Although the title of Jonathan’s book seems very niche to only a few of the declarative capabilities that Salesforce has to offer, this book provides much more than that.
I was pleasantly surprised while reading this book, as it allows the reader to get a better understanding of development best practices as a whole, not by showing you snippets of code or a few steps in a workflow, but rather how to take small pieces of business logic from real world business cases, during the requirements gathering process, and breaking them down piece by piece from business to functional requirements and then to create an overall process design or blueprint to be used. Jonathan then applies the tools such as Visual Workflow and Lightning Process Builder to achieve the functionality requested within the business cases.
As we all know, the goal (and sometimes the challenge) of software development or configuration is understanding what, how and why one approach is better than another and why using a declarative feature may make more sense than a programmatic one. Jonathan provides context about the significance of using the Salesforce declarative tools of Lightning Process Builder and Visual Workflow with these major themes:
1. A graphical UI is available for easier user and developer comprehension
2. Simpler and quicker maintenance and troubleshooting
3. Version control and roll backs
4. Inherent knowledge transfer as the tools are relatively self documented
Additionally, one of the key attributes that Jonathan points out is when to use a Visual Workflow versus a standard Workflow rule as each tool has its own set of strengths and limitations. Jonathan does this by providing graphical tables, screen shots and other visuals or resources to help illustrate these as you build out your process.
Not only does the author take his readers from the ground level of starting out with a simple business case to get us started and then builds upon it with more complex business requirements as we get comfortable with the tools, he adds humor and wit along the way. This approach helps keep the reader in tune, especially as traditional tech books can become a little dry after the first few pages in. Jonathan also points out best practices throughout to help ensure a great design is being achieved.
Some of the value a traditional Salesforce developer would see within this book is how Jonathan calls out how some of the requirements “could” be met with an Apex Trigger, but to also show how Lightning Process Builder was able to meet the same requirement just as easily without the additional overhead and maintenance with writing code. But, he doesn’t say “clicks not code” is the “end all, be all”, as he also points out scenarios where complex logic calls for the developer to use Apex if additional capabilities and flexibility is warranted. He then follows up with the “power combo” by providing examples of how to combine both declarative and programmatic capabilities into one solution to provide the best of both worlds.
Outside of just Lightning Process Builder and Visual Workflow, this book also takes the user into other necessary responsibilities such as migrating the process throughout the environments, and also discusses how to troubleshoot and debug problems along the migration process as well as once they’re into production.
In conclusion, I think whether you’re a Salesforce BA, Salesforce Admin or Salesforce Developer, having Jonathan’s book in your library would definitely be a good reference book to have as going back to the basics of foundational business analysis and rethinking how to best approach a business problem utilizing Salesforce’s declarative capabilities will help keep concepts, techniques and approaches top of mind.
You can find Jonathan’s book on Amazon at: