Flow builder overview

Angel Cheung
Angel Cheung
  • Updated

Flow builder overview

Introducing the flow builder

A flow is an automated workflow built in Pendula. Flows have triggers (things that start them) and then nodes (actions or steps that follow).

The flow builder is the place where you can design your automated workflows. You can configure each node individually, build in business logic, and connect to other data sources.

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The menu bar at the top of the window allows you to add a flow name and flow description. Simply click on the text to edit it.

The flow builder itself is divided into two sections:

  1. The toolbar (left): Here you can browse and select different nodes. You can click the arrow in the top right to minimise or maximise the toolbar.
  2. The canvas (right): Here you can drag and drop nodes and build your flow. The canvas lets you configure, rearrange, and build your flows however you like! You can use the zoom slider in the top right to change the zoom scale, and the undo and redo controls to reverse changes.

 

What is a node?

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All Pendula flows are made up of nodes. Nodes are modular and configurable. Each node represents a step in the workflow, and can be a process (sending or receiving data) or an activity (a touchpoint with a customer, like an SMS conversation). When nodes are put together, they create the customer experiences we call flows. Let's take a look at each node type:

Trigger nodes

These start the flow. They are event based (when something happens, start the flow) and are configurable.

Messaging nodes

These are used to send communications. They can include one-way, and two-way communications, and span multiple channels (like SMS, or email).

Data nodes

These are used to send or receive data. Make a web request allows you to communicate with other services APIs at any point in a flow.

Workflow nodes

These are used to perform common workflow functions. Criteria filter allows you to refine experiences in the flow, and criteria split allows you to create segments. You can learn more about workflow nodes here.

Adding a node to the canvas

All flows need a ‘trigger’ node to start the flow. Learn more about trigger nodes here.

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  1. Click and drag a node from the toolbar onto the canvas. The available helpers will pulse where you can drop that particular type of node.
  2. The settings panel will open automatically after placing the node.
  3. Once configured, click Save to save your settings.
  4. Nodes can be edited at any time by hovering over the node and clicking the settings icon that appears beneath it.
Nodes with multiple outcomes, such as the conversation node, will show helper paths on the canvas.

Adding more nodes to the canvas

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Click and drag another node from the toolbar onto the canvas. The available helpers will pulse where you can drop that particular type of node.

Deleting a node

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Hover your mouse over the node you wish to delete, and click on the bin icon that appears beneath it. When you delete a node with multiple outcomes, you can either choose to keep an outcome path, or delete all successive paths.

Duplicating a node

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Hover your mouse over the node you wish to duplicate, and click on the copy icon that appears beneath it. Note that the copied node will have (Copy) appended to the end of it's name.

Joining nodes (creating paths)

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You can join nodes and create paths by dragging outcomes to other nodes. To do this, drag the grey + icon and drop it onto the desired outcome node. This creates a new path for that particular outcome.

You cannot remove a joined node path and orphan the child node; to remove a path you must delete the child node.

Editing node name, node description and guide text

A node's name and description can be edited in order to make it more easily identifiable at a glance. Node names, descriptions and guide text don't affect anything to do with configuration.

You can edit a node's name, node description and guide text by opening the settings pane (click the 'settings' icon or just double click a node to open the pane) and editing the details on the left hand panel. 

Editing node configuration

Clicking on a node will bring up its settings pane for you to configure. Different nodes have different configuration options; we will go through some of them below.

Node settings are divided into two sections:

  1. The node details pane (left): Here you can edit the node name, node description and node guide text. These details are available on every node.
  2. The node configuration pane (right): Here you can edit node configuration. The settings available to edit vary based on node type.

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