Why You Should Move to Flow Builder for Process Automation in Salesforce

Salesforce is no stranger to optimizing processes, but with their latest tool, Flow Builder, creating process automations just got a whole lot better. In this article, our Salesforce expert dives into the Flow Builder tool and shows you how to get started.

The process automation capability of Salesforce is advancing at a lightning pace. With Salesforce’s focus being on “Clicks not Code,” admins can create automations and customizations that historically required a literal army of developers and programmers. Of course, well-written code is superior, but the trade-off is the time and skill needed to implement it, which is where Flow Builder comes in. Salesforce Flow Builder is the most robust automation tool on the platform, and now is the ideal time to spend energy learning its functionality.

Flows sit at a place between Process Builder and Apex. They are the pinnacle of declarative process automation in Salesforce at this point. With the recent addition of being able to use ISCHANGED(), ISNEW, and PRIORVALUE in Record-Triggered Flow formulas, a gap has been filled in functionality. Per Salesforce, much like Workflow Rules before it, Process Builder will not be further developed. That being the case, it doesn’t make much sense to put a lot of time into learning about tools on their way out. There is no definitive timeline on Process Builder going away at the time of writing this, but much like moving away from Salesforce Classic, the push is for the latest and greatest: Flow Builder.

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If you have no experience writing Flows, then opening the Flow Builder, seeing a blank canvas with Elements on the side to drag and drop, understanding the concept of creating “Variables” and “Record Collections,” and so on can be daunting. You may ask yourself, “Should I even learn about this when Process Builder works just fine?” After all, as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The answer is an absolute yes.

How do I get started?

If you currently have some Process Builder automation and are considering migrating them to Flow, you can use the following trick to get you started. I would recommend beginning with a smaller Process Builder as a starting place and implementing the “Crawl, Walk, Run” concept. There is currently no functional migration tool available, and hopefully Salesforce will implement one down the road. If you have a process that uses a custom field, go to the field in the Setup area and click on “Where is this used?”

flow builder for process automation

You may recognize this field as being from the “App Customization Specialist” Superbadge on Trailhead, which by the way, is an outstanding training tool if you have not spent time there. This field is used in Process Builder automation. On the backend, Salesforce considers it a Flow and has labeled it as such.

Click on the “Reference Label” of that field next to the Flow “Reference Type.”

flow builder for process automation

Salesforce automatically presents you with a Flow that it has created based on the metadata in your process. As of now, this only works with custom fields that are used in a Process Builder. Additionally, you would need to make further edits on the Flow, such as re-saving it as a “Record-Triggered” Flow in this case, but you get the idea. It is a way to get you started, at least by visualizing the structure.

flow builder for process automation

Another suggestion would be not to use both Process Builder and Flow on the same object. You should choose one or the other to not interfere with each other as they increase in size and complexity. Additionally, keep it relevant to you. Work in a Sandbox and create small automations based on your unique business requirements.

Salesforce is very much like a box of Legos, and the ability to use “Clicks not Code” allows two administrators to take the same set of components and build two completely different objects. Learn as you go and have fun with it!

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