Learn Moar Blog 2: Salesforce Flow

Learn MOAR in Summer ’21 with Salesforce Flow 🔁

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Follow and complete a Learn MOAR Summer ’21 trailmix for admins or developers by July 31 to earn a special community badge and enter for a chance to win one of five $200 USD Salesforce Certification vouchers. Learn how to participate and review the Official Rules by visiting the Trailhead Quests page.

Flow enhancements

As admins, we love automation because it helps us deliver beautiful, efficient solutions to our users. And, in case you can’t tell already, Flow is the place to go for all things automation, from record-triggered flows to AI. Flow combines the capabilities of Workflow and Process Builder, such as time-based triggers, global variables, and “Is Changed,” with the power of Flow, which includes debugging, invocable actions, and before save, for a single no-code automation home! With that said, there are a ton of great new Flow enhancements coming with Summer ’21 for those new to Flow as well as for our seasoned Flownatics.

Here are the highlights we think you should know about:

For more details about these new features, read deeper dives into new functionality below! Be sure to check out the Learn MOAR Summer ’21 for Admins Trailmix and follow along on the blog this week for more Learn MOAR! Don’t forget to watch the Summer ’21 Admin Preview during Release Readiness Live to see demos of these new exciting features.

Screen flows

Multicolumn Flow Screens

Say hello to the biggest expansion in flow screens since Lightning components! Now that Multicolumn Flow Screens is generally available (GA) in Summer ’21, you can construct layouts in your flow screens that are not only more visually appealing but also make your users more efficient – all without touching a single line of code.

A Multicolumn Flow Screen with important contact details like date, email, first and last name, address, and phone number.

Want to add additional margins on the sides of your components and fields? Use empty thin columns to accomplish that. It’s fine to leave columns empty if you want.

Screenshot example of how you can add additional margins on the sides of your components and fields by using empty thin columns.

The next time you edit a screen in Flow Builder, look for the Section component. For each section, you can have between one and four columns, and each column’s width is in your control. Sections work like a mini canvas on the screen – you can drag any other component into the appropriate column.

Last but not least, use sections to make your visibility rules work harder. Instead of applying the same rule to five different components, put them all into one Section component and apply the visibility rule once – to the Section.

Dynamic Forms for Flow (Beta)

If you’ve ever tried to match a screen component to a field in your org, you know it takes a lot of clicks. After you’ve selected the right component, you manually set the label, API name, requiredness, default value, and help text. And then, you have to map the screen component back to the object in a Record Create or an Assignment element. That’s a lot of clicks, and a lot of cross-referencing what’s in Object Manager!

Starting with Summer ’21, you can build flow screens faster by leveraging your org’s fields with just one click. Simply drag a record field onto a flow screen, and everything is automatically configured for you. Your flows will also stay consistent with your Salesforce objects, because any changes to your fields in Object Manager are automatically inherited by the record fields in your screens.

Screenshot showcasing how you can drag a record field onto a flow screen and everything will automatically be configured for you.

As a beta, Dynamic Forms for Flow is production quality but has some limitations. With the Summer ’21 Release, it supports a subset of the fields you can create from Object Manager: Checkbox, Date, Date/Time, Number, Long Text Area, and Text. We fully support mixing and matching record fields with screen components. Stay tuned in future releases for more supported field types, and don’t be shy with your feedback — join the Trailblazer Community today.

Choices, choices, choices

Admins, we know you’ve been asking for enhancements to flow choices for a long time. We’re excited to announce these long-awaited changes for picklists and other flow choice components.

Screenshot of new flow choices including optional picklists, the ability to easily switch component types, default values for all, and a "none" option for picklists.

  • Optional picklists (1)
    Should that picklist be required or optional? It’s your choice now! (Pun intended.) Just like the other choice components, Picklist now has a Required checkbox.
  • Easily switch component types (2)
    If you’ve ever come back to a screen later and decided to change your radio buttons to a picklist, your life is now a lot easier. Instead of having to delete the Radio Buttons component and start from scratch, you can simply switch the component type to Picklist. You get to keep all other configurations as is.
  • Default values for all! (3)
    You can now set any default value (not just a reference to a choice) for any choice component, regardless of whether it includes choices, record choice sets, or picklist choice sets. Among other things, this means that you can use the value from a record, such as to a specific account’s Industry value.
  • None option for picklists (4)
    Last but not least, the Picklist component now has a “–None–” option by default, just like all picklist fields on record pages do. When the flow user selects this option, we treat it as if no choice was selected. If the picklist is required, the user sees an error message asking them to select a choice. You no longer have to build intense workarounds to make sure that your user actually selected a valid value for your required picklist.

Important: The –None– option is a versioned update. That means you’ll see it by default in all new flows starting with Summer ’21, but you won’t see this behavior in flows created in Spring ’21 or earlier. Why? We know a lot of admins added their own None treatment with workarounds and want to avoid unnecessary duplicates.

