Salesforce Flows are a declarative automation tool in the Salesforce platform that allows users to build and execute business processes without writing code. With Flows, you can visually design and configure a sequence of screens, forms, and logic to guide users through different steps and automate various tasks.
Flows are built using a drag-and-drop interface, making them accessible to both developers and non-developers. They provide a way to streamline and automate complex business processes, such as creating records, updating fields, sending emails, initiating approvals, and interacting with external systems.
Flows have a variety of use cases, including building guided customer experiences, automating approvals and workflows, onboarding new employees, managing data updates, and more. They can be triggered by user actions, such as clicking a button or submitting a form, or by system events, such as record creation or modification.
Salesforce Flows offer a powerful alternative to traditional coding with Apex, allowing users to build scalable and customizable solutions. By leveraging Flows, organizations can improve productivity, enhance the user experience, and automate business processes without the need for extensive coding knowledge.
But it’s not perfect…
Salesforce Flows have several drawbacks that you should consider:
Complexity: While Salesforce Flows provide a visual interface for building business processes, they can still be complex to design and configure. Complex flows can be harder to understand, troubleshoot, and maintain, especially for users with limited technical expertise.
Limited functionality: Although Salesforce Flows offer a wide range of features, they may not cover all advanced requirements or complex business logic. Customization options are more limited compared to Apex code, which could restrict the level of customization you can achieve.
Performance: Flow execution can be slower compared to plain Apex code execution. If you have performance-sensitive processes or need to process a large volume of records, you might face performance challenges with Flows.
And the most important drawback…
Lack of visibility: Unlike Apex unit tests, Flow tests do not provide code coverage metrics. This makes it challenging to gauge the effectiveness of test coverage and identify areas that require additional testing effort. Even tough it is possible to create Apex unit tests to make sure our Salesforce Flows work, at the moment of writing this post, coverage it is not required before deploying to prod. It makes sense since today you cannot visualize the coverage as you do for Apex classes. Without coverage, it is easier to make mistakes every time we update the Flow. Code coverage can help detect regressions, which are defects introduced when changes are made to your code. By re-running your tests after making changes, you can verify that the existing functionality is not impacted. This makes it easier to identify and fix bugs, leading to more efficient troubleshooting and maintenance of your application. Overall, code coverage plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality and reliability of your software by providing insight into the effectiveness of your testing efforts and aiding in the identification of areas that require additional attention.
Despite these drawbacks, Salesforce Flows can still be a powerful tool for building declarative automation, especially for users who are not comfortable with coding. It’s important to evaluate your specific business requirements and consider these limitations before deciding to use Flows as part of your Salesforce implementation.