Flow Tips Newsletter

Collection Filter and Collection Sort Challenge – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

How powerful are the collection sort and collection filter elements? How should you use them?

I experimented with collection filter and collection sort elements to see how far I can go using only one get element. In other words, I wanted my flow only to use up one SOQL against the governor limits.

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

Please see the image for the results.

How many elements did I use? Did I have to loop?

Here are the answers:

  • Your get element gives you sorting functionality. Use it.
  • You have to loop to get the min and max values, such as the oldest and most recent, sorted by Date and Time. But you need to loop only for one iteration. So you can exit after you assign the first record to a variable.
  • Your loop can use the existing sort or the reverse sort. Use this functionality.
  • Initially, I used a counter variable to exit the loop, but this was unnecessary. You need to exit the loop regardless after the first iteration. Insert a decision and connect both branches to the next element outside the loop.
  • You can get a count of records by using an assignment element with the operator “equals count”.

I experimented with the formula criteria inside the collection filter element without much luck. I think this functionality does not allow for filters with variable values on the right side of the equation. “ContactId on the current record = ContactIdVariable” formula did not work.

What do you think? Can these elements save you lengthy loops and executed elements?

How many elements, excluding the start or the end element, did I use to extract this information.

Join the discussion on LinkedIn here or Twitter here.

Live session recording:

Watch Melody Lwo of Salesforce Flowsome and me either on LinkedIn here or YouTube here.

P.S. Originally published on 05/30/2022.

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Flow Tips Newsletter

Post to Slack from Flow in 6 Easy Steps – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

This is an exciting week for all of us. The Release Readiness live webinars are here.

I was reading the Release Notes for Summer 22 this past weekend and I was wondering whether I can use the brand new Slack invocable actions in my Salesforce flows already. Salesforce announced the new actions are in beta, and they will be released sometime in June. It turns out I can already use them. I don’t even need a Preview Org or Summer 22 Sandbox for it. The steps required took some time to discover, but the whole thing is fairly simple to set up.

I am posting a step-by-step guide here so that you can dive directly into it. Try it now without wasting any time. Here are the 6 steps you need to take to post to Slack from Flow:

1. Go to “Setup” and “Enable Slack for Salesforce”. Review and agree to the Pilot terms if you want to proceed.

2. Create and assign a permission set to the user who will post on Slack and use the integration. The permission set will have “Connect Salesforce with Slack” system permission activated.

3. Now go over to your Slack Workspace. You can use a free Workspace, but if you have used all your permitted 10 App limit, you will need to remove an App. On the upper left side click on “More”, then “Apps”. On the screen you see in the middle, click on “App Directory”. Find “Sales Cloud for Slack”.

4. Go to the App page. Click on “Add to Slack”. This will take you to a web page that is super confusing. Find “Add Sales Cloud For Slack App”. Click on the link. Give the necessary permissions. (Update: I received feedback that the Sales Cloud Slack app did not work for some folks. If this is your experience try one of the other apps on the same page. I tested the Salesforce Digital HQ app as well, and this app worked for me.)

5. Now go to any public channel on Slack. Click/tap on the channel header where you see the title. Scroll all the way down and get the channel ID as seen below.

6. Go to Salesforce and build a simple Autolaunched Flow with one single element. You will need to add the invocable action “Send Slack Message (Beta)”. Configure it as seen below. Include the Slack Channel ID. Run it. Voila!

Next week, I will continue my preview with the new screen flow functionality.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 05/24/2022.

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Flow Tips Newsletter

May/June 2022 Content Announcement – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

I dedicate this newsletter issue to the announcements for new content coming from me next month (May & June):

  • On 5/31/2022, I will broadcast a live session with my fellow content creator Melody Lwo, a.k.a. Flowsome, on YouTube and LinkedIn. The session has been posted, here on my Salesforce Break YouTube channel and on my LinkedIn profile.
  • I will answer flow questions during our monthly Flow Office hours session with Terry Miller on 6/10/2022. Register for the Flow Office Hours Here.
  • I am the leader of a brand new Trailblazer User Group for Architects. I will host Antoine Cabot, Senior Director of Product Management in Salesforce, on 6/15/2022. Antoine is leading the Orchestrator and Flow for Slack initiative. Register for the Architect session here.
  • I will present in Atlanta at Southeast Dreamin’ a session titled “Flow Trigger Explorer and Orchestrator”. You can find the Dreamin’ session details here and register for the event.

