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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

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 links:

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

Enjoy.

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

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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.

Read the previous issue of the newsletter here.

Subscribe to the weekly educational Salesforce Flow Tips newsletter here.

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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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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.

Read the previous issue of the newsletter here.

Read the next issue of the newsletter here.

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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.

Read the previous issue of the newsletter here.

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