In this video, I went through all the new Winter 23 release features and answered questions. I did not get the time to dive into the testing feature that is going GA. Stay tuned for another video on flow testing.
You can either read this post below or watch the embedded video on YouTube.
In January, I asked my Twitter followers what they hate about flows. In the start-up world, there is a famous saying: Your biggest source of learning is your dissatisfied customers. It is essential to shape your product based on customer feedback, especially in your start-up phase. I think the same principle applies to product management in big corporations.
What do flow users get most frustrated about? Salesforce flow product team, if you are listening, go to the whole thread by clicking here.
I gathered all the feedback to come up with one list.
Don’t get me wrong. I love building flows in the end.
The top 10 things I hate about flows are:
Lack of wizards/configurators: Let’s say you need to create a task or opportunity in your flow. You need to remember the required fields and make sure that you pass values to all of them. Can’t we give the user a builder interface, a wizard, or a configurator? At least something that resembles the create task action in workflow rules.
Error messages that are not understandable/actionable: Have you ever received an error message that does not mean much. You don’t understand what is going on and what you can do to fix it. If you get a GACK, your only option is to start deleting recent changes or going back in versions. Pro-tip: Check field-level security if you receive an error message around a get or update/create.
Validation Rules in Screen Flows: Have you ever wondered why the validation rule logic in screen flows is the exact opposite of what it is in Salesforce field builder settings? Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a good explanation. I guess this never made the idea prioritization list.
You have a get in your flow that does not find a record. You will get an unrecoverable error if you reference that record variable in your flow after your get element. After the get element, you need to add a decision to check for that. But why? Can’t we build the null check inside the get element?
Screen formatting options for screen flows: You can create a screen flow and run your flow on a community page. The user can access it on a mobile phone. You can also deploy and launch your flow on the Salesforce mobile app. If you have done that, you will know: The labels look gray, the letters are not big enough. The borders for the input boxes are in low contrast. You can use some workarounds for some components, but you are out of luck with some others.
Choosing resources in screen flows: You must display some field and formula values and some static screen text messages to the user. You don’t have the option of displaying a screen field component that is read-only. You need to use a display text component and drop in those resources. Have you tried doing that with just mouse clicks? It is impossible. You click and drill down to get the field value under a record variable, and boom, your selector resets. You have to use your enter key instead of mouse clicks. But why? I don’t know. This issue has been there for years.
Trigger entry criteria: When you are working with triggered automation, you don’t have access to many field values. And you cannot use a formula to evaluate the entry criteria either. Wouldn’t it be nice to use the created date and the last modified date here? How about the record-type developer name?
Formula builder & formula debug: The resource picker is the only help you get when building a complicated formula. The functions are not available in a picker like in the Salesforce field builder. You have to remember or Google them. And when you have an error in your formula, you only find out about it when you save your flow. You cannot see the error messages in the formula builder dialogue.
Deployment via button: You want to deploy and launch your flow on the record page via a button. Then you must create a quick action in object manager to do this. There is also a button option in the object manager, but that’s not it. And you need to remember to create an input variable in your flow exactly named as recordId. Why all that? Let’s make things a little simpler.
Email: There are many ways you can send emails from your flow. None of them are great. Can we make this simpler?
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.
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.