Considerations for Field Update Actions | Salesforce
Considerations for Field Update Actions
Learn how to use field update actions to their full potential in workflow.
Available in: Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic
Available in: Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer Editions
When creating field updates for workflow rules or approval processes, consider the following:
Field Update Processing
Field updates occur before email alerts, tasks, and outbound messages.
Field updates occur after case assignment, lead assignment, and auto-response rules.
Field updates function independently of field-level security. Therefore, a workflow rule can update fields even though they are hidden on the user's page layout.
The result of a field update is unpredictable when a single workflow rule includes multiple field updates that apply different values to the same field.
Field updates may affect the information in a related list. For example, if a field such as the Amount or Close Date of an opportunity is set to be updated, it will affect the Stage History related list on opportunities.
If a user gets a field update error when saving a record, you can use the debug log to see which field update failed. The debug log stops when a failure occurs.
For reminder fields on tasks and events:
Field updates can set the reminder for a task or event but they can't use the due date of a task or the scheduled time of an event.
Formulas for date/time values are calculated in days. Divide the value by 1440—the number of minutes in a day—to express the value in minutes. For example, the formula Now()-7 means seven days ago, while Now()-7/1440 means seven minutes ago.
If your organization uses multiple currencies, currency fields are updated using the record's currency. If you choose to update a field based on a formula, any values in your formula are interpreted in the currency of the record.
Field updates are tracked in the History related list if you have set history tracking on those fields.
Because updates to records based on workflow rules and also on process scheduled actions don’t trigger validation rules, workflow rules and some processes can invalidate previously valid fields.
If you have person accounts enabled, you can use the Is Person Account field as part of the evaluation criteria for workflow rules. However, because the Is Person Account field is read-only, any field updates set up to modify it will fail.
Salesforce processes rules in the following order:
Workflow rules (with immediate actions)
Notes on Cross-Object Field Updates
For all custom objects and some standard objects, you can create workflow and approval actions where a change to a detail record updates a field on the related master record. Cross-object field updates work for custom-to-custom master-detail relationships, custom-to-standard master-detail relationships, and a few standard-to-standard master-detail relationships. For more information, see Cross-Object Field Updates on page 11.
Approval processes can't use cross-object field update actions.
An approval process can specify a field update action that reevaluates workflow rules for the updated object. If, however, the re-evaluated workflow rules include a cross-object field update, those cross-object field updates are ignored.
To create workflow rules so that case comments or emails automatically update fields on associated cases, select Case Comment or Email Message in the Object drop-down list when creating a new workflow rule and select Case in the Field to Update list. Email-to-Case or On-Demand Email-to-Case must be enabled for your organization to use the Email Message in a workflow rule.
When cases are updated by an email-triggered workflow rule, the updated case can trigger:
Updates to roll-up summary fields
The updated case can't trigger:
Field Update Actions and Custom Fields
Before changing a custom field’s type, make sure that it isn’t the target of a workflow field update or referenced in a field update formula that would be invalidated by the new type.
You can't delete a custom field that is referenced by a field update.
You can use field updates on encrypted custom fields, but if you try to use a formula to set the new value, the encrypted field isn't available in the formula editor.
Field Update Actions on Opportunities and Contracts
You can define field updates for the Stage field on opportunities, but be aware of how this field affects the Type and Forecast Category fields.
You can define field updates using the Amount field on opportunities but it will only apply to those opportunities that don't have products. Adding products to an opportunity changes the Amount field to a read-only field that is automatically calculated and not affected by that field update.
You can define field updates for the Status field on contracts. However, the value of this field may affect the value of the Status Category field as well.
Avoid creating a field update for contracts or orders that changes the Status field to any value other than Approved.
Field Update Action Limitations
The results of a field update can't trigger additional rules such as validation, assignment, auto-response, or escalation rules.
Field updates that are executed as approval actions don’t trigger workflow rules or entitlement processes.
These fields aren’t available for field update actions:
Read-only fields like formula or auto-number fields
The Language picklist field on multilingual solutions
Some activity fields, such as Related To and Private
Email message workflow rules can only be associated with field updates.
If a field update references a specific user, you can't deactivate that user. For example, if your field update is designed to change the owner of a record to Bob Smith, change the field update before deactivating Bob Smith.
You can update long text area fields, but the option to insert A specific value restricts you to entering up to the maximum amount of characters allowed in the destination field.
You can't make a field universally required if it's used by a field update that sets the field to a blank value.
Workflow rules that update owners do not also transfer associated items. To ensure transfer, click Change next to the owner’s name in a record and make your transfer selections.
Cross-Object Field Updates For all custom objects and some standard objects, you can create actions where a change to a detail record updates a field on the related master record. Cross-object field updates work for custom-to-custom master-detail relationships, custom-to-standard master-detail relationships, and a few standard-to-standard master-detail relationships.
Field Updates That Re-evaluate Workflow Rules If Re-evaluate Workflow Rules After Field Change is enabled for a field update action, Salesforce re-evaluates all workflow rules on the object if the field update results in a change to the value of the field.