Elements of Salesforce Flow

Elements of Salesforce Flow

On May 27, 2024, Posted by , In Salesforce, With Comments Off on Elements of Salesforce Flow
Elements of Salesforce Flow

What is Salesforce Flow?

Salesforce Flow is a robust automation tool provided by Salesforce that allows users to automate complex business processes without needing to write any code. It stands out due to its powerful and versatile nature, enabling users to handle a variety of automation scenarios that go beyond what is possible with Salesforce’s other automation tools, like Process Builder and Workflow Rules.

Differences Between Salesforce Flow, Process Builder, and Workflow Rules

  1. Functionality and Power: Salesforce Flow is the most robust and flexible of the automation tools available in Salesforce, capable of handling complex logic and multiple operations. Process Builder is more powerful than Workflow Rules but less flexible than Flows, ideal for processes involving any record change. Workflow Rules are the simplest, mainly used for straightforward field updates and notifications.
  2. Use Cases: Flows can handle a variety of tasks, from simple automations like sending emails based on certain triggers to complex multistep processes involving various Salesforce objects and records. Process Builder is better for triggered actions based on changes in Salesforce records, whereas Workflow Rules are best for basic field updates and sending email alerts.
  3. User Interface: Flow has a detailed, drag-and-drop interface that supports complex logic and branching processes. Process Builder also uses a visual interface, though less comprehensive than Flow. Workflow Rules offer a more basic, form-based setup.

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Key Elements of Salesforce Flow

Salesforce Flow consists of various elements that allow users to define, manipulate, and use data within their automated processes:

  1. Elements: These are the building blocks of Flows, such as creating records, updating records, looping through records, and making decisions (Decision elements).
  2. Resources: These represent variables, constants, formulas, and collections that store data used within the Flow.
  3. Connectors: Lines that connect elements and define the path of execution in the Flow.

Understanding Each Flow Element with Example

  1. Screen Element: Used to create user interfaces within the Flow. For example, a Screen Element can be used to gather input from a user before processing.Example: In a customer support process, a Screen Element could collect information about the issue a customer is facing before creating a support case in Salesforce.
  2. Decision Element: Allows branching logic based on criteria. This is used to route the Flow based on conditions.Example: After gathering initial data in a customer support Flow, a Decision Element might check if the customer’s issue is technical or billing-related to route the case to the appropriate department.
  3. Loop Element: Iterates over collections of records to perform repetitive actions.Example: If a Flow involves sending a personalized email to multiple contacts associated with a single account, a Loop Element would cycle through each contact and trigger an email.
  4. Assignment Element: Used to set or change the values of variables within the Flow.Example: In a lead nurturing Flow, an Assignment Element might update the lead status to “Engaged” after a successful follow-up email.
  5. Record Create, Update, and Delete Elements: These elements handle database operations directly within the Flow.Example: A Flow might automatically create a follow-up task when a sales deal is closed, using a Record Create Element.

Flow Types in Salesforce

Salesforce Flows can be categorized into different types based on how they are triggered and interact with users. Understanding these types helps in designing appropriate automation for specific business requirements.

1. Screen Flows

Screen Flows are interactive and require user input to proceed. They are used to guide users through a set of screens for data collection or to provide information. These Flows can be embedded in Lightning pages, communities, or used as standalone applications.

Example: A Screen Flow could be used to guide a service agent through a complex troubleshooting process, collecting information step-by-step from the agent.

2. Auto-launched Flows

Auto-launched Flows run in the background without user interaction and are triggered by specific events in Salesforce, such as changes to records or via Apex. They are useful for processes that do not need manual inputs.

Example: Automatically updating a field on related opportunities when an account’s status changes is a typical use case for an auto-launched Flow.

3. Scheduled Flows

Scheduled Flows are designed to run at specified times, suitable for batch jobs that need to execute actions like data updates or record creation at regular intervals.

Example: A Scheduled Flow could be used to review and update the statuses of all open cases at the end of each week.

Flow Components

Salesforce Flows consist of various components that define their functionality. Here are some of the key components:


Actions in Salesforce Flows perform specific tasks like calling Apex classes, invoking processes, or integrating with external systems. These are predefined actions provided by Salesforce.

Example: An action could call an Apex class to perform complex calculations and return values used within the Flow.


Assignments are used within Flows to set or update the values of variables. They are crucial for manipulating data obtained during the Flow’s execution.

Example: An assignment might update a variable to accumulate totals or change statuses based on logic evaluated within the Flow.

Record Update

This component updates records in Salesforce directly from a Flow. It can modify one or more fields on existing records without manual intervention.

Example: Automatically updating the discount field on all open opportunities for a specific account if the account’s industry type changes.

Send Email

Send Email components are used to configure and send emails directly from a Flow. This is useful for notification or confirmation emails that need to be sent as part of a process.

Example: Sending a confirmation email to a customer once a case is resolved, including case details and resolution summary.

How Do You Call a Flow in Salesforce?

Calling a Flow in Salesforce can be done in several ways, depending on the type of Flow and the specific use case:

  1. From the User Interface: Screen Flows can be launched from custom buttons, links, or directly embedded in Lightning pages or Visualforce pages.
  2. Through Process Builder: Both Screen and Auto-launched Flows can be triggered by a Process Builder process when certain criteria are met.
  3. Using Apex: Auto-launched Flows without screens can be invoked from Apex code using the Flow.Interview class, providing a way to run Flows programmatically as part of more complex logic.
  4. Scheduled in Setup: Scheduled Flows are set up directly in the Salesforce Setup menu, where you specify the frequency and timing of the Flow execution.
  5. Triggered by Record Changes: Auto-launched Flows can be triggered by record changes, similar to how triggers work, but configured declaratively.

Each method provides flexibility in how and when Flows are executed, allowing them to seamlessly integrate into broader Salesforce automation strategies.

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