Happy Dreamforce everyone!
By now, everyone has seen and heard about the great Process Builder. Maybe you even came to my session on Monday where I talked about it with the Workflow Product Manager Shelly Erceg.
Well now that the news is out of the bag, I can finally blog about it!
I got the honor and luck of having Shelly offer to have me speak with her at Dreamforce this year. Not only did I get to be on stage with a great product manager, I got to get my hands on the process builder early!
Dreamforce is a special time and the Process Builder is awesome. So I’m going to do things a little differently this week. Today, I’ll post my thoughts after some hands-on experience with the process builder. Tomorrow, I’ll provide a more detail look at the actions you can take with the Process Builder. Finally, at our regular time on Thursday, I’ll walk you through building your first process within the Process Builder.
So let’s get started!
The Future of Workflow Rules
We all love our Workflow Rules. They are fantastic and can do a lot of heavy lifting. It can get a little bit challenging to keep track of all the different rules you need to create to support a single process. Let’s say we want to send a different email notification each time a stage is changed. We need to create a Workflow Rule for each stage in order to send a different email. That can be a lot of separate rules mixed with all the other rules you’ve built. Plus you have to drill down into each rule to see what actions are being done. Lots of clicking if you’ve forgotten what does what!
The Process Builder, collapses everything to a single screen. Instead of having multiple rules, we have separate criteria. Each action is also visible alongside their criteria. Nice and contained. Finally, we can have 1 place to put all the criteria and actions for a single process.
With Workflow, we can send email alerts, create tasks, send outbound messages, and update fields. This can go a long way. With Process Builder we can do the same thing… and more!
Process Builder at heart is using Visual Workflow. When you click away and select actions, a Flow is being created. This means we can do so much more!
Process Builder has the familiar Email Alerts and the ability to update records. Things have changed a little bit. We’re no longer restricted to creating just Tasks. Now we can create nearly any record. The “Field Update” has been replaced with “Update Records” and we’ll take a closer look at that in a moment.
New to workflow is the ability to Post to Chatter, use “Quick Actions” or Chatter Publisher Actions, Submit for Approval, and my favorite – Launch a Flow.
The bottom line is we will have a super tool in our toolbox. With the power of Process Builder combined with Flow we can almost replace every basic trigger we would normally require APEX for.
During my session with Shelly, I shared a Process & Flow combo that allows a user to select a Discount % from a picklist. The process sends the Opportunity to an Approval process and when it is approved automatically updates the line items with the discount % and updates the sales price.
This couldn’t be done before process builder without code. We would have to have the user click Submit for approval or write a trigger to do the submission. We also would have to use a trigger to modify each line item. Instead, I’m able to use a process to submit for approval, update line items to have the same discount % and then launch a flow to actually calculate and set the new sales price.
Process Builder is the most power declarative admin tool I’ve seen. It has a lot of the power of Flow but it’s even easier to get into.
When Can I Get It?
Process Builder is going to be released as a closed beta in Winter ’15. Shelly has been recommending that anyone who would like the process builder should submit a support case with their org ID and request to have it enabled. Be prepared – it may take a couple weeks with the loads of requests they will likely be receiving. Your only requirement is the org needs to be a Winter ’15 org. I recommend getting it in production and immediately getting a sandbox so you have it in a safe environment to play with!
Stay tuned. Tomorrow we’ll take a more detailed look at the actions of the Process Builder