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Building Flows with the Lightning Flow Builder-Part 1


Pranali Mahajan

February 07, 2019

In the Spring ’19 release the Cloud Flow Designer is replaced with an all-new interface Lightning Flow Builder that simplifies and streamlines the way you build flows in both Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience.

While using Cloud Flow Designer, it was difficult to determine whether to use Record Create or Fast Create for creating a new object record, similarly with the other elements used for any CRUD operations. If any of the operations failed, it was not an easy task to debug the failure and find an alternative to help resolve the issue.

The Flow Builder simply has Create Records element which can be used to create object records (other elements used for any of the CRUD operations). Additionally, if any issues are encountered, it is easy to debug them using the debugger available inside the tool.

Why Lightning Flow Builder?
Lightning Flow Builder is a much faster tool compared to Cloud Flow Designer that we used before the Spring ’19 release. The Cloud Flow Designer used earlier, required the Adobe Flash Player at runtime. Since Adobe Flash is being retired, it serves as quite an assurance that the new Flow Builder is Flash-free. Moreover, using the Flow Builder, we can create a single process or flow that can look up, create, or update data that’s stored outside Salesforce!

What’s new in the Lightning Flow Builder?

  • Lightning-fast performance built with the latest technologies.
  • Built with Salesforce’s latest, performance-driven front-end technologies, we can say goodbye to Flash. Seamless and integrated existing flows continue to run like they did before, and they work with flow actions on AppExchange.
  • Standard controls based on the Lightning Design System to make the builder more efficient to use.
  • The Cloud Flow Designer included various elements, meaning we had to decide the type of element to be used., However, with the Flow Builder it is easier to choose the right element or resource for your flow. Unlike the Cloud Flow Designer, Flow Builder has a streamlined toolbox. It has familiar and intuitive shapes to make flows easier to read.
  • The Flow Builder has pre-built business processes via templates that can be cloned and customized.
  • Processes and flows can access the data that is stored outside the Salesforce org and respond to Salesforce error notifications.
  • The Flow Builder can execute Scheduled Actions in Event Processes. Scheduled actions can create or update data that is stored outside of Salesforce via external objects.
Fig. Flow Canvas

Moving to Flow Builder
With the Spring ’19 release, Flow Builder will be the default flow-building tool in all orgs, Salesforce Classic or Lightning Experience, so no migration is needed. If any existing flow is modified or a new flow is created, the Flow Builder will be opened.

While using the Flow Builder, the only change is how the flows are built or modified. The new Flow Builder doesn’t affect how the flows behave or the users’ experience when flows run. For now, the flows can be accessed with both flow tools (i.e. the Cloud Flow Designer and the Lightning Flow Builder). Cloud Flow Designer is disabled by default, but it can be enabled.

Disabling the Lightning Flow Designer
To disable the new Lightning Flow Designer, follow the instructions below:

  • 1. Navigate to Setup (Gear Icon) | Setup | PLATFORM TOOLS | Process Automation | Process Automation Settings
  • 2. Deselect the checkbox Disable access to Cloud Flow Designer.

When Cloud Flow Designer is re-enabled, you see the New Flow in Cloud Flow Designer button on the Flows page. When both tools are enabled, a flow opens in the tool that it was built with.

Availability of Lightning Flow Builder

  • The Flow Builder is available in Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic in for Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions.
    Note: Flow Builder is not supported in Internet Explorer 11 and earlier.
  • For Admins with the Manage Flow user permission, the Flow Builder is made available.
  • The Flow Builder is quite like the other builders, Lightning App Builder or Community Builder available on the Salesforce Platform.

Advantages of Lightning Flow Builder

  • 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

Sounds easy enough? I am sure you are ready to give it a go yourself! In my next blog, I will demonstrate more examples of building flows with the help of Lightning Flow Builder, so stay tuned!

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