Gorav Seth

Salesforce MVP (HOF) | Permaculture designer

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email to case auto-responder and contact emails

Email to case matches on all email fields, including custom email fields.

However, if email to case finds a matching contact, the auto-response email appears to always include the contact’s preferred email, which is problematic if one thinks about it for a few nanoseconds. Contact submits a case from email abc and the autoresponse is sent to email xyz (and also email abc, if you check the box to copy all email addresses on the autoresponse).

There is now an easy declarative way to remove the contact from the case, using before-save flows, which fires before the auto-response rule!

The flow needs to set case.contactId and case.preferredEmail to blank (global constant empty string). I assume both are required, did not test them independently.


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translation workbench is a dumpster fire

i just spent an hour trying to get an import file working, because translation workbench…

the documentation ON THE IMPORT PAGE says

Include the language attribute at the top of the file. Your format should look like Language = “en_US” and include a valid language reference.


Nice, if it was true, but its complete fabrication. It makes not a single iota of difference if it is there or not or filled with garbage.

What is required, is the following

Language code: [valid language code]
Type: [source | bilingual | data]

I spent a freaking hour trying to do shit with Language = xyz, making sure my file is utf8 etc etc etc. What garbage.

So this worked fine

Language = "dumpsterfire"
Language code: es
Type: Source


CustomLabel.FD_GAR  I am a Sucker


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Evaluating isSandbox in flow

In Summer 14, Salesforce added the isSandbox boolean field to the Organization object that can be easily queried in apex.

In flow, process builder, and workflow rules, you can access the $organization global variable via a formula field, but a number of fields are missing, including isSandbox

You might think you could hard code the org Id but it wont work, due to magical mysterious things that happen in the sandbox refresh engine, which will update almost all references to the new sandbox org id.

In flow, it is quite easy however to get this info via a get record element. Do a get records on the Organization object (all records), then you can access the isSandbox field, and evaluate it in a decision element.

Get Records

Decision Element

Sadly, this is not available for process builder or workflow rules and my idea for this only has 3 votes in two years, flow is the future…


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Embedding a PDF on a formassembly form

Some folks needed a form that had an embedded pdf for review. I was hoping to find something that works on desktop, and works or is at least not a total disaster on mobile.

Found the pdfobject js library : https://pdfobject.com/ which seemed to know a bit about the subject. Tried all the ‘static’ / pure html approaches, and discovered the formassembly blocks the tag which otherwise worked perfectly well. Note - you can actually save a form w the object tag, but it will disappear the next time you open it. Support says they will work on blocking it better soon

So tried out the js approach, and it worked out well. Works great on desktop and displays the ‘fallback’ option to download the pdf on mobile devices that do not support embedded pdfs.

Here is how to do it

To start, create a form with two sections, and one text area in each section. Make the second section a hidden...

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Evaluating max/min of multiple date fields in flow

I have 3 date fields on an object and i need the MIN of the 3. But the MIN formula function does not allow dates, just numbers

IF could work for up to 3, and there are some solutions out there using formulas, but seemed fragile / complex.

So, solved via flow

  1. create a variable, type = date; name it vaMinimumDate

  2. use an assignment element to add all the date fields from the object to a collection variable (doesnt matter if the dates are null or not)

  3. loop over the collection variable

  4. in the loop, use a decision to evaluate if the current loop variable is less than vaMinimumDate



To test if the date field is blank/null, create a formula field, type = date, value = NULL, and then in the decision you can test equals/not equals formulaField.


The outcomes in the decision need to be in this order
a) is loop variable null - if so, pass on this iteration
b) is...

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Removing null value from collection

I managed to add a null value to a text collection, and found a way to remove it.

How did I end up with this mess?
I have a loop that splits a comma separated string, and adds each item to a text collection. This string is normally a bunch of external IDs, but I ended up with

Result{!vaCSTextToSplit} = "70140000000cokEAAQ,, master_AshokaUpdates,news_USA,"

see that extra comma in there before ‘master’ - when that ran through the split-o-matic it created a collection that had a null / blank value in it. i use blank/null intentionally here, as i really was not sure which one it was.

{!collCampaignIDs} = "[70140000000cokEAAQ,,master_AshokaUpdates,news_USA,MASTER]"

and that was causing some (silent) havoc downstream when we looped over the collection to get a campaign record filtering against that external ID. the flow would pull a random campaign that had a blank external ID...

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Checking for blank in Flow

A few days ago I asked

am i the only person who is still confused about equals globalconstant.emptystring vs isnull = true in flows? i swear i used to use equals gces all the time and it was fine or was i delusional. seems like isnull = true works most everywhere now. is there any clarity on where one might use equals globalconstant.emptystring?

It seems like a pretty simple question - how do I tell if my (X) is blank / populated.

the X could be

  • evaluate flow screen element in assignment
  • evaluate flow screen element in a conditional visibility rule
  • evaluate flow screen element in a flow field validation rule
  • evaluate get records element in decision
  • evaluate a field in process builder
  • filter criteria on get records element

It seems like the answer is to use isNull, but seems like its not clearly stated as such. And a few folks agreed that this seems to have changed over...

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Protecting fields used in integrations from deletion

h/t to a number of folks on this one, esp Luke Cushanick who shared the idea for this.

Marking fields used in integrations in some way, to prevent them from being deleted, might be useful. Even more useful might be to document which integrations use them, and how.

After some discussion, this can be done using a custom metadata type fairly easily. No code!

Create custom metadata type, lets name it “Integration Field”

Then add 2 fields to the metadata type to track where this is used

Integration name : type = text
Description : type = text area

Now and the magic : create two metadata relationship fields, in order

Object Name : type = metadata relationship, related to entity definition
Field Name : type = metadata relationship, related to field definition


  • the ‘field name’ option will only appear after you create the first relationship field to entity definition
  • when...

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scheduled flow + vf email template demo

I have built out a demo scheduled flow that sends an email to each opportunity owner with a list of open opportunities, using a visualforce email template. This flow is much like a report subscription, but with more context, and without nearly as much work of scheduling subscriptions to N users. And - no 5 subscription limit!

The basic approach is covered in this article - which was built on custom objects in our HR system.

In order to avoid hitting the flow iteration limit from building a unique collection of owner Ids (which I can do using this hackish but inefficient approach), I built an invocable apex class that takes a sobject collection and a field, and returns a unique collection of values. This could have some other interesting uses, and opens this flow up to run on up to about 1990 unique active owners, which is pretty robust by my standards…Above that value, you will...

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scheduled flows + visualforce email templates

Many options exist to notify folks about salesforce data. I classify them as ‘popcorn’ (email alerts / chatter posts / notifications via workflows/flows/processes) or ‘consolidated’ (report subscriptions, that random opportunity email thing, custom visualforce emails with summarized info).

HR needed to automatically notify managers when people who reported to them had a contract that would expire in 90 days. Report subscriptions dont scale for this. Popcorn is a pain to build, and makes for a fractured user experience, so I wanted to send the manage a single summary email w all the data, on the first of the month.

The full-code way would be a scheduled batch job that sends the email, which can be all code. Nothing crazy, but i would guess a hundred lines or so,

Instead, I used scheduled flows and a visualforce email template in a regular old email alert, which leaves most of the...

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