Thursday, June 4, 2015

Workflows and Process Builder - What's the Difference?

Recently SalesForce introduced a new feature called Process Builder (available to Enterprise and Unlimited editions).  The purpose of the Process Builder is to further enhance on the Workflow functionality already available in SalesForce.  

Presently, with Workflows, you can do any of the following with ease:
  • Perform field updates
  • Send automated emails
  • Create tasks
However, as you can see in the list above, you can’t post to Chatter.  Additionally, with a workflow rule, if you want to have three different automations dependant on a field, like Account>Account Type, you have to have three different workflow rules.  However, with Process Builder you can put all your logic in the “same process”.  That is because all your logic is running off the same field.  So, you could create a process that handles all the values for the same field.  

Example of SalesForce Process Builder

Of course, it isn’t as simple as the above.  Additional details on how to choose which automation tool, Workflows or Process Builder, can be found on the SalesForce Help Site here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Troubleshooting Workflow Rules

A common request that come in from clients is around troubleshooting what is causing a field to update or an email to fire.  Often these field updates or emails sending are caused by workflow rules - a native feature in SalesForce.  The workflows feature gives Administrators the ability to easily automate processes within a point and click (also known as declarative) interface.  Unfortunately, with the way SalesForce is presently built, there is no easy way to see what workflow rule was fired, which can be useful for troubleshooting.

However, with some simple changes to the way you use workflows, you can make it easier to track what workflow rule fired.

A few of the key tips we have seen from watching clients use Workflows include:
  • When you have a workflow rule fire, you can easily include a task (that you can mark as complete) as part of your workflow action.  You could put a task called “Workflow Fired: Workflow Name” and then mark that task as complete.  That way you track that a workflow rule was fired.
  • When you have an email go out, you can easily include a field update as part of your workflow action.  You could put in a field called “Email #1 Sent” and then populate the date the email was sent.  Since most emails are usually sent as part of a process, you could put a few fields on the object naming the emails.  Then, through the workflow rule, you populate in the date/time the email was sent
    Example of a field for email tracking
    • When you are using Timed Based Workflow (i.e. send this email 3 hours after “x” action), you can actually report on what actions till have yet to take place.  This is located under “Setup>Administration Setup>Time-Based Workflow”
      Example of the Time Based Workflow Report
      • Use the “Select Existing Action” option when you are doing the same sort of update as you already have in another workflow.  For example, say for three different workflow rules you want to update the field Account>Account Type to be the value of “Customer”.  Rather than creating three different field updates for the same field and value, you could create a new field update for the first workflow rule.  Then, for the other two, you could choose “Select Existing Action” and then find that field update.  This makes it easier to troubleshoot since you can look at the field that was updated, such as Account>Account Type, and look at what rules can update that field under Setup>Create>Workflows & Approvals>Field Updates
        Example of the Select Existing Actions option
      Hopefully the above make using workflows a little easier in SalesForce!