Workflow is a way to automate actions within Salesforce. Workflow rules consist of the workflow criteria and immediate or time-dependent actions which can be Tasks, Email Alerts, Field Updates, or Outbound Messages.
Workflows are a simple way to extend the logical operations of your Force.com applications. A workflow is an action which is triggered by inserting or changing a data record. A workflow can trigger a task, email alert, update a data field or send a message.
Workflow rules specify the criteria which determine if a workflow is triggered. A workflow can be triggered immediately, or set to operate at a subsequent interval after the triggering event. These outbound messages are one of the ways you can send information from your Force.com environment to external data stores and applications.
Each workflow rule consists of:
- Criteria that determine when Salesforce executes the workflow rule. Any change that causes a record to match this criteria can trigger the workflow rule—even changes to hidden fields.
- Immediate actions to take when the workflow rule executes. For example, Salesforce can automatically send an email that notifies the opportunity team when a new high-value opportunity is created.
- Time-dependent actions that Salesforce queues when the workflow rule executes. 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 specified close date. When Salesforce triggers a workflow rule that has time-dependent actions, you can use the workflow queue to monitor and cancel pending actions.
Workflow automates the following types of actions:
- Email Alerts - Send an email to one or more recipients. For example, automatically send sales management an email alert when a sales representative qualifies a large deal.
- Tasks - Assign a new task to a user, role, or record owner. For example, automatically assign follow-up tasks to a support representative one week after a case is updated.
- Field Updates - Update the value of a field on a record. For example, automatically change the Owner field on a contract three days before it expires.
- Flow Triggers - Launch a trigger-ready flow. Flow trigger workflow actions and trigger-ready flows are currently available through a pilot program. For information on enabling this feature in your organization, contact salesforce.com.
- Outbound Messages - Send a secure configurable API message (in XML format) to a designated listener. For example, automatically initiate the reimbursement process for an approved expense report by triggering an outbound API message to an external HR system.