Learning Flow in Salesforce for a non-developer can feel like an uphill battle sometimes. While we are not actually writing code, everything in our Flow is theoretically designed and written similarly to how we would write that Flow as a Trigger. Flow allows us to open the door to becoming a Developer without actually having to write code. We’re now able to do a number of tasks that you would previously have had to call up a Developer for. We typically have a great idea of our Standard Objects and Custom Objects we have created, but thats it when we start out onto our ‘developer’ path. To truly be successful we need to understand even more!
So, what is our tool for understanding all of the Objects that are now at our disposal to use? Well, we could use our Flow and simply just scroll through every Object and then look at the available fields. I did this when I first started out to learn what was available for me to do. Scrolling through you’ll probably find an Object you didn’t think would be available. However, pay attention to the differences between Lookups, Updates and Creates. Not all Objects are available in all three elements!
I still go into an element and see what fields are available on that Object. The issue with this is I’m not always sure what the field’s purpose is. This is when the SOAP API Developers Guide comes to the rescue!
I’ll try to keep this link updated, but this is the documentation on Standard Objects. Its a quick place for you to grab the Object you’re working on and understand everything available on it: https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.api.meta/api/sforce_api_objects_list.htm
Lets go over what you’ll find in this documentation:
Lets you know the API Name of the Object you’re dealing with. For instance, if you wanted to do something around a Queue, the Object Name you’d be looking for is Group.
Gives you a brief description for what the Object is used for. Typically this is only one sentence long, but it can help clarify if you are unsure what the Object is.
Lets you know what is allowed to be done through the API on the Object. You’ll want to keep an eye out for the words Create, Update, Upsert, Delete to let you know what the limits are on the Object. Typically the limits that you see under the Support Calls will translate over to your Flow – however not every Object in the documentation is available in Flow at this time.
Lists all of the Standard Fields on the Object. I find this where I get the most value out of this documentation. We are given the Type as well as the Properties and a Description of the field. The combination of these really can help you when you’re diving into a new Object that you’ve not yet familiarized yourself with. You’ll find information out like the possible values or the field length.
RECAP: Learning to get comfortable with the Developer Documentation will help you understand the backend of Salesforce better. If you run into a question around what you can or can’t do, its the best resource! If you don’t find what you were looking for, grab a Developer Org or Sandbox to run a test.