Process Builder vs Workflow

What is the business value of using Process Builder versus Workflow?

Process builder automates your business processes and provides a visual flow as you are creating the process.

There are three types of automation processes that Process Builder supports.

  • A record change process starts when a record is created or updated.
  • An event process starts when a platform event message is received.
  • An invocable process starts when something else, like another process, invokes it.

Each process contains:

  • Criteria that determine when to execute an action group.
  • Action groups, which consist of immediate or scheduled actions. Only record change processes support scheduled actions.

With that being said, why would an #awesomeadmin prefer to use Process Builder over Workflow?

More Automation

Process Builder includes more actions compared to Workflow actions. With Process Builder, you can:

  • Create a record of any object type
  • Update any related record—not just the record or its parent
  • Use a quick action to create a record, update a record, or log a call
  • Invoke a process from another process
  • Launch a flow—you can’t schedule this action with Workflow
  • Send an email
  • Send a custom notification
  • Post to Chatter
  • Submit a record for approval

Process Builder lets you control the order of your criteria.

There is no way to determine the order your Workflow rules run in. There is a possibility that one rule might overwrite what another rule has done. Process builder allows you to determine the exact evaluation order of your process criteria which helps you determine the order of the process actions.

Process Builder lets you access fields on every related record.

You can reference fields on the record’s parent in Workflow. Process Builder, lets you access the fields on any related record, no matter how far that record is.

Process Builder will be used in the future.

Although Salesforce is no longer enhancing Workflow, they will continue to support your use of Workflow rules. All new use case functionality for the Workflow use case will come through Process Builder. To use this new functionality, you will have to migrate your Workflow automation to Process Builder.


Workflow can be configured to automate your org’s standard processes such as sending emails, updating records, or assigning tasks so that you don’t have to do it manually.

A workflow rule sets workflow actions into motion when its designated conditions are met. You can configure workflow actions to execute immediately when a record meets the conditions in your workflow rule, or set time triggers that execute the workflow actions on a specific day.

Workflow automates the following types of actions based on your organization’s processes:

  • Tasks – Assign a new task to a user, role, or record owner.
    • Ex: Assign follow-up tasks to a support rep one week after a case is updated
  • Email Alerts – Send an email to one or more recipients you specify.
    • Ex: Send sales management an email alert when a sales rep qualifies a large deal.
  • Field Updates – Update the value of a field on a record.
    • Ex: Change the Owner field on a contract three days before it expires.
  • Outbound Messages – Send a secure, configurable API message (in XML format) to a designated listener.
    • Ex: Outbound Messages – Send a secure, configurable API message (in XML format) to a designated listener.

A workflow rule is the main container for a set of workflow instructions. These instructions can always be summed up in an if/then statement.

Each workflow rule consists of:

  • Criteria that cause the workflow rule to run.
  • Immediate actions that execute when a record matches the criteria. For example, Salesforce can automatically send an email that notifies the account team when a new high-value opportunity is created.
  • Time-dependent actions that queue when a record matches the criteria, and execute according to time triggers. For example, Salesforce can automatically send an email reminder to the account team if a high-value opportunity is still open ten days before the close date.

Salesforce processes rules in the following order:

  • System Validation rule
  • Before Triggers are executed
  • Custom Validation rules are checked
  • After Triggers are executed
  • Assignment rules
  • Auto-response rules
  • Workflow rules are executed
  • Before and After Triggers are executed one more time if the workflow rule updates a field
  • Escalation rules are executed
  • Parent Rollup Summary Formula or Cross Object Formula fields are updated in the respective objects
  • Criteria Based Sharing rules are evaluated
  • Any Post-Commit Logic is executed

Best Practices

  • Avoid mixing processes from Workflow rules and Process Builder for a given object. You will not be able to know for certain what order the processes and Workflow rules are evaluated in.
  • If you want to replace one case Workflow rule with a process, migrate every case Workflow rule to Process Builder.
    Whenever possible, automate your if/then statements with Process Builder instead of a workflow rule.

Helpful Links

Process Limits and Considerations

Setting Values in the Process Builder

Create a process

Troubleshoot Processes

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