28 Jul 2019

My journey with Salesforce Flow Builder

By: Rachel van den Berg

and why you should start using the Lightning Flow Builder now!


“Everything is hard before it is easy” - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

What is Salesforce Flow Builder? It is a tool that allows admins and developers to build powerful processes without coding. Flows can create, update, search, delete records. I'll tell you more about my experience with building flows.

When I first started working with Salesforce (about 3 years ago), one of the first automation tools I used was Process Builder. As someone with no technical background, this tool has a friendly interface and if you remember some math it is quite easy to build your first formula-based processes.

Then, when I started studying for my Salesforce admin exam, I learned about the more powerful capabilities of Flow. I started looking into it but with not many people around to help me understand what I was looking at, I soon lost interest.

At the start of one of my more recent projects, time came when I found myself in a place where turning a blind eye to Flow was no longer an option. I am a profound believer of doing as much as possible with “clicks-not-code” (many of our clients do not have the resources to maintain code and we all know that requirements change more often than we sometimes like).

This happened to be around the same time that Salesforce launched the new Lightning Flow Builder, and I must say, they really did a great job making this tool so much more attractive! So, why should you start using it too?

Salesforce Flow Builder

#1 Screens

I think this is one of the main strengths of flow. Guiding users through a series of screens to update/create records combined with help texts really creates efficiency. Using this in Lightning allows you to show/un-show the flow component based on certain criteria on your Lightning record page (i.e. remove the flow from the page once the users has completed it).

Salesforce Flow Builder

#2 Launching the flow directly from quick actions

Sometimes you want the user to actively start a process, and not only have it running in the background. And yes, you could also do that by updating a field with an action that triggers a process from process builder. But isn’t it cool that with flow you do not need that extra step?

Salesforce Flow Builder

#3 Creating a chain of actions

With the combination of screens, it becomes really easy to let a user perform actions on multiple objects in one go. Let’s take an example; A user receives a call from one of his current contacts about a new oppy. He looks up the contact and checks contact info (email, phone), then creates a new oppy. Directly a follow up task is created and after he hangs up and finishes the flow a thank you email is send to the customer (all with one flow).

Salesforce Flow Builder

#4 Update selected records from a (related) object

Or create records related to these records. Ok, this one can be a little bit tricky but well worth it! Combining this functionality with a screen allows users to select records from another object (say let them pick a few contacts from a certain account) and then perform an action on these records (i.e. send them an email and create a follow up task for all those selected contacts).

Is it worth your while?

To answer the question I started this blog with: is it worth the sacrifice? I would definitely say yes. And on the plus side it has become significantly easier with the new Lightning Flow builder (so a bit less of a sacrifice).