Before we proceed to educate our readers on “How to Enhance User Experience with Lightning and Flow ?”. Let us understand “What is Flow?” in terms of Salesforce and Lightning experience. Flow is nothing but a tool in Salesforce that can configure and can even be compared with a tool like Visio – the only difference is it can do some activities like data query, update and delete records and make complex logical decisions as well.
Although it is similar to Process builder but it is important to remember that it comes with screens. The users simply provide some input, in the form of a preconceived logic. It is here that you need to use Lightning runtime that can be turned on any org – even in Classic. This in what turns on an engaging look to Flow. Lightning runtime will have the look and feel of the Lightning experience.
Next, we will find “How to setup Lightning Runtime?”.
How to setup Lightning Runtime?
Just Navigate to setup and arrive at process automation settings – for putting on the Lightning runtime. However, this cannot be done when flow is embedded in some Visualforce page – one that alters the CSS. This enables flow to run in the Classic environment. However, there are certain questions that prop up in our minds – as to why Lightning component get used in the Flow.
Why Use Lightning Components in Flow?
Afterall, Lightning components are codes, so what then is the point to use them in flow. Flows are not good at displaying of lists say an account list. So, it becomes easier for the Lightning component to display. It is definitely much easier than writing any code or integrating with Salesforce page.
In this post, we will highlight on some of the outstanding features of flow.
1. Flow in Tab
In Lightning, we can create a dedicated page which has an embedded flow in it. There is no Visualforce side involved into this, whatsoever. You need to go the Lightning app builder from the Set up. Create a new Lightning page by choosing an app page. This is just for the flow. You need to save and activate this page. You can now run this flow tab, in your mobile client running as your mobile menu.
2. Actions in Flow
They are predefined fields but looks like a button. You need to create a new action in the objects section and a flow type. But there is one thing that is important here to remember that once the flow is created there exists no way to manually determine an input variable.
So, you need to use a variable named as recordId – that is case sensitive and can be used inside the flow variable. The action recognizes this automatically as an input variable. This enables you to have a context in your flow. So, once you click on an existing flow -something may pop up known as mottl.
You pass this recordId – as it is not possible to pass some of the variables. Flow allows you to prefill any piece of information. This is done with default field values present on the flow screen.
There can be multiple flows that are useful to the user – to be displayed on the screen. This way they can have access to various information as and when required.
3. Actions as used in the Mobile Clients
When we use a mobile client and we want to avoid loading time, then we can instead use a flow at the bottom of the screen. Here we make use of a cross-object flow – that runs from the mobile.
4. Utility bar
Although meant for the Service Console it can also be used in any app or a collection of apps. This can be used in the form of recent items/notes of the user. It is possible to run the utility bar in a flow. For this, you need to go to the App Manager and have a collection of tabs. So, you choose the utility bar for a particular app. Guided actions are no longer available in the history of the utility bar.
5. Lightning Components in Flow
In any Lightning components, there is a base component. It is not possible to break the components any further say for example spinners, icons, dropdowns etc. These can be added to a collection of other Lightning Components. You can see flow screen components in the Winter 19 – which can be added. Other than these we have a Lightning flow.net page. It comprises of the Lightning Components – to be added to any instance. You can an updated version of these downloaded from this page.
6. Lookup field used in a Flow
We can have lookup field in a flow – with a Lightning Components.
7. Dependent Picklist
This is new in Winter 19 which has a dependent picklist – that when checked with an answer shows a dynamic content like another question that pops up. This can be downloaded from the Lightning flow.net. It sounds cool, right?
8. Local Actions.
Next, we delve with local actions. It interacts with the browser and resides in your flow and is capable of accessing the tabs, databases within VPN or intranet. Local action can fetch the data onto the browser. They are not yet in Winter 19 Release as yet.
9. Custom Messages
Custom messages can popup on the screen by using a toast. Toast are the message/notification boxes that show message/notification on top of a view. You can now access an URL with a flow. No need to have a Visualforce page. This is also possible in the Winter 19 Release. You can pass any recordId into local action and it simply goes there. These are obtainable from the Lightning Flow.net page.
10. Lightning Flow for Service
What was earlier known as Guided Engagement is now known by the name of Lightning flow for service. This enables your agents to stay on focus – so as to solve the cases faster. We go the service console and all that needs to be done is to add a guided action list.
It is a user access that enables a user to navigate to flow. In the guided action list component – there is a history tab. This shows the agents with details on where the flows started, paused, resumed or were completed. It is possible to add to the above list with predefined guided actions. This will them with those which are frequently used – at their fingertips. This ensures whatever is happening till date – identifying gaps and resolving issues as quickly as possible.
We can have multiple flows running at the same time – from dedicated tabs. The user can go to some other section but the flow remains on the screen – thanks to the service console remembering everything.
Flow is a tool that enables to take complex logical decisions. The input comes as the Lightning runtime. Flow is similar to the process builder but comes with the screens. It is possible to use actions in flow – that works well for mobile clients.
There are certain features that are missing still in Winter 19 Release. The flow cannot run on a system context unless the flow originates from a process builder. It is not yet possible to have filters while using the lookup field.