How To Troubleshoot Salesforce Process Builder Flows And Other Development Artifacts

In this article, we will look into the detailed configuration steps to enable Salesforce development environment to support debugging of development artifacts like Workflows, Database Queries, REST API Calls, Apex Code and much more.
 
We have a couple of approaches to debug development artifacts in Salesforce. In the following sections we will see how we can modify the process to make it raise an exception and then we will explore the configuration steps involved with each of the approaches.
 

Generate Exception for Demo

 
To demonstrate the debugging process we need to first generate an error and then we will analyze it step by step.
 
I would recommend you to go through the following articles I wrote earlier explaining details on how to develop automation workflows using Process Builder.
I am repeating the same steps here quickly to show you a test scenario which will end up with an error in the following steps:
 
Step 1
 
Launch Process Builder, click on “New” Button
 
 
 
Step 2
 
Add a trigger for "Contact" SObject
 
 
 
Step 3
 
Specify trigger name as "Contact"
 
Step 4
 
Select trigger condition "when a record is created or edited"

 
Step 5
 
Add criteria.
 
Step 6
 
Specify criteria name "Empty Email & Phone".
 
Step 7
 
Select criteria condition "Conditions are met".
 
Step 8
 
Set condition as (If Contact Email & Phone are empty).

 
Step 9
 
Add Action
 
Step 10
 
Specify action name "Update Contact".
 
Step 11
 
Select record as "Contact" SObject
 
Step 12
 
Select the action condition as "No criteria-just update the records!"
 
Step 13
 
Set contacts field with field reference of Account associated with Contact details.
 
Field assignment as follows: (Contact -> Email = Account -> Email), (Contact -> Phone = Account -> Phone)

 
Step 14
 
Launch "Contact" list view.
 
Step 15
 
Click "New" to add a new contact record.
 
Step 16
 
Once added it will look like this.

 
To generate the error, I have removed some of the important fields like Phone Number, Email and most importantly I have removed the value from Account Field which a lookup field and if you remember the process we defined above will try to copy email and phone information from the associated account to contact record.
 
 
Now if I try to save the record it will trigger the process that we defined earlier and try to set the values as defined in the Add Action Step.
 
It will fail since we have removed the account information from the contact record. As a result of which the process tries to query the email & phone information from a null referenced field (Account).
 
We will see an error similar to the one shown below:

 
Now in the following sections we will look for the different approaches to debug Salesforce Artifacts. Since this article is focused on debugging Salesforce Process Builder, we will configure the following approaches to debug Process Builder flows only.
 

Approach 1 - Using Apex Email

 
Configure "Process Automation Settings" 
We need to make a few changes to these settings as shown in the steps below:
 
Step 1
 
Search for "Process Automation Settings" as shown below.
 
Step 2
 
Click "Process Automation Settings".
 
 
Step 3
 
Select "Apex Exception Email Recipients" from the dropdown as shown.
 
 
Configure "Apex Exception Email"
 
We need to first add a required user to the recipient list so that the user gets the error details in the email.
 
Step 1
 
Search for "Apex Exception Email" as shown below.
 
Step 2
 
Click "Apex Exception Email".
 
 
Step 3
 
Click "Add Salesforce User" to add the user to the recipient list.
 
 
Step 4
 
This will launch the "Add Salesforce User" screen, click on the search name icon to find the Salesforce User Directory.
 
Step 5
 
This will launch the User Lookup screen, type the name of the user you are trying to add.
 
Step 6
 
Click "Go".
 
Step 7
 
If the search can find a match as per your search keyword, then it will be shown to the "Search Result" section. Click on the user name you'd like to add as a recipient.
 
 
Step 8
 
This will close the lookup window and copy the selected user in the name textbox
 
Step 9
 
Click "Save" add the selected user to the recipient list.
 
 
Step 10
 
After the user is added to the recipient list, it will look as shown.
 
 
To utilize this approach first we have to generate the exception and then we will perform a detailed analysis of the error information received in the email.
 
