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3 Quick Tips For Building Salesforce Automation That Scales

Do you ever feel like you’re just taking a piecemeal approach to Salesforce automation? Cobbling together workflow rules, validation rules, and email alerts into Frankenstein’s monster? There is a better way.

Here are three tips that will help you stay in control of your automation as your organization grows.

1. Use Process Builder instead of Workflow Rules

Process Builder is a declarative automation tool with a nifty interface. It consists of nodes that, like workflow rules, evaluate ‘if’ statements and perform the relative action.

salesforce automation

Where workflow rules can only evaluate one statement and perform the related action, process builder can evaluate multiple if/then statements and execute their corresponding actions. This means you can group your workflow needs for a particular object into a single process builder. Having your automation in one place makes it much easier to see what has already been done when it’s time to add another condition.

Process Builder can also do many things workflow rules cannot, such as create records, update the fields of related records and launch a flow. For a breakdown of functionality, refer to the Salesforce Documentation.

So, instead of creating multiple workflow rules for the same object, consider grouping them together in a single Process Builder. At EightCloud, we plan for future automation by creating Process Builders for our main Objects ahead of time so that when it’s time to automate, we can simply add another node.

2. Use Roles to Define Groups, Queues and Email Alert Recipients

Notifying the right person at the right time is a prominent use case in every implementation I’ve been a part of. Dave from Sales Operations needs to be notified when someone requests a discount. Sally and Darryl need to receive an email when an escalated case isn’t closed in the first 24 hours. Organizations evolve and change, people leave and get promoted. After a while, you can lose track of who needs to get what and why.

Try to target notifications around a role or responsibility rather than adding users individually to receive email alerts. This way, whether someone is deactivated forever or just on vacation, the intended audience is still notified.

Salesforce automation roles

 

3. Flow before Apex

Salesforce’s declarative automation suite is getting better and better with each release. The declarative and visual nature of Flow Builder is easier to understand and learn than programmatic alternatives.

Lightning flow

Lightning Flow has become a formidable challenger to Apex regarding ease of implementation, range of functionality, performance and debugging. Now with Lightning Flow’s recently added autolaunched record triggered flows you can launch flows when a record is created, edited and before it’s saved. Learn more about that here. This opens a range of possibilities previously limited to code.

With Lightning Flow you can:

  • Create Records
  • Update Records
  • Get Records (SOQL)
  • Loop
  • Evaluate Complex Calculations and Logic
  • Call External Services
  • Send Emails or Notifications
  • Call Apex or Other Flows

The future of Salesforce is declarative. Invest in it!

For more information on Lightning Flow, check out the following resources:

 

Bonus Tip: Declarative Solutions Need Testing, Too!

To deploy Apex, your code needs to be covered in test classes. Although forgoing mandatory test coverage can seem like a benefit of declarative automation, don’t abandon testing altogether.

Write test classes. Use assertions to check expected versus actual results. Create a systematic and objective way to check the health of your automations. You could also enlist the help of test automation software to capture test cases and execute frequently. This will help you manage changes more easily and identify regression issues before the business discovers them. 

 

Want a step-by-step overview of the entire implementation process? Get your copy of EightCloud’s DIY Salesforce Implementation Guide.

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Author: Grant Ongstad, Salesforce Consultant

We engaged EightCloud to assist us with the development and implementation of a custom application. EightCloud provided outstanding service and expertise throughout the life of the project. I’ve been managing projects in the public sector for nearly 15 years and can’t remember an engagement that went smoother than this one. Their expertise and responsiveness was as good as I’ve experienced in the industry. I would not hesitate to partner with EightCloud again."

- Tim Vessey, Washington Department of Natural Resources

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