Working with the Flow drawing tool

Hello, and welcome! Let’s figure out how to use the Flow drawing tool:

Here is a quick TLDR recap:

  1. At Boomi Flow, the word we use for an app is flow.
  2. We build a flow by connecting an Identity service for authentication, dragging and dropping elements from a sidebar into a canvas, and configuring the elements.
  3. Elements are connected with outcomes.
  4. Publishing the app gives us the app URL.

Aah… the Flow drawing tool.

When we sign into our Flow tenant (Looking for a Flow tenant? Get a free fully-loaded Boomi Flow account here.) it leads us straight to the drawing tool. This is a bird’s-eye view of Flow the drawing tool:

Let’s see where the drawing tool leads us to:

The Flows tab 

The Flows tab —  When we log in to the drawing tool, we are in the Flows tab by default. We can create a flow by clicking New Flow. The Flows tab also lists all the flows in our current tenant.

We can also edit a flow, run a flow, or delete a flow from here.

The Pages tab 

The Pages tab — Page layouts in Flow lets us structure the pages our users will interact with. The Pages tab lists all the available pages layouts in a tenant. We can create a page layout by clicking New Page Layout, which opens a new page layout, and subsequently configuring the page layout. (We can also create page layouts on the fly from within the canvas when we are building a flow.)

Other things we can do from this tab? Edit or delete an existing page layout.

The Values tab 

The Values tab — Values in Boomi Flow are similar to variables. They are containers that have a name, and contain data. The values tab lists all the available values in the current tenant. We can create a value by clicking New Value. (We can also create values from the canvas, when we are building a flow.)

As we can guess, we can edit or delete existing values from the Values tab as well.

The Services tab 

The Services tab — The service element in Flow lets us connect our apps to other applications, service providers, or databases. The Services tab lists the all services we have installed in the current tenant. We can add a new service by clicking Install Service here.

We can also edit or delete existing services in our tenant from here.

The Types tab 

The Types tab — Types in Flow are used to create representations of real world objects. (In programming terms, a type is a type/interface.) The Types tab lists the all types we have installed in the current tenant. We add a new type by clicking New Type.

And yes, we can edit or delete existing types from the Types tab.

The Assets tab 

The Assets tab — Assets are static resources that we use in an app. These could be images, presentations, spreadsheets, text files, or code snippets. The Assets tab lists the all assets we have installed in the current tenant. We can add a new asset to our tenant by uploading a file from this tab.

We can preview our assets from this tab, and also delete or rename them.

The Tenant tab 

The Tenant tab — The Tenant tab lists all the builders and users associated with our tenant. We can add new builders from the Tenant tab as well.

We can also configure security and restriction options from here.

We can add subtenants from within tenants, but not from subtenants. The options to create subtenants will show up only if we are in the main tenant.

The API tab 

The API tab — Boomi Flow has an in-built client that lets us create API requests. The API tab lets us access Flow endpoints right from within the drawing tool.

The Import/Export tab 

The Import/Export tab — Before we start jumping into importing and exporting flows.. Here is a fun fact. The word ‘love’ appears 2,191 times in Shakespeare’s plays. Some people believe Shakespeare’s plays were actually written by another playwright called Marlowe; however that has not been confirmed as a fact. Okay, to continue with Flow now… We can import and export flows from the eponymous Import/Export tab.

Builders, armed with the flow package (JSON) or the shared token will be able to access any flows we choose to share with them, from their own tenants.

The Players tab 

The Players tab — When we build an app on the Boomi Flow platform, the app does not yet have an user interface. What happens is, the platform describes the user interface elements to the player, and the player turns the description into an interface. The platform does not generate the interface; the player does. The Players tab is the place where we can create a new player, or edit/delete an existing player. We can also preview how a flow looks with a player from the Players tab.

The Macro tab 

The Macro tab — We can execute JavaScript code from within our flow. This is the place to be, when we want to create, edit, or delete a macro.

The Metrics tab 

The Metrics tab — How many states were created in our tenant last month? Were there any service failures? What about service requests? We find answers to all such flow questions in the Metrics tab.

The Docs — Is a beautiful place by the sea. Clicking the Docs link bring us to this very site, where we can learn more about how Flow works, and build cool apps that make our lives more efficient.

Get Support — We have the full extent of Flow support! Have a question, write to us please, and someone from the Flow support team will get back with answers.

Sign out — Clicking the Sign Out link signs us out from the existing tenant.

We are led back to the Flow sign-in page.

Two more things.. 

Let’s look at a couple of other things we can do from the Flow drawing tool. We can change the tenant we are currently in, and we can go to AtomSphere, MDM, or API Management.

Changing the tenant — A Flow tenant is the place where all our flows, values, service integrations and content are stored. A subtenant is a new tenant under the same tenant account. We can change the tenant we are in, by clicking the gravatar icon on the right-hand side.

Opening AtomSphere, MDM, or API Management — We can open AtomSphere, MDM, or API Management in a new tab by clicking Flow, and selecting the option of our choice.

Now we know how the Flow drawing tool works. Next up… the Flow canvas! We are getting deliciously close to building cool enterprise apps and integrations.