Want to be an Early Adopter of the New Flow Builder? Welcome Aboard!

Want to be an Early Adopter of the New Flow Builder? Welcome Aboard!

Last Updated on December 19, 2020 by Rakesh Gupta


*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 the new Flow Builder. 

Salesforce Flow (Formerly known as Lightning Flow and 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: 

  1. Salesforce Flow: Salesforce Flow (Formerly known as Lightning Flow and Visual Workflow) encompasses building, managing, and running flows and processes.
  2. Flow Builder: Flow Builder (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 Flow Builder. 
  3. FlowA 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 Flow Builder. 

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:

  1. Learning Salesforce Visual Workflow and Process Builder
  2. Learning Salesforce Visual Workflow

Until today, we were using the Cloud Flow Designer to building flows. Starting with the  Spring’19 release, that is going to change. A better, faster, and easier  Flow Builder 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. Flow Builder) which is better in many aspects than the 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 the 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. Flow Builder brings with it the following advantages:

  1. Adobe Flash Player installation will not be needed anymore to use Flow Builder
  2. Familiar flow elements remain – making learning easier and faster 
  3. Several new components are available for the Screen element 
  4. Faster than the existing Cloud Flow Designer 
  5. A simplified toolbox to make it easier to find components you are looking for

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 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: 

  1. Navigate to Setup (Gear Icon) | Setup | PLATFORM TOOLS | Process Automation | Flow.
  2. You’re now on the Flow management page, and if you look at the screenshot carefully, you got the answer.Lightning Flow - 3
  3. If you are still not sure what I mean, take a look at the little icon (Lightning Flow - 4) – the icon is added to all flow created using the new Flow Builder
  4. If you look at the preceding screenshot carefully, you may notice I have two buttons on my Flow management page as follow 
    1. New Flow – Use new Flow Builder 
    2. New Flow in Cloud Flow Designer – Use classic (old) Cloud Flow Designer 

Things to remember 

  1. You may have to enable Lightning runtime for flows if you want to get the most out of the new Flow Builder. The reason behind this is very simple – the new Flow Builder 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Also, the Run with Latest button does not exist either – in the new Flow Designer – when using sub-flows. 

Now let’s start with a simple use case and explore the tool together. 

Business Use Case

Edward Backhouse is working as a System administrator at GurukulOnCloud. Edward received the following requirement from his manager – create a lead capture form which looks like the following screenshot:

Lightning Flow -5

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 Flow Builder. Perform the following steps to create the solution using Flow Builder: 

  1. Navigate to Setup (Gear Icon) | Setup | PLATFORM TOOLS | Process Automation | Flows. Click on the New Flow (remember you will able to access  Flow Builder after the Spring’19 release) button; it will open the Flow canvas for you.
  2. Spend a few minutes to analyze the new Flow Canvas (Canvas is the place where one builds the flow). In the nre Flow Builder, flows are combined in fours groups: Lighhtning Flow - 6
    1. User Interface:- It contains Screen element. 
    2. Logic:- Similar to old Flow Designer (Could Flow Designer) contains – Assignment, Decision, Pause (Wait), and Loop elements. 
    3. Data:- This is the tricky part – in the new Flow Builder, Salesforce merged Record and Fast element into one. Don’t worry, in the upcoming articles, we will explore it together. 
    4. Actions:  It contains elements like Subflow, Email Alert, Apex Action and Core action
  3. 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 a few tips and tricks)
  4. 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
  5. 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):
  6. Once done, Save the flow and name it Leads Form – LFD v1with Type: Screen Flow. Do not forget to activate the Flow by clicking on the Activate button.Final Screen

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: 

Final Outcome

Did you find any changes in the outcome when you created a flow using the new Flow Builder? 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
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16 thoughts on “Want to be an Early Adopter of the New Flow Builder? Welcome Aboard!

  1. Unless i am missing something the new design seems to have lost the ability to have text fields have rich text formating. my existing text template fields (used to provide hints and tips) are now all raw HTML and as such badly formatted raw HTML. Any suggestions as to what i am missing here?

    Are we really expected to format all text as html in another editor first before copying the code over…..

    1. Do you mean using Text template to send email alert and it is displaying in raw HTML? If yes, this is Salesforce expected behavior

  2. @Rakesh currently i think flow doesn’t support map collection type so is there any such possibility in the road map for map being supported?

  3. Hey @Rakesh Great piece of information.
    I had a question, How do we use the Lookup on Screen, can you please help me with usage of lookup action on Screen?

    Thanks in Advance,

  4. Thanks for a great article, this site is really useful. It still looks like they are missing a good lookup field that we can add to the screen. Any suggestions, is it on the road map?

  5. Hi Rakesh, great article! I signed up for a pre-release org and started practicing with the new flow builder for a few hours yesterday. While it seems really great, I can’t help but notice a lot of features from the old flow builder are missing.

    What are your thoughts on things like, Copy, Paste and Undo options not being in the flow builder? It seems strange that there’s a risk of you deleting an element by mistake and having no way to undo that action. Also, it doesn’t look like you can drag and select multiple elements, just Shift+click.

    I also noticed that Display Text no longer has rich text editing.

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