Lightning Flow Local Actions — Summer Update

The Local Actions feature in Lightning Flow becomes generally available in the Summer ’18 release of Salesforce. This feature extends the range of things you can do with flow by allowing lightning component-based flow extensions.

Flow has long had the ability to incorporate extensions that leverage Apex classes and recently gained the ability to leverage arbitrary REST endpoints via the Open API specification (aka Swagger) via Salesforce’s External Services feature. However, both of those technologies execute in the Salesforce cloud, while Local Actions execute, like all lightning components, on your device in the browser.

The first thing this allows you to do is Browser Integration. The browser provides many useful features that websites use extensively, such as popping up alerts and playing sound. Available Local Actions that can be installed into your Salesforce org include Load Web Page, Play Sound, and Show Toast.

Another powerful capability is Direct Data Queries. Local Actions can make RESTful calls, and these calls travel directly from your browser to the target web service without going through the Salesforce cloud (which is how RESTful calls made via Apex and External Services work). If you have on-premises data services or a private cloud, you might like this ability to avoid round-tripping through Salesforce and an external port in your firewall.

A third powerful feature enabled by Local Actions is Improved Flow Finish Behaviors. As Salesforce has improved the range of places where you can insert a flow, the need has grown for greater control over “what happens when the flow is done?” You can now insert flow elements at the end of your flow that result in the loading of a new web page, navigation to a specific salesforce record, and navigation to a related list. And definitely check out the new Navigation Buttons.

Running Local Actions in Summer ‘18

Local Actions are generally available in Summer ’18. You only have to make sure that your org is properly configured to use lightning components. To do this:

  1. you must have My Domain enabled and deployed
  2. you must have the “Enable Lightning Runtime for Flows” checkbox enabled in Setup — Process Automation Settings

You do not need to be using the lightning experience to use these flow extensions, but if you’re running in the classic experience you need to use the lightning flow component on a visualforce page. (Furthermore, some of the local actions use force events that do not run properly when you run flows from Flow Setup, which doesn’t use a standard implementation of the lightning container. Those local actions are the “navigate” actions.)

Transitioning Spring ’18 Local Actions to Summer ‘18

If you have local actions that you’ve built yourself on a Spring ’18 org, you’ll need to modify them to run on Summer ’18, because the interfaces changed.

If you installed packages from lightningflow.net, look for new Summer ’18 versions here now.

If you built your own, more information is provided here.

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