Process Automation Credential

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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Slack and Flows

Hello folks,

How is Slack related to Salesforce Flows?

I got certified as a Slack administrator this past week. So I must think Slack is essential for a low-code builder to learn if I did it, right?

Let me explain.

Flow helps us communicate with the user via screen flows. For example, I can display a message on the screen and initiate a custom notification, a chatter post, or an email. I can also collect input from the user via screen flows. Field updates, approvals, rejection of process steps are all possible.

When I was at Dreamforce in 2021, I saw many demos that included Salesforce user interactions on Slack. Unfortunately, most of this functionality is still not generally available.

We currently have a Slack AppExchange package that supports sharing records on Slack and a list-view of relevant Slack posts inside Salesforce. In addition, there is an Unofficial SF package that comes with several actions to support Slack posts from Salesforce Flows.

I have good news, though; Salesforce said during the last release webinars that approval processes would support Slack. And I am hoping that we will receive more functionality related to Salesforce-Slack integration with the next release.

I am preparing myself for a future where I can use Salesforce flows and Slack together when I interact with users.

Less and less daily communication flows through emails and chatter nowadays. Therefore it might make sense to learn how to use Slack effectively in any case.

Let me share with you a couple of things I learned in preparing for the administrator exam:

  • Use threads.
  • Ask yourself whether a specific content needs to be private; if not use public channels and tag the relevant people. Public post is knowledge, and it is searchable.
  • Don’t use @channel or @here excessively.
  • For private stuff that is not temporary, create a private channel.
  • For private stuff that is temporary, create a group chat or use DM.
  • It is super easy to schedule your post; use it when you come up with a genius idea at night.
  • Use huddles and screen share when needed. Super useful.
  • Explore async; record a voice or video clip with screen sharing and send it to one or multiple people.
  • Be aware of guest or external users and channels shared with guest or external users. Share only what needs to be shared.
  • User groups are a thing, and they are useful. For example, you can create a flow user group and tag this when needed.

I shared this list on LinkedIn at this link. Many folks have added comments to this list since then. Please check them. A good idea that one of my followers shared there is the following: Remember Slack channels support posting via email; you can direct emails from Salesforce to Slack. This can be a handy hack.


P.S. Originally published on 03/20/2022.

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.