The San Diego release brings us many powerful and cool tools in Flow Designer. Please, stop asking the question “When is Flow Designer going to have parity with legacy workflows?” We are SO past that point. Let’s take a look at a few of the new capabilities you get with Flow Designer in San Diego.
Waaaaaay back in the Rome release (ok, last summer), we introduced a way to address failed flows, subflows, and actions with an Error Handler block at the bottom of the screen. In the event something nasty happens to your flow/subflow/action, you can put in some actions to send a notification, create a case record, or even try to remediate the issue. This is far more useful than discovering issues days later then wading through logs and execution details.
With San Diego, we’re introducing another new way to trap errors called Try. This construct should be familiar to scripting developers as it follows the same idea as a try/catch block. Try enables you to run the actions inside the try block - if there is any kind of failure, you can take action in the section labeled and if error occurs after step *x*. Unlike the Error Handler, which runs the contents of the Error Handler section then terminates the flow, the Try block allows the flow to continue running after running it’s own little handler.
If needed, you can use multiple try sections. Yes, you can also use both Try and Error Handler at the same time. How’s that for flexibility?
Join us for Live Coding Happy Hour on February 25 at 4:30 EST as we get hands-on with the Error Handler and Try. Then I have plans to go make some of my current flows more robust!
Save flow as template
With San Diego, it’s now possible to create Flow templates. Take your common patterns and use cases and reuse them with minimal effort. No more “copy flow” then start reworking - just turn your current flow into a template with some inputs, and the next person can use your template, fill in the inputs, and they’re off!
Note 1: This feature requires AES (sn_app_eng_studio) and Flow Template Builder (sn_flow_template) plugins.
Note 2: This feature won’t be out until the Q2 update.
Flow Diagramming provides a more traditional flow chart view for your flows that many low-coders find easier to read. You’ll find the toggle switch at the top right to switch between the traditional and diagrammer views. What I didn’t realize at first was that you can also EDIT in this new view - why do I keep underestimating our product teams?! I found the standard plus (+) icon to add actions, flow logic, and subflows.
If you don’t see the View toggle at the top of Flow Designer on your San Diego instance, ensure you have the plugin Flow Diagramming installed.
Join us live February 22, 2022 at 8AM PT as we cover Flow Templates and Flow Diagramming.
Feature access list
A few releases back we added content filtering to Flow Designer. I’m sure you noticed over time the Actions and Flow logic lists are getting longer - and potentially confusing to new designers. Along with content filtering, we’ve something else to help for the novice users, the Feature Access List. You can find it under All > Process Automation > Flow Administration > Feature Access List. Apply the roles to the features you want to limit.
Let’s say you’ve just given someone access to create a new application, flow, and all the trimmings. Of course, you used Delegated Development to set them up with a new role. Let’s also say they haven’t yet been trained in the best practices of error handling, so go ahead and assign flow_designer to the entry Flow Error Handler and check the box at the top of the form to enable filtering. Click OK, and now they don’t see the error handler block at the bottom of their flows and subflows (or in the execution details) because their Flow Designer rights are granted through the deleted developer role, not the standard flow_designer role required to use error handling now. Go ahead and use this for other features to keep your citizen developers from information overload.
More usability improvements
- Data Pill Truncation - If you’re like me, then you use data pills a lot - and some of those data pills drill down (aka dot-walk) four or more levels deep to get the information you seek. In the past, this caused a rather hideous appearance when the data pill wrapped around inside the field value. With San Diego, we’ve added truncation to the data pills. Now if the data pill is too big to fit where it belongs, it has a “…” in the middle. If you REALLY want to see the full path, just hover your cursor over the data pill and you’ll get everything displayed. Clean, yet still informative.
- Flow logic menu filtering - Have you noticed the Flow logic menu getting longer? Well we decided it was time for a search filter there too. It’s time to stop scrolling and start filtering.
- Save/Delete names - This one may have slipped by you if you’re not watching closely. When you save or delete a flow/subflow the name of the item is now displayed in the modal - it wasn’t before, just a spinning circle with nothing to keep it company. It’s the little things that sometimes make me the happiest.
Check out the Break Point podcast from February 23rd for a great interview with Prinicipal Product Manager Brian Bimschleger. Bonus: He hints at things on the Flow Designer roadmap!
Don’t forget to check out our master schedule of San Diego Release Season content and look for the Integration Hub content next!