*This article is based on my findings, not based on any documentation (it includes few hidden gems like, how you can add colors to help text, label, etc.)
* Make sure to subscribe to my blog – for, in the next few weeks, I am going to post 10-15 articles explaining new Lightning Flow Designer.
Lightning Flow (Formerly known as Visual Workflow) is one of the most powerful tools provided by Salesforce to implement business automation declaratively – i.e., using a drag and drop tool. Before we dig further, it is very important for everyone to understand three flow terminologies as mentioned below:
- Lightning Flow: Lightning Flow (Formerly known as Visual Workflow) encompasses building, managing, and running flows and processes.
- Lightning Flow Designer: Lightning Flow Designer (Formerly known as Cloud Flow Designer) is a tool to create flows, configure screens, and define business logic for your flows without writing a single line of code. This article is all about the new Lightning Flow Designer.
- Flow: A flow is an application that can interact with the Salesforce database, execute logic, call Apex classes, and collect data from users. You can build flows by using the new Lightning Flow Designer.
I started building flows in 2014 – yeah, it has been almost 5 years. I learned the tool by experimenting. Subsequently, I published a book on the topic! Below are the links to buy the book:
Until today, we were using Cloud Flow Designer to building flows. Starting with Spring’19 release, that is going to change. A better, faster and easier – Lightning Flow Designer is going to replace the existing Cloud Flow Designer.
What does it mean to YOU?
Don’t panic, nothing is going to change in terms of how it works today. We are going to get a new Flow Designer (i.e. Lightning Flow Designer) which is better in many aspects from existing Cloud Flow Designer.
Now you may be wondering – on the one hand, I say nothing is going to change; and yet, on the other hand, I say change is coming with Spring’19 release. So, what is going on?
If you spent a few minutes reading the aforementioned three flow terminology, you will know the answer. Still not sure? Well, let me explain. Salesforce.com, Inc is going to change the way you design the flow; but, the underlying Architecture will remain the same. Lightning Flow Designer brings with it following advantages:
- Adobe Flash player installation will not be needed anymore to use Flow designer
- Familiar flow elements remain – making learning easier and faster
- Several new components are available for Screen element
- Faster than existing Cloud Flow Designer
- A simplified toolbox to make it easier to find components you are looking for
How to Disable Lightning Flow Designer?
After Spring’19 release Salesforce.com, Inc is going to auto-enable Lightning Flow Designer for your Org. Want a sneak peek? Below is the snapshot from my pre-release org:
If you look at the slideshow carefully, you will notice that I opened a Flow – which I saved four (#4) years back – and it is still working! To test the new Lightning Flow Designer, I opened 100+ flows which I created in the past few years and everything seems to be working except minor bugs (hopefully it will get resolved after final release).
To disable the new Lightning Flow Designer, follow the instructions below:
- Navigate to Setup (Gear Icon) | Setup | PLATFORM TOOLS | Process Automation | Process Automation Settings.
- Deselect the checkbox Disable access to Cloud Flow Designer, as shown in the following screenshot:
- Once done, click on the Save button.
How to find which designer was used to create the Flow?
Many of you may be wondering – how can we identify which Designer tool (Cloud Flow Designer or New Lightning Flow Designer) was used to create a Flow? The answer is very simple, let me jump into my pre-release org and I will show you:
- Navigate to Setup (Gear Icon) | Setup | PLATFORM TOOLS | Process Automation | Flow.
- You’re now in the Flow management page, and if you look at the screenshot carefully, you got the answer.
- If you are still not sure what I mean, take a look at the little icon () – the icon is added to all flow created using new Lightning Flow Designer.
- If you look at the preceding screenshot carefully, you may notice I have two buttons on my Flow management page as follow
- New Flow – Use new Lightning Flow Designer
- New Flow in Cloud Flow Designer – Use classic (old) Cloud Flow Designer
This is because, I have disabled, new Lightning Flow Designer. That’s why I am getting two options – now I can use either new or old Flow Designer.
Things to remember
- You may have to enable Lightning runtime for flows if you want to get most out of the new Lightning Flow Designer. The reason behind is very simple – the new Lightning Flow Designer Screen element now contains several new components. These are lightning components behind the scene and therefore, require Lightning runtime for flows to render at runtime.
- You will no longer find the Draft element that allowed us to design a screen in a draft mode. To be frank, I never used it.
- Also, the Run with Latest button does not exist either – in the new Flow Designer – when using subflows.
Now let’s start with a simple use case and explore the tool together.
Business Use Case
Edward Backhouse is working as System administrator at GurukulOnCloud. Edward received the following requirement from his manager – create a lead capture form which looks like the following screenshot:
A solution for the above business requirement
There are a few possible solutions for the above business scenario – for example, one can use old (Cloud Flow Designer). We, however, will use the new Lightning Flow Designer. Perform the following steps to create the solution using new Lightning Flow Designer:
- Navigate to Setup (Gear Icon) | Setup | PLATFORM TOOLS | Process Automation | Flows. Click on the New Flow (remember you will able to access new Lightning Flow Designer after Spring’19 release) button; it will open the Flow canvas for you.
- Spend a few minutes to analyze the new Flow Canvas (Canvas is the place where one builds the flow). In the new Lightning Flow Designer, flows are combined in fours groups:
- User Interface:- It contains Screen element.
- Logic:- Similar to old Flow Designer (Could Flow Designer) contains – Assignment, Decision, Pause (Wait) and Loop elements.
- Data:- This is the tricky part – in the new Lightning Flow Designer, Salesforce merged Record and Fast element into one. Don’t worry, in the upcoming articles, we will explore it together.
- Actions: It contains elements like Subflow, Email Alert, Apex Action and Core action.
- Next, we will use the Screen element to create a lead capture form. Drag and drop a Screen element onto the canvas. And then, follow the steps as shown in the video ( Don’t skip the video, it contains few tips and tricks)
- The next step is to insert the data entered by the user in the lead capture form to Salesforce. For this, we will use a Create Record element. Drag and drop a Create Record element onto the canvas. Check out the video for step-by-step instructions and some tips
- Use connectors to connect the elements used in the Flow. Finally, your Flow will look like the following screenshot (refer to the preceding video for step-by-step instructions):
- Once done, Save the flow and name it Leads Form – LFD v1, with Type: Screen Flow. Do not forget to activate the Flow by clicking on the Activate button.
It’s time to test the flow
Go ahead and click on the Run button available on the Flow Canvas. At the runtime it will look like the following screenshot:
Did you find any changes in the outcome when you created a flow using the new Lightning FLow Designer? I think not; because, there are no changes at the end-user level.
–> Check out the complete article in the video instead of reading:
Proofreader: - Munira Majmundar