Flow vocabulary

Content under development

Access 

Access or authorization defines who has permission to run a flow. The options include – Anyone can run this flow, Any user that can login with the selected identity service can run the flow, Create restrictions for users and specific users. (Access is called authorization in the API).


Actions

Boomi Flow elements include actions, which are features that act on the state of the flow, or provide feedback to the user. Actions shown on the same line are parallel or simultaneously evaluated. Actions include operation, navigation override, message actions, vote, data actions (which include filters), listeners, and content actions (like feedback).


App

Abbreviation for application. At Boomi Flow, we convert business processes into flow diagrams, which get converted by the Flow engine into applications. A typical flow includes user roles, business rules, and routing based on the rules.


API

Abbreviation for Application Programming Interface. An API is a software library or protocol that facilitates interaction between different software or services. You can find the Boomi Flow API documentation here.


Assets

Assets are files you may want to include in your workflow; like images, videos, or presentations. These are static resources that could be images, presentations, spreadsheets, text files, code snippets, or brand identity kits (logo, custom graphics).

You can find more information on assets here.


Authentication

Authentication is the process by which your user (or groups of users) are identified by an app. Boomi Flow apps typically use a username and password combination for authentication. You can also build public apps that do not require any authentication to run, by using the default Identity service that comes with your tenant.

Third-party services that support authentication include Salesforce and Box. If a service supports authentication, the Identity option will be checked under service features.


Builder

Person building a flow using the Boomi Flow application. You can add multiple builders to a tenant.


Business rules

Business rules in a Boomi Flow application are a representation of real-world business rules (or policies or logic). Business rules can be used to define different outcomes or actions based on conditions specified in the rule. Business rules can be implemented for user interface, data, routing, or validation.


Canvas

When you are building an app with Boomi Flow, the canvas is where you build the flow. This is the canvas (the thingamajig inside the red border):


Comments

You can add comments when creating a flow or creating values, to add any notes or reminders to yourself. Comments are visible to all builders in a tenant, but is not displayed to users.


Compliance

The technology infrastructure of an enterprise may have to conform to established industry standards, as well as local laws and regulations on privacy and security, depending on its line of business. If the organization is using external resources, like cloud services or an app development platform like Boomi Flow, the external resources can be responsible for compliance as well.

Boomi Flow has been certified ISO27001:2013 compliant. The Boomi Flow platform provides HIPAA compliance in encryption, disaster recovery, access controls, and auditing. Customers can leverage the Boomi Flow platform’s PCI-DSS compliance to reduce their own PCI compliance complexity.

The Boomi Flow platform has also been implemented using the HITRUST CSF.

You can find more information on Boomi Flow’s security and compliance program here.


Component

We can use page components to split a page layout into independent parts. Once created, components can be reused. (Components are similar to functions in programming.) Flow components are divided into Content, Input, Data, and Charts.

Content — Hidden | Presentation | List | Outcomes | Image

Input — Input | Radio | Checkbox | Toggle | Text | Rich Text | Combobox

Data — File Upload | Table | Files | Tiles

Charts — Bar | Line | Pie | Doughnut | Polar Area


Container

A container is a presentational element in a page layout. We can add various components to a page container.

We can style containers as Rows, Columns, Inline, Group, Flip, Chart.

We can also nest containers, if we like.


Debug

The Boomi Flow debugger lets us observe run-time behavior of our flow, and track root faults, component errors, pre-commit state values, state values, and execution log. We can access debug options from the Run menu.

This is how debugging a flow looks like:


Decision

A decision is an element in the Boomi Flow drawing tool that allows you to route your flow via different execution paths depending on a set of conditions; for example if a value is equal to a specific text.


Delete

The delete element allows us to delete an item or multiple items from an external source via a service.


Drawing tool

The Boomi Flow Drawing Tool is the drag-and-drop environment that allows you to build an app. Clicking LOG IN logs you to the drawing tool, with the Flows tab open.


Element

We build apps in Boomi Flow by adding different building blocks to a canvas, and combining the blocks; these blocks are called elements. There are four categories of elements we use – Map, Shared, Group, and Navigation.

Map elements are elements we can drag and drop to the canvas (for example, a step that shows users an app screen). ManyWho uses eight map elements – 1.| Step 2.| Page 3.| Decision 4.| Operator 5.| Message 6.| Load 7.| Save and 8.| Delete.

Shared elements are elements that can be shared (for example, a value is shared across all flows in a tenant).

