Step-By-Step Guide On 'Actions' in Lightning Experience

I have written this blog post for a selfish reason. Even after working on Salesforce technology for a long time now, somehow I was always getting confused about ‘Actions’ in Salesforce. How to configure, where to configure, what are the different types, where do they appear, why are they not appearing etc..  Though I could make things work by trial and error, I had to repeat the whole process again on another project. So out of frustration (and a little bit of shame), I thought about finding out all about Actions that I need to know, organize my thoughts and document it as a blog post for my reference. And I do hope that it will serve you as well. So let’s get started…

Actions in Lightning Experience are another productivity feature to work in Salesforce. Using actions, you can create, update, delete or clone records, create a child record, call a flow/visualforce page/lighting component, post to chatter or even work with multiple records at a time. There are standard actions in Salesforce which are pre-defined by Salesforce and then there are custom actions that you can define yourself. At a high level, there are two types of action in Salesforce.

  1. Global Actions
  2. Object Specific Actions

These actions can then further be classified as 

  • Standard Chatter Actions
  • Default Actions
  • Mobile Smart Actions
  • Productivity Actions
  • Quick Actions
  • Mass Quick Actions

Actions appear in different areas and sections on a record page. Where an action will appear in the UI will depend on the type of action.

Standard Chatter Actions

Standard Chatter Actions are available only when Chatter is enabled. They include Post, Poll, Question, Announcements (Groups Only). They appear under the Chatter component.

Default Actions

Default Actions are pre-set actions that you can use when setting up the record pages. They are available on Global, Account, Case, Lead, Contact & Opportunity page layouts. The default actions vary by the object type.

Mobile Smart Actions

Mobile Smart Actions are pre-defined bundles of actions that you can use to quickly set up quick actions on for your mobile users. e.g. If you add a Smart Actions action on Account page layout, it will include New Task, New Contact, New Case, Log a Call, New Note, New Opportunity actions all in one as a bundle. They are available on Account, Case, Lead, Contact & Opportunity and Global publisher layout in Salesforce Mobile App.

Productivity Actions

Productivity Actions are pre-defined actions available on certain standard objects such as Account, Contact, Event, Lead, User and User Profile. They include Send Email, Call, Map, View Website, and Read News.

Quick Actions

Quick Actions let users do more in Salesforce and in mobile app. They are further categorized into Global, Object-specific, Lightning Component, Flow & Visualforce Pages as Actions. 

Mass Quick Actions

Mass Quick Actions, as the name suggest, lets you perform mass updates on records in list view. You can use them on Campaigns, Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, Cases, Work Orders and custom objects. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on Actions in Salesforce. In this guide, we will learn

  • How to Create Global Action
  • How to Publish Global Action
  • Understand Object Specific Actions
  • How to Override Pre-defined Actions
  • Which Action will be Displayed Where on the Page and
  • How to Define Custom Action

By the end of it, hopefully, you will have a pretty good idea about how exactly ‘Actions’ work in Salesforce


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