A workflow rule is the main container for a set of workflow instructions. These instructions can always be summed up in an if/then statement. For example:

If it’s raining, then bring an umbrella.

*Whenever possible you should automate your if/then statements with Process Builder instead of workflow rules (why?).

Two parts of a workflow rule:

  1. Criteria. The if part of the if/then statement. What must be true of the record for the workflow rule to execute the associated actions.
  2. Actions. The then part of the if/then statement. In other words, what to do when the record meets the criteria.

Criteria is more granular still. It’s made of:

  • The object
  • Evaluation criteria (e.g. only when records created)
  • Rule criteria (identify what must be true about the record for Salesforce to execute the actions)

For example:

  • An account (object)
  • is created or updated (evaluation criteria) and
  • is located in Texas (rule criteria)

Actions have two options:

  • Immediate
  • Time-dependent

There are four types of workflow actions:

  1. Email alert
  2. Task
  3. Field update
  4. Outbound message

I created a Workflow rule as part of a Trailhead challenge:

  • On the case object
  • Evaluated on create and when it doesn’t meet the criteria but is subsequently edited to meet the criteria
  • When the case priority equals high and case closed equals false
  • There was a field update workflow action, ticking the escalated checkbox
  • Created a new task called “follow up on escalated case” that was assigned to the case owner

I already felt pretty confident with workflow rules but doing this module has made me feel that I understand the logic behind it. For example now I realise there are the two distinct steps of criteria and actions. And I feel like I can memorise what workflow actions can be: create a task, field update, create a record and send an outbound message. Of course, going through something I’m already competent in has the benefit of making one a little bit more competent. So now I can do it a bit quicker and with less energy wasted. I’m also better able to “chunk” it into larger solutions.

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