What are Salesforce Flows and their applications?

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What is Salesforce flows?

Salesforce is all about creating personalized experiences for customers on various platforms. And that can be achieved by automating things for customers so that they get served quickly and on time. 

Flow is one of those fancy automation tools provided by Salesforce that collects data from users and performs actions in Salesforce.

So what is so fancy about flows? The fancy thing about Salesforce flows is that you don't need to write code to create flows and test flows. They are created simply using point and click. You build the flows by simply dragging and dropping the flow components from the flow builder.

Salesforce Flows-Types-Applications

Types of Salesforce flows?

Majorly there are two types of flows. 

  1. Screen Flows:

    These are visual automation with a user interface where users can provide inputs. With screen flows you can create guided business processes that’s can be launched from Lightning pages, Experience Cloud sites, quick actions, and more.

  2. Auto-launched Flows:

    Auto-launched flows don't have user interfaces, they run in the background and they are invoked automatically from multiple trigger points. Based on those trigger points these can be divided into four subcategories.

    Auto-launched flows is a very powerful tool that can easily replace apex code for various use cases. Like performing create, update, and delete operations on records, scheduling a process, calling an API and so many others. This is a big time saver because it reduces the time developers spend on writing and testing the apex code.

    • Schedule-Triggered Flow:
      These flows are launched at a specified time and frequency for each record in a batch.

    • Auto-launched Flow (No Trigger):
      These can be invoked by Apex, processes, REST API, and more. 

    • Record-Triggered Flow:
      Launches when a record is created, updated or deleted. This auto-launched flow runs in the background.

    • Platform Event-Triggered Flow
      They are launched when a platform event message is received.

Benefits of Salesforce Flows

  1. Flows are very very easy to build and test.
  2. You can build automation faster without code.
  3. Flows are easy to set up and debug.
  4. An inbuilt versioning system is provided with flows.
  5. Invoke Apex/Lightning components from flows if needed.
  6. No need to write automated tests.
  7. Ship flow templates in Managed packages.
  8. With the Screen flows you can provide guided steps for business users.
  9. You can deactivate flows in the production environment if anything wrong happens.

Applications of Salesforce Flows

There are various applications of Salesforce flows. Here I am listing a few applications for both flow categories.

Screen Flow Applications

  • Creating input forms for users
  • Creating guided business processes for Salesforce users.
  • Creating user interfaces for experience cloud sites.
  • Calling APIs for records on record pages.
  • Quick actions for records etc.

Auto-launched flow applications

  • Performing actions when records are created, updated, or deleted.
  • Scheduled an automation process.
  • Calling external APIs.
  • Handling Platform Events Messages.
  • Sending emails on record updates.
  • Updating/Deleting related records.
  • Invoking other flows.

With those brief insights about flow, I think now you know the basics of Flows. Thanks for reading! Do you know any additional benefits/applications of Salesforce flows? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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