Workflows in Four Dimensions

When you think about implementing a business process in salesforce.com,at some level everything comes down to a series of questions and tasks that take the form:

“When something happens, take some action”

The action might be a field update, creation of a task, an ownership change, sending an Email or any number of activities. Those can be fairly complex in and of themselves. But the real challenge is often in the first part – figuring out when something has happened.

Oh, it’s easy enough to detect something simple – like a field change or object update. Workflows can handle many of these, and trigger most of the rest.

But what if the thing you want to detect is a process – a sequence of operations? For example: what if you want to take some action after a campaign association has occurred for a lead, scoring has been completed and ownership has been assigned?

You might say – just watch for an ownership change. But what if your business processes don’t always involve an ownership change? Or if ownership changes can occur at times other than a campaign association? The effort to figure out whether a particular business process has led to a specific system event can be almost as complicated as creating the original business process in the first place. It is this fourth dimension – detecting a specific sequence of operations over time – that can be extraordinarily complex.

When we designed the Full Circle Insights Response Management system, we knew that we were developing a “four dimensional” application – one that implements customizable business processes that may require multiple steps and arbitrary amounts of time.  And we knew that customers might want to take additional actions on completion, and sometimes during, those processes. Finally, we knew that the code that would be required to figure out the state of those processes from workflows or triggers could be extraordinarily (if not insurmountably) complex.

That’s why our system was designed from day one with an extensibility model. Instead of building complex trigger code, you can create and register simple plugins that can receive notifications when various application events occur. Otherwise complex tasks become much simpler, more reliable and less costly.

Even better, our extensibility model is itself extensible – and we are continuously adding new hooks and features based on customer requests. So when it comes to response management and marketing performance metrics, you could spend a fortune building a custom solution. Or, you could spend a fraction of the money deploying the Full Circle Insights Response Management Application and integrating your own code and workflows (if necessary). You’ll  save money, and just as important, you’ll save time – and in doing so truly take advantage of the fourth dimension.

 

Dan Appleman

About Dan Appleman

As Full Circle Insights’ CTO, Dan Appleman brings a broad technology experience to our customers. In addition to having supported over 30 Salesforce.com implementations with technology solutions, Dan is also the author of the book "Advanced Apex Programming for Salesforce.com and Force.com" and has been a speaker at Dreamforce since 2012. Previously, he was the founder of Desaware, Inc. a developer of add-on products for Microsoft Visual Studio, a co-founder of Apress publishing, and the author of numerous books and articles.