Group elements let us provide permission-based access to parts of our app. We have one group element – which is the swimlane.

Navigation elements let us add navigation to our app (similar to how a menu would work in a website), giving us the ability to handle non-linear processes.


Flow

A flow (also, flow diagram) is how you build your app in Boomi Flow. Once you have diagrammed your business process on the canvas, the Boomi Flow Engine converts it into a working app.

This here is a flow diagram:

This flow diagram converts into this app, when published:


Flow ID

An alphanumeric string that is unique to a flow. A Flow ID is generated when a flow is first created.


Flow Version ID

The Flow Version ID stores an unique identifier generated by the Boomi Flow engine for each version of the flow. The ID has 36 characters, a combination of 32 lowercase alphanumeric characters and four hyphens; there are no spaces. You can find the Flow Version ID at the bottom of your Boomi Flow canvas.


Flow Run URL

The URL generated when you run a flow is the Flow Run URL. The URL includes the Flow ID, which remains constant throughout the lifecycle of a flow, and the Flow Version ID, which is updated every time a flow is edited. It also includes information about the player used to run the flow.


Flow versions

Every time you change the flow, the Boomi Flow engine creates a new version or copy of the flow with the incremental changes.

You can find information on how to roll back to a previous flow version here.


Groups

We can decide who has permission to access the application we are building, by creating restrictions for specific users and groups of users. Any service that supports identity, lets us create groups.


Identity service

Boomi Flow applications need an identity service (like Salesforce or Box) that is used to authenticate access to a flow (with a username/password, token, etc.) and authorize access to parts of a flow (permissions for a swimlane, flow, etc.).

Your Boomi Flow tenant comes with an Identity Service, which you can use to build public apps or apps that do not need third-party authentication. You are asked to select a service while creating your flow.


Join URI

Each flow is able to automatically generate a link, which allows someone to invite collaborators or rejoin the specific flow at a later date. This is a system value called the $JoinUri. A join URI allows you to share the running instance of a flow with multiple users. After starting a flow the URL in the address bar will change to a join URI.


Kind

When you are creating a type, you need to create properties for that type. The kind literally specifies what kind of properties you are creating. Kind can be  Boolean, Content, Date/Time, List, Number, Object, Password, String, or Encrypted.


Load

The loads element allows us to fetch data from an external source via a service into a value (either a single item or a list of items).


Listener

A Boomi Flow listener is used to listen to events on objects stored or managed by a service. When an event occurs (example, a record is updated) in the underlying application (say, Salesforce), the service can invoke a flow for it to take appropriate action.


Macro

We can execute code from within our flow, by using the macro element in Boomi Flow.

The macro can be used for calculations (X times Y), logic (If X greater than Y Then…), as well as data validation, like: (If (X == “”) then generate an alert that X can not be empty).


ManyWho Identity Service

A Boomi Flow tenant comes with a default identity service, which can be used to build public apps or apps that do not need third-party authentication.


Message

Messages allow us to interact with systems outside of Boomi Flow via services. We can use the message element to send a text message using Twilio, for example.


Metadata

Metadata is data about the data and elements in your flow. For example, if you have a Step element, its metadata will include the data it was created, the date it was modified, who created the element, etc.

Boomi Flow separates the metadata of a flow from its data, making it easy and simple to update or localize content.


Metrics

Flow metrics provides us quantitative information about our tenant and flows. Right now, we can see the number of states created, service failures, and service requests.


Navigation

The navigation element lets you link and group elements into a menu bar. You can link to any map element using the navigation, to create a menu.You can use the navigation element to build non-sequential workflows, where flow control passes from one element to another without waiting for a previous element to be executed. This is an example of navigation:


Operator

Operators allow us to manipulate values when a flow is running, by defining one or more operations. For example, we can set a date/time value, or assign an object’s property. Each operation can be given a specific Order value (from 0 to infinity); this number will determine the order in which the operations will be run. Operations with the same order execute simultaneously.


Outcome

Outcomes connect elements in the canvas and show how a flow progresses. In your app, the outcomes get converted into buttons, that when clicked take the user to the next screen.

Some elements (like Load or Save, that handle backend database actions and are not visible in the front end), do not have any buttons that are visible in the app, but must still be connected using outcomes.

The first outcome in the flow is the outcome of the Start element, which connects an arrow from Start to the first element you place on the canvas. All your flows will have at least one outcome (connecting the Start element to another element in the canvas). This is an example of an outcome:

Subsequent elements can have multiple outcomes.


