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The Trial - Clicks, Code, and Kafka, Christian Szandor Knapp, Daniel Stange


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People using some combination of Apex and Flow/Process Builder can experience ‘Too many DML statements’ or ‘CPU Time Limit exceeded’ exceptions. Resist the urge to fingerpoint at a specific implementation detail or an AppExchange Package and test your flows during development for specific scenarios including differing batch sizes.
By testing your flows with various batch sizes, you will better understand how Flow and Apex handle bulkification differently. The talk was about getting a grip on what is actually happening between Process Builder and Sub Processes or Process Builder and invocable methods.
We took measurements for all kinds of scenarios and found that, while showing good performance on a per-record bases, performance for any process builder-based solution that invokes Subprocesses or Flows shows a significant increase of CPU time consumption for every new batch of 200 records that are processed in a transaction. This is best consumed in form of our visuals available in the slides and the Github repository. Please also note that Process Builder uses SOQL Queries in order to do its job, even when you’re not explicitly reaching to parent or child object, but only update a field on the record itself.
So how does Process Builder bulkify from Apex? As the documentation states:
“When multiple interviews for the same flow run in one transaction, each interview runs until it reaches a bulkifiable element. Salesforce takes all the interviews that stopped at the same element and intelligently executes those operations together.”
Imagine 2000 records being inserted via Apex and a Process Builder Process is responsible for setting a Boolean on Insert.
For each batch of 200 records
process builder uses a query to get the 200 records
instantiates one flow interview per record
waits for all 200 interviews to reach the same bulkifiable element (record update in our case)
executes the bulkifiable action for all 200 interviews together
It is an important question at design time, if my Process Builder/Flow Implementation will be faced with more than one batch. It is also worth noting that trying to ‘bulkify’ process builder+flow yourself might achieve the opposite: slower running solutions, and higher system limit consumption.
The repo containing sample code for the benchmarks, sample data and a detailed readme, can be found at
Reach out to @ch_sz_knapp and @stangomat on Twitter

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The Trial - Clicks, Code, and Kafka, Christian Szandor Knapp, Daniel Stange

