Friday, November 29, 2013

Why Should Every Admin Learn To Use Flow In Salesforce?

Flow, it is one of those under-appreciated features in Salesforce.  Many of us aren't even sure what to call it since it is known as Visual Flow, Visual Workflow, Flow, and sometimes the slight misnomer of Workflow.  I presented a session at Dreamforce '13 on Using Visual Flow for Cleaner Data, but the topic of Flow warrants even more attention than that!  And so, I offer part 1 of a three part series on using Flow in Salesforce.

Like Workflow rules, Flow can help your org conform to defined business processes.  Unlike Workflow, which lets you define rules and outcomes to operate fairly automatically and behind the scenes, Flow can interact with users in addition to conducting automated processes behind the scenes and so it is more flexible in its uses.  Some examples of use cases for Flow include:
  • Stepping users through the data entry process with detailed instructions
  • Providing a call-script for anyone who interacts with customers or donors
  • Enforcing naming conventions by employing formulas in record names
  • Ensuring data consistency with formulas for data validation and constants
  • Simplifying the process of data entry for multiple objects such as parent and child related data
  • Creating presentation and training materials
My Dreamforce presentation was created as a Flow and can be found online here:
Flow diagram illustrates Lead and child record creation.

I created the Flow with several goals.  Foremost, I wanted to walk Salesforce administrators through the basic steps required to create a Flow.  When you step through the presentation, you will see videos, instructions and help related to designing and creating a Flow to gather data from a user and save that data to Salesforce. In my example, the Flow creates a new Lead record if a matching record is not found; it also allows for any number of Lead Notes to be added to a new or existing Lead.  All of this is illustrated in the presentation videos.

The presentation also includes information about incorporating decision branches into a Flow and using formulas for data consistency, for example the Lead Note child records are named though the use of a formula.  It offers instructions for making a Flow available to users along with the most basic code needed to create a Visualforce page to display the Flow as well.  The related videos demonstrate each of the steps involved in creating this Lead and Lead Note data entry Flow.

In creating this presentation, I also wanted to demonstrate the customizable user interface Flows offer.  Part 2 of my Flow blog posts will describe how to style your Flow and improve the user experience.

1 comment:

  1. Bonny,

    I just found your blog after you commented on my post about choices and Flows on the Hub. What a great blog!