The Top 10 Things You Want to Know About the New Flow Builder

1. It’s faster and more intuitive

Flow Builder has a brand new user interface that is similar to Lightning App Builder and Process Builder, so if you’re familiar with those tools you’ll feel right at home here. Clean lines and intuitive shapes make it easy to navigate around your flows, and the streamlined toolbox makes it easier to find the element or resource you’re looking for. On top of that, Flow Builder is built with Salesforce’s latest front-end technologies for fast performance – say goodbye to kludgy old Flash!

A complex flow in Flow Builder

2. Some things have been renamed

If you’re an old-school Flownatic, you might have noticed that some things have been renamed or moved around in Flow Builder. For example, the sObject data type is now a Record data type; and static, local and quick actions can all now be found under the Core Action element. As part of the streamlined toolbox, we replaced the Fast Lookup and Record Lookup elements with Get Records, and the other Data elements have received a similar treatment. For a full list of differences, see the Flow Builder vs. Cloud Flow Designer document in Salesforce Help.

3. We couldn’t get to these old Cloud Flow Designer features, but we expect to deliver them in Summer ’19

We know that undo/redo, copy and paste, and the ability to find elements and resources in the canvas are important to you. We’re working hard on these features and expect to release them in Summer ’19. (As always, please make purchasing decisions based on current functionality and not this forward-looking statement!) We just ran out of time to get features into Spring ’19 and decided it was better to release Flow Builder with all the goodness it does have, than to wait another release.

4. You can continue to use Cloud Flow Designer side-by-side with Flow Builder

Starting with Spring ’19, Flow Builder is the default experience when creating new flows and opening existing flows. If you need to use Cloud Flow Designer – perhaps because a feature you need isn’t yet available in Flow Builder – you can re-enable it: in Setup, go to the Process Automation Settings page and deselect the Disable access to Cloud Flow Designer option. With this deselected, flow versions that were saved in Cloud Flow Designer will open in Cloud Flow Designer, and versions that were saved in Flow Builder will open in Flow Builder.

If you have a flow that you saved in Flow Builder and you decide you really need to go back to Cloud Flow Designer, there’s an unofficial solution for that too: see Converting a Flow Builder Flow Version Back to Cloud Flow Designer.

5. Pan the canvas using Space+Click

To pan the canvas, you can press and hold down the Space key, then click anywhere in the canvas and drag.

Animation showing how to toggle pan mode with the space+click combination.

6. Select multiple elements using Shift+Click

We’re working on marquee selection (clicking and dragging to select multiple elements) for a near-term release. Until then, to select multiple elements on the canvas, press and hold down the Shift key, then click on each element you want to add to the selection. Then click on any selected element to move the entire selection.

Animation showing how to select multiple elements to move them.

7. Make a variable a collection variable with a single click

To turn a variable of any data type into a collection variable, select the Allow multiple values (collection) checkbox next to the Data Type field.

The New Resource modal with the Allow multiple values (collection) checkbox selected

8. There are new Lightning Components available out of the box

We added the ability to use Lightning components in flows in Winter ’19, and actually included a number of out-of-the-box components then, like Dependent Picklists, Phone, Email, and Name – but since they were hidden under Extensions in Cloud Flow Designer, you might have missed them. Flow Builder elevates these components to first-class screen components, and with Spring ’19 we have two new components: Address and Display Image.

Remember, when you’re using Lightning components with input fields in them (like Name) you’ll need to specify a variable for the field in the Store Output Values section in the component properties in order to use the field’s value elsewhere in the flow. (This is different from the way screen components like Text work, where the screen component can be used directly as a resource.)

9. New Trailhead content is live!

All of the Trailhead modules and projects that previously referred to Cloud Flow Designer have been rewritten with instructions on how to use Flow Builder. If you’ve previously completed these modules and projects, maybe you’d like a refresher! Otherwise, hold tight until March – brand new flow content will be coming your way soon.

10. There are 2 hours of fresh video tutorials that you can watch

All the Trailhead content related to flows is now up to date with the latest on Flow Builder. In addition, Alex Edelstein ‘s Get Started with the New Flow Builder post on the Salesforce Admins blog has two hours of video tutorial content to help both new and old school flow users get up to speed. From sending an email to building a screen to working with multiple records, these tutorials have you covered!

