Are there limitations on the number of workflow rules that can be triggered simultaneously for my org?

Here's the situation. My company is running as Unlimited with between 100 - 200 users. My manager is trying to come up with a way to simulate recurring scheduled tasks for a custom object in Salesforce. Before we put it into play, I'm trying to determine if we'll run into any Salesforce limits that will cause trouble.

Here's what we're trying to do:

  • I will write an external script that accesses Salesforce via the API.
    • Every hour, this script checks a checkbox on every records of a custom object.
  • Our Salesforce declarative interface guy will set up a workflow on these records that is triggered by the change in state of the same checkbox:
    • One workflow action unchecks the checkbox so that my script can re-check again it in an hour.
    • He will add other workflow actions to schedule time-based actions for email notifications, update fields, etc...

There are thousands of records which this will apply to.

I've read through the Salesforce Limits Quick Reference Guide [PDF] and searched through this forum and others, but I haven't found a conclusive answer. I'm fairly new to Salesforce, and I've had a lot of trouble trying to decipher the Salesforce documentation.

Also, are there any recommendations for a better way to implement recurring tasks? I've seen a little info on scheduled APEX, but I haven't looked into it much. I know there are limits involved there as well.


Update: Solution in the comments on Doug B's answer.

1 Answer 1


welcome to the forum. I fear that your approach is over-complicated. And you are introducing a system integration (to call in on the API) and issues of scaling and performance if you are trying to update a potentially large number of target records.

Without knowing the full ins and outs of your requirements, I'd suggest you look at.

  1. Scheduled Apex. You write an apex job, and schedule it to run every hour. It first finds records that match your entry criteria, then it executes your business logic (e.g. email).

  2. Time based workflow. No code required. Set up a workflow, e.g. if a record hasn't had the "salesman" field filled in within two days, set the status to escalated or something like that.

  3. If it really is exactly recurring tasks you want, well you can setup recurring tasks in Salesforce. You could set these up programmatically too. Have a trigger code which runs whenever one of your records is created/updated and if it meets your criteria then create a task.

Hope this gives you something to think about.

  • Thanks. I'll look into these options. Still wondering if there's a limit on how many workflow rules can be simultaneously triggered on my org.
    – RobotNerd
    Jun 26, 2013 at 21:31
  • 1
    There are limits on the workflow rules that can be set up, in terms of the number of rules and actions. Once they are set up there isn't a limit on them. But from your perspective the rules have already been set up and you are triggering them from your external script. So the limits you may hit are, for example, API calls in (big limit, probably not an issue). Also the more records there are in the system the longer it will take you to do this and the more calls in (unless you have a process running in Apex - in which case simpler to schedule).
    – Doug B
    Jun 27, 2013 at 8:42

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