automation – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

I wrote for the Salesforce Admins Blog this week.

What is Process Automation?

How do you acquire this crucial skill?

Read my Process Automation blog post on the Salesforce Admins website by clicking here.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 06/23/2022.

Read the previous issue of the newsletter here.

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Flow Tips Newsletter

Which Object Do You Trigger On? – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

Suppose you know you need a record-triggered flow: You want to perform automated steps based on the transactions executing in your Salesforce Org.

If you deal with related records, you know you will be in the after-save mode (a.k.a. Actions and Related Records).

If you have come this far, this means you have already found answers to two essential questions:

  1. What type of flow do I need?
  2. If it is a record-triggered flow, will it be before-save or after-save?

You know that I answer a lot of flow questions on a regular basis. My observation is that folks often struggle with the next critical step:

Which object will I be triggering on?

Based on the previous decisions, we know you are already dealing with at least two objects. However, suppose a junction object is involved, like an Opportunity Contact Role that connects the Opportunity to Contacts or an Opportunity Line Item that connects the Opportunity to the Products. In that case, you may have three or more objects involved.

This is the part where things get confusing:

Which object will I trigger on, and what object(s) will I create/update?

The answer is surprisingly simple when you fill in the blanks in this format:

I want to create/update __ Object records when __ Object records are created/updated.

What you write in the second blank will show you what object you are triggering on.

Once you know that, you will need to go from one Object to the other using the relationships. Depending on the depth and the structure, you may use multiple gets.

I thought I’d step back from technical posts for now and focus on the fundamentals again.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 06/15/2022.

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Flow Tips Newsletter

The Answer for the Collection Filter & Collection Sort Challenge – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

Last week I told you that I challenged myself to use as few elements as possible when searching for particular records among the cases in my Org. You can find the Collection Filter and Collection Sort post here.

I started with a get element that returns all the cases that have both account and contact assignments. I was able to extract the following information with only one get element:

  • Most Recently Modified Case
  • Oldest Modified Case
  • Oldest Modified Case Account Name
  • Number of Cases by this Account
  • Most Recently Closed Date for this Account
  • Contact Id on this Case
  • Number of Cases for this Contact
  • Oldest Closed Date for this Contact on this Case

It took me 21 elements, including one get, to find all these records. How did I achieve this? Check the image above for the details. Click on the image to see a bigger version.

Enjoy.

Andy Engin Utkan

P.S. If you like this newsletter, forward it to your friends. They can sign up for it here.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 06/07/2022.

Read the previous issue of the newsletter here.

Read the next issue of the newsletter here.

Subscribe to the weekly educational Salesforce Flow Tips newsletter here.

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