Time-Dependent Workflow that triggers in less than 1 hour

As you probably know, Salesforce Time-Based Triggers can trigger before (or after) certain number of days (or hours) from a specified Date/Time field on the record that triggered the workflow. The valid range is 0 to 999 days or hours, and you can’t use decimal values, only integers. This means that out of the box you can’t, for example, make a workflow be triggered 15 minutes or half an hour after the rule was evaulated. However, in case you really want to do something like this, there is a workaround.

Step 1: Create a new custom Formula field

Let’s say that, for some reason, you want to create a task 15 minutes after an Opportunity record was updated. First, you’ll need to create a new custom formula field that evaluates to a Date/Time value. We are going to call this new field Record Edited Time Minus 45, and set its formula to LastModifiedDate - 45 * 0.00069.

In a Date/Time formula field 0.00069 represents 1 minute. So, this part of our formula 45 * 0.00069 actually represents 45 minutes.

As for security, make this field accessible to all users, but don’t place it on any layout.

After we save our new formula field, every time we edit an Opportunity record, this field will hold a Date/Time value that is 45 minutes in the past from the time the record was edited.

Step 2: Make your Time-Based Workflow use the new formula field

Now that you have created the required formula field you can go ahead and start setting up a workflow with a Time-Dependent Action that should fire 15 minutes after an Opportunity record was edited.

I’m not going to cover here how to create a Workflow, you should already know this, just keep in mind when creating a new Time-Dependent Action to set it to fire 1 hour after the Opportunity: Record Edited Time Minus 45, as shown in the image below.


The last step should be to acivate your workflow and test it out.


Now you know how to create a Time-Dependent Workflow Rule that will trigger in less than 1 hour after the record that triggered the workflow is edited and the workflow is evaluated.

Don’t forget to add your comments below.

I should point out that Time-Based Worfklow Actions are batched together and will be triggered within 1 hour of their designated time. This means that even if we set that an action should be executed 15 minutes after the record was edited, this still doesn’t guarantee that it will be executed exactly after 15 minutes.

Written on March 13, 2016