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3 Foolproof Ways to Debug Your Salesforce Flows

What are Salesforce Flows and why the migration toward them?

2023 has been the year of automation, with products such as ChatGPT, Bard and - the soon to be released - EinsteinGPT, taking center stage. Businesses are finding faster and more efficient ways to work using automated systems, however AI doesn't come without its own challenges. Salesforce has recently announced the progression toward and focus on Salesforce Flow.

Salesforce Flows are varying types of processes that can be used to develop automated technology, particularly compatible across the Salesforce suite. However, like any software going through the refinement phase, there are occasional technical bugs and glitches that can pop up along the user journey. In today's blog, we unpack some of the ways that you can fix common bugs developers may experience throughout their Salesforce flow journey.

What kinds of Salesforce Flows are there and what do they do?

  1. Scheduled-Trigger-Flow: This feature can prompt automatic digital actions depending on a scheduled time or date. This process could be used for automating invites, contacting clients as a follow-up or compiling notes after a meeting based upon chat history, for example.

  2. Screen-Flow: Probably the simplest to follow, a screen flow is similar to a CTA (call-to-action) in that it invites the user to navigate a landing page once they've interacted with the button or function.

  3. Platform-Event-Triggered-Flow: Similar to the scheduled-trigger-flow, this function relies on the system recognising an input of a platform event - say, a particular product is being released and automation is going to shape the way customers can interact with it - and then setting off an automatic chain of responses to implement the required functions for the process to run smoothly.

  4. Record-Triggered-Flow: This function relates to the entry of a record within the relevant Salesforce tool, such as a PO, project management data or client information. It's important to note that this flow is singular; meaning it cannot be duplicated and applied to numerous records in one go. However, they can be edited during the progress of the record itself; so the automation can carry through each stage of the record management.

  5. Omni-Channel-Flow: As its name suggests, this flow responds to the need to automatically communicate information or provide resources to on-site employees or stakeholders. Essentially, it allows you to get the content you need anywhere it has to go.

  6. Auto-Launched-Flow: Performs a somewhat administrative role based upon an initial prompt; this could be from a customer or an internal administrator within your business. The auto-launched concept allows you to initiate automated actions across multiple flows.

Debugging Method #1 - Troubleshooting Via Salesforce Flow Canvas

The simplest of methods is to return to the source of the flow's creation. Canvas is the space where you can implement your chosen flows and monitor if they're working correctly. Luckily, Salesforce has made the debugging process fairly straightforward if you're using this method, because there's a 'debug' button across the top of the canvas hot bar. If you hit that button, you'll be able to run through a series of steps to reset the flow, on the basis of the entered information you provide. Each flow type will have unique debugging options, and it's important to save as you go, just in case. Once you've given the required information, the debug function will reset the flow to its initial setting, but it will give you the opportunity to test it throughout, and ensure that each phase is running smoothly.

Debugging Method #2 - Utilizing Flow Failure Response Communication

This method is probably most useful if you're dealing with a very specific flow incident or a repeat error rather than a general system failure, because it allows you to toggle through to specific cases. If one of your flows encounters bugging, the system is built to automatically record and email that information to you. Note that you should also be able to find the failed flow canvas by toggling through to 'Paused and Failed Flow Interviews' within your Salesforce Setup. The report provided by Salesforce of the flow error will depend on the individual settings of your platform, however you should receive details on what stage the flow encountered the error in, the timeframe of the flow failure as well as what initially caused it. Note that whoever was the most recent editor of that flow should receive communication and will have the option to then edit the flow to remove the bugging. Following the information provided in the communication, you should receive prompts that take you to flow canvas, wherein you can edit the flow itself.


Debugging Method #3 - A Testing and Debugging Hybrid for Record-Triggered Flows

As we previously acknowledged, Salesforce hasn't given the option just yet for Record-Triggered-Flows to be duplicated and used across various actions. However, there is a specific way to debug these flows which also provides you with testing information and system updates. Particularly important is that you can implement these flow tests throughout the entirety of the development process, meaning it's a real-time way to monitor the efficacy of your system. It actually allows you to create reusable templates for record-triggered-flows, based upon sample data which can be used to test the functionality of your flow.

In order to design a test case automatically, you can use another of the functions in the canvas hot bar. Once you've hit debug, there's a handy option called 'convert to test case' which will then allow you to prescribe the required data, so that Salesforce can create a 'script' - of sorts - which can then be fed into the flow. Think of it like a website speed test; you're simply checking the efficiency of the flow against the necessary standard of operation.

To complete a test case manually, you will still be using canvas. There's an option on there called 'Test Cases' and that will lead you to a menu of options you'll fill in to design the test case. Once you've filled in the required fields, it will then generate the reusable template for you, and you can then implement it across multiple record-triggered-flows.

The takeaway...

Completing these debugging methods can be a bit of a daunting process initially because it might feel like you're in over your head, but the reality is that you can access previous save versions of the flow, in case you do find yourself struggling. The biggest takeaway, though, is that these methods of delivering content, organising information, managing projects or even customer service, are here to stay. So getting familiar with the ways you can troubleshoot and manage the flows yourself is a great way of innovating your business and staying up to date. Remember as well that if you do need help, you can always reach out to WarpDrive Tech for help with ensuring your system runs smoothly without the hassle of checking up on it yourself.

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