Salesforce: Apex Code and Flows


Apex code and flows

Salesforce: Flows Vs. Code

Salesforce Solution Design involves selecting the most suitable approach for a given task. Within the realm of Salesforce customization, two powerful methods, Flows and Apex Code, offer unique advantages and cater to diverse customization needs. Understanding their strengths and nuances is key to crafting
effective Salesforce solutions.

Flows and Apex Code represent distinct programming methods that, when utilized independently or in tandem, can address various customization requirements.

Apex Code offers extensive flexibility and customization opportunities. However, its development demands specialized knowledge, time, and meticulous planning. It’s akin to flying—an approach that directly navigates complex processes, reaching destinations that Flows might not inherently reach. Apex Code’s power comes at the expense of greater investment in training and resources.

On the other hand, Salesforce Flows provide a more user-friendly, visual interface, enabling users to create processes in a streamlined manner. They offer agility, ease of modification, and quicker learning curves, akin to driving— a versatile method that offers multiple routes and quick adaptations. However, compared to Apex Code, Flows come with reduced flexibility and customization options.

Comparing the two methodologies, Apex Code resembles flying—an intricate yet powerful approach requiring detailed planning, resources, and adherence to test coverage—a rigorous inspection akin to pre-flight checks. Flows, akin to driving, offer flexibility and quicker adaptability, requiring minimal inspection, enabling pit stops and route changes with ease.

The crux of effective Salesforce customization lies in discerning when to employ Apex Code and when to leverage Flows. While Code offers unparalleled customization and access to intricate functionalities, Flows present an agile and user-friendly interface for quicker developments and adaptations.

The synergy between Flows and Apex Code is a powerful strategy. Integrating the strengths of both methodologies allows for a comprehensive approach— utilizing Code’s power where intricate customization is needed and Flows’ agility for quick iterations or adaptable processes.

Effective Salesforce customization involves choosing between Flows and Apex Code judiciously, recognizing their strengths and trade-offs.

Salesforce designers can tailor solutions and effectively navigate complex processes as per the unique requirements of each customization endeavor. Integrating these methodologies judiciously ensures the best of both worlds, maximizing Salesforce’s potential
for a tailored and efficient solution landscape.

Using Apex Code in Flow

Salesforce Flows are powerful tools for designing streamlined processes within the Salesforce ecosystem. They enable users to automate tasks, collect data, and make decisions based on predefined criteria.

However, when it comes to complex needs, such as generating random numbers or executing more complex logic within a flow, certain limitations arise. This is where integrating Apex Code into a flow can significantly enhance its functionality.

Consider a scenario where a basic flow is designed to answer the common office question: “Where do we go for lunch?” The flow has predefined options – hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza – each associated with a particular number.

However, there’s a default outcome of salad when none of these options match the conditions. To see a video demonstration of this, scroll down.

Initially, running the flow results in consistently receiving the default outcome, indicating the absence of a proper method within flows to generate random numbers. To overcome this limitation, the solution lies in incorporating custom Apex code into the flow, enabling the generation of random numbers and enhancing decision-making capabilities.

In this particular example, an invocable Apex method called generateRandomNumber’ is created to return a random number between 1 to 3.

Integrating this Apex method into the flow is straightforward, achieved by adding an action element and selecting the invocable method within the flow layout.

By modifying the flow’s logic to incorporate this Apex method, an assignment is created to capture the random number generated by the Apex code. This step ensures that the flow retrieves a different outcome based on the randomly generated number, diversifying the lunch options displayed at the end of the flow.

Running the flow in debug mode validates the functionality of the integrated Apex code. Each run showcases the dynamic nature of the flow, displaying varied outcomes corresponding to the randomly generated numbers.

For instance, a generated number of ‘1’ might lead to hamburgers, ‘2’ to hot dogs, and ‘3’ to pizza, offering a variety of choices for lunch.

The integration of Apex Code within Salesforce Flows expands their
capabilities, enabling the incorporation of custom logic, data processing, and external integrations. This flexibility empowers businesses to create more sophisticated and adaptable solutions tailored to their specific needs, especially when communicating with non-Salesforce external systems.

Furthermore, it emphasizes the synergy between the declarative power of Flows and the programmatic capabilities of Apex, showcasing how their combination can address complex business requirements efficiently within the Salesforce platform.

In conclusion, leveraging Apex Code within Salesforce Flows elevates their functionality, enabling dynamic decision-making processes, data manipulation, and custom logic execution, thereby enhancing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of workflows within the Salesforce environment.

Using Flows in Apex Code

Salesforce automation plays a pivotal role in streamlining processes within the platform. Integrating flows with Apex code provides a powerful mechanism to automate complex tasks, ensuring efficiency and flexibility in managing Salesforce data. In this demonstration, we explore the seamless integration of flows within Apex Triggers to automate the assignment of account owners based on predefined logic.

The scenario presented involves an Apex Trigger that acts whenever a new Account is added to the system. The objective is to automatically update the Account Owner using a Flow, eliminating the need for manual code edits by the admin staff and enabling dynamic assignment processes.

First start by examining the variables in the Flow Manager window. The Flow is designed to accept an Account record as input and subsequently change its owner based on predefined logic embedded within the Flow.

In the example in our video below, the logic within the Flow checks the first number of the Account’s zip code to determine whether it should be assigned to the East Coast or West Coast sales user.

Accounts with zip codes starting with ‘012’ or ‘3’ are designated to the East Coast user, while those starting with ‘9’ are routed to the West Coast user. Notably, the Flow is configured as an Auto-Launched Flow, necessitating external invocation for its operation.

The integration with the Apex Trigger involves executing a piece of Apex code after every account insertion. The code identifies the newly added Account IDs and sends them to the Flow in a loop, facilitating the Account Owner assignment process. It’s crucial to designate input parameters for the Flow, aligning them with the Flow’s variables.

The demonstration showcases the seamless functionality of the integrated system. When a new account with a corresponding zip code is inserted, the Flow accurately updates the Account Owner as per the predefined logic. Additionally, a Chatter notification is generated to verify the successful execution of the Flow.

Further enhancing the demonstration, an additional condition is added within the Flow’s logic to handle Accounts with Billing Zip Codes starting with ‘6,’ intended to route them to Chicago.

This addition highlights the flexibility of Flows, enabling quick and effortless modifications to existing criteria without necessitating code changes. From an architectural perspective, there’s room for enhancement by processing Accounts in batches, rather than individually.

Batch processing can significantly improve efficiency and optimize the system’s performance, especially when dealing with a large volume of Accounts.

The integration of Flows within Apex code exemplifies the synergy between declarative and programmatic capabilities in Salesforce. It empowers users to automate complex processes, manage data dynamically, and adapt to changing business needs without extensive code modifications, which enhances overall system efficiency and agility. The demonstrated example below underscores the potential for leveraging.