23 Jan Flow Builder: The next generation of Salesforce automation
by Chris Gardner
With the Spring ‘19 release, Salesforce is introducing a major update: Flow Builder will be replacing Cloud Flow Designer. Since Cloud Flow Designer requires Adobe Flash, and Adobe Flash is being retired, Salesforce is moving to a Flash-free tool.
But the changes go much deeper than getting rid of Flash. The new Flow Builder utilizes the Lightning Design System principles to create a more intuitive and simpler user interface. Since Cloud Flow Designer has been around since 2012, a major update has been overdue. Here are some of the benefits to look forward to in the new Flow Builder update:
At the core of the update is a simpler user interface. This includes familiar shapes for flow actions, such as a diamond for decision, start and stop icons, and more. Since it is built on a new framework, the performance is increased to make the tool faster. Controls are based on the Lightning Design System, making it more seamless and standardized across the platform. Finally, the toolbox has been simplified to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
According to Salesforce, the migration from Cloud Flow Designer to Flow Builder is simple. Here’s what you need to do: nothing!
Since the backend remains the same, your flows will continue to run unchanged. Additionally, any flows you created in the legacy tool will open easily in the new Flow Builder. This will make the transition period very easy. You can leave existing flows in place and upgrade them as necessary. One thing to note, as with several Lightning features, existing flows that were built in Cloud Flow Designer will open in Flow Builder, but not the other way around.
Having worked with the new tool (in a newly created sandbox) I can say that I really enjoy the new interface. Since I spun up a new developer sandbox for testing, I wasn’t able to test the flow conversion. But creating a new flow felt very much like a drag and drop version of Process Builder. The interface felt immediately familiar, and I found it easy to use.
I personally love the power of Flows, especially for orgs without much developer support. A Flow can handle complex processes without the need for Apex, so they are a great tool for admins.
I’m excited to start using the new Flow Builder more often when it becomes generally available in Spring ‘19!
Chris is a Salesforce Consultant and Developer with Simplus. He is an experienced leader with a focus on implementation, best practice consulting, and marketing. Chris has over ten years of experience in consulting for small to large businesses. He fosters healthy client relationships from initial engagement through handoff. Chris is skilled in turning client requirements into actionable system designs and following best practices to implement and optimize Salesforce solutions.