Salesforce Flow Migration: Get Started the Right Way
Sr. Manager, Architects and Lead Experience Cloud Architect, Jill Penfield helps you prepare for your Salesforce Flow Migration
Unless you have been lost in the Himalayas (and if you are, and are still reading this, high five to amazing wi-fi), you may have heard that Salesforce is sunsetting Workflow and Process Builder and a Salesforce Flow migration is something you’ll want to consider.
Salesforce announced, at Dreamforce ’21, the retirement of two of its most popular automation tools. It’s daunting to think of a world without these two ultra-user-friendly tools to get things done… auto-magically. Workflow was the first super-declarative tool and I consider it the “quick and dirty”. Later in the game, along came Process Builder, which added a new level of complexity with more options, but still a fast way to spin up triggered events. Yet, all along, while these tools were living their dream in the foreground, a very powerful, “not-so-little” tool was being underutilized behind the scenes.
Super admins have always known that you were missing out on some really powerful functionality if you weren’t using Salesforce Flow (previously called Lightning Flow, and before that called Flow… Salesforce loves a name change). Flow has always been able to do what its little siblings could, only better. It could also do MORE (I’m looking at YOU Visual Flow). However, the user interface was a bit difficult, and it came with a whole new set of terminology and rules to learn. For a lot of admins, it was overwhelming. Over the last few years, Salesforce has really worked to fix this adoption problem. In Spring ’19, they released Flow Builder, which allowed a user to build flows more intuitively with a new drag and drop builder interface. Every release since then has been chock full of improvements to Salesforce Flow (See Winter ’23 Flow Improvements here). I personally think it’s fair to say at this point, you will be losing NOTHING by migrating all of your automation. However, we understand a migration can be daunting, especially if you were a power user of declarative automation. At RafterOne, we think it’s easier to digest if we break it down into more… palatable… steps.
1. Learn Flow
It goes without saying, but in case the above was TLDR (did I use that right?), if you are migrating to Salesforce Flow you need to know how to build with Salesforce Flow! Like a lot of things “Salesforce”, the best way to learn is to start hands-on, build a Flow and google your errors until your fingers fall off. However, Trailheads may also be helpful! Build Flows with Flow Builder is great for the basics. It is great to learn a little about Visual Flow (my favorite Flow gem). Lastly, Flow Troubleshooting is for those of us whose pencils have erasers for a reason. We also have some favorite “non-Salesforce” resources we recommend, but this blog post is a great place to start understating some fundamental Flow skills. Take this as a time to really dive in and get to know all there is about Salesforce Flow!
The first thing to remember on this migration is the huge opportunity for you and your Salesforce instance, especially if you have the dreaded “over-engineered Salesforce” debt that a lot of us do. This is your opportunity to take a step back and take a top-down look at what you are doing in your org, this even includes code-based automation. Doing an analysis of your overall automation is good idea! Chances are, there are things you did with code that you can now do with Flow. Examples:
- Clone a record with its related records
- Custom record sharing
- Roll up summaries for related objects
- “Before Delete” actions
I recently went camping. In my head I said “tents, sleeping bags, food, good”, and I packed. It got dark and we had no lights. It rained, and our tents filled with water. We had no cell service (should have camped in the Himalayas). My phone died… I could go on and on. I absolutely did not plan as well I as I could have. What I am getting at is, the migration may sound like a good idea (it is), and you may feel prepared, but you aren’t. There is a right order to these migrations. Once you have the right order of operations, there needs to be a very expansive and inclusive user acceptance testing process. Once all of that is completed, the long pole in the tent (see what I did there) is the promotion of all those changes to production. Planning is imperative!
Once all the learning, analyzing, planning, and bug spray has been exhausted, you are ready to start executing. In a perfect world, just like in camping, there will be no bugs. However my experience, and my large stash of AfterBite, tells me that just isn’t the case. Be prepared for all the bugs. You need a roll back plan. You need a mechanism for user feedback. You need to be prepared for the inevitability that it will rain, and your tent is old, and you need a just-in-case tarp. All camping references aside, what is your plan for automation that isn’t necessarily working like it used to? What is your roll-back plan if things are way out of whack? What is your mechanism for user feedback? My user feedback was disguised in the form of drenched, tired, complaining children… you need something better (and a little less damp) than that.
Long story long, this migration could be less of an undertaking if you are light on automation. If so, you are the perfect candidate. It is a great opportunity to learn, and use, Salesforce Flow.
However, if you haven’t been camping in, like, forever, and you have old gear and don’t know the weather, you may need our help. We are here for you, even if it’s just to check out your equipment and remind you of all the worst-case scenarios (raccoons in coolers, or so a friend told me). Let RafterOne help you with a Flow Migration Assessment.
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