Flow: How To Use Before Save Record-Triggered Flow

Since Spring’20 release there is a new before save record-triggered flow option which sounds very fancy. The release note is one of the cutest I have ever read (it says “Update 10 Times Faster!!”), yet a difficult one to understand. Thus today we will translate that into super easy English!

The Concept Of Before-Save

There are many technical details regarding before-save trigger, but to me the most important part is to know the following:

Before-Save

After some record changes trigger the flow, you can update other fields of the record IN ONE SAVE.

Example: When Account Annual Revenue changes to a high number, I want to update the Account Rating to Hot. If I use before-save, I can execute all these actions at once. (The record is only saved one time)

After-Save

After some record changes trigger the flow, the system saves the changes first, and then you can update other fields or records in a second save.

Example: When Account Annual Revenue changes to a high number, I want to update the Account Rating to Hot. If I use after-save, the record is saved once when annual revenue changes and saved for the second time when the rating is updated to Hot.

Simply by knowing that after-save will execute at least one more saving, it is easy to understand why before-save is faster.

How Much Faster Exactly Is Before-Save?

Is it really 10 times? Well I found this brilliant blog who actually did the testing. It’s hard to say how Salesforce calculated 10 times, but at least we do know before-save trigger does run faster. A side note, do pay attention to the order of execution if you are working on your admin certificate 😉

If Before-Save Is So Amazing, Why Do We Need After-Save

The examples I provided above are silly. They are only for showing the difference between before and after-save for the same case, but it is really clear that before-save is the best option for that scenario. Then you might wonder why do we still need after-save. In fact, there are several actions that can only be achieved through the after-save trigger. Here is the official explanation from the release note:

  • Access field values that are set only after the record is saved, such as the Last Modified Date field or the ID of the new record.
  • Create or update related records.
  • Perform actions other than updating the record that launches the flow.

In short, the before-save trigger can only UPDATE the ORIGINAL RECORD that triggers the flow. If you want to do any other actions, you have to use the after-save trigger instead.

Cheatsheet: How To Decide When To Use Before-Save

I have prepared a simple cheatsheet for you to help you decide whether you should use before-save trigger:

Working On A Tricky Problem?

Not only does the before-save trigger run faster, but it also solves many problems in a super effective way. Just this month alone I had two people telling me the use cases of before-save triggers that either break Salesforce’s limitation or speed up the process enormously. Literally life-saving! Thus my sincere advice – always think about if a before-save trigger can solve the tricky problems before you jump into a complex solution.

Time For An Example!

Want to use a formula as the criteria in your duplicate rule? A before-save trigger can achieve that!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments