The Beginner’s Guide to Salesforce Automation, continued
In Part I: Workflows, we learned how to automate a simple business process using a Salesforce workflow rule. You’ve witnessed how easy it is to configure Salesforce to free you from some manual business tasks. Now, I bet you’re wondering what other nifty tricks Salesforce has to make your life better. Enter Process Builder.
Part II: Process Builder
Salesforce knows that most of their users prefer to configure using point-and-click tools and Process Builder is one of the latest offerings in response. It expands what users can do in Salesforce without requiring code. Like Workflows, Process Builder lets you configure business processes for automation in Salesforce. Unlike Workflows, Process Builder lets you see what you’re building as you build it, as a flow chart. This is awesome if you’re a beginner; it makes building an automated process a lot more accessible.
Sound good? Let’s check it out.
Analyze Existing Business Processes for Automation Potential
As in Part I: Workflows, the first step to process automation is analysis. Seek out repetitive manual tasks like creating/updating records, logging calls, sending email, or posting to a Chatter feed.
For example, let’s imagine that a Project Manager at your company is managing an interdepartmental project. The project has lots of milestones and lots of stakeholders. To make informing everyone easier to handle, the Project Manager created a private Chatter group. This keeps all information in one place, but she is still providing critical status updates manually by posting to the group AND by sending emails to key stakeholders. Right now, the process looks like this:
Create a Process in Process Builder
This is easy to automate in Process Builder. Let’s do it!
STEP 1: OPEN PROCESS BUILDER. Begin by opening Process Builder. Click “Setup,” then enter “Process Builder” in the Quick Find box. Click on “Process Builder.”
Process Builder opens up to a screen with a list of processes currently existing in your instance of Salesforce:
STEP 2: CREATE EMPTY PROCESS. Click “New” to create a new process. Let’s name it in such a way that will make it obvious, to anyone looking at it later, what this process concerns. Click “Save.”:
STEP 3: ASSOCIATE PROCESS WITH OBJECT.
A. Click “+Add Object” to begin:
B. Select the object you wish to run the process on.
We want to build this process on the Interdepartmental Project Management object. We select that object from the drop-down menu (by the way, drop-down menus are known in Salesforce as picklists):
C. Also, because we want this process to kick off whenever the status changes, we select the radio button next to “when a record is created or edited.” Click “Save.”:
STEP 4: ADD CRITERIA.
A. Criteria is what we call the instructions for knowing whether or not to run. Click “+Add Criteria”:
B. “Project Status” is the field that should kick off the automated updates. We’ll select that for Field. Click the magnifying glass. Select “Status” from the drop-down menu:
Select “Is Changed” for our Operator, “Boolean” for our Type, and “True” for our Value.
STEP 5: ADD ACTIONS.
A. We have, so far, told our process which object to automate and when to automate it. Now, we tell it what to do by adding actions. Click “+Add Action”:
B. Because our Project Manager emails stakeholders when she updates the project status, we need to automate that here. Select “Email Alerts” as the Action Type. Name it something descriptive. Under “Email Alert,” enter the name of your email alert. If you do not yet have one, click on “create one,” and follow the steps. Click “Save.”:
C. Add an action for posting about the status update in the private interdepartmental Chatter group the project members use. Choose “Post to Chatter” as the Action Type. Name the action something descriptive. Choose “Chatter Group” under “Post to,” and the group’s name under “Group.” Enter the message to post to the group whenever the automated process happens. Click “Save.”:
D. Here is the finished process. As you can probably guess (by looking at the untouched areas that provide options to extend this process), we can make this a lot more complex than it is. But, our process is simple and we built simple automation to go with it.
The final step is to activate it. Click “Activate.”:
Test the Process
To be sure our process works the way we want it to, we need to test it. To do this, we need to update the project status:
Once the status is updated, we know that our process works if we confirm that stakeholders received the email we setup AND the status update is automatically posted to the private Chatter group. Let’s check on these results.
Here is the email sent out to stakeholders by the process. So, we know that’s working.
Here is the update the process posted into the private Chatter group:
The test proved that our process works! Wasn’t that easy? Our Project Manager is thrilled that she doesn’t have to think about keeping everyone updated. She knows that Process Builder takes care of it for her.
In our next post in the Beginner’s Guide to Salesforce Automation, we cover Visual Flow. Don’t miss it!