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Make Sure Your Flow Works

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify test cases for a flow.
  • Explain what a flow interview is.
  • Test a flow from Flow Builder.

As an admin or developer, you know you should test all customizations before rolling them out to users, and flows are no different. Testing lets you fine-tune the flow’s behavior, identify and fix bugs, and otherwise make sure your users have a successful experience. And of course, you also benefit, because you’re much less likely to spend time later responding to panicked emails from your users.

Before You Start

Before you dive into this unit, we suggest you complete the Build a Simple Flow project—this unit builds on what you learn there.

Create a Test Plan

Before you start testing, draft a list of test cases, and identify what you expect the result to be. Consider things like:

  • When you expect actions to occur
  • When you expect actions to not occur
  • How formulas should resolve

Using an example from Build a Simple Flow, for the New Contact flow you work on in that module, there are four major test cases.

Toggle setting

Matching record

Expected result


Doesn’t exist

A contact is created.



A contact is created.


Doesn’t exist

A contact is created.



A contact is updated.

Once you identify what to test for, it’s time to test the flow.

Testing Options in Flow Builder

You don’t have to leave Flow Builder to make sure your flow works. The button bar includes two buttons for running a flow: Run and Debug.

  • Run runs the most recent saved version of the flow that you have open.
  • Debug does everything that Run does, but with some superpowers thrown in. It lets you enter values for the flow’s input variables and display debug details while running the flow. That way, you can verify how the flow processes data.

Unless you need to test how your flow works in Classic runtime, always use Debug to test your flows. While Debug always uses Lightning runtime, Run obeys the Enable Lightning runtime preference in your org’s Process Automation settings.

When you click Debug and opt to show details, you see the flow’s screen (1) and the debug details (2). As you step through the flow, new details are added to the right-hand panel.

An instance of the New Contact flow in debug mode.

Introducing Flow Interviews

Each time a flow runs, a flow interview starts. A flow interview is an instance of a flow.

Think of Choose Your Own Adventure books. A flow is like the book itself, which provides choices to the reader and instructions for each choice. A flow interview is like the reader. As you read, you make choices and follow the instructions for those choices. Each time you or another person reads the book, you can take a different path through the book and experience a different story.

The same goes for flow interviews. Based on the data provided for that interview, either by input variables or input components on a screen, each interview can take a different path through the flow and result in different actions being performed.

To see interviews in action, verify the four cases from your test plan.

Test Your Flow from Flow Builder

  • From Flow Builder, click Debug. Make sure that the second checkbox is selected. Otherwise, you won’t see any debug details. Since this flow doesn’t have Subflow elements or input variables, don’t worry about those settings.
  • Click Run.
  • Validate the first test case.
    • Enter a first and last name, and choose an account.
    • Leave the toggle unselected.
    • Click Next.
    • Review the debug details.

      The first card identifies who started the flow interview. Since you started it, you should see your name and user ID.
      The debug details for how the flow interview started.The second card summarizes how the inputs from the screen were stored for the flow interview to use. For example, because you left the toggle unselected, the {update_toggle} value is set to false.The debug details for the screen that collects information from the user.The third card pulls up the existing record if there is a match with the inputs used on the screen. A match was not found for the inputs used, so the result comes up with the message, “Failed to find records.”The debug details for the Get Records element that determines if there is a record match.The fourth card summarizes how the Update or Create? decision was evaluated. Because {!update_toggle.value} was false, the interview takes the Create New path and goes directly to the Create Contact element.The debug details for the Decision element that determines whether to update an existing contact.The fifth card summarizes the Create Contact element. The interview used the values in the {!contact} variable to create a contact record.The debug details for the Create Records element that creates a contact record for the contact value.

Now that you reviewed the test details, verify the expected results for this test case. To see your results, follow these steps.

  1. Confirm that the Transaction Committed card appears at the end of the debug details.
    The Transaction committed card confirming that the records created from the flow were committed to the database.
  2. Exit Flow Builder.
  3. On a Setup page, a record page, or a home page, click the app launcher to open App Launcher, then search for and select Sales.
  4. Click the Contacts tab.
  5. In the Recently Viewed list, you should see a contact whose name matches what you entered and is a child of the account you selected.
  6. Repeat for the other three test cases. For cases that include a matching record, use the same first name, last name, and account you used for the first test case.

If any of the test cases have unexpected results, use the Debug Details to backtrack and figure out what went wrong. Once all the test cases pass, you’re ready to put the flow in your users’ hands.


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