Close Mon Dec 10 17:17:51 GMT 2018

Submitting multiple records to Flows

"How do I submit multiple records into my process?"

This sounds like an obvious job for Flow and a List Custom Button, right? We open the list view, tick a few checkboxes, click the list button... but quickly find the Selected Record IDs are nowhere to be found in Flow.

flow-button-classicflow-button-lightning

There are a few workarounds to inject the checked rows:

  • Use code or a package to run the flow as a batch process
  • Add a custom field and use mass edits to invoke process builder
  • Create a VF page with apex:interview to inject the selected records
  • Use GETRECORDIDS in a JavaScript custom button (alarm bells ringing...)

Here's an easier way to access Selected Record IDs

After clicking multiple checkboxes in any list view, the selected records are accessible - the key is to launch the Flow using its URL in the button content:

list-flow-custom-button

Then, configure the 'Nudge Owner' flow so the posted IDs are received:

  1. Create a new Collection Variable resource
  2. Enter the Unique Name called ids
  3. Set the Type to Input Only

When configured correctly, Salesforce automatically populates the collection variable with the IDs of the selected checkboxes. Now we can loop over the collection variable and perform business logic.

nudge-owners-flow

Note:

  • This parameter isn't documented anywhere.
  • The name of the ids collection variable is case sensitive.
  • Remember to "close the loop" otherwise only the first ID is handled by Flow.

The same technique works on Detail Page Buttons: if an id variable exists in the flow, it is automatically populated with the current Record ID context. For want of a better term, these "standard parameters" act the same as standard controllers:

standard-set-controller-checkboxes

Mass flow actions can be bulkified too, they need not be limited by iterations of the loop element. Plugins using the @InvocableMethod annotation do support collection variables - the ids list can be passed straight in.

Benefits of standard flow parameters

Standard flow parameters eliminate the need for Visualforce Pages to arrange input records. They behave like an interface contract. ISVs can automatically deploy surgical, self-contained customizations more easily with the Metadata API. Further:

  • Avoiding the VF page also avoids any need to modify Profiles.
  • Using URL custom buttons avoids hard dependencies on packaged Flows.
  • Documentation isn't required to explain how to set context sensitive inputs.

True, distributing flows using Visualforce Pages offers more granular access control since the entry point is restricted by its associated page - this is applicable in sites and communities or portals.

Otherwise, any reason not to do this?

Update: vote for official support! Idea: support standard id/ids flow variables

Matt and Neil
Thanks Natalya, try setting the behaviour to "Display in existing window without sidebar or header"
Natalya Murphy
I attempted to do this but the flow got hung up any time I clicked the button after selecting records.
Jeffrey Kranz
Interesting to learn about the ids collection variable! I will add that for a single record from a record detail page, using "recordId" is the documented and supported way to get the record ID
Bruce Stewart
Can you provide detail on your "Assign Next" node? I believe I have "closed my loop" but do have my flow operating on only 1 of the "ids" after looping through them. Thank you!
Renato Oliveira
Since it is not documented then we have no guarantee that this won’t real in a platform update. That’s a more or less good reason in my opinion.


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