Auto-save helps people focus on their work without having to manage saving data in the form. Most people will appreciate not having to explicitly save data each time they update a record, but some organizations may have customizations that were designed expecting an explicit save. For these organizations there are options to manage how auto-save is applied.
How auto-save works
By default all main forms for Updated Entities will have auto-save enabled. After a record is created (initially saved), any changes made to a form will automatically be saved thirty seconds after the change is made. If no changes are made in the form, the automatic save won’t occur while the form is open. After a change is made the 30-second period before an auto-save begins again. The field that someone is currently editing isn’t included in an auto-save. If someone else has updated the same record while you’re editing it, those changes will be retrieved and displayed in the form when auto-save occurs.
With auto-save enabled, the save button only appears for the initial save of the record. After the record is created, the save button in the command bar isn’t shown, but you can see a button in the lower right corner that will show if there are any unsaved changes. This control is also displayed if auto-save is disabled.
You can click this button to save the record and refresh data in the form immediately. When auto-save is enabled the record will be saved whenever you navigate away from a record or close a separate window displaying a record. There is no need for the Save & Close button that appears in forms for entities that aren’t updated.
Should you disable auto-save?
If you have plug-ins, workflows, or form scripts that execute when a record is saved, they’ll run each time auto-save occurs. This might lead to undesirable behaviors if these extensions weren’t designed to work with auto-save. Whether auto-save is enabled or not, plug-ins, workflows, and form scripts should be designed to look for specific changes, and shouldn’t execute indiscriminately for each save event.
If you have auditing configured for an entity, each save is treated like a separate update. If someone lingers on a form with unsaved changes for more than thirty seconds, you’ll see an additional entry only if they add more data after the auto-save is performed. If you have reports that depend on auditing data and treat each save as an individual “touch” of a record, you might see an increase in the frequency of touches. If you are using this approach, you should consider that individual user behaviors make it an unreliable metric with or without auto-save enabled.