By Josh McDaniel
Lightning Process Builder is a great way to build and extend business processes in your Salesforce org with clicks, not code. The tool sits somewhere between two other process based tools in Salesforce: Workflows and Visual Workflows. Process Builder gives you a nice visual interface to build a process comprised of if/then statements. For example (see screenshot below), if any of the five Billing Address fields on Account are changed, then update associated Contact Mailing Address fields to match.
Process Builder allows you to create a set of actions when:
- a record is created
- a record is created or edited
Decision blocks can be evaluated based on data in fields on the record that starts the process, via formula, or skipped entirely (returning true every time). You can evaluate the decision as true or false by comparing your criteria with static data, global variables, data on the present record, or data on related records.
Actions can be run immediately or scheduled. Note that scheduling is somewhat limited compared to standard Workflows. Actions that you can take include:
- Creating a record
- Updating a record or records
- Posting to Chatter
- Starting an Approval Process
- Sending an Email alert
- Quick Actions
- Running Apex code or Flows
Some General Use Cases
- Create a Task for follow up based on a Contact or Opportunity Update where the type and urgency of the task depends on the a combination of a status and amount field values
- Post to Chatter based on a Contact or Opportunity Update to a particular status or amount threshold
- Update all the Detail (child) records of a Master (parent) record as the result of a change on the Master
- Submit for Approval to the right person based on data on the record like region and importance
- Send an Email Alert for to notify users after important project task completion
Comparison to Workflows and Visual Workflows
Compared to Workflows
Process Builder has an easy, visual interface and a lot of features that make it more powerful than workflows. In fact, Process Builder can do everything that workflows can do with the exception advanced timing of actions and sending outbound messages. Additionally, Process Builder can, in a single process, accomplish what could take multiple workflows – allowing you to avoid platform limits.
Compared to Visual Workflows
The tool does not replace Visual Workflows for complex decision trees, advanced business processes, or collecting user input. As mentioned earlier, one of the great things about Process Builder is that you can incorporate advanced Visual Workflows in your processes.
Training and References
Trailhead and Process Builder Trails
- Salesforce Trailhead – generally awesome place to learn about all things Salesforce
- Quick Start: Lightning Process Builder Trailhead module – introduction to Lightning Process Builder
- Process Automation Trailhead module – intermediate dive into process automation including Process Builder, Workflows, Visual Workflows and Approvals
- Process Limits and Considerations from Salesforce Docs
- Triggers and Order of Execution from Salesforce Docs
- Sample Process: Opportunity Management from Salesforce Docs
Josh McDaniel is roundCorner’s Product Manager. He has been instrumental in shaping and evolving the core product based on market demand since inception. Josh has a passion leveraging cloud, mobile and social to transform nonprofit technology and fundraising for the digital generation. He is a native of Missouri, a Mizzou/STL sports fan. Josh’s favorite things are family, friends, mobile apps, travel and the beach.