  1. 1. The Trial Clicks, Code, and Kafka Ch. Szandor Knapp, Daniel Stange
  2. 2. #CD19 Christian Szandor Knapp Salesforce MVP & Munich DG Leader appero Head of Salesforce Development @ch_sz_knapp Daniel Stange Frankfurt UG Leader DIA Technical Architect @stangomat
  3. 3. #CD19 1. Metamorphosis a. What we witnessed b. What we’re afraid of 2. The Trial a. Premises and Paradoxes b. Test Setup 3. The Judgement a. Statistical Evidence b. Forensic Evidence Itinerary
  4. 4. #CD19 METAMORPHOSIS [Salesforce] ist eine beständige Ablenkung, die nicht darüber zur Besinnung kommen läßt, wovon sie eigentlich ablenkt. Franz Kafka, adapted
  5. 5. #CD19 One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself in 2009 - Workflows, Apex in 2019 - Workflows / Processes, Flows, Apex with Events Metamorphosis Screenshots: Old flow cloud flow builder New flow builder
  6. 6. #CD19 GIF ugly bug on a bed black white gif from movie Here’s what we’re all afraid of System.LimitException: Too many DML statements System.LimitException: Apex CPU time limit exceeded
  7. 7. #CD19 THE TRIAL Someone must have sabotaged Josefine K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, her org broke. Franz Kafka, adapted
  8. 8. #CD19 A Talk About Order of Execution What this is not
  9. 9. #CD19 Paradoxes - available since Summer 2018 13:01:09:158 (94505994476) |LIMIT_USAGE_FOR_NS|(default)| Maximum CPU time: 240 out of 10000 13:01:08:157 FLOW_START_INTERVIEW_LIMIT_USAGE CPU time in ms: 240 out of 15000 W-6375582
  10. 10. #CD19 Paradoxes - look for CPU Time Limit in Flow Limits 13:01:09:158 (94505994476) |LIMIT_USAGE_FOR_NS|(default)| Maximum CPU time: 240 out of 10000 13:01:08:157 FLOW_START_INTERVIEW_LIMIT_USAGE CPU time in ms: 240 out of 15000 n- us.216.0.salesforce_vpm_guide.meta/salesfo rce_vpm_guide/vpm_admin_flow_limits_ape No results
  11. 11. #CD19 The right understanding of any matter and a misunderstanding of the same matter do not wholly exclude each other. The Trial Screenshots: Old flow cloud flow builder New flow builder
  12. 12. #CD19 Process Builder Quiz: Set a Boolean on Insert Inserting 2000 records (via apex, data loader, …) … how many Queries will be consumed? … how many DML statements will be consumed? … how much CPU Time will be consumed?
  13. 13. #CD19 Process Builder: Setting Boolean on Insert
  14. 14. #CD19 I like to make use of what I know Setup: - Mocking an advanced system with trigger management and logging - We insert a lot of light weight custom objects in various code and/or click combinations to measure results The Trial Screenshots: Old flow cloud flow builder New flow builder
  15. 15. #CD19 MyTrigger: Available as unlocked package MyTrigger and Logger Logger:
  16. 16. #CD19 They’re talking about things of which they don’t have the slightest understanding, anyway. The Trial Screenshots: Old flow cloud flow builder New flow builder
  17. 17. #CD19 Collecting Evidence Scenario All Clicks All Code Clicks & Invocable Code Single Record Operation Creating a Mock will create a related MockMock Multi Records (single batch < 200) For every n Mock, n MockMocks are created. We’ll increase n by 50 in each run up to 200. Fully batched operation (> 200 records) We then fill the full execution context of the Mock trigger with 201, 300, 400, 401 up to 4500 records (23 batches with 200 each). Can it create 4500 MockMocks?
  18. 18. #CD19 THE JUDGEMENT It's unbearably dark in here Franz Kafka
  19. 19. #CD19 Statistic Evidence: Create Child Records Scenarios All Clicks All Code Clicks & Invocable Apex Single Record 95ms - 118ms 118ms 121ms Multi Records (single batch) 68-81ms (n=50) 92-126ms (n=100) 118-136ms (n=150) 159-162ms (n=200) 847-1563ms (n=300) 121ms (n=50) 194ms (n=100) 190ms (n=150) 252ms (n=200) 383ms (n=300) 239ms (n=50) 373ms (n=100) 607ms (n=150) 793ms (n=200) 1504ms (n=300) Fully batched (4500 records) 9680 to 14681ms 4989ms 12455ms
  20. 20. #CD19 Statistic Evidence: Create Child Records
  21. 21. #CD19
  22. 22. #CD19 Forensic Evidence: Debug Logs A lot of “Flow Interviews” run (instances of a flow or PB Action) Yet the DML statements get batched up properly
  23. 23. #CD19 Forensic Evidence: Debug Logs When we create 400 records in one transaction400 … Process Builder kicks off 400 flow interviews (1 per record). Max CPU time points at the slowest interview, not all! … all of them will be paused to collect ‘bulkifiable actions’ … which are executed in ‘bulk’, so invocable Apex receives a maximum of 200 records 200 200 200 200 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 … (400 single flow interviews
  24. 24. #CD19 Forensic Evidence: Debug Logs Flow Interviews (= Process Builder/Flow) 400 Iterations… (blue markup) Summary (red markup)
  25. 25. #CD19 User Experience differs widely from system limits consumption! Fig.: Less than 1 sec CPU time consumed, but 4.4 secs have elapsed. Forensic Evidence: Debug Logs Total Elapsed Time (!= CPU Time!) is around 4.4secs.
  26. 26. #CD19 ● Take well informed decisions when choosing your automation tools: ○ Read the documentation and follow up with every release ○ Monitor the operations in the Debug Log and Analysis Perspective ● KISS - avoid complexities if possible ○ If you cannot draw it, do not build it ○ Take the least complex design. Can you go full Flow? Or full Apex? ○ Remember good ol’ Workflow Rules - low impact automations! ● Always test your operations with 201 or more records ○ use Dataloader etc. to insert & update records in a Sandbox Key Takeaways
  27. 27. #CD19 ● We are blazing trails to something exciting - an event driven business platform with secure apps across all devices with visual and programmatic development ● If you think in events instead of sObject Updates, many things sort themselves out Witnessing commotion in the force “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of [CPU Time Exceptions] suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.”
  28. 28. #CD19 ● Logger: ○ ● MyTriggers: ○ ● Code Examples from this presentation: ○ Resources
  29. 29. Thank you!