If you haven’t already read the release notes for Spring ’12, let me be the first to tell you that Visual Workflow and the new Cloud Flow Designer will be included in EE and UE Editions! You no longer need to purchase the additional Flow user license. This is great news indeed, but what’s better is the list of enhancements that also come along with the Spring ’12 release.

Cloud Flow Designer is GA

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The Cloud Flow Designer is now a GA product with a huge list of features and enhancements.

Routing Rules for Decision Element

The existing decision element has been enhanced to support multiple outcomes. So, a decision element is no longer simply Boolean. The decision element can now be a hub to route the logic in your flow. No longer do you need complex if/then/else paths!

Choices and Dynamic Choices are Global

Choices and Dynamic Choices are like any other resource in flow like variable, constants etc. They are global to the flow and can be reused across multiple screens. This is especially useful when you use flow for surveys where you have the same set of choices for multiple questions.

Labels for Fields are Rich Text and Optional

Any label you create for a field in a flow is now optional, supports Rich Text and can include merge fields. This is very useful when you want to highlight certain labels and include data previously gathered in the flow.

Validation Rules for All Input Fields

You can now use Salesforce formulas for validation of all input fields in a flow. And you can now validate the data up-front in the form itself and prevent bad data from entering the system.

Create Choices and Resources In-Line

This is one of my favorite features. You no longer need to close the element overlay just to create resources like variables. You can create them in-line in the overlay as you need them. This makes things so much more efficient!

Global Constants for Boolean

No more typing in “True” or “False” or creating Boolean variables/constants to pass Boolean values around. The Cloud Flow designer now provides global constants for “True”/”False”.

Record Delete Element

Now you can delete records in a flow with the new record delete element. It’s great for making sure your data is clean.

You might think this is already a long list, but read on and realize all the possibilities which Flows can provide to your organization.

MD API for Flow Definition

Flows are now exposed in the MD API. This makes flows to be portable from one org to org. Flows are now like any other piece of meda data in Force.com!

Flows in Change Sets

You can now create and test flows in your sandbox, then use change sets to move them over to production along with your other changes. No more worrying about re-creating flows in production.

Packaging of Flows

Last, but not least, the biggest feature for the release is the ability to package flows.

With all these new capabilities, and Visual Workflow’s availability in EE and UE Editions, I expect great possibilities for our ISV community to build really amazing apps on the platform.

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