Process Builder and Actions (Quick Actions) are two of my favorite declarative tools that Salesforce has. I’ve had a few posts on Actions and how powerful they can be when you add in Process Builder and even sometimes Flow. I’ve also specifically had a few posts on how to write your Process Builders so that you can optimize them for speed (read here). Now, this idea on today’s post does go against the concept of having One Process Builder per Object, but I think it does pose a good argument against it. That argument is SPEED!
I’ve seen scenarios where we want to use Actions to create record(s). What if you want to create an Action that creates an Opportunity, which in affect you want to have the Opportunity Team dynamically updated, and maybe a few Tasks automatically assigned to the new Opportunity Owner? This is all stuff that a simple Process on the Opportunity Object will run perfectly, right? Yes. However, that automation can bring your Action to a crawl.
The inspiration for this post comes directly from some of my work in Apex. I discovered what Future Methods were when writing some really fun code a while back. In short, it just attempts to perform the action in the future, as opposed to during your current transaction (creating or updated a record). This allows you to bypass some limits that you might have otherwise had.
By moving our Actions from the Immediate Actions to Scheduled Actions and placing the Set Time to 0 Hours After [date field] to ensure that it fires almost instantly after the record creation or update.
After setting the time, add in your Actions.
The real advantage here is speed. By being able to delay certain actions from taking place in the transaction, you’re able to increase your save times. The result is a faster experience for your End Users. I don’t think I need to add anything to that 🙂
Disadvantages & Considerations
I’m aware that the list of disadvantages for the one advantage might comes off like one of those drug commercials with 30 seconds full of side affects… but here we go 🙂
The biggest disadvantage to me is that the record(s) that you might be creating or updating won’t be “ready” instantly. If the User using the Action is also the one whose expecting some of those Actions to happen automatically, then maybe it isn’t the best solution for them.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, this does go against the One Process Builder per Object design pattern. If you have a scheduled action, you’re not able to do the “evaluate next” inside your Process. That post, like this one, is not a mandate that you must follow. As the Admin/Dev running your Org, you should be able to make an educated decision on what is best for your scenario.
The last consideration around implementing this is understanding its impact on testing. It is much harder to test something that happens in the future. This affects your manual testing and any Apex Test Classes. I would be surprised if you didn’t have any scheduled actions in your Process Builders and Workflow Rules… so it isn’t like this type of action isn’t being used today by many of us.
Putting it all together
The goal of this post is to not say you must use delayed Process Builder actions. It is simply to add one more tool to your tool belt for when you’re working with Process Builder and Flow. These concepts are not one-size-fits-all… adjust the concepts to fit your Org.