To generate the exception please refer to the "Generate Exception for Demo" section down below. Here I am copying the screenshot of the error generated from this section.
 
 
Analysis
 
Now we will analyze the error information that we received as part of debugging through Apex Email
 
We can see the email received as shown below:
 
Step 1
 
We can see the subject line giving some idea on the source of exception, as we can see it the flow by the name "Update_Contact_Details" throws this exception
 
Step 2
 
We can see the email id that Salesforce used to send this error email to the recipient
 
Step 3
 
We can see that error occurred since "Account.Primary_Email__c" returns a null value, which is expected as we have removed the account information associated with the current contact record.
 
Step 4
 
If we analyze the email body we can see some obvious information like "Flow API Name: Update_Contact_Details". With this information, we can conclude that this error occurred in flow with the name as specified in Flow API Name.
 
Step 5
 
We can see under which user credential this flow executed, like in this case this flow was executed by user "Prashant Bansal".
 
 
Step 6
 
This is the most important piece of information where Salesforce is informing us that both Email & Phone fields could not be resolved for obvious reasons.
 
 

Approach 2 - Using Developer Console Logger

 
Developer Console Logger is a very powerful mechanism to debug almost every kind of functionality on the Salesforce Platform. We will analyze the exceptions that occurred as shown in the followings steps.
 
Configure Log Level
 
To track exceptions from different sources (Apex, Database, Workflows and so on) we need to configure the log level within Developer Console > Debug Menu as shown below.
 
Step 1
 
Click "Developer Console" to launch developer console
 
 
Step 2
 
Click on the "Debug" menu
 
Step 3
 
Click on "Change Log Levels"
 
 
 
Step 4
 
On "Change Log Level" screen, click on "Add/Change"under "General Trace Settings for You".
 
 
 
Step 5
 
On the "Change Debug Level" screen, click on "Add" to add a new debug level with custom configuration
 
 
 
Step 6  
 
Enter the name of new Debug Level, lets' call it "Process_Builder"
 
 
 
Step 7
 
This is important to understand that we can add the level and configure each of the sources and define what level of tracing we need.
 
We can reach out to the details of "Debug Log Categories" and “Debug Log Levels" by following Salesforce documentation at Debug Log Levels.
 
 
Step 8
 
In our case, we need to trace exceptions coming from Workflows, so in this custom Debug Level we will turn off tracing for all log categories except "Workflow". We can turn off tracing by selecting "None" from the dropdown on the custom debug level row. We will select "FINER" as log level which gives the best available data for exception generated on any of the Workflows across Salesforce Org.
 
 
 
That is all we need for the configuration.
 
To generate the exception please refer to the "Generate Exception for Demo" section down below. Here I am copying the screenshot of the error generated from this section.
 
 
 
Analysis
 
Now we will analyze the error information that we received as part of the debug log of the developer console.
 
Once exception occurred we can see a new log entry on the Developer Console.
 
 
 
Double click it to open the log.
 
In this log we can focus on some important entries as mentioned below:
 
"WF_CRITERIA_BEGIN": This log entry gives details on the name of the sourcing process (Update_Contact_Details) that causes this exception.
 
 
 
"FLOW_VALUE_ASSIGNMENT": This log entry gives details on data assignment to the flow variables, this could be useful to see what values were passed to these variables during workflow runtime
 
"FLOW_ELEMENT_ERROR": This log entry gives the details on specific error information and can be very helpful to point us out quickly to identify the true cause of the exception
 
"WF_FLOW_ACTION_ERROR_DETAIL": This log entry gives the details on exception statement, it is the same statement that you have seen as exception message on the User Interface
 
 
 
We can double click on any of the log entries to open it as a message box as shown.
 
 
 
With this information, it will be easy to track down the exceptions occurred in Salesforce automation flows & other development paradigms (Process Builder, Workflows, Visual Flows, Apex, Database, REST APIs and much more).
 
This article is equally useful if you wish to debug any development artifact in Salesforce and not just Workflows.
 
I hope you enjoyed this article. Please leave your comments to let me know how you like the content and if you found it helpful to learn about the topic.