Optimal Approaches For Salesforce Apex Triggers To Mitigate Design Challenges


Salesforce Apex triggers are scripted codes that execute automatically when a Salesforce record undergoes insertion, updating, or deletion. These triggers serve to establish automated workflows or prevent specific actions during data manipulation. For instance, one might design an Apex trigger for opportunities to alert the primary contact upon opportunity closure. Another application could involve triggering an alert on accounts to block users from adding a new account if a phone number is already specified.

While Apex triggers excel in handling intricate automations beyond the capabilities of declarative tools like Flow, Process Builder, or Workflow Rules, an increase in trigger volume on an object can pose challenges. These challenges may manifest as difficulties in code maintenance and debugging, reduced performance efficiency, and encountering governor limits. To address these issues, it is recommended to adopt one of the trigger frameworks available within the Salesforce Developer Community.

Determining the Appropriate Use of Apex Triggers Versus Flows

Executing intricate automations that surpass the capabilities of declarative tools like Flow, Process Builder, or Workflow Rules is achievable through Apex. Apex proves beneficial in scenarios such as the necessity for nested loops, the utilization of the “Get element” function within a loop, managing large data volumes, implementing custom integrations, and logging errors in the event of automation failure.

Apex triggers and flows serve distinct purposes and find application in different contexts. Apex triggers are most effective when tasked with automating complex business logic that exceeds the capabilities of point-and-click solutions like flows or process builders. Conversely, flows excel in guiding users through processes, collecting user information, updating records, and presenting a visual representation of a process.

To aid in decision-making between Apex triggers and flows, consider the following guidelines:

Use Apex triggers when you need to:

  • Automate intricate business logic beyond point-and-click capabilities.
  • Interact with multiple objects in a single transaction.
  • Create, update, or delete records based on specific conditions.
  • Perform custom validation on records before saving.

Use flows when you need to:

  • Guide users through a process.
  • Collect information from users.
  • Update records.
  • Provide a visual representation of a process.
  • Automate straightforward business processes handled by point-and-click solutions.

In summary, leverage Apex triggers for automating complex business logic, and opt for flows when guiding users through processes and automating simpler business processes.

Efficient Trigger Framework

The core concept behind the trigger framework involves the utilization of a trigger handler class for the Apex trigger. Rather than embedding automations directly within triggers, these automations are segmented into distinct functions within the trigger handler class. The trigger, in turn, calls these trigger handler functions. An illustrative code snippet is provided below:

Utilizing the trigger framework for automation facilitates streamlined debugging and code maintenance. This approach allows for straightforward bug fixes and the addition of new features to the codebase. For instance, incorporating a new automation for the Account object involves creating a distinct function in the AccountTriggerHandler class, subsequently calling it from the pertinent trigger event in the Account trigger.

Moreover, the trigger framework exercises control over the execution order of triggers on the object. With a singular trigger handler, one can dictate the sequence in which different business processes are executed, ensuring a well-organized and controlled flow.

Sophisticated Trigger Framework

Previously, we explored the fundamental structure of a trigger framework. For a more advanced approach, contemplate embracing an advanced trigger framework, wherein a parent trigger handler class encompasses universal functions executed during record insert, update, and delete operations. Subsequently, the trigger handler classes for specific objects extend from this overarching trigger handler class. This framework enhances control over method execution and mitigates recursive trigger calls. An illustration of this advanced trigger handler framework is presented below:

Observing the transition of generic code from the Account trigger to the ‘run’ function within the parent trigger handler class, an advanced trigger framework offers several key advantages in addition to those of a lightweight trigger framework:

  • Prevent recursive trigger calls and enhance performance: By avoiding recursive trigger calls, this framework contributes to improved performance.
  • Reusable and consistent structure for all object triggers: Ensuring a uniform structure across all object triggers promotes productivity for both seasoned and new developers.
  • Bypass trigger logic selectively: The framework allows the circumvention of trigger logic from specific endpoints as needed.
  • Centralized general validations in the parent trigger handler: General validations applicable to all objects can be consolidated within the parent trigger handler, promoting efficient management.

These trigger frameworks, whether lightweight or advanced, are commonly employed in various scenarios. Additional frameworks can be explored on GitHub. The choice of a framework should align with the size and specific requirements of your organization. A recommended starting point is adopting a lightweight trigger framework and incrementally expanding it as your organization grows in size and complexity.

Should you require assistance in implementing a trigger framework for your Salesforce organization, feel free to reach out to us. We are here to provide support.