Now let’s get back to reading the Release Notes. Summer 22 will be in all of our Orgs soon.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 05/17/2022.

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Flow Tips Newsletter

The Orchestrator Vision – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

I presented at Texas Dreamin’ two weeks ago. I shared a use case I implemented using the Orchestrator.

The main message of my presentation was to think big when you are working with the Orchestrator.

There are a few reasons for that:

  • The Orchestrator is not free. You should solve a decent-size problem to get a return on your implementation.
  • The tool is complicated. If your use case is not complex, the chances are you will find a way of implementing it with flow and admin tools.
  • The Orchestrator is powerful when you are coordinating tasks going between the silos of the organization.

There were a few observations I shared:

  • The Orchestrator is not an excellent approval process replacement. It does not lock records, and it is harder to implement. Furthermore, Salesforce said the approval process wouldn’t go away.
  • This solution works best when you need to schedule or delay user screen interactions which were not possible before.
  • The tool also can send tasks to users, groups, or queues, which means you will need a broad implementation scope to make the best out of it.

What was the use case I presented?

First, the salesperson wins an opportunity; then, the system checks whether the product in the opportunity line item is in the inventory or not. Next, the automation asks management to approve the order fulfillment and the production request if there is insufficient inventory. Finally, the Orchestrator will create a contract and an order for the opportunity, then a work order to get the item produced if necessary and shipped right after.

Overarching broad processes like these are great for the Orchestrator.

I think it is important to think big before tackling the Orchestrator canvas.

Let’s remember you will be much better off mapping your process before you implement it using this tool. Things will get complicated.

Check out my process map for the use case on top of this page.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 05/10/2022.

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Is There Flow After TDX22? – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

After a busy week of TDX22 and two Dreamin’ events happening simultaneously, my tired brain is trying to gather and compile all the information. We need to avoid this scheduling conflict in the future.

Let’s dive into the future of automation on the Salesforce platform.

Summer 22 release notes are out. We will know more when the Release Readiness Webinars happen soon. However, we know already that the Orchestrator is GA.

The Orchestrator is a flow of flows, in other words, automation that helps us string flows together. It gives us the superpowers of scheduling and delaying screen interactions and assigning them to users, queues, and groups. Please read J. Steadman’s blog post here for the details.

On top of that, we have a few other posts worth mentioning that were published recently:

What do all these signs tell me:

We are in for a faster ride than ever before. Buckle up.

Recently released content:

Next week, I will continue my preview with the new screen flow functionality.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 05/03/2022.

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New Features of Summer 22 (continued) – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

Summer 22 is arriving soon, and the second part of my quick tour is here.

In the last issue of the newsletter, I showed you a few changes that will be released soon. Let’s continue.

Screen flow enhancements:

1-Collapsible headings for sections: We received the functionality of multicolumn sections in screen flows a few releases ago, and I love them. With this release, we get a header, which makes the section collapsible.

2-Dynamic Forms (Fields – Still Beta) supports Name and Address Fields: Fields functionality is a very promising functionality that now supports Name (Salutation, First Name, Last Name) and a full Address. I don’t understand why this is still in beta, though.

3-Dynamic Forms Address automatically populates address: When you combine the new Address field with the Google Typehead functionality, you give the user the power to populate the address fields automatically.

Some other notable enhancements:

1-Orchestrations are deployable via change sets now.

2-Associated flows can be opened from within the Orchestration via a link.

3-You can order triggered Orchestrations with Flow Trigger Explorer exactly as you do with flows.

