Lightning Flow Tutorials

These tutorials feature the new Flow Builder.

These are designed to work well both as an introduction to Flow for someone who has never used it and as an introduction for someone converting from Cloud Flow Designer.

Check them out here.

More Flow Resources

Official Sites

Flow Documentation (https://sfdc.co/flowdocs)

Lightning Flow Developer Center (https://sfdc.co/flowdev)

Community Sites

“Unofficial Flow” Community Site (unofficialsf.com)

Introduction: Using Salesforce Flow With Quip

The new Quip Flow Actions for Salesforce Flow open up new ways to combine the shared, universal accessibility of Quip with the power of Salesforce.

Video

Installation

Documentation

Here are some examples:

#1: Update Salesforce with Data From Different Quip Docs

In this example, Quip docs have been created for different Salesforce contacts. One scenario where this can be useful is when an enterprise has employees that don’t have Salesforce licenses. If each of those employees has a Quip document and a Contact representing them, the documents can be used to display data from Salesforce and collect data from the employees. (Note that this uses the new Spring ’19 Flow Builder):

A key element of this is that the name of each quip document is formed using a Flow formula:

To configure the Get Quip Sheet Data flow action, we do the following:

  1. Provide the name of the corresponding Quip doc. Start with a contact name, generate the ConstructedName using that formula, and pass it in to the flow action:

2) For each piece of data that we want to extract from the quip doc, we reference it by specifying the label value of the cell to its immediate left. This is one of three ways you can specify a specific cell value:

3) Finally, map the retrieved values from the Quip document to flow storage variables so you can use them later in the flow:

Side Discussion 1: Error Messags

Here I’ve created variables to map the Error Message and Is Success outputs. You don’t have to actually use these variables, but if you take the time to define them, then any error messages you get will show up in the debugger like this:

If I try to immediately update the Contact as soon as I get the data out of the Quip document like this:

Side Discussion 2: Mixing Callouts and Transactions

In my first attempt at setting up the flow, it looked like this:

When I ran the flow in the debugger, though, I got this error:

I had forgotten that you can’t use a callout (here, the flow action is “calling out” from Salesforce to the quip api endpoint) in the middle of an open Salesforce transaction. When flow loops, Salesforce prepares a single transaction so it can commit all of the loops with one database action, in the name of resource conservation.

I needed to restructure my flow and got a key hint from a brand new tooltip:

The tooltips in Flow Builder are completely overhauled and have a lot of extremely timely tips; they’re not just simple definitions.

The resulting flow uses a collection operator. Each time we go through the loop, the modified contact is added to a new “updatedContacts” collection variable that can later be used to carry out the update.

#2 Clone a Quip Template and Update the Resulting Quip Sheets with Salesforce Data

Now let’s change direction and go From Salesforce To Quip. The use case is this: Given a set of Contacts, generate a custom Quip sheet for each one and fill it with Contact data. Then email the URL to each of the Contacts.

This might be useful if you want to generate shareable reports for your customers using data stored in Salesforce.

This flow features 2 of the new Quip Flow Actions:

Clone Quip Document is a simple action that duplicates a named document. Store Data in Quip Document does the heavy lifting of inserting flow data into specific Quip cells.

We create a Quip document to act as our template:

The Clone action generates a new quip sheet based on this template, and give it a name using a formula technique like the one described above.

The Store Data in Quip action lets you specify up to ten pieces of data to write to 10 cells. You can use several approaches to specify a target cell:

  1. Specify a label and indicate that the target cell is immediately to the right of that label (that’s what we’re doing)
  2. Specify a label and indicate that the target cell is immediately below that label
  3. Specify both a column label and a row label, in which case the target cell is the intersection of the column and row. This is great for updating a single cell in a table.
  4. Specify a cell by its absolute address (for example: B2)

The flow produces sheets like this:

and generates emails like this:

Row Operations

You can use the AddRowToQuipSheet action to add a row to a sheet using data from Salesforce or update an existing row.

Here’s an example of an Add:

And here’s a sample showing an Update:

Walkthroughs of these are provided in the video (see link at the top of this article.)

Quip User Management with Flow

There are also Flow Actions to Add a User to a Folder and Remove them from a Folder so you can add quip folder activation to your onboarding flows.

Quip Document Management with Flow

There are also Flow Actions to Rename a Quip Folder and Add a Quip Document to a Folder to make it possible to automate management of your Quip data.

Learn More:

Installation

Documentation

Documentation for Flow Actions for Quip

Now you can add the power of Quip documents to your flows with the help of these useful actions.

