Salesforce.com certified Force.com Developer Certification Tutorial # 5: Implementing Business Process

This blog post is the fifth tutorial of the Salesforce.com Certified Force.com Developer Certification tutorial series titled ‘Implementing Business Process’. The following is the list of tutorial series.

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Exam Outline for Implementing Business Process

Business Logic 23 %
List and describe how to create formulas, validation rules, and workflow rules
Given a scenario, determine which Force.com feature to use to solve a business requirement and/or describe how to apply the solution
List and describe the capabilities of the Force.com approval processes
Given a scenario, select the appropriate features of Force.com approval processes to satisfy business requirements
List and describe the features of the Force.com platform for debugging and monitoring automated business processes
Describe use cases for extending business logic through Force.com code

 V. Implementing Business Process

1. Implenting Business Processes

  • can be used for
    • preserving data quality
    • automatic processes
    • keeping processes from getting ‘stuck’
    • keeping systems in sync
    • auditing
  • Features
    • Formula fields
    • Validation rules
    • Approval process
    • Workflow Rules
    • Outbound Messaging
    • Field History Tracking
    • Setup Audit Trail
  • Functions
    • ischanged – compares with previous value and returns true if it is changed
    • priorvalue – returns the previous value of the field
    • isnew – checks if a formula is running during creation of new record and returns true if it is
    • ispickval – determines if the value of pickuplist is equal to specified string
    • regex – string used to describe the format of the string according to certain syntax rules. It compares a text field to regular expression and returns true, if there is a match
    • vlookup – returns value by looking up a record value in a custom object. It checks against a key and returns value from that key.
    • isnumber – returns true if a text value is number
    • case – checks against a series of values
    • image – inserts an image
    • htmlencode – encodes text stings and merge field values for use in html (e.g. ‘<‘)
    • jsencode – encodes text strings and merge field values for use in javascript (e.g. apostrophe)
    • jsinhtmlencode – encodes text strings and merge field values for use in javascript within html tags
    • urlencode – encodes text strings and merge field values for use in URLs
  • System Logs
    • display logging info, cumulative limits and source code of transaction
    • used for debugging code snippets
    • used to view debug log or execute anonymous code blocks
    • display system resource info
  • Log levels
    • from lowest to highest
    • Error – lowest, produces distinct results and only error messages
    • warn – warn and error
    • info – info, warn and error
    • debug – includes low level and calls to system.debug
    • Fine/Finer – system.debug, dml, soql/sosl, entrance and exit
    • Finest – includes all messages in previous levels and on apex scripts
  • Debug Logs
    • contain info on database changes, automated workflow processes, validation rules
    • request-response xml, apex script errors, and resources used by an apex script
    • records errors and system processes that occur in an org
    • can be retained and managed for specific users
    • 20 logs can be retained for an org, when max is reached, oldest one is overwritten
    • debug log is different system log
    • system log refers to console link at the top of the page
    • underlying logging system is same
    • sysetm log is live console, debug log is persistent store

2. Preserving Data Quality

  • Validation Rules
    • used to verify that the data entered meets the standards before the user saves the record.
    • Can contain formulas or expressions that evaluate the data in one or more fields
    • return true or false
    • are executed for fields that are stored in the object, but not part of the displayed page layout
  • can be used for
    • enforce conditionally required fields
    • enforce required data formats
    • enforce data consistency
    • prevent data loss
  • can be used in conjunction with a roll-up summary field can be used to prevent users from adding or deleting records

3. Automating Business Processes with Workflow

  • Workflow Rules
    • Entry Criteria then Immediate Actions or Time dependent actions
    • Steps
      • Specify the object (both standard & custom objects are ok)
      • Select Evaluation Criteria
        • only when a record is created
        • when it’s created or edited and now meets the cirteria
        • every single time the record is created or updated
      • Define rule criteria
        • filters or formulas
      • Workflow Actions: immediate or later time
        • Tasks – can be assigned to user, role or record owner
        • Email Alerts – can send email to one or more recipients (from address can be current user address or org wide address)
        • Field Updates – can update a field value on a record (including record type/owner)
        • Outbound Messages – can send specific info to designated endpoint in form of API/SOAP message
      • Time-Dependent Workflow
        • triggered depending on elapsed time (evaluated off of any date field in Salesforce)
        • time-dependent actions have a time trigger
        • the action is queued to fire
      • Some considerations
        • cannot use time-dependent workflow when a rule is set for evaluation, every time a record is created or updated
        • when a new workflow rule is created, it does not affect existing records
        • can monitor and remove pending actions by viewing the time-dependent workflow queue
        • if a record that has an action pending against it in the time-based workflow queue is modified so that the record no longer meets the criteria or the timing changes, the action will be updated in the queue
        • if a record no longer meets the time-based workflow rule criteria, the action is removed from queue