I want to add that dragging items on the Flow Trigger Explorer changes your flow’s running order parameter setting. The screen shows you a confirmation screen explaining the change.

The big news of this release is the addition of the No-Code Flow Testing (Beta), though. I am super excited about this, but I will take my time to review it before going into more detail.

I am heading to Texas Dreamin’. I will present there on the Flow Trigger Explorer and the Orchestrator. Come to my session if you will be there. If you won’t be there, no worries; I will present similar content soon virtually. Stay tuned.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 04/26/2022.

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3 New Features of Summer 22 – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

Summer 22 is arriving soon, and I am here to give you a quick tour of the new functionality coming your way.

But before I do that, I would like to share that I wrote a brand new post for Salesforce Ben. It was published a week ago, and it is still the number one post on the site. Please read my post titled “7 Foundational Skills Before Learning Salesforce Flows” here.

The format of this post will include pictures more than words. Let me show you screenshots of what is coming. This release is loaded again with flow enhancements:

1-Flow Trigger Explorer supports manual reordering of triggered flows. You can create a new flow right from this dialogue. This action will prefill the start element for you. RT Orchestrations are also supported, which I have not seen or tested yet. When you open Flow Details and Versions on the right-side panel, you see all flow versions. You can open each version via a link and activate the version you want on this side panel. This functionality is better than the existing alternative in my humble opinion.

2-RT Automation got some serious love in this release. Now we can build complex formulas in our start entry criteria. Let me test and tell you how debugging works later. We get assistance via field and function pickers when building the formula. You can go crazy now with field values, prior field values, and functions.

The formula builder checks syntax similar to the formula field builder of the object manager. If you are sloppy with your work, you will get a red error message when you check syntax via this button. The formula resource builder did not get any love though, as far as I know.

3-Low-code flow testing comes to life. On your flow canvas, you will see a “View Tests” button on the upper right side. You will have to agree to the terms when you click on it because the functionality is in beta as of Summer 22. Then, you click create, and you start building your test.

I played around with the test builder a little bit. Disclaimer: I don’t know anything about the functionality. I saw this error message very frequently. At least for now, I can easily say this functionality deserved the beta badge.

Next week, I will continue my preview with the new screen flow functionality.

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 04/18/2022.

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Advanced Topics & Resources – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

Let’s talk about advanced topics around flow automation this week.

I want to highlight two sources of information that Salesforce recently published.

One of these resources is the blog post titled “Your Guide to Determining the Flow Running User and Its Execution Context” by Jennifer W. Lee.

It has been a mystery for many flow builders what context different flow types run. For example, if I create a record-triggered flow, can it update all records in my Org? What happens when I activate and run an event-triggered flow. All these questions have been answered in this blog post.

One interesting observation for me is the information that Jen published on screen flows. I built a few screen flows that run on public community (digital experience) pages, and even when I set the flow to run in system context without sharing, it would not see the related records in the Org it would need to see. So I would have to set up sharing rules to share the records I need in advance for the guest user to see. This phenomenon is explained in this blog post: The lookups in your screen flow do not run in the system context without sharing. Please read the blog post here.

Another source of information is the Architect’s guide to record-triggered automation. I should clarify and say that this has actually not been recently published. There was an earlier version of this page. This is not merely an update. The whole thing has been rewritten, and it is immensely more helpful than the previous version. There is good information for any level, but I would like to emphasize that some parts of the post are very advanced. Do not be alarmed if you don’t understand everything. This is expected.

If I had to highlight one point out of this document, it would have to be the use of formulas. There is an interesting bit of information, and it essentially says that the use of complex formulas does not scale well in high-volume flow execution scenarios.

This is the reason I often use a formula field and refer to it in my flow when I deal with a very complex formula. The best architectural solution will depend on the type of flow you are building, how often it will be executed, and how frequently the object records are pulled up and viewed in the Org.

I wanted to go into this topic also to emphasize this point: Capable flow builders are not that uncommon, and there are many great admins on the platform, but a flow builder who is very knowledgable on the platform’s capabilities and can harness both sides to come up with a great solution, is a rare gem. Read the architect’s guide here.

