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Use Flow to get the running User’s Time Zone offset from GMT

When I went abroad as a teenager, I saw that Europeans were quickly impressed with my practical solutions. Putting together two things to create a workable solution was not a big deal for me.

I thought I was a much better-trained eye in this sense because we did not have many of the solutions that Europeans had readily available in Turkey at the time.

I think I worked that muscle when I was on Eric Smith’s blog looking at an invocable action he wrote for flow that returned the start of the day (midnight) for a particular date. I immediately asked what context the action ran because I built a flow for a Nonprofit before, and I had to jump through hoops to try and calculate the time in the correct timezone to be displayed on the screen.

If this action could give me the correct start of the day in the user time zone, I could calculate a time offset for the system time GMT and convert all system times to the user timezone.

Needless to say, the solution worked, and that is why I am here writing about it. Eric Smith was super kind to post a detailed blog post about this. Please read it below.

Enjoy

ericsplayground

A couple of years ago, I created a component to convert a Date value to a Datetime value in a Flow. Recently, Andy Engin Utkan, figured out a way to use this component to overcome issues he was having when using a Display Text component in a Flow when trying to show Datetime values and have them display in the correct time zone.

You are unable to use a formula in Salesforce to determine a User’s time zone. Admins have created very complex formulas trying to calculate an offset based on the User’s State or Country but then they ran into issues trying to handle Daylight Savings Time adjustments as well.

Here’s an example presented by Eric Praud on Jen Lee’s “How I Solved This” Admin Podcast where he created a new custom object, added 9 custom fields to the User object and came up with this formula…

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Scheduled Flows: How do they work?

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Very recently, one of my fellow #flownatic friend, Andy, shared a tweet about scheduled flows which led to some interesting suggestions on the thread.

The question here is which approach should you be taking, left or right? Take a moment to think about it! Which one did you pick?

So the ideal approach here would be the flow on the left. There is a ‘but’ here, that’ll get to a little later.
Before that let’s understand what’re the pitfalls of using the flow on the right.

  1. Can very easily hit 50,000 records SOQL limit.
  2. Even before 50k records SOQL limit, it will hit 2000(Maximum) elements executed limit.

Here, the 2nd pitfall is very specific to this…

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Fast Field Updates in Record Triggered Flows (Winter 22)

The biggest flow change in Salesforce Winter 22 may be the smallest!

After Winter 22 Release: You are presented with one single screen for all your Record-Triggered start element options. When you go to your flow screen & click on the “Record-Triggered Flow” button and then “New”, you see this screen:

Record Triggered Flow Update - Winter 22

Your choices are:

  • Fast Field Updates: This means before-save
  • Actions and Related Records: This means after-save

While there is nothing new here in terms of functionality, this screen may throw you off. This is a welcome change for new learners, while it may be confusing at first for folks who have been building Record-Triggered flows for a while now.

You can also see on the same screen that a asynchronous path functionality has been added.

What do you think of this change? Please let me know your comments.

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Why Do You Need to Learn Salesforce Flows Now?

Hello folks. There is not a better time than now to get started learning Salesforce Flow.

Here are three reasons why you should start learning flows now.

A countdown:

You can either watch the short ebbedded video or read my message below.

3) Debug all the things: You used workflows and process builders. Have you ever tried to debug one when it does not work? You are pretty much blindfolded. You make modifications and see if the new version will work. You cannot follow your automation step-by-step to see where it is breaking. You are at the mercy of error messages that may not be very descriptive of the issue you are having. With the Summer 21 release you can debug all your flows before activating them and continue debugging after you activate them. The record-triggered flow was the only flow type that did not have all the debug features the other flow types had. They are getting great debug features with Summer 21. You can see the path your flow took highlighted on your screen before the error occurred. You can inspect your debug log that gives you many details, such as variable values and field values in your update step. The improved debug functionality is a great reason to start doing all your automation with flows.

Before I move on to the second point, I have great news for you. I just released a Udemy video course on flows that takes a very systematic approach to teaching flows. You will have lifetime access to my course with a 30 days money-back guarantee. Check the link below and the coupon code to get a great discounted price on this course for a limited time. Stay around for reasons number 2 and 1. I have some great tips for you at the end of the video on getting started with your learning journey.

2) Flow all the things: Salesforce announced last year that they would stop all development of Workflow Rules and Process Builders. Salesforce accelerated the development of Flow features and recommended this tool as the single low-code automation tool for the future.

More importantly, Salesforce is going all in on low-code automation and using flow in many other areas of the Salesforce platform. Have you heard of the Flow Orchestrator, Mulesoft Composer, OmniStudio, and Einstein Bots? If you don’t believe me check your Salesforce Summer 21 release notes website. Where are Flows listed? Under Einstein Automate. So all automation under Salesforce will converge to the same suite of solutions if you ask me. I don’t work for Salesforce; I don’t need to show you a slide of forwarding looking statements. However, please remember to make your own informed decisions. This is my personal opinion.

1) Skill up: If you are an aspiring admin, administrator, consultant or developer on the platform, you need to get flow-building skills on your resume. Check the positions that are posted online. Most of them ask for varying grades of flow-building skills. If you are building your skills to become a developer, the logic-building skills that you will gain by building flows will be extremely helpful on your learning journey. If you are a developer already, you will need to use a healthy mix of low-code and code for an easily maintained, long-lasting, and high-performing solution in your org. Check the Architects website by Salesforce for more details. If you are a consultant and you don’t know flows, you are not using the whole spectrum of solutions on Salesforce to best advise your clients.

Now, a couple of tips on how you get started on flows: – Start with record-triggered flows. You have seen and done workflow rules and process builders; these are similar to them but much better. – Use save as a new flow to change between the flow types. This feature is your friend. You will have to make changes and adjustments to your flow to make it work, but this will save you precious time. – Use real-life use cases. Start with a real need. If you don’t have a real-life scenario, get on Salesforce answers, Ohana Slack, and various Salesforce social groups. People are asking for help to build flows based on their unique use cases. Help them and learn in the process.

I will continue creating various content about flows. Subscribe to the Salesforce Break Youtube channel for free content. Give this video a like. Buy my Udemy class for a systematic approach on learning flows.

I wish you the best of luck and success on your flow learning journey.

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