Workflow Vs Process Builder: Which One Your Company Needs?

workflow vs process builder a comparison

Process Builder Vs Workflows: Which Is The Future of Automation?

Which is the best – Process Builder or Workflow Rules?- is a never-ending debate among tech experts and business leaders. Automation is the ultimate key point of both process builder and workflow builder where their proficiency hypes utilizing them in specified business areas. Knowing the use cases, similarities, and where they differ will help you win the battle.

More than the similarities, their difference is what helps us decide its appropriate functionality. This blog can help you understand the similarities and differences between a workflow builder and a process builder.

Table of Contents

What Is A Process Builder?

Process Builder is a tool designed by Salesforce that allows you to automate more complex business processes. It has a visual interface that allows you to define the logic of your process using a flowchart-style layout. Process Builder is a point-and-click tool in Salesforce that allows you to automate business processes by creating rules that evaluate records as they are created, updated, or deleted.

Process builder allows you to define criteria for when your process should end, including advanced logic like OR and NOT operators. It also allows you to define multiple actions to be taken when your process ends, including creating new records, updating records, sending emails, and more.

Process builder also supports time-based actions that trigger at a specific time after the process fires. Process builder has some limitations in terms of outbound messages.

Process builder is more powerful than Workflow Rules, as it allows for more advanced automation processes involving multiple steps and actions. Let us dig deeper into the features of Process Builder and its uses:

Create Multiple Records in the Same Object:

Process builders can create multiple records in the same object at once. This can be useful for creating related records or records with complex relationships.

Record updation in related records:

Update Records Based on Complex Criteria: The process builder allows users to define complex criteria for when a record should be updated. This can include evaluating multiple conditions using AND, OR, and NOT operators.

Post to Chatter:

Process builder is used to posting to Chatter, Salesforce’s collaboration platform. This can be useful for notifying users of updates or for starting discussions around specific records.

Flow launch/ trigger:

Process builder allows you to create approval processes, allowing users to automate the approval of records based on specific criteria.

Auto-approval and submission:

Process builder allows users to schedule actions to occur at a specific time in the future. This can be useful for automating processes that require a delay or for sending reminders to users.

Trigger apex code calling:

Process builders can call apex methods, allowing users to customize their automation processes even further. Generally, apex methods are written in a typical programming language like object-oriented programming.

Other process/ Process builder invoke:

process builder may involve apex codes to invoke another process or process builder.

It lets you send a custom notification as an email alert. Editing a saved process requires you to clone it first and created actions can’t be re-used and every criterion requires evaluation.

The process builder has options to call flow, view previous versions, and use Quip to perform an action/ quick action. But too many records handled at a single instance can impact system performance and make it harder to maintain and troubleshoot the automation. Sometimes, it is even worse to make the system crash.

What Are Workflow Rules?

Workflow Rules are the simplest tool for automation. Workflow rules is an automation tool in Salesforce and utilize specific rules to create, update or delete records. The rules can trigger various actions such as updating fields, sending email alerts, creating tasks, and creating records. Workflow rules are typically used for simple automation tasks and are limited in their capabilities in Salesforce. 

When creating a workflow rule, it’s important to make sure that the criteria and actions are well-defined and appropriate to the business process being automated. These actions can be immediate or time-triggered. When a criterion is met, the workflow triggers the action of:

  • Updating a field on a record when a certain condition is met
  • Sending an email notification when a record is created or updated
  • Creating a task or event when a record is created or updated
  • Updating a record in response to a specific change

You can find the extended usability of workflow rules in the Salesforce process builder.

What Is Flow?

Flow is more complex and powerful, allowing for more advanced and customized automation processes using code-like logic. Process builder does not support user interaction while flows can automate complex business processes that require user input, perform complex data manipulation, and integrate with external systems. Flows can be either screened flow or auto-generated and are created using code-like logic for more advanced customization.

With flow, you can automate complex business processes as flows interact with the Salesforce database and execute the user-defined logic/ criteria. Flow also lets you:

  • create a series of screens, either as screen flows or auto-launched that guide users through a specific business process. 
  • Allow triggers to execute by a variety of events, including button clicks, record updates, and platform events.
  • design and guide the users with a wizard-style interface; screen elements and components are displayed in the visual interface to the user which is built with no-code.

Similarities of  a Process Builder and Workflow Builder:

Though both process and workflow builder are tools that focus on automation, they have wide similarities and differences to look into.Here are a few of them listed below.

  • Both process builder and workflow builder have a visual interface that allows you to define the logic of your process using a flowchart-style layout. This makes it easy for even non-technical persons to understand and modify your process.
  • Process builder and workflow rules allow you to define criteria for when your process should end, including logic like if/Then using OR and NOT operators.
  • The drag-and-drop interface in both process and workflow builder allows users easy field updation and navigation.

Differences Between a Workflow and Process Builder

Workflow focuses on automating business processes and streamlining them with simple rules to align the tasks. A process builder helps you combine multiple workflows in a single process with a simple point-and-click interface.

Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses.Ideal for advanced automation of business processes.
Records cannot be deleted in a workflow and only some fields can be edited. You can delete an object but it removes all the related processes too.
One workflow- a single set of entry criteria.You can define multiple criteria and you can assign multiple tasks to each criterion. You can evaluate the multiple criteria using OR and NOt operators.
Admins can update only some fields in the parent record. Related objects fields can’t be updated.Process builder is not designed for updating records in bulk. Process builder can create new records but it can only create one record per object at a time. Child records can be updated.
No control over the sequence. (in salesforce workflow rules)Admins are privileged to establish the exact order of process execution.  But the order of execution specified can’t be changed.
You can communicate with other systems.Outbound messages are not supported.
Dependable and rarely crash.Simultaneous loading of multiple records can make the system crash.
Lightweight and afford to perform simple tasks efficiently. Though feature-rich, you cannot perform complex operations.
Cost-effectiveInvolves much cost as it requires calling apex codes for specific activities.
Workflow executes based on the specified rules and evaluates one outcome at a time.If an action fails, the system shows an error notification while the process is stopped. More than one output is possible as it involves many decision points.
The easy user interface allows no technical knowledge to define and automate the processes.Process building requires a learning curve to master and can be challenging for non-technical users to understand and use effectively.
Workflow Rules have a limited set of actions that can be taken when the criteria are met, and the process halts when criteria are not met.Process builder allows for a wider range of actions, such as creating records, posting to chatter, and calling apex code.