Recently published resources:

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 04/10/2022.

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Assignment or Update – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

I have a quick but important update for you this week.

An issue I see quite frequently happens when folks try and remember to use the assignment element instead of the update element in record-triggered flows. You can indeed use an assignment element instead of an update element in a before-flow to change the field values on the record that triggered the flow. However, this is not true when running your record-triggered flow in after-save mode.

To avoid confusion and facilitate an easy transition between before-save and after-save, always use the update element in a record-triggered flow to update the field values on the record that triggered the flow.

I am sure you know by now; before-save is labeled as Fast Field Updates, and after-save is labeled as Actions and Related Records in the record-triggered flow start element configurator.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask them on the Salesforce Break Slack. The invitation link is on https://SalesforceBreak.com.

Content and event updates:

Enjoy.

P.S. Originally published on 04/05/2022.

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Process Automation Credential – Salesforce Flow Tips Newsletter

Hello folks,

This past week, I achieved the Process Automation Credential on the Salesforce partner side. 

The Accredited Professional program was announced in 2021. The partner credential program is somewhat similar to the Salesforce certification program and is only available for Salesforce partner employees. 

You can get certifications by following the partner learning camp training program for the specialization area you want to master. After the training, you will have to pass the exam using the virtual certification exam provider for the Salesforce partner side. The credentials bring Salesforce partners “cookie points” and are weighted differently depending on the specialization. For example, Process Automation is one of the more valuable credentials.

Since I call myself a Process Automation and Flow expert, I thought I would study the partner learning camp material and take the exam.

The flow product team is launching new functionality rapidly; therefore, keeping everything up-to-date is a heavy lift. When I started studying the material on the partner learning camp, I was immediately shocked. The material had an Oldies Goldies mixtape feel to it.

Process Automation Curriculum has five courses. One of the requirements of the “Get Started with Flow” course is that you listen to a podcast – or you can read the transcript – from July 2020 where the product manager at Salesforce says a few minutes into the recording: “So Oh my goodness, we can now trigger Flows when you save a record. Woo hoo!” This was shocking to me when I first heard it. However, it became more understandable when I realized that they talked about the Summer 20 Release in this podcast episode.

I needed to complete a few linked Trailhead modules and read some help pages to progress my studies. It is no secret that Trailhead is currently not the best place to learn flows. I know the Trailhead team agrees with me since they just hired an expert to review and improve the published material. But that is not even the weak part of the partner learning camp curriculum.

When completing the “Flow Testing and Distribution” course, I needed the check a “Got it!” checkbox indicating that I understood I should go to the “Paused Flow Interviews” screen in setup to debug failed flows. Is that even how that screen is titled?

When I headed to the “Hands-On Learning” course, I found additional resources links that I needed to check out. One of those was a YouTube video by Salesforce published in April 2019. The other one was a link to the Salesforce Anywhere Automation Tool Trailhead module. Do you know what Salesforce Anywhere is? It is Quip.

Then I signed up for the certification exam. The platform is rough; there are many issues, but let’s not focus on that.

When I started answering questions, I saw that there were inaccurate questions.

There was a question about a logic element; are decision elements grouped under logic elements now; if that is the case, I did not know. What good is going to do for me if I did? I am not sure. I would say forget about Salesforce Anywhere, but it was in the exam as far as I remember. There were two questions where you would have to know performing a DML operation before an outbound message is not good practice in flows. Why was I tested twice for something that is a tail case and that I can easily Google? It is a mystery to me.

But most importantly, would I know if somebody possesses good flow skills if they passed this exam? Absolutely not.

Congratulations to me; I have the Process Automation credential now.

However, I don’t recommend this credential exam to anyone until it is revised and drastically improved.

P.S. Originally published on 03/28/2022.

Note: I met with the partner side in Salesforce since I sent out this post, I am happy to announce they are working on improvements.

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