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Salesforce Winter'11 Visual Process Manager – Flows !

This post covers new Winter’11 stuff called “Visual Process Manager—Pilot“, this feature seems super powerful, but somehow less discussed and marketed as of now. This might be because its just a pilot release ?

I said Visual process manager will be powerful, because it take the “point and click” configuration philosophy of platform to next level. Its next level, because now business analysts and administrator (who are less of programmers) can quickly develop applications that will comprise of

  • Creation of screens with navigations

  • Ability to query data, without any coding.

  • Ability to branch based on user data or input.

  • Plus ability to execute logic. Not clearly described, but hopefully this will allow Apex execution.

So with all these capablities in place, it seems easy for business analysts and admins to develop a “dynamic” application, without writing any code.

What to expect Visual Process Manager ?

Though no screenshots, details etc for Visual Process Manager are available in winter’11 release notes etc. But as it will be a BPM(Business Process Manager) application, we can expect something similar done by guys like BEA(Aqua Logic) or Savvion BPM Studio. These both applications give somehow the same abilities to develop biz flows on respective platforms. Developing flow is just like working in a paint brush application and drawing a flow chart. Here are few screen shots.

Bea Aqua Logic

Savvion BPM

Applications best for Visual Process Manager

As winter’11 release notes says, one can develop applications like

  • Call scripting in a customer-support center: Troubleshooting complex customer problems

  • Telesales: Call scripting, cross-selling, up-selling and dynamic generation of quotes in real-time

  • Insurance companies: Executing complex and dynamic insurance premium calculations

Though its too early to guess, what is coming with Visual process manager. But applications not involving complex interface should be easy to develop. Though if flows, opens ability to plugin visualforce pages, just like ability to execute logic later on. Then complex interfaces should be easily possible.


Visual Process Manager will for sure help Business Analysts and Admins to quickly develop applications on platform. On the other hand it might also hurt freelance apex/visualforce developers, as number of salesforce jobs for trivial or simple screens will be for sure reduced.

Still too early to conclude more, let see what comes up. Visual process manager is not available by default, one has to request salesforce to enable it in their org.

Comments (6)

  • Anonymoussays:

    September 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the preview analysis Abhinav!However, considering the pricing that I was quoted for Visual Process Manager ($50 per user of VPM apps per month), I doubt it's going to get a whole lot of traction in the near term, so I don't think that it will hurt any freelance or corporate apex/visualforce developers. Also, there is so much Salesforce work out there that I think this solution will just help alleviate the talent shortage a little bit, and open up more opportunities for technical business analysts to work on the Salesforce platform.

  • Anonymoussays:

    September 16, 2010 at 2:15 am

    @ApexSutherland thanks for pricing info. Thats true that, Visual Flows will take a while to come in momentum. As I mentioned in post too, it will help business analysts/admins in creating simple/trivial screens, previously one depends on programmers for that. Agreed, for sure corporate(or complex) apex/visualforce development will be not effected.But yes pricing is interesting here, I expect really good GUI for flow designer at least like BEA-Aqua logic.

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