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 V36"), 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.
  1. Click Save.

The subflow appears as linked to the primary flow in Flow Studio. In the example below, the subflow “Submission State Notifications V36” is linked to the primary flow’s Submission Initialization Block.

LinkedFlowV36.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 Close above the subflow in the canvas.

  3. The Save Subflow dialog box presents options for saving the subflow.

    SaveSubflow.png
    SaveSubflow2.png
  • Click Save everywhere this subflow is used in this canvas to create a copy of the subflow that is specific to the primary flow currently shown in Flow Studio. 
    • This option is only available if the subflow is connected to multiple blocks in the primary flow and to at least one block in another primary flow.
    • For example, if the Submission State Notifications V36 subflow is connected to the Manual Identification and Manual Transcription Blocks, a copy of Submission State Notifications V36 containing your changes is created and connected to those blocks.
      If Submission State Notifications V36 is a subflow in other primary flows, the Submission State Notifications V36 subflows in those primary flows remain unchanged.
  • Click Save for only 1 subflow to create a copy of the subflow that is specific to the subflow’s connected block. 
    • For example, if the Submission State Notifications V36 subflow is connected to the Manual Identification and Manual Transcription Blocks, and you edit the subflow connected to the Manual Identification Block, a copy of Submission State Notifications V36 that contains your changes is created and connected to the Manual Identification Block. By default, this new subflow is called "Submission State Notifications V36 (Copy)". The subflow connected to the Manual Transcription Block remains unchanged.
      If Submission State Notifications V36 is a subflow in other primary flows, the Submission State Notifications V36 subflows in those primary flows remain unchanged.
  • Click Save for everyone who has used this subflow and update these flows: to have your changes applied to all occurrences of the subflow in your instance. A list of the primary flows using the subflow is provided.
    • This option is only available if the subflow is used in other primary flows.

You can also change the name of the subflow or the copy of the subflow you create by saving your changes. To do so, edit the name in the Subflow Name text box.

4.  Click Save.

If you’ve created a copy of the subflow as a result of saving your changes, the copy appears on the canvas with a different colored bar than the original subflow.

SubflowsColoredBars.png

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.

Deploying connected flows

Errors will occur if a deployed primary flow has subflows that aren’t deployed. You can deploy a disabled subflow directly from the primary flow’s canvas by clicking on the subflow and then clicking Make live in the flow’s settings. 

SubflowMakeLive.png

You can also deploy subflows when you deploy the primary flow. For more information, see Managing 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.

  4. Click Save.

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

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