Field Update Workflow in Salesforce

Field update is one of the workflow actions available in Salesforce. Workflow is used to automate tasks, emails we regularly send and other record updates according to the organization requirement. Field update actions let you automatically update field values. These field updates are used in approval process and work flows.

How to Create Field Update:

Click on Setup --> Build --> Create --> Workflow & Approvals --> Field Updates

Click on the new field update, enter name in the name field, and if you don't enter a unique name, by default it takes the name whom you entered before.

Unique name is used by API and managed packages. The unique name field can contain only underscores and alphanumeric characters. The name cannot end with underscores and shouldn't consist of two consecutive underscores. Enter the description. Select object to which you want to update field. Next, fields are shown for the object which you want to update. Select one of the fields.

Select Re-evaluate workflow rules after field change option, if you want workflow rules on this object to be re-evaluated after the field value is updated. Therefore, upon selecting this option, Salesforce re-evaluates all workflow rules on the object if the field update results in a change to the value of the updated field.

In the specify new field value, options are available based on the field you choose to update. Some of them are:

  • Choose a specific value, which consists of space to enter the value.
  • Choose a blank value(null) if you want salesforce to remove any existing value and leave blank.
  • Choose use a formula to set the new value to calculate the value based on an expression, merge fields or other values.

For record owners, choose the user to whom the record should be assigned. For checkboxes, choose true or false. For pick lists, select a specific value from the drop down list. After creating a field update, you can see the two sections which are rules using this field update and approval process using this field update. To assign field update action to a workflow rule, first create workflow rule and open field update in add workflow action pick list.

In Approval process, when you create one, and you can see add new pick list for initial submission actions, final approval actions, final rejection actions and recall actions. For them, you can add a field update action. Upon clicking the field update, it will take to you the creation of field update which we discussed above.

Field Update Considerations:

Some of the considerations when you are creating field updates for work flows and approval processes.

Field updates occur before email alerts, tasks and outbound messages.

Field updates occur after case assignment, lead assignment and auto response rules. They function independently of field-level security.

Debug log is used to see failed field update. It stops when an error is occurred during field update.

Limitations of Field Update Actions:

Some of the limitations for field update action are,

  • Fields which aren't available for field update actions are read only fields like formula or auto number fields, the language pick list field on multilingual solutions and some activity fields such as related to and private.
  • Field updates that are executed as approval actions don't trigger workflow rules or entitlement process.
  • Email message workflow rules can only be associated with field updates.
  • You can update long text area fields, but the option to insert a specific value restricts you to enter up to the maximum amount of characters allowed in the destination field.   
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