Visual Workflow Introduction ( Flow) Visual Workflow allows customers to build ‘flows’, which guide users through screens for collecting and / or and updating data. They can also be used as an script in a Call Center Scenario. This article is an introduction or primer to Flow in a Q&A format.

What is a Flow?

A Flow is a wizard or a series of screens that complete a business process. A business process covered in flow could be for example – completing a customer survey, filling out form for an insurance quote or a telephone call script from a sales or service agent.

What is the difference between Flow (or Visual Workflow) and Workflow?

Although workflow and visual workflow ( flow) have similar names they are completely different features. The common thread among them is that they both help in automating the business processes. Here are some key differences:

  • Flows are apps which are triggered by user instead of an event which is the case with workflow.
  • Visual Workflow offers screens for displaying and collecting information from the user running the flow. However workflow execute rules and actions behind the scenes.
  • Workflow rules and actions are associated with a specific object (and can cross objects only to update fields on a related master record), flows can look up, create, update, and delete records for multiple objects.

How we create and run Visual Workflow (Flow)?

We can create and run Visual Workflow as follows:

  1. Flow design / creation: We use Cloud Flow Designer that is a drag-and-drop user interface that lets you diagram flow structure and configure how it runs, without writing any code. To open the Flow Designer you can go to Setup >> Create >> Workflow& Approvals >> Flows.
  2. Flow management: We manage flows in Salesforce from setup area. We can edit its properties, activate, deactivate, delete, or run it from here.
  3. Runtime: Flow users can then run the active flow from a custom button, tab, link, or directly from the flow URL

What are different elements in a flow?

Elements are the building blocks of flows – we have following elements

  • Step
  • Screen
  • Decision
  • Assignment
  • Record Create
  • Record Update
  • Record Lookup
  • Record Delete
  • Sub flows
  • Apex Plug-In
  • Connector

What are the steps to define flows?

Building a flow in the Cloud Flow Designer follows 4 steps

  1. Defining Resources
  2. Adding Elements
  3. Connecting Elements
  4. Setting Start Element

What are flow versions?

One can create flows with different versions, but only one version of the flow can be active at a time.

What permissions are required to run and create flows?

  • Users with “Run flows” permission can run flows
  • Users with “Manage Flow” permission can Open, Create, Delete, Activate, Deactivate or Delete flows

What are the limits of flow?

Flow has some limits and they are (limits may change over period so refer salesforce documentation for latest limits)

  • Maximum number of versions per flow is 50
  • Maximum number of executed elements at runtime is 2000
  • Maximum number of active flows per organization is 500
  • Maximum number of flows per organization is 1000
About Chidambar Reddy

Chidambar Reddy is Technical Lead with Dhruvsoft. His core areas of interest includes App Development using and Integration. He lives in Hyderabad, India and loves to play with all the latest technical gadgets in market.

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