When looking for the explanation to word 'flow' in Wikipedia, it defines it as follows: "flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity."
This description also suits the Visual Flow function in salesforce.com quite well. With Visual Flow you can easily plan and develop Salesforce processes. Often the most time consuming part of the planning of different processes is the decisions such as "what should we do, when and what data we need" in order to make these decisions. Visual Flow makes it possible to combine the planning and execution part of the planning processes – and this is just the icing on top of the cake.
The real benefits of the salesforce.com Visual Flow are the easy to use building tools for complicated automated process steps. Especially automating the daily routines in using existing information and collecting new information are good examples of using Visual Flow. With Flow you can easily guide the users through complex selection processes and ensure data quality.
For the user the well-planned and flexible Flows increase the user experience. User can focus in the content and decisions instead of remembering detailed system processes and organisational requirements. With Flow tools the “type once use multiple times” concept is easy to fulfill. This means clean and up to date data across the system. With Visual Flow it is also easy to show relevant information across the system in different places without opening multiple views or having coded Visualforce pages – even if the Visualforce pages are a part of the flow where needed. From a developer and administration point of view the Flows diminish the need for actual coding and are easy to develop and link to other processes.
The Flow is a great tool to use when you have user-activated processes, which don't need to be run automatically by the system. Flows are also good way to test the planned automated process Flows in action without actual coding. Just remember: only users can activate Flows they cannot be triggered by workflows. However, once you have defined and found the perfect Flow , you also have the apex definition ready for the coder to execute, if automatic triggers are needed to complete the process.
The top 5 of the Visual Flow features:
- Easy to plan and execute semi or fully automated processes.
- Steps based on earlier decisions and selections.
- Updating and pulling information from multiple data objects.
- Dynamic choice functionality to create selected pick lists.
- Easy to test and deploy without coding.
Once you get grip of the Visual Flow tool you won't let go.
Senior Business Development Manager
Photo Joe Page