However, you can upgrade your flow to have the out-of-the-box –None– option. Go to the flow’s properties, and set API Version for Running the Flow to 52.0 or higher. Make sure to review the other versioned updates for any other changes you’re applying to your flow by upgrading.

Improved component preview in Flow Builder
With Summer ’21, we’ve enabled most of our out-of-the-box components to preview while you’re building your screens. This means you can easily tell what your screen will look like before you run the flow. You can also get early feedback about how your configuration affects your component.

The canvas of a screen element in Flow Builder. Every component on the screen has a visual preview. Some of the components have an eye icon decorating the corner of the component, which means the component has a visibility rules applied.

Notice that eye icon on a few of the components? That’s also new with Summer ’21 and indicates that those components are conditionally visible.

Collection management

Introducing Collection Sort

A brand new element has joined Flow Builder this release. The Sort element gives you the power to reorder items in a collection variable without any looping — which means you can avoid the dreaded “too many iterations” error!

With the Sort element, you can also retain only the top items from the sorted collection by limiting the number of items in a collection, making it easier to build flows more efficiently. Sort includes support for all types of collection, which means you can sort a collection of values, a collection of records, or an Apex-defined collection.

Flow debugging

We’re back with even more ways to make it easier to test and troubleshoot your flows.

Debug Record-Triggered Flows
Record-triggered flows are now debuggable! That’s right, you can test your record-triggered flow directly from Flow Builder without activating the flow. Once you click Debug in Flow Builder, choose which record you want to base the debug run on and whether to pretend the record was created or updated.

Debug options for a record-triggered flow in Flow Builder. “Run flow in rollback mode” is enabled automatically. For Triggering Record, a case record is selected, and the debug options will treated the run as if the selected case was newly created.

Here’s how to take advantage of the other debug options.

  • To test the flow’s logic independent of the entry criteria, use Skip start condition requirements.
  • To test user-based logic for particular profiles or permission sets, select Run flow as another user.
  • We always keep Roll back database changes selected; you can’t deselect it. This option automatically undoes any database changes performed by the debug run.

Debug with Path Highlighting for Auto-Layout (Beta)
You may remember that we recently shipped the ability to debug on the Flow Builder canvas. A big part of this feature is path highlighting, so named because the path your flow run traveled is highlighted, and you can see exactly which elements were executed.

New in Summer ’21, you get that same first-class debugging experience for both canvas modes: Freeform and Auto-Layout Canvas. We’ve tagged this enhancement as beta, because Auto-Layout Canvas is still in beta.

A flow run with path highlighting enabled. Because the path is highlighted, the user has a visual indicator that the run executed the default outcome of the decision.

Access Failed Flows from Setup
How many times have you been contacted by a user who reported that some flow failed, and it’s up to you to figure out why? We’re guessing the answer is: a whole lot.

New in Summer ’21, you awesome admins can find all the failed flow runs in your org via the Paused and Failed Flow Interviews page in Setup. The beauty of this feature is that you no longer have to try to reproduce your user’s conditions to figure out what went wrong. The failed runs open in Flow Builder with path highlighting, so you can see exactly what happened when the user hit that failure and better troubleshoot what went wrong.

These are just the highlights. There are more debugging enhancements in Summer ’21. Check out the release notes for info about the rest!

Summer ’21 Pilot-a-palooza

Earlier, you heard about our GA and beta features. Learn MOAR about the features we’re piloting in Summer ’21. If you’re interested in either or both of these pilots, ask your Salesforce representative to nominate you.

Flow Orchestrator
Flow Orchestrator enables you to streamline work by unifying complex business processes in one place. You can orchestrate multi-user processes, combining multiple processes into unified workflows, and facilitate multi-step approvals in one, centralized experience. Orchestrator also allows you to increase productivity with Work Guidance, which streamlines workflows with work queues, notifications, and intelligent decisioning services. And, you’ll be able to spot problems early with monitoring tools and take effective action fast since everything is connected in one view.

Einstein Next Best Action on Flow
If you’re familiar with Einstein Next Best Action and Strategy Builder, you know you can use it to deliver the most relevant recommendations to your users within the context of their work – whether those recommendations are for a repair, a discount, or an add-on service. We’re bringing all of that goodness to Flow Builder! With the combined power of Next Best Action and Flow, you can leverage low-code, AI-driven recommendations while also benefiting from powerful platform features and ongoing enhancements to Salesforce Flow.

There’s more innovation to come, so please continue to give us your feedback on the Trailblazer Community. Want to learn more? Check out the Architect’s Guide to Record Triggered Automation and Architect’s Guide to Building Forms.

Want to hear us talk about these enhancements live, complete with demos? Be sure to tune in to Release Readiness Live! A handful of these highlights will be covered in the Release Readiness Live Admin Preview on May 21, and many more in the Einstein Automate: Flow & Bots Preview on May 26.

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