Get with the Flow Action

I have been an advocate of Object-Specific Quick Actions for years. In fact, I have given dozens of formal presentations on Quick Actions to hundreds of people at several Dreamforce conferences, World Tours and community events. There’s a reason I love them, with Object Specific Quick Actions an admin can use config-only to let users create or update records and send email with just two clicks without leaving the page they’re on. They are extremely easy to set up and the time-savings for users can be massive.

As much as I love the power and simplicity of the Object Specific Actions I am now all in on championing Flow Actions. I still love Object-Specific Actions but I am obsessed with Flow Actions. Why? Because Actions with flows can truly take your user experience to the next level.

Here is an example of a Create Case Object-Specific Action. It is clean and simple asking me for a few fields and even has the Status prepopulated. Nice!

And here is an example of a Create Case Flow Action. What a difference! As the end user I am walked through the process of creating a case when I click the “Next” button at the bottom instead of seeing all the fields at once. I can even see my call script, customized for my contact Ashley by name. The email address even has a sample format so I know what it is expecting. Very nice!

By creating a basic Screen Flow you can use many simple to implement flow features that will make it beneficial to switch from Object-Specific Actions to Flow Actions. Here are three of my favorite tools:

  1. Display Text: Add this component to your screen flow to provide directions and guidance on-screen to users with simple WYSIWYG rich-text editor.
  2. Placeholder Text: Instruct users what to put in individual fields without the risk that users will leave it unchanged the way they might with Predefined Values. It’s especially great for explaining acceptable field formats.
  3. Component Visibility: Steam-line the user experience by conditionally hiding and displaying fields. No more taking up valuable real-estate for fields that are not always needed or creating a different action for each record type.

Let me show you how easy it is to do these items inside of a Flow. Here is an example of how to add Display Text to a screen flow. Note how you can specify the font, color, size and even add bullets, numbers and lists:

Adding Display Text to a Screen Flow

To add Placeholder text simply type in the text you want to display in the “Placeholder Text” settings.

In this example of Component Visibility on a screen flow I am only displaying the email field on the screen if the Contact’s email is blank on their user record. You can even make it visible based on values entered by the user on an earlier screen.

Setting component visibility from the Flow Screen Builder

Just like object-specific actions you can easily use Flow to make fields read-only, required and prepopulate them with data.

And that’s just scratching the surface! Flows can do hundreds of things that Object-Based Quick Actions cannot do. So next time you are thinking of creating a quick action take some time and build it in Flow. Your users will flip for flow.

Flow is a powerful tool and it can be overwhelming at first so to get started I recommend you check out this trailhead to get started.


The Summer 19 Forecast Looks Hot

Winter has been especially cold, harsh and long in the Central US where I live. The meteorologists can’t seem to provide forecasts that I like so I decided instead to focus on the Summer forecast of Salesforce new features.

 

I took at look at the Salesforce Lightning roadmap that Salesforce provides and reduced the pages and pages of features down to just the features planned for Summer 2019.

 

While there are several Reports and Knowledge enhancements on the Summer 19 Roadmap. I think the hottest Summer 19 feature will be the Related List Preview showing up to 10 columns and the ability to Filter Related Lists. Just think how useful and efficient that will be to end users to see key information at a glance AND interact with it without having to drill-down to another page.

 

One of my favorite features of Summer 19 will definitely help automate and save your end-user time and mistakes, but sadly will probably be underutilized. I am referring to Macros with Conditional Steps. If you have not already I strongly encourage you to build Macros for your Salesforce end users. With macros, repetitive tasks–such as sending an email and updating a case status–can be reduced from multiple clicks to one. Macros work great today already and the addition of conditional steps will make it an even more powerful tool.

 

I can’t wait for these and the other hot new Summer 19 features to be released to Sandboxes about mid-May and in Production around mid-June. Hopefully summer will be here before we know it.

 

Here are all 18 features listed on the Lightning Roadmap as of March 2019: 

  • Dashboards: Scheduled refresh (without email)
  • Reports: Historical trending in tabular format (create, edit)
  • Reports: Joined reports
  • Reports: Notifications
  • Branding and Theming: Per Lightning app
  • Related Lists: Show up to 10 columns on preview
  • Related Lists: User filters on related lists
  • Console Chrome extension
  • Utility Bar: Right-align buttons
  • Accounts: Account Partners related list
  • Opportunities: Opportunity partners
  • Lightning Knowledge: Detach related files
  • Lightning Knowledge: Inline edit
  • Lightning Knowledge: Knowledge Component Action — Insert URL to Case Publisher
  • Lightning Knowledge: Knowledge Component available for all objects (search only)
  • Lightning Knowledge: Mass actions (delete, submit for translation)
  • Macros: Conditional steps
  • Social Customer Service: Mass approvals and recall