T – Minus 5… 4… 3… Okay folks it’s almost here! There are only two business days left before the Winter 12 release is available for all Salesforce Instances. I’ll admit I’ve been lucky, call it fate or call it the Winter ’12 fairy, but I’ve been able to work with a number of clients that were on instances that received the update a week early. For all of us that are receiving Winter ’12 this weekend, hold on to your hats because this is one heck of a release!
As we wrap us the 12 Days of Winter ’12 blog series, we wanted to thank everyone who’s been following along with us and hope it was a helpful tool in preparing both Admin / Developer teams as well as your end users for what’s to come. After some discussion the whole Riptide team wanted to pick out one of the features that we’ve covered to dive a little deeper into. Hands down we all love Visual Flow!
At Riptide we have devoted time and resources to really become Flow experts. We see the value and power that this tool brings to Salesforce users through a simple visual designer that embraces the Clicks-Not-Code principle that makes Salesforce such a great platform. So with that said, we wanted to share some of our thoughts and ideas with the Salesforce community.
We’ll start with some of the features that make Flow such a powerful tool. First is the fact that Flow will allow for branching logic. This is an easy to use feature that has made flow a favorite of Call Centers due to its use as a call-scripting tool. Administrators can easily create Forms Elements, drop in Question Elements and link them to multiple Choices Elements, and branch off into other Flows based on the Question Choice selected. Do you need provide Choices from your Salesforce organization? By dragging and dropping a Choice Look-up Element into your Flow, you can!
Now, while you are creating this Flow that allows you to walk your users though your business processes you will most likely want to either provide them with information stored in your Salesforce organization, or have them insert or update information. This can be done with just a few clicks to tell the Flow which objects you want to use as your Source and then dragging and dropping Data Lookup, Data Update and Decision elements into your Flow.
As you continue to create a more and more complex Flows to keep pace with your most demanding business needs, like Salesforce Flow is extremely scalable. You can incorporate Formulas, Send emails, even convert Leads from within your Flow. While Flow is an excellent tool to give Administrators a means of creating complex business logic without having to go to code, there are always going to be situations where the complexity of logic required will call for custom Apex code. Does this mean that you must choose between using a Flow or writing code? Not At All! Flow allows you to drop in an Apex Callout to call an Apex class from within your Flow.
While we aren’t able to cover every feature and use case of Flow in a single blog post, this will hopefully provide a deeper understanding of what’s possible with Flow and how many potential use cases there are for companies across all industries. If you’re considering Flow and would like more information on how Flow can be incorporated into your Salesforce Organization please contact us here at Riptide. We would be happy to be a resource for information, custom development of Flow projects, or even Training team with our custom developed Flow Classes to get started with Flow and Flow Best Practices.