Saturday, October 31, 2015

Field Update + Update Records + Apex Trigger = ?

While the "Triggers and Order of Execution" page in the Winter '16 Force.com Apex Code Developer's Guide gives good information about the high-level order of operations, developers reading it are still unclear about how complex interactions unfold across objects that use workflow rules, Apex triggers, and Process Builder ("PB") processes.

Let's take a relatively simple set of automation applied to a single object:

  • A workflow rule with a field update
  • A recursion-enabled process that updates the record which starts the process
  • An Apex trigger

When a transaction is processed, how many times do each of the above automation components execute in that single transaction? The answers below may surprise you/

Component TypeNum Executions
Workflow Rule1
Process6
Trigger8

The exact step order in which the components were executed is illustrated below.

Workflow RuleProcessTrigger
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

The takeaway should be that developers ought to be very careful when adding automation to an environment that uses "all of the above", meaning workflow rules, processes, and triggers.

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