4. Automating business processes with Approval Processes

  • automates routing of records for approval
  • contain one or more steps and can be logically split into 6 steps
  • not automatically sent for approval, user has to submit
  • steps
    • process definition
      • it is determined which records should enter the process and what settings should apply to the whole process.
    • initial submission actions
      • developers decide what happens to a record after it is submitted for approval – actions are locking a record, assigning a task, sending an email, updating a field, sending an outbound message
    • step definition
      • developers determine whether all records should enter the step or whether records only meeting the criteria are chosen.
        • if later is chosen, developer defines the criteria for entry to the step. developer also assigns the approver and determine whether the approver can delegate
        • if there are multiple steps, developers can decide what should happen if a record is rejected at a step after the first step: should it go back one step, or should it be considered a final rejection
    • final rejection actions
      • developers define the actions to be taken when a record is rejected
      • actions are: unlock a record, assign a task, send an email, update a field, send an outbound message
    • final approval actions
      • developers define actions to be taken when a record is approved
      • actions are: unlock a record, assign a task, send an email, update a field, send an outbound message
    • recall actions
      • developers define actions to be taken when a record is recalled from the process.
  • Workflow Rule vs Approval Process
    • Workflow rule
      • are triggered upon save
      • consist of one set of criteria and actions
      • can be modified or deleted
    • Approval process
      • triggered only when a user clicks submit for approval
      • consist of multiple steps, have entry criteria, step criteria and step actions; have initial submission actions, rejection and approval actions and actions for each step
      • some attributes can’t be modified, processes must be deactivated before they can be deleted
  • Skipping steps
    • allows developers to skip steps within an approval process based on specific criteria
    • skip step is a step that has criteria defined to determine whether or not approval is required
    • 3 options
      • go to next step
      • approve record
      • reject record
    • considerations
      • Go to next step” option is only available when editing a step that already has an ensuing step (so first create ensuing step)
      • selection the “go to next step” option in a step and subsequently delete all ensuing steps, sf changes the step to automatically reject record, if the step criteria are not met
      • selecting the “go to next step” in the first step when the record does not meet the criteria for any of the steps in the approval process, rejects the record
  • Parallel approval process
    • can send approval upto 25 different users simultaneously
  • Dynamic Approval Process
    • Used to route records for approval based on complex approval matrices
    • Used to route approval requests to users listed in lookup fields on the record requiring approval
    • Steps
      • create a lookup fields on the object beign approved
        • uses lookup relationship
        • if it requires 3 approvers, then create 3 lookup relationships
      • Create a custom object as an approval matrix
      • Populate the approval matrix
      • Create Apex code to fill in the lookup fields from the approval matrix
      • Create or update an approval process to utilize the new lookup fields
  • Automated processes occur in the following order
    • Validation Rules->Assignment rules->Auto-Response rules->Workflow rules->Escalation rules

5. Auditing Processes

  • Setup Audit Trail
    • tracks changes made to the setup of an org
    • lists the date of the change, the name of the user who made the change and a description of the change
    • displays 20 most recent changes
    • tracks changes for 180 days
    • can choose upto 20 fields per object for tracking changes
  • Field History Tracking
    • allows to track the history related lists for cases, contacts, leads, opportunities, solutions, accounts, contracts, and custom objects
    • modification to any standard or custom field, whose history is set to be tracked, results in a new entry in the History related list
    • for most field types, both the old and new values are captured in the History related list; however those values are not tracked for long text area and multi-select picklist type fields
    • tracks changes for upto 20 fields
  • 3 tools
    • debug logs, setup audit trail, field history
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