Page layout

A page layout in Boomi Flow lets you create and structure a page to show your users in an app. A page layout is extremely extensible, and gives you a rich variety of options to structure and display rich content with. You can also create your own components and containers using a page layout.

This is a page layout:

You can see a preview of what this page layout will look like in the app:


Player

Boomi Flow players use themes (think of them as skins) for the app. A Boomi Flow player is the interface used to render flows. Boomi Flow ships with all of the Bootswatch themes as standard, as well as the Salesforce 1 theme. You can also create a new player, and customize the CSS code to your liking. This is a screen from an app running the Salesforce player:


Picklist

You can create a picklist to let users select values from predefined lists — for example a picklist of countries where the user is from. In Boomi Flow, picklist is available as a custom type.


Reporting mode


Run

Running a flow lets us see how your app will be rendered in real life. We can run a flow by clicking the Play button on the right-hand-side navigation of the canvas.

We can also run a flow by clicking Run on any flow in the Flows tab.

In the Run dialog, we need to consider which UI we want your flow to run in. If we do not have a player installed, the flow runs in the default player that comes with Boomi Flow.


Runtime service

You can use the ManyWho Runtime service to create subflows and flow outs. Flow outs are part of the core platform.

The runtime service can be used with the flow out feature to get the state information (say, load the state you want to join) or flow information (say,load the flow you want to flow out to).

Some of the other things you can do with the service include:

  1. Executing sub-flows as a message action
  2. Listening to flow states for UPDATE and DONE events
  3. Loading sub-flow states, optionally querying on “External ID”
  4. Loading runtime flows, optionally querying on “Flow Name”.

The ManyWho Runtime service does not come pre-installed in your tenant.


Publish


Save

The save element lets us send data back to an external source via a service.


Social feed for collaboration 

Select Display a social feed if you want to add a comment box that talks to a service. (Currently works with Salesforce Chatter.)


State

The state can be defined as the running instance of a flow that contains all the data.

If you like, you can configure how often state data is deleted for an application you are building. You can also chose to never delete state data.


Step

The Step element lets us display content to end-users of our apps. A Step can contain videos, images, tables, links, presentations, or code snippets. The Step gets converted into an app screen.


Subflow

A subflow is a second flow your flow calls during runtime.


Swimlane

A swimlane lets users build an application that passes control between users with different privileges. For example, there may be an ’employee’ swimlane and a ‘manager’ swimlane for an app that approves expenses submissions.

The Swimlane element in Boomi Flow lets you group some elements in order to limit a user’s access to them. For example, if you want to allow anyone to access your flow, but only want to allow some specific users to access a set of elements.

To use swimlanes, configure the authorization strategy for your swimlane and drag elements inside it.


Subtenant

A subtenant is a new tenant under the same tenant account.

Subtenants do not have visibility into the content, flows, values, or service integrations of the tenant (and vice versa).

You can use different subtenants for different divisions of your company. For example, separate subtenants for HR and Accounting. Subtenants can also help to organize your project, for example, you can logically separate out deployment environments into Development, Staging, and Production.

Subtenants do not come with the default Boomi Flow services. If you want to use them, you will need to add the service integrations.


Tag


Tenant ID

An alphanumeric string that is unique to each tenant. A Tenant ID is generated when a Boomi Flow account is first created.


Tenant

A tenant is an user of a software application that serves multiple other users as well. When you create a Boomi Flow account, you are assigned a tenant where all your flows, content, and the metadata related to your flows are saved.


Type

A type is an object used to send data to and from a service. A type uses a predefined structure, e.g. an Account, Person or Message. We can use types to create representations of real world things we are likely to use in our app. A type can have properties.


User interface

The parts of the app with which your user interacts directly. It includes the look and feel, commands, and menus through which an user interacts with your app. You can customize the Boomi Flow user interface to run your apps anywhere, or look the way you want them to. Check out our HTML5 UI SDK for more details.


User

The person who uses or will use our app.


Vote


Value

Values in Boomi Flow are similar to variables in the programming paradigm. They are containers that have a name, and contain data. This data can be numbers, text, dates, instances of a type (say, Type: Customer), or another value. You can find more information on values here.


Vendor assets

Vendor assets are third-party JavaScript libraries that are loaded independently of the UI framework (for performance reasons). These are dependencies that we sometimes version.


Version