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What is Auto Launched Flow in Salesforce? Detailed Guide 

What is Auto Launched Flow in Salesforce?

You’ve probably heard about auto-launched flows, but what exactly are they? Don’t worry. We’ll help you understand!

An auto-launched flow is what it sounds like: “A flow that’s launched automatically based on some situations or conditions.“ For instance, you can call a process builder flow whenever a DML occurs (like Delete, Insert, or Update) or activate the flow when a platform event occurs. 

In this blog, we’ll give you a high-level answer to what is Auto Launched flow in Salesforce. Moreover, we will explain how to set up an auto-launched flow in Salesforce, its types, and some limitations. So, let’s begin!

What is Auto Launched Flow in Salesforce?

Auto-launched flow is a Salesforce tool that automates Salesforce tasks without needing any user interaction. They kick into action in a specific event, like when a new record is created or updated. They can perform numerous actions based on your set criteria.

This kind of flow doesn’t support screens. Unlike guided screen flows, where users can be guided through a step-by-step process, auto-launched flows perform complex processing behind the scenes without users knowing.

Furthermore, auto-launched flows are also called a ‘headless flow’ because there’s no graphical interface (GUI) for users to interact with. You can imagine auto-launched flow as a workflow rule or process builder. However, their complexity potential is much greater.

Types of Salesforce Auto-Launched Flow

The following are the types of Salesforce Auto-Launched Flow:

Scheduled-Triggered Flow

Scheduled-triggered flows are auto-launched flows that only run on a schedule. They don't support any user interaction, local actions, or screens.

Record-Triggered Flow 

This type of auto-launched flow works when you delete, create, or update a record. The record-triggered flow contains the following two types:

  • Before-save flow

  • After-save flow

For complete details, visit: “Record-Triggered Flow in Salesforce.”

Platform Event-Triggered Flow

Platform event-triggered flows are auto-launched flows that start when a platform event mail/message is received.


A Subflow is an auto-launched or screen flow that works when initiated by orchestration or another flow.

There is also an auto-launched flow that doesn't need a trigger. This flow starts with a custom link and button, Visualforce page, Web tab, REST API, Apex class, process, etc. This type of flow works in the background. 

Note: A Subflow is an example of this category of auto-launched flow.

How to Set Up an Auto-Launched Flow in Salesforce

To set up an auto-launched flow in Salesforce, follow the steps below:

{Important Points: Auto-launched flows are used to automate business processes. In this scenario, use a no-trigger auto-launched flow, which operates in the background and does not need an event to start. To specify when to operate the auto-launched flow, define or set the conditions within the flow. 

To provide input to the auto-launched flow, add variables. The most common variable to include is usually the recordId. Depending on your case, you can further add other variables. For instance, if you want to pass a keywords list to the flow, include an input variable that holds the Conversation Intelligence rule containing the keywords. To use these keywords within the flow, add/include the input variable to your flow.}

  • To begin, click ‘New Flow’ In ‘Flow Builder.’

  • Then choose ‘Auto-launched Flow’ (No Trigger).

  • Now add a ‘RecordId variable’ in the Toolbox. To do so, click ‘New Resource’ → select ‘Variable’ in the resource type bar → enter ‘RecordId’ as the API name → select ‘Text’ in the data type box → select ‘Available’ for input → Lastly, click ‘Done.’

  • If required, add other variables.

  • The variable’s API name must be ‘Category’ or ‘MatchedKeywords.’ Choose the right data kind for the variable. Then, for a collection variable to pass values simultaneously, select ‘Allow multiple values (collection).’ In addition, for the ‘Category’ or ‘Matched Keywords’ variables, pick ‘Available for input.’ These are required input parameter values for the flow.

image showing Salesforce auto launched set up steps
  • After that, add an ‘Action element’ to the flow. Such as adding an action that ‘logs a case.’

image showing Salesforce auto launched set up steps
  • Lastly, click ‘Save.’ And you are done to activate the flow!

image showing Salesforce auto launched set up steps

Limitations of Salesforce Auto-launched Flow

Salesforce’s Auto-launched Flows assist businesses in running smoothly by performing some tasks automatically. However, like every tool, they also have a few limitations.

a) No User Interaction

Auto-launched Flows work in the background (behind the scenes.) They aren’t designed for direct interaction with users. Therefore, they are unsuitable for processes that need user responses or feedback.

b) Lack of Screen Support

Salesforce auto-launched flows can’t support screens. This restriction means they can not display information to users directly. Also, they can’t collect data through user interfaces.

c) Trigger Restrictions

Auto-launched flows can start from various events but do not support every Salesforce event trigger. For example, they cannot be triggered by time-based actions.

d) Debugging Challenges

Since Salesforce Auto-launched Flows work in the background, troubleshooting them can become more complicated. Recognizing and resolving issues might require more resources and time when compared with other types of flow. 

e) Bulkification Concerns

Creating Auto-launched Flows in Salesforce needs careful consideration of bulkification (the procedure of designing Apex code for handling large data volumes in a single execution.) Without appropriate bulkification, these flows can hit Salesforce’s governor limits. This situation is especially significant when the flows manage large data volumes. 

f) Limited Local Actions

These flows can’t support local actions. This restriction means they can not perform specific tasks that require local resources and interactions.

g) Dependency on External Triggers

Auto-launched Flows in Salesforce depend on external triggers, like Process Builders or Apex classes. Any problem in the external triggering mechanism can prevent the flow from functioning as intended.

Sum Up

So, did you get the answer of what is auto launched flow in Salesforce?

Let me explain to you in short. Auto-launched flows in Salesforce are automation tools that perform tasks automatically based on specific events without requiring user interaction. They work in some events, including record updates, new record creations, or platform events. 

However, they also have limitations, such as lack of screen support, limited local actions, dependency on external triggers, etc. Despite their limitations, auto-launched flow is the best tool for automating repetitive tasks and improving overall productivity in Salesforce.


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