Governor Limits & Table Manners

Q: What are governor limits in Salesforce?

If you haven’t already, it would make sense to first read about multitenant architecture.

I always conflate the word “governor” with the political position. But apparently “to govern” is a much broader concept, one which is more closely related to conduct. Basically, a government conducts a policy, and an individual governs their emotions, and Salesforce governs how we use the shared resources made available to us.

Now that (as of five minutes ago) I’m all wise that “govern” is mostly the same as “conduct,” I can’t help but think of manners and politeness.

Basically, by implementing governor limits, Salesforce is inviting you to come over for dinner, but reminding you gently that you have to use your table manners and inside voices while you’re over. It’s totally not a passive-aggressive warning, Salesforce is just that friend you have who is a bit obsessive about order and cleanliness and definitely probably doesn’t offer to let you choose the music. You might be totally starving, but there are absolutely no third servings available. You might have been indulging a bit much in that IPA that Salesforce was brewing in their garage, but you still have to wait for whoever is in the bathroom to get out before you can do your business.

Maybe that sounds too harsh, it’s not that the governor limits are so strict as to be limiting. Try to be optimistic: maybe they exist to incentivize you to write more efficient code, design better business processes, separate and modularize logic, etc.

I digress. Really the best way to remember governor limits is just to remember your dinner party manners. Salesforce’s house has only so many plates and cups and forks and seats and bathrooms. If we’re all coming over for dinner, governor limits are those social norms which tell us we should wait our turn, speak politely, and offer everyone else the last falafel even though we really want it for ourselves. Because only in a civilized setting like this do we have a chance to all have a bit to eat, to chime in with an unwanted opinion here and there, and ultimately to get the opportunity to spend some time with dear friends.

Oh, yeah, if you want minutiae, here’s the documentation for governor limits (warning: drier than California during a drought).

That’s all, cheers! Check out the other Conversations here.

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