Flowbuilder

What is a flow?
Creating a new flow
Managing flows (edit, duplicate, delete)
Activating a flow

Overview

A flow is a series of logical steps that are connected in a tree diagram which is used to represent and execute specific business logic. The flows represent a capability (or Skill) of a Bot. Most flows represent a back and forth conversation between the Bot and an end user or between a Bot and a system. Generally, the more capability or complexity a bot has the more flows that Bot uses to implement the associated business logic.

The following outlines the components of the Designer used to create, view and manage flows.

Flow List

When you click on your bot from the Bot list a list of all flows will be displayed as a list of tiles. Flows are listed alphabetically and each tile shows the name of the flow and its current state (Active, Offline, etc)

Design Canvas

The Canvas (on the left side of the screen) is the visual representation of your flow. There are three simple controls for navigating your view of the Canvas: zoom in, zoom out and a button that will pan your view back to the beginning of the flow. You can also use your mouse’s scrolling function to zoom your flow in and out, and you can click and drag to move around.

Configuration Panel

When working with a Bot, Flow or a Step the current configuration will show up on the right side of the screen in the “Configuration Panel”. The contents of this panel changes based on the state of the flow “Active, Deactivated, Edit Mode.” Or the item of focus on the canvas. The following describes the available views based on the current state of the flow:

Flow is active:

  • General – This shows the flow name, description and traffic report
  • Deployment – This allows for access to flow logging data and URL endpoint for http flows
  • Cards – If a flows has cards (report views or configuration views) they show up in this section of the configuration panel

Flow is inactive:

  • General, Deployment and Cards – Same as above
  • Step Details – This view shows you configuration of any step you have clicked on within a flow.

 

Flow in Edit Mode:

  • General – This shows the flow name, description and traffic report
  • Steps – Shows a list of steps currently associated with the flow. Additional steps can be found in the Step Library
  • Step Details – This view shows you configuration of any step you have clicked on within a flow.

Zoom and Center

On the top left of the Canvas there are zoom and center icons that help in viewing and navigating your flow

Managing Flows

Flows can be downloaded from the Bot Library (and customized afterwards as desired) or created from scratch. There is no limit to the number of flows a bot can contain, which means the bot can accommodate an unlimited variety of capabilities. A flow must be activated to available and can be deactivated and reactivated at any time. The Online/Offline indicator in the list of flows will indicate which ones are active at a given time. If the flow has been updated since last activation time, the Online indicator will be turned to yellow.

 

Adding a Flow to your Bot

To add a new flow, click the blue + button in the bottom right corner of the screen. A menu with the options to either download a flow or create a blank one will appear.

If you do not want to create a bot from scratch look in the Library to see if there are any Bots or Flows that perform fuctions similar to your use case. Click on the blue + and choose “download from Library”. If you see a Bot or Flow “Template” that matches your needs you can download it to your account.

If you choose to create a new flow, you will be taken to a blank flow page with a sidebar containing the Flow details. Use the General tab to specify the Flow name, description, and other properties. On the top you will see a “Start” icon pointing to a + sign below. You will then need to add steps to your flow and create your flow. When you’ve finished, click the Save button to save your flow.

 

Editing / Deleting a Flow

To edit the flow, click the Edit button at the bottom right corner of the screen. To delete a flow, enter “Edit Mode” then use the Delete button at the bottom right corner of the screen. This will remove the flow along with all the steps it contains. The flow will also be deactivated prior to deletion if it is currently active. (Note that if you have created custom steps that only exist within a certain flow they will be deleted along with that flow.)

 

Activate / Deactivate a Flow

In order for a flow to become “live” and beable to receive send messages (Voice, SMS, HTTP, etc) it must first be activated. Prior to activating a flow make sure all steps are configured properly. (They will show as red if in error). During the activation process you will see a confirmation or failure in the bottom right after the process completes. Once the flow is active the flow logic will be accessible as needed.

To deactivate “turn-off” the flow choose “Deactivate from the bottom right. You will get a notification once the deactivation process completes and the flow will no longer respond.

 

 

Flow Properties

Flows can be accessed in View and Edit modes.

View mode allows you to preview the Flow structure and Step details (by selecting Steps in the tree) which vary depending on the state of the flow. For Active flows, you can get useful usage information about your flow using the Traffic report, Deployment Logs, and Cards associated with the Flow. If the flow is not active but in View mode you can general details, view the current layout and view the step details associated with the flow.

You can also Activate inactive Flows from the View mode.

Edit mode allows you to fully set up the Flow and edit all of its properties, steps and logic. You can also Delete your Flow from the Edit mode.

The available tabs and controls in the Sidebar will change depending on the mode you choose.

General Tab

Along with the Flow name and Description, this tab contains the following settings and controls for deactivated flows:

Flow source – this is a JSON object representing the entire flow. It contains all of the Flow’s details, including the structure, steps and step templates, and user inputs. This means you can duplicate a complete flow by copying and pasting the JSON object into new flow’s Flow source. The Flow source can also be edited and saved to effect changes to the Flow. (For Advanced Users Only)

Update library step templates – if you are using Bot library step templates in your Flow, and there are updates available, clicking this link will update them to the latest versions available in The Library. (A single step template can be updated from Steps section, see Steps for more help.)

Memory size – a setting to control the amount of resources available for the execution of your flow. It influences the speed of your flow start-up, response and execution. The more memory is allowed for your flow, the more each flow execution costs. We recommend starting with the minimum memory size for a new flow and increasing it if testing shows the need to do so.

Execution time timeout – the maximum time allowed for the execution of your flow. If the timeout is reached while the flow is still executing steps, the Flow will cease its execution and end. The timeout is measured within the actions taken during a single flow execution where no user input is pending. For instance, a single API call or a set of processing steps.

Traffic (View mode only) – visually maps your end users’ journeys through the Flow. Colors are used to high-light different journey types. The line thickness represents the volume of user who have taken a particular path through a flow. Use the slider control to filter the end user journeys by popularity (i.e. the percentage of users who have gone down those paths).

 

 

Alternative traffic report shows the percentage of users come to the specific point of the flow, means 100% get subscribed to the flow and how many choose which scenario further. This can help improve flow logic excluding non-popular paths.

 

Deployment tab

The flow subscription details, like type, phone number the flow can be reached on, keyword, etc., and flow execution logs are shown here with the date of last activation. If the flow has been updated after last activation, the Yellow indicator will signal this.

 

For HTTP triggered flows, the options to Copy JSON URL or XML URL will give the link the end user can reach the flow with. You can use this URL to access and trigger the flow via API call.

If the flow has been activated, the Deployment tab will show the usage logs for a given period of time.

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