Why Workflow Rules Aren’t So Cool Anymore
Let’s face it: we all love automation. There’s few things better than not having to do something, knowing that it will be done automatically for you. It saves us time, effort and it allows us to spend more time doing what really matters, like, say, spend time with the kids, or sip mojitos at the beach.
Up until now, workflow rules where the main tool by which you could achieve automation within Salesforce.
But there’s a new kid in town: the pompously named “Lightning Process Builder”. Announced during Dreamforce ’14, it is now generally available with the Spring ’15 release.
I’m here to show you the top 4 reasons why you should ditch your old habits and start using the new Process Builder.
1. The Visual Aspect
The first thing you’ll notice when you start using the process builder (Setup > Create > Workflows & Approvals > Process Builder) is that it looks nothing like your standard Salesforce page. With its slick and streamlined appearance it makes creating automation feel like a walk in the park.
The other big visual advantage of this layout is that it allows you to see almost everything in the same page, and with a few clicks of the mouse you can access all else, without ever sacrificing the main view of the process.
2. More Flexibility Within The Criteria Stage
Remember when you wanted to trigger a workflow rule every time a field was created\updated, without having to worry about any criteria? And remember how that wasn’t possible unless you created a filter or formula that was always true? With the Process builder this is as simple as clicking a button.
Also, with the filter section of the Process Builder you can choose to lookup a field by clicking on the lookup tool available.
3. Number And Type Of Actions Available
This is the big one. The process builder will allow you to automate a number of actions that you have never been able to automate with a workflow.
But, before we get to that, let me just point out that you can no longer trigger a flow through a workflow rule. This is now solely a process builder action. Consider yourself warned!
Amongst the actions you are able to perform with both a process and a workflow rule are the email alert, the action trigger (quick action in the process builder) and the field update (update record in the process builder). These work in pretty much the same fashion on both tools.
But like I mentioned before, the real value of the process builder comes from allowing you to execute a number of actions you won’t be able to run with a workflow rule, such as:
– Trigger an apex class;
– Create a record;
– Launch a flow (you can’t do this with a workflow anymore, remember?)
– Post to chatter;
– Submit for approval;
The Submit for Approval, in particular, has got my attention. The thought of never having to click a button to submit a record for approval when it reaches a certain stage, appeals to me a great deal.
Also, if you are trying to keep your communication within Salesforce, it’s obvious how the Post to Chatter action will benefit you in relation to just a straightforward email alert.
4. Ability To Add Layers Of Decision
Lastly but not least-ly (definitely not a word), the process builder allows you to add layers to your criteria.
Let me elaborate. If, for example, you decide to add two layers of criteria (criteria 1 and 2), the process builder will check criteria 1 first. If the record complies with this criteria, it will execute the action associated with it and stop.
However, if the record doesn’t meet criteria 1 it will check criteria 2. If the record fulfils the requirements of criteria 2, then it will execute the action associated with it. And so on for criteria 3, 4, etc.
In effect, what this means is that processes that you could only have done with multiple workflow rules in the past, can now be achieved with only one process.
So, there you have it. The process builder has some clear advantages, and I am pretty sure that soon you (and me!) won’t even remember those boring old workflow rules!