Introductory Blog Post

Video

Installation

Any action have at least two output parameters: IsSuccess, which shows if action was successful and ErrorMessage, that contains the meaningful explanation of what exactly went wrong in case of failure. The source code of the actions can be found here. The detailed description and instructions on how to install and enable these actions in your org can be found below. Generally, any Quip document can contain nested sheet so all actions that work with the sheet data allow to specify the sheet name (otherwise, the first sheet will be used)


CreateQuipSheet

Creates a new Quip spreadsheet with the specified name. Optionally, a path to folder can be specified (otherwise, a file will be created under authenticated user’s private folder). URL of the New File output parameter contains the URL that can be used to open the newly created file in the browser.

CreateQuipSheet input parameters

CreateQuipSheet output parameters

CloneQuipDocument

Clones Google Sheet file located under the specified path. IsSuccess will be set to False if file doesn’t exist. URL of the Copy output parameter contains the URL that can be used to open the newly created file in the browser.

CloneQuipDocument input parameters

CloneQuipDocument output parameters

GrantAccessToQuipDocument

Shares a specific Quip document with specific users (email addresses). IsSuccess will be set to False if document doesn’t exist. There are five input parameters to specify user email (User #1–5) in case your inputs are kept separate but any of these parameters also accept a comma-separated list of emails.

GrantAccessToQuipDocument input parameters

RevokeAccessToQuipDocument

Revokes access to specific Quip document from specific users (email addresses). IsSuccess will be set to False if file doesn’t exist. There are five input parameters to specify user email (User #1–5) in case your inputs are kept separate but any of these parameters also accept a comma-separated list of emails.

RevokeAccessToQuipDocument input parameters

CreateQuipFolder

Creates new Quip folder and all sub-folders under the path specified. If only folder name is provided, creates new sub-folder in the authenticated user’s private folder.

CreateQuipFolder input parameters

RenameQuipFolder

Renames Quip folder located under the specified path. IsSuccess will be set to False if folder doesn’t exist.

RenameQuipFolder input parameters

AddQuipDocumentToFolder

Add Quip document with the specified name to the folder located under the specified path. If folder or any sub-folders in the path don’t exist, they will be created. IsSuccess will be set to False if folder doesn’t exist.

AddQuipDocumentToFolder input parameters

GetQuipSheetData

Retrieves data from Quip document located under specified path. Optionally, a sheet name can be specified, otherwise the first sheet of the document will be used. The location of the cell to retrieve can be defined with the set of parameters (#1–5) using the following rules:

  • If At Cell parameter is specified then the cell under the specific Excel-like address is retrieved (e.g. B2 or C100)
  • If Cell Below Which Label parameter is specified then the cell directly below the one with the specified value is retrieved;
  • If Cell to the Right of Which Label parameter is specified then the cell directly to the right of the one with the specified value is retrieved;
  • If both Cell Below Which Label and Cell to the Right of Which Labelparameters are specified then the cell that is located in the intersection of the respective column and row is taken.

GetQuipSheetData input parameters

GetQuipSheetData output parameters

Example sheet

So if we use the above sheet and input parameters then both Value #1 and Value #2 output parameters will have John’s Phone value.

Note that the Quip checkbox gets translated into the strings “True” and “False” when read into flow.

StoreDataInQuipSheet

Saves data to Quip documentlocated under specified path. Optionally, a sheet name can be specified, otherwise the first sheet of the document will be used. The location of the cell to save to can be defined with the set of parameters (#1–5) using the following rules:

  • If At Cell parameter is specified then the cell under the specific Excel-like address is updated (e.g. B2 or C100)
  • If Cell Below Which Label parameter is specified then the cell directly below the one with the specified value is updated;
  • If Cell to the Right of Which Label parameter is specified then the cell directly to the right of the one with the specified value is updated;
  • If both Cell Below Which Label and Cell to the Right of Which Labelparameters are specified then the cell that is located in the intersection of the respective column and row is updated.

StoreDataInQuipSheet input parameters

AddRowToQuipSheet (or Update)

Adds a new row OR updates an existing row in the target Quip document’s sheet located under the specified path and populates specific columns with the values specified. The columns can be defined by either values located there or column part of the Excel-like address (e.g. A from A2)

AddRowToQuipSheet input parameters

To make the operation an update instead of a new row, specify the index column that you want to match on by setting its “Use Value as Index for Update” attribute to true as shown here:


Note that the updating match function works with multiple columns, so you can use a combined First Name column and Last Name column to identify existing rows:


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Flow Actions for Google Apps

This site is the home of Salesforce Flow Actions for Google Sheets. This is not an official Salesforce site or software.

These flow actions make it easy to use Google Sheets and Google Docs with Lightning Flow.

 

 

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

post

New Flow Screen Components on the AppExchange: Swipey and Flow Magic

Some excellent screen components are starting to get published as Salesforce Labs packages on the new Flow Solutions section of AppExchange. These require no code at all.

Swipey is essentially a Multi-Select Picklist control with a fun, visual swipe-left, swipe-right usage model:


Flow Magic provides a way to create picklists that use images and icons. It’s a Visual Picker builder:


Service Agent Script provides a high-visibility talking script component:


Using Flow with Chat, Bots and SMS via Twilio and Authy

Never have we crammed so many different forms of awesome into one solution. Special guest appearance by Custom Metadata Types.

Credit to Kamlesh Patel who actually built this demonstration and the components in it.

Check out the video: https://youtu.be/G5q6jiBkqoI



How to Build a Flow Action with Apex

The other day I built a flow action that generates random numbers. While doing it, I recorded the process, because we don’t have a lot of tutorial material on how you can turn a chunk of useful Apex code into a nice, declarative flow action.

Here it is.

For a general introduction to the invocable action interface, check this out.


Understanding Invocable Actions

Invocable Actions are, in my opinion, one of the most underappreciated elements of Salesforce technology, up there with Platform Events and External Services. To complement the offical docs, here’s an introduction.

The Invocable Actions mechanism allows developers to package useful code functionality into declarative building blocks that can be used by admins and other non-coding users in a growing range of Salesforce tools, including the Flow Builder, the forthcoming Next Best Action Strategy Builder, and more. 
 
 When you build an invocable action, you define in your Apex class each of the inputs that you want to expose to declarative building tools and the REST interface, and each of the outputs that you promise to provide back when your work is done.
 
 
 Example, on the AppExchange, you can install the Send SMS via Twilio flow action. Like all installable flow actions, it is built as an invocable actions. When you install it from AppExchange, it shows up in the Flow palette:


Flow Actions can be installed as managed packages, so that you can push upgrades to customer orgs.

Creating an Invocable Action

To create an invocable action, first build an apex class that carries out a useful piece of work. It’s a recommended practice to orient this class around a single, focused activity that can be expressed as a verb-noun phrase, such as Post to Chatter or Send SMS via Twilio. 
 
 There are three key mechanisms that turn an ordinary apex class into an invocable action:
 
 1) Adding an InvocableMethod interface to one of the methods
 The InvocableMethod interface signals to Salesforce that this class should be exposed to consumers of invocable actions like the Flow Builder. You will place it on a single method in your apex class. InvocableMethod is discussed here.
 
 2) Defining and marking the variables that will be exposed as input and output variables
 You expose a variable as a public input or output on your action by marking it with the InvocableVariable interface, described here
 
 Recommended Practices
 1) Name your Apex Class For Clarity
 When your invocable action shows up in Flow and other action consumers, it will display the name of your class. Pick a class that follows the Verb-Noun Phrase pattern described above
 
 2) Group your Variables into Classes For Easier Manipulation
 The invocable action interface is designed to support bulk operations, and part of this manifests itself in the fact that the input type of an invocable action is always a List of some type. If you have more than one input variable the best way to handle it is to define a separate apex class that contains the definitions of all of the input variables. You then can pass back a List of this class. Here’s an example:
 
 a) here, we create a ‘Request’ class to hold all of the inputs to our action:


Here’s where the invocable method defines its readiness to receive a List of these sets of inputs:

global class ConvertLeadAction {
@InvocableMethod(label='Convert Leads')
global static List<ConvertLeadActionResult> convertLeads(List<ConvertLeadActionRequest> requests) {
.
.
.
}

Similarly, you can see how the above method signature defines the expected results as a List of a class called ConvertLeadActionResult class. We define this ‘Result’ class to hold all of the expected outputs:


In this example, when the action is called, the list of request sets is passed to the ConvertLeadAction method. For each request set, a corresponding results set is initialized and then populated with the results of the action’s processing:


Resources

Invocable Variable doc page

Invocable Method doc page

Action Developer Guide

Flow Actions in AppExchange

How to Build a Flow Action

Installable Flow Actions as Unofficial Flow (NOT supported by Salesforce)