Converting a Flow Builder Flow Version Back to Cloud Flow Designer

Please note: this is the unofficialsf.com blog, and this post is as unofficial as they come. The following technique is offered without warranty or support.

The Spring ’19 release of Flow Builder has some gaps in functionality — such as copy and paste — that some people have found necessary to be efficient when building flows. While the Salesforce teams are working on filling in the gaps, it is possible (in Spring ’19) to re-enable Cloud Flow Designer in the Process Automation Settings by deselecting the “Disable access to Cloud Flow Designer” option. When this option is deselected, flow versions that were saved in Cloud Flow Designer are opened Cloud Flow Designer, and flow versions that were saved in Flow Builder are opened in Flow Builder.

But what if you’ve made — and saved — a bunch of changes to your flow in Flow Builder, and only then you decide you want to go back to Cloud Flow Designer? Well, the engine that runs your flows is the same for both versions: although the user interface for building the flow has changed, the metadata created by Flow Builder is pretty much the same as the metadata created by Cloud Flow Designer. There’s nothing in theory to prevent a flow version that was saved in one tool from being opened in the other, except that there isn’t a means to do it in the user interface.

The following technique allows you to move a Flow Builder flow version back to Cloud Flow Designer. Again, this is not supported by Salesforce: you’re going to want to test your flow carefully after you move it back to Cloud Flow Designer. But if you’ve done a lot of work on your flow in Flow Builder already and you really feel like you need to go back to Cloud Flow Designer, and reverting to a previous version isn’t an option, this solution may work for you.

  1. Enable access to Cloud Flow Designer by deselecting the “Disable access to Cloud Flow Designer” option in Process Automation Settings.
  2. If you’re in Lightning, switch back to Salesforce Classic. (This is temporary – it allows you to see and modify the flow version IDs in the URL. You can turn Lightning back on when you finish moving your flows.)
  3. Open the Flow Builder flow version you want to move. Look at the browser URL bar: it will be something like https://org.lightning.force.com/builder_platform_interaction/flowBuilder.app?isFromAloha=true&flowId=301B0000000TWbNIAW (the part after “301” will be different for you).
  4. Copy the part of the Flow Builder URL that starts with 301 (e.g. “301B0000000TWbNIAW”). This is the flow version ID.
  5. Open a flow version that was created in Cloud Flow Designer. Any flow will work, it doesn’t have to be the same one that you opened in Flow Builder. Look at the browser URL; it will be something like https://org.my.salesforce.com/designer/designer.apexp#Id=301B0000000TSW8IAO (again, the part after “301” will be different for you).
  6. Replace the “301…” part in the Cloud Flow Designer URL with the ID that you copied from your Flow Builder version in step 4 (in my example, the modified URL would be https://org.my.salesforce.com/designer/designer.apexp#Id=301B0000000TWbNIAW).
  7. Press Enter in the URL bar to load the new flow ID into Cloud Flow Designer. You might have to press Enter a couple of times before the browser actually reloads — you’ll know it’s loading the new flow because you’ll see a progress indicator.
  8. Save the flow as a new flow or flow version. You now have a version that has all the changes from your Flow Builder flow, but can be opened in Cloud Flow Designer.

At this point, test your flow and make sure that everything is still working as expected. I verified that this worked for my flow by saving the Cloud Flow Designer version as a separate flow, adding both flows to a package, exporting it in Workbench, and doing a diff on the files: the only difference in the metadata was the name and an additional processMetadataValues element in the Flow Builder flow indicating that it was created using Flow Builder. You don’t have to test it my way. But you should still do some tests before continuing to enhance the flow. If you find it’s not working the way you expect, you can still return to your previous version.

You can now continue working on the flow in Cloud Flow Designer. You can also switch back to Lightning.

Note that in July 2019, Chrome, Firefox and other browsers will start to make it more difficult to enable the Flash plugin that is required to use Cloud Flow Designer, as the browsers prepare for Adobe’s end of life for Flash. If you’re comfortable staying in Flow Builder now, you should. But if it’s really not working for you right now, I hope this will help until Summer ’19 rolls out.

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