New Flow Action: Convert Files to Attachments

This action takes a collection of Content Document Links and returns a collection of Attachments. This is useful when you want to send files as attachments in email, because the Salesforce email infrastructure is still attachment-based. For more information on how these entities interact, see this and explore the test flow included in the package below.

This action comes packaged with the Send HTML Email Flow action.

Install Unmanaged Package

Source Code

Flow Email Now Supports Attachments and Organization-Wide Email Addresses

The recently created Send HTML Email Flow Action has been upgraded to add attachment support and support for Organization-Wide Email Addresses. In addition, it comes packaged with a new ConvertFilesToAttachments Flow Action useful when working with Salesforce Files.

New Lightning Record Page Component

Dani Finkelshtein was looking for an enhancement to my Quick Action Button page component. Rather than a single button, she wanted to be able to show up to 5 buttons that could each launch a Quick Action. Check out the new Quick Action Buttons component.

Dynamically Launch Autolaunched Flows from Other Autolaunched Flows

Hell of a title.

In this post, we recently discussed how you can dynamically launch new screen flows from a screen flow by creating a flow URL and opening it with your browser.

Recently, I had a similar requirement to launch autolaunched flows dynamically from a parent autolaunched flows. In this flow app, the user runs a definition flow to select the flows that they’re going to want run in the future under certain conditions:

The screen above uses the Flow List screen component to show lists of flows. In theory, I could add a big decision element with a subflow element for every flow in this list, but 1) that’s a lot of work and 2) if new flows are added, I want this to just work.

The autolaunched flow that uses this information triggers via Process Builder. It has the name of the flow. Launching the flow isn’t hard to do in Apex, so it was easy to create a Flow Action that makes this action available for admins.

The package comes with the test flows visible in the video.

Install Unmanaged Package

View the Source Code

Flow Winter ’20 Features in Release Readiness Live + Automation Hour

Winter ’20 is a big release for flownatics, and the Flow PMs scored slots not only on the Admin, Developer and Platform Release Readiness Live shows, but also did a special Flow edition just for you!

Check out the Winter ’20 Release Readiness videos:

  • Developer Preview: Apex-defined data types (new collection operators!), Mulesoft integration, custom Lightning Web Components in flow screens,
  • Admin Preview: Canvas enhancements, the new Lookup screen component, automated output variables, and conditional visibility.
  • Platform Preview: flow list view, scheduled flows, Next Best Action
  • Flow : All of the above, plus managing flow access with profiles and permission sets, and customized flow error handling with notifications

And while you’re binging on flow videos, check out Shannon Hale and Jason Teller with even more Winter ’20 flow pro tips on Automation Hour.

Watch the Latest Official Flow Webinar (on Employee Engagement)

Even if you’re not focused on employee productivity, this flow webinar is worth watching because it has a brand new flow demo that features Summer ’19 features and is basically the latest, greatest content on Flow. Multiple product managers put time into this one, and the quality is high.

Watch Now

Generate URLs That Launch Flows with “Generate Flow Link”

This simple Flow Action generates URL’s that can be used to launch flows in your org. This is particularly useful when its used with UI that lets the user choose a flow from a list of flows. The combination of the Flow List ‘picker’, followed by Generate Flow Link and then used with Open URL enhances the Dynamic flow launching scenario described here.

It takes the string API Name of a flow and returns a URL that will launch that flow. The latest version of this flow (1.1, available below) also can take up to three optional input params.

Example: if you’re on org and you pass this action the string ‘myFlow’ it will return: “”, which if put into an email or on a flow screen and clicked upon will launch myFlow

Install Unmanaged

Official Transition Information Regarding Rich Text and Flow Text Templates

Salesforce put together this FAQ to provide details on some of the subtleties involved in the transition from the old HTML Text Templates to the new standardized approach used by Flow Builder as of Summer ’19. Check it out.

Navigate to a Record in View or Edit Mode at the end of a Flow

A common need in Flows is to be able to redirect the user to a new record that may have been created in the Flow. This new Lightning Flow Action can be used to redirect the user to the specified record in either View Mode or Edit Mode.