Process Builder Vs Workflow Builder Vs Flow

Process Builder Vs Workflow Builder

In general, workflow rules are faster and more lightweight than Process builders. Cflow workflow has parallel stages that will receive requests simultaneously. This is because workflow rules are evaluated as triggers and run as soon as the criteria are met. They are also limited to a specific set of actions, which means that they require fewer system resources to run.

Whereas, process builder is used to automate complex business processes with apex triggers. The workflow rule triggers another action or sets a time-dependent action for the same or a different workflow rule.

Process Builder Vs Flow

Process Builder offers many benefits for automating and streamlining business processes, but it also requires careful planning, design, and maintenance to ensure it functions properly and meets business requirements.

Process builder is harder to handle than workflow builder. Flow, on the other hand, is designed to guide users through a business process and allows for user input. Process builder has limited data manipulation capabilities. Flow, on the other hand, allows for complex data manipulation and can perform calculations and make decisions based on data. 

Process builder allows you to:

  • define processes that span multiple related objects.
  • define multiple actions to be taken when your process fires.
  • define time-based actions that trigger at a specific time after the process fires, such as sending a follow-up email a certain number of days after creating a record.
  • test and troubleshoot using the built-in debugger and testing functionality, time-based actions, such as sending a follow-up email a certain number of days after a record is created. 

On a final note, workflow rules are best for automation tasks and process builder or flow can be used for automating complex business processes but require user input and external tools for data manipulation, and integration with external systems. The choice of which tool to use depends on the complexity of the business process being automated and the specific requirements of the organization. A timely and wise approach to using workflow, process builder, or flow as and when required brings out the business wisdom in you.

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Which is Better and Faster? – Workflow Builder or Process Builder

Everyone looks for a tool that is simple and efficient to use. The tool may be feature-rich, but does it suit you the best is the real question here. The choice of tool to use should be based on the specific requirements of the automation process and the capabilities of each tool.

Here are a few focus points to decide on an automation tool and which suits you the best – Simplicity, functionality, limits, scalability, debugging, user experience, testability,speed, deployment time, and risk.

Complexity:

While the visual interface of Process Builder makes it easier to understand and configure than coding, complex processes can still be difficult to design and test.

Performance:

Processes created in Process Builder can impact system performance, particularly if they involve large volumes of data or complex logic.

Cost:

Depending on the complexity of the process, it may require a significant investment in time and resources to design and implement.

Maintenance:

As with any automation tool, processes created in Process Builder require ongoing maintenance to ensure they continue to function properly as business processes evolve.

When the nature of your business requires you to prioritize different aspects,  switching between different tools appears inevitable. Some business involves processes where speed is the priority while some prioritizes testability and user experience. Depending on your business requirements decide on the tool to automate. Deploying a wrong solution can easily hit system limits and impede existing processes. It is better to stick to the safer side than to be sorry! 

Be On The Safer Spot: Use Cflow To Automate Your Processes

Inefficient tools or solutions can create a destructive void in business operations and studies reveal it could even affect an organization’s revenue /profit margin. While Business process automation solutions like Cflow offer a visual workflow builder that encompasses more advanced features that are more similar and versatile to a Salesforce process builder. Let us explore Cflow’s visual builder in detail here. Automate using Cflow to have a positive impact on your business’s bottom line.

  • Cflow is a cloud-based workflow automation software allowing users to automate business processes and workflows using a visual interface and drag-and-drop components.
  • The workflow builder in Cflow allows users to create complex workflows that involve multiple steps and actions, such as creating records, sending notifications, and triggering external processes. 
  • Cflow features a visual interface that allows users to define the logic of their workflow using a flowchart-style layout.
  • Cflow also allows users to define criteria for when their workflow should end/halt, including advanced conditions like if/then and with  AND, OR, and NOT logic operators.
  • Cflow offers a variety of integration options, allowing users to connect their workflows to other systems and applications. This can include integration with popular tools like Zapier and Microsoft Power Automate. The outbound message is never a deal here with Cflow.
  • You can delete, edit, clone, and update records in the Cflow visual workflow builder while admins have full control over the order of execution of the workflow in a process.

Process builder in Salesforce, though known for handling specific tasks with advanced configuration, also involves a risk of system crash at bulk data handling instances. Why not opt for it, when it can be flexible to function as a workflow builder or process builder as/when required – BPM solutions like Cflow provide the most feature of a process builder in the workflow builder setup itself.

Process builder requires apex codes to trigger other processes/flows which makes technical knowledge a requisite to opt for. Whereas, workflows are simple and easy to handle and there is no need for technical expertise in Cflow’s no-code platform. 

Small and medium businesses look for affordable and efficient solutions to automate their daily business tasks and that is the business-friendly approach already with Cflow! Salesforce workflow rules had progressive automation tools via workflow rules, process builder, flow, and apex codes. But when your meaning of automation is to make the most of everything, a no-code solution like Cflow’s visual workflow builder is the best choice for a business win-win.

Adopt the most versatile and readily available option to automate with Cflow. Sign up for the free trial now.

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