Since the release of Spring ’15, I’ve had the opportunity to use the Process Builder on a couple of projects. When you’re a developer, you tend to see solutions “in code” more often than not. We think in code, we love to write code, its just what we do. With this latest release however I took the opportunity to write a few processes where in the past I would have written triggers and I must say, its pretty slick thus far.
In order to get a personal comparison, I wrote a trigger and supporting utility class first which took me a little under 30 minutes or so, including unit testing. (Sadly I neglected to write down the lines of code, but it wasn’t much really as this was a simple record creation process with some basic criteria).
Then I decided to replace that trigger with the Process Builder (or as some people are suggesting, PB & J, Sandwich, etc but I digress). Upon firing it up for the first time I was impressed. The UI was clean and it was pretty self explanatory. Perhaps it was the fact that I’d already worked through the logic once when writing the trigger version, but I had the Process Builder version saved and activated in under 10 minutes and it was doing everything my trigger was doing. Color me impressed. (There were/are still a few minor bugs — like a drop down list that was rendering too low on my screen to be seen, I had to shrink my browser view to fit more on it, but that wasn’t too bad).
Admittedly, I should have been checking this out in a dev org long ago but as stated, I’m a developer, I think in code. I was largely focused on learning what I could about lightning components (and I’m still way behind) in my minimal free time, so Process Builder just kinda fell to the side for me.
I was listening to the @Code_Coverage podcast yesterday over lunch (episode 18) and hear a brief mention of a team of Java devs that basically rewrote the entire authentication process in code (or something to that effect — I was coding at the time). Sadly, I think this is something that developers are apt to do more often than not, we tend to ignore the pieces of functionality that could be done with clicks. However, Salesforce has given us some pretty sweet tools and I’d like to think I’m becoming more of a developer with admin tendencies. After all, Apex Commandment #3 is “Thou shalt have a happy balance between clicks & code.” This is something that the platform makes easy for us and we should embrace these tools more often. When I first started — everything was code. After two years or so under my belt I’ve seen a transformation. I still have the internal fight with myself “I can just knock this out in code, I’m in here already” and that voice used to win often — its winning less and less and I’d like to think I’m finding that happy balance.
So use the tools, find that happy balance and become a developer with admin tendencies :)