The History of Flow Analyzer
  • 17 Jan 2024
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The History of Flow Analyzer

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Article summary

Hello there,

This is Alec Dorner, Founder of Machine Strong. Thank you for taking the time to evaluate Flow Analyzer.

Starting my career on the Salesforce platform, I started as a "clicks not code developer", so I immediately understood the power of flows even back then. Fast forward to now and I've played a technical lead role on Salesforce implementations across multiple companies over the last 5+ years. My approach is still always clicks before code when possible/practical for speed of development and maintainability reasons. While flow is an incredibly important and powerful tool on the Salesforce platform, I've seen it wreak havoc on projects when used incorrectly. Technical leads can sometimes have hard times identifying these issues in code reviews due to time crunches and deadlines, and developers who are unfamiliar with the tool may not know practices to avoid when using flows. In both of these cases a tool that helps you identify where flows are not meeting best practices comes in handy.

How it Started

The year is 2022 and I was helping evaluate static code analysis tooling and rulesets and suggested to a colleague that we should look into tools that do this with flows. At that time, I had just been part of a large scale refactoring of a number of flows to fix shortcuts and antipatterns that were discovered over a couple of months of review. There was only one tool that had the capability to scan flow metadata at the time, and it was not a platform-native tool. I made an off-handed, joking remark to a colleague that we should build a tool to do Static Flow Analysis.

Fast forward a few months and I just couldn't shake that idea, so, in March of 2023, I decided to start documenting some best practices and studying the flow metadata files to determine feasibility. Following a lot of trial and error in development, the Flow Analyzer has arrived!

Where we Are

The Flow Analyzer is designed to make it easier to identify antipatterns and potentially-harmful flow practices. It can be injected as a quality gate in your devops pipeline, a helpful assistant for your code reviews, or can simply be used to help skill your team up on flows! I'm extremely proud of the solution being offered here and vow to continue to maintain and expand it's feature set.

Alec Dorner
Founder - Machine Strong

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