Advanced Topics & Resources

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:


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

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