Information Flow Down


When working with primary affiliations, it's important to understand how information flows from a parent (company) account to child (individual or company) accounts. Affiliations connect accounts as parents or children of each other and information flow down is used to automatically update child account information when parent account information is updated.

For example: for a trade association, membership status may automatically flow down from a member company to its affiliated individual employees and company locations. Thus, when the membership status of the parent account changes, the membership status of all affiliated child accounts change as well.

Address Flow Down

Address flow down occurs for all affiliated accounts and differs whether the parent and child they are companies or individuals.

What Address Information Flows Down?

By default, address information flows down from a parent to primarily affiliated children accounts.

The following address information of a parent account flows down to each primarily affiliated child accounts:

  • Billing Address
  • Shipping Address

If the parent and child accounts are both individuals, this additional address information flows down from the parent:

  • Mailing Address
  • Other Address

Optionally, when affiliating individuals with companies where the individual wants to receive mailings at their place of work, selecting Copy From Primary Affiliation Shipping on the individual account causes the company's Shipping Address to flow down to the individual's Mailing Address. This can also be used when primarily affiliating two individual accounts.

When Does Address Information Flow Down?

Address flow down occurs when an account's primary affiliation is added or changed.

In some instances, address information does not flow down.

Address flow down does not occur when:

  • There is a preexisting address on the account
  • Do Not Flowdown Address  is selected on the affiliation
  • An account's primary affiliation is removed and no new one is added
  • An affiliation is added or updated that is not primary
  • Information on a child account's primary affiliated parent account is updated

Membership Flow Down

Membership flow down occurs for those membership types where Category is set to Company or Both and does not occur for Individual membership types. Learn more about membership types.

What Membership Information Flows Down?

By default, membership information flows down from a parent to primarily affiliated children accounts.

The following membership information flows down from company accounts to each primarily affiliated individual or company location account:

  • Membership
  • Join On

This membership flow down is subsequently reflected in these fields on each individual or company location account:

  • Status Membership Flag
  • Member Type
  • Member
  • Lapsed
  • Member Thru
  • Lapsed On

When Does Membership Information Flow Down?

Membership flow down occurs when an account's primary affiliation is added, changed, or when the parent account joins or renews as a membership.

In some instances, information does not flow down depending on the type of information, and the scenario.

Membership flow down does not occur when:

  • There is a preexisting personal membership on the account
  • Your order process has been customized to select Pending on memberships created during join or renewal
  • An affiliation is added or updated that is not primary
  • Information on a child account's primary affiliated parent account is updated

How Does Information Flow Down?

Information flow down for memberships and address information occurs in two different ways, which you can customize based on your association type and affiliation structure.

Synchronous Flow Down

For an account with a small number of primarily affiliated child accounts—less than 1000 by default—membership and address flow down occurs synchronously. As soon as membership or address flow down is initiated, all primarily affiliated child accounts are updated immediately. Synchronous flow down is ideal for professional associations or smaller trade associations, because all records are updated immediately upon a change.

Asynchronous Flow Down

For an account with a large number of primarily affiliated child accounts—1000 or more by default—membership and address information flows down occurs asynchronously. When membership or address flow down is initiated, asynchronous flow down works by splitting up the accounts to be updated into batches of 200—by default, and puts all the batches into a flowdown queue. Each batch in the flowdown queue processes using a scheduled Apex job until all accounts are updated. When asynchronous flow down completes, an email is sent to a designated staff member. If a staff member initiates flow down, that staff member and the designated staff member both receive emails when the update completes.

Asynchronous flow down ensures the large number of record updates needed are scheduled and handled in the background, without encountering any Salesforce limitations.

Customizing the Asynchronous Threshold

Since you know your "big" accounts, and how many affiliations they have, you can customize the threshold for when asynchronous flow down is used for memberships and addresses. The threshold is set to 1000 primarily affiliated child accounts by default, but you can you may want to decrease the threshold given the needs of your association. Here are a few things to consider when making that choice:

  • The type of association—Generally, a higher threshold is well suited for professional associations and trade associations with accounts that have a low number of affiliations.
  • The number of affiliations to your "big" accounts—We recommend a lower threshold if your association has accounts with more than 500-1000 affiliations.
  • The depth of affiliation hierarchies—We recommend a lower threshold if your association has accounts with many child, grandchild, great-grandchild, etc. affiliations.
  • The number of Account triggers and/or flows—If your association uses many triggers and/or flows for process automation, you may consider a lower threshold to ensure all updates are made without encountering any Salesforce limitations.

Keep in mind that asynchronous flow down only applies to those accounts that meet the set threshold for number of affiliations. All accounts with a number of affiliations fewer than the set threshold update synchronously; changes are immediate in these cases.

For example: if you set the membership flow down threshold at 500 primarily affiliated child accounts, membership flow down from your "big" accounts with 500 plus affiliations happens asynchronously, and happens synchronously for all smaller account updates.

If Nimble AMS was installed prior to the Winter '19 release, your org may be set up to only use synchronous information flow down or partial asynchronous information flow down. We recommend you Enable Asynchronous Flow Down for memberships and addresses.

Also, your association may be using a custom information flow down behavior.

We recommend you get your administrator some ☕ and have a chat about how information flow down works for your association.


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