In Salesforce several tools automate the organization’s business processes.

Automating the business process is crucial so as identifying the tool from which it should be implemented.

There are several tools for automating the processes in Salesforce:


Workflows in Salesforce


Workflow in Salesforce is a platform business logic engine that allows you to define rules to automate certain actions when a particular criteria is met.

Workflow rules are considered as a container that consists of two components:

a. Criteria:

It consists of the condition which if found true then the actions should take place.

b. Actions:

It consists of the actions that should be performed when the criteria for workflow rule are met.


Every Workflow rule must be based on a single object because when a rule is defined this object influences the fields that will be available to set the criteria.

There are 3 types of evaluation criteria for Workflows in Salesforce:



Criteria for rules can be represented as a condition or a formula. Actions in workflow rules are of 2 types based on when they are executed:

1. Immediate Actions:

These actions are executed immediately when the criteria for a rule is met.


2. Time-Triggered Actions:

These actions execute at a specific time which is specified when creating this type of action.

In these types of actions when the date or time comes on which the action needs to be executed, it again verifies that the record is still meeting the criteria or not. If yes then it executes the respective action otherwise not.


There are 4 actions which can be specified in a workflow rule:


1. Email Alert:


It sends automated emails using an email template.

Salesforce provides functionality to create email templates that can be used to send emails.

There are 4 types of Email templates:

a. Text:

All users can create or change text email templates.

b. HTML with letterhead:

Administrators and Users with “Edit HTML Templates” permission can create HTML email templates based on a letterhead.

c. Custom HTML:

Administrators and users with “Edit HTML Templates” permission can create HTML email templates without using a letterhead.

d. Visualforce:

 Administrators & Developers can create templates using Visualforce.  Visualforce email templates allow for advanced merging with a recipient’s data where the content of a template can contain information from multiple records.


Email templates are stored in folders. There are 2 folders already present in every Salesforce org:

Unified public Email Templates

Email Templates in this folder are available to every user in the organization.

My Email Templates

This folder stores the email templates which are used personally by a particular user.



If another object’s field is added in an email template then it will be left blank as workflows only have access to the object for which it is applied.


2. Field Update:


Field updates allow automatic change of a field value on the record that initially triggered the workflow rule. If “Re-evaluate Workflow Rules after Field Change” is enabled for a field update action then Salesforce re-evaluates all workflow rules on the object if the field update results in a change to the value of the field.

Only workflow rules that didn’t fire before will be retriggered. Cross Object field updates are also available for changing the values of fields on a related master record. But it is not available when re-evaluation is checked.


3. Tasks:


It simply assigns a task to a single user, owner, or a role. We can also make sure that a notification email is sent to the assignee when a task is automatically assigned. Tasks should be assigned to roles if they have only one user assigned to that role. If there are more than one user assigned to that role then the task automatically gets assigned to the owner of the workflow rule Users who triggered the workflow rule.


4. Outbound Message:


An outbound message sends particular information to a designated endpoint such as an external service. These types of messages can be listened to using a SOAP API.

All the above actions can be used as an immediate action as well as time trigger actions. Time-triggered actions which are already triggered are visible in Time Based Workflow Queues.

Administrators can also set default workflow users. Default Workflow users are the users that will be visible when the user that triggered the rule is not active.



  • Time trigger actions cannot be added to active salesforce workflows. To add a time trigger action first deactivate the workflow rule then add an action.
  • Another time trigger cannot be added if there is already a time trigger action scheduled for that object and present in a time-based workflow queue.
  • The action a workflow rule takes can also trigger the execution of other workflow rules.

Click to learn about the Approval Process.

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