Gorav Seth

Salesforce MVP (HOF) | Permaculture designer

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tracking number of simultaneous users in salesforce

in setup - session management, you can filter to see session where
SessionType = UI
ParentSessionId = null

and those are your currently logged in users.

i needed to track that over time, to see what our numbers look like for internal purposes.

i wanted to track this every 30 mins, to capture spikes. we have session length set to 2 hours, so that clears out inactive sessions reasonably fast.

so via flow i could get records of the authSession object, but scheduled flows are max 1x/day, without hackery. didnt want to write any code for this, so went to power automate.

was very easy to setup a get records to query salesforce, and then write the number of simultaneously logged in users to an excel online file. and power automate lets you schedule to run very frequently, even in seconds. so every 30 mins is no issue.




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using flows in system mode allows for alternative approaches to changing ownership

The standard sharing button and change owner button are great for hierarchical organizations, as the ‘power’ magically flows up the role hierarchy - so bigger fish higher up the role hierarchy can change owner / share records of all the little fish underneath them.

this is not so great when there is a high degree of collaboration within roles. in my case, each role represents a country office and country offices are collaborative entities. anyone in the country office should be empowered to change the owner of a contact owned by anyone else in the office, without asking the current owner.

while the standard ‘change owner’ functionality is carved in stone cannot be overridden, you can add a custom button and a flow in system mode that allows for alternative models like this.

its quite simple. the flow runs in system mode. it checks if $user.role = owner.role, and if so, lets them...

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using screen multi-select choice in formula uses label not value

sorry the images turned out huge and this article is hard to read

if you reference a screen multi-select choice element in a formula, the formula uses the choice label, not the choice value.

choice with value defined

Screenshot from 2021-06-21 13-08-24.png

choice is used in screen multiselect checkbox group :

Screenshot from 2021-06-21 13-11-05.png

formula field references screen field

Screenshot from 2021-06-21 13-01-23.png

output uses choice labels


but, if you first assign the screen field to a variable, and use the variable in the formula, then you get the values.

assign screen field to variable


formula uses variable


output uses choice values


feature or bug…you decide!

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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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