I have an administrative question related to workflows. Our Customer Support Manager wants to, when payments have been deferred in hardship cases, send monthly alerts until the deferment ends (to the Client) to remind them they are in deferment, until the End Date for deferment hits.

My logic is:

  • On the CASE I have a Deferment Start and End date.
  • A workflow checks if Deferment is activated (Checkbox) and then if the End date is at least 30 days beyond the start date).
  • If true, it does a time-based workflow for 30 days after the Start date to send a 1 month reminder (we're using 30 day months for this purpose).
  • This allows for a separate workflow for each possible deferment up to 12 months max.

The problem becomes if they choose to ALTER the deferment, or even stop it midstream. I was ready to make sure they understood they were LOCKING IN the deferment (and had Validation setup to do so) but they now inform me they will occasionally ALTER the deferment plan, including just deleting it midstream.

I have done some searching and trial and error, and my investigation has shown that the only way I can stop queued emails as a result of these workflows is to go to Setup--Monitoring--TimeBasedWorkflows ...

Screenshot of Time-Based Workflow search screen

... then do a search and find the scheduled Workflow run and delete it there. It's not the most user friendly routine and it lends itself to an SF Admin being the only ones able to remove such queues.

Are there any alternatives? Or am I not doing the best possible solution to begin with given the parameters I have to work with??

2 Answers 2


I would update the criteria for the workflow rule to take into account the reasons you would cancel sending the email. Even if you have emails queued in a time-based workflow, they will be cancelled if the workflow criteria is no longer met.

  • Whoa. This is news to me. Thanks for this insight. I'm definitely going to research/verify, because if that's true, then yes, I can allow for a kill switch type mechanism in various ways... thanks.... (I think I've been tainted by long-ago situations where I was new to SF and queued messages "still went out" in a similar fashion, but given my non-experience at the time, I'd be willing to bet it was not due to the actual criteria changing).
    – AMM
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 18:22
  • If you don't mind an expansion on the question/answer here: What if I were to have a FORMULA-BASED age variable in the Workflow logic, and IN the workflow there were 12 (monthly) time-based workflows. If the LOGIC of the WORKFLOW included a "age > 0" mention, will it evaluate this formula-age field at each time-based email alert (so if there are 12 setup, but the age goes to negative after 3 months, the last 9 would NOT fire)? I'm trying to see if I could avoid having twelve workflows here. Thanks for any insight.
    – AMM
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 18:39
  • Remember that workflows only get evaluated when a record is edited. You wouldn't be able to rely on a formula field since those are only calculated when a record is accessed and saved. How about having a single workflow rule that in addition to sending the email also has a field update? You'd use the field update to update a field used in your workflow criteria to decide if another email should be queued. Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 20:07
  • Okay, so combining the two ideas... age variahle formula only updates on Edit... each monthly time-delay email will also punch some field... which is an Edit and therefore would update the formula-age... so when the NEXT time-delay email is to be sent, the age may be <0 now.... hmm.
    – AMM
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 20:11
  • I think so, but you'd need to test it. The Field Update would need the checkbox "Re-evaluate Workflow Rules after Field Change" in order for it to work. Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 3:52

Time-based workflow actions are deleted when the workflow conditions are no longer met. If your time-based actions are triggering off of the Deferrment checkbox, and the agents are un-checking that box when the deferment is rescinded, the emails will not go out. Similarly, if the date condition that fired the workflow rule changes such that the workflow criteria are not met, then the email alert will not be sent.

Are you seeing something different?

  • Thanks for the input (see more detail in "other answer" herein).
    – AMM
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 18:23
  • Maybe you have insight on my second comment in "the other" answer, if you don't mind looking at it. I'm hopeful to avoid 12 workflows here. :-P
    – AMM
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 18:40

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