Connecting Flow Blocks to Other Flows

While there are many ways to customize individual flows, you may also want to configure custom behavior outside of a flow for submissions processed through certain blocks. For example, you may need to send submissions' state-change information to your downstream systems mid-flow. With the Notification Flow field in Submission Initialization and Manual Supervision Blocks’ settings, you can link Notification flows to specific blocks in your Document Processing flow.

Linking from pre-built vs. custom flows

If you are linking from one of the pre-built flows in your instance (e.g., "Document Processing V35"), you can only link to Notification flows. However, you can create customized blocks with the Flows SDK that allow you to link to any flow in your instance, regardless of whether it's a Notification flow or a Document Processing flow. The examples in this article show Document Processing flows linking to Notification flows, as that functionality is available "out of the box."

 

Linking one flow to another

To link one flow to another flow:

  1. Go to Flows, and click on the name of the flow you want to link from.
    • In this article, this flow is called the "primary flow."

  2. In Flow Studio, click on the block you want to link from, and click on it to reveal its settings.

    You can link from the following blocks in pre-built Document Processing flows:
    • Submission Initialization
    • Manual Classification
    • Manual Identification
    • Manual Transcription
    • Flexible Extraction

  3. In the Notification Flow drop-down list, select the flow you want to link to.
    • In this article and in the application, this flow is called the "subflow."
    • If you are linking from a custom block, the name of this field and its available options may be different. For details, reach out to your organization's flow developer.

The subflow appears as linked to the primary flow in Flow Studio. In the example below, the subflow “Submission State Notifications for Document Processing V35” is linked to the primary flow’s Submission Initialization Block.

LinkedFlow.png

 

Making changes to a subflow

You can make changes to a subflow while viewing its primary flow in Flow Studio.

  1. Open the primary flow in Flow Studio, and click on the subflow you want to edit.

    Clicking on the subflow reveals the subflow's blocks.

  2. Click on the subflow block that you want to change, make your changes, and click Save at the top of the page.

    If the subflow is not shared by other primary flows, the changes appear in the subflow as soon as you click Save.

  3. If the subflow is shared by other primary flows, the Save Changes dialog box indicates how many other flows are using the subflow.

    LinkedFlowsSaveSubflow.png
  • Click Save changes for all Flows to have your changes applied to all occurrences of the subflow.
  • Click Save only for this flow to create a new version of the subflow that is specific to the primary flow currently shown in Flow Studio. The new version's name is in the format [Subflow name] (for “[Primary flow name]”) (e.g., Notifications V35 (for "Document Processing V35”). 

Making changes to a subflow linked to multiple blocks in the same flow

Multiple blocks in a primary flow can link to the same subflow. However, if you edit the subflow for one of those blocks, the changes apply to all occurrences of the subflow that are linked directly to that primary flow. In other words, a primary flow can't have block-specific versions of a single subflow.

Example

Both the Manual Classification and Manual Transcription Blocks in the "Document Processing V35" flow link to the "Notifications V35" flow. If you change the "Notifications V35" flow that's linked to the Manual Classification Block, the system creates a new flow called "Notifications V35 (for "Document Processing V35")," and that flow is linked to both the Manual Classification and Manual Transcription Blocks in "Document Processing V35."

 

Creating multiple levels of linked flows

You can also link flows to your subflows, creating additional levels of linked flows.

While there is no limit to the levels of linked flows you can create, Flow Studio only shows a primary flow and its immediate subflow. To view additional levels of linked flows, open each of the individual flows in Flow Studio. There, you can configure that flow and its linking to its directly linked flows.

Exporting and importing connected flows

When exporting connected flows, you need to export each flow separately. After you import the flows to a new instance, the connection between the flows remains intact.

To learn how to import and export flows, see Managing Flows.

Troubleshooting connected flows

Each flow shows errors only from that flow, not from any flows linked to it. To view errors for a flow's subflows, you need to open those individual flows in Flow Studio.

Removing a linked flow

To unlink a flow:

  1. Go to Flows, and click on the name of the flow whose subflow you want to remove.

  2. In Flow Studio, click on the block linked to the subflow you want to remove, and click on it to reveal its settings.

  3. In the Notification Flow drop-down list, select None.
    • If you are unlinking a flow from a custom block, the name of this field may be different. For details, reach out to your organization's flow developer.

The flow no longer appears as a linked flow in Flow Studio.

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