You can easily create an end-to-end digital workflow. It can be a simple productivity workflow to a complex transformation in a no-code, natural language environment with ServiceNow Flow Designer.
Flow Designer is a ServiceNow feature that allows you to automate business processes in a single design environment without writing any complex code. Also, it allows natural language to automate tasks, approvals, notifications. Flow Designer also supports integration with the external system by using IntegrationHub.
ServiceNow is a cloud-based platform that automates business processes and allows organizations to enhance operational efficiencies by simplifying and automating regular work tasks.
With its beginnings in IT Service Management, ServiceNow has expanded into an Enterprise Service Management platform for businesses, bringing together all business operations such as customer support, HR, security, and more.
Characteristics of Flow
- A flow automates that business logic for an application or process.
- A flow is defined as an automated series of actions that occurs every time a pre-condition is met.
- A flow is repeatable.
- A flow executes the same predefined process whenever it runs.
Note: Creating Flow Designer content within a scoped application rather than the "Global" is considered a good design practice.
Access to Flow Designer
Administrators can grant a user access to Flow Designer features in two ways:
1. Delegated Developmeant:
Delegated developers have only access to Flow Designer for a scoped application.
Follow the below steps to grant access
- Navigate to system applications > Studio
- Choose the application
- Go to File > Manage Developers
- Select a user from the developer Name filter
- Turn on Flow Designer and Save
Another way to give a user permission to access Flow Designer is by granting them one or more Flow Designer roles.
There are three roles provided in the base system
The Landing Page
The Landing Page provides quick links to move around the design environment.
- A Landing Page home link
- A Header menu with links to lists of Flows, Subflows, Actions, Executions, Connections, and Help links
- A menu for creating new Flows, Subflows, and Actions
The Flow Designer Page
The image shows the VTB Sample Flow opened in the design environment.
Flow Designer components
- Flow is an automated process that has a sequence of actions and a trigger that automates the business logic for a particular application or process.
- A subflow is an automated process that has a sequence of actions; Still, it takes data inputs that enable the process to start from flow, subflow, or script.
- Action is a reusable operation that enables users to automate different features in the ServiceNow platform without writing code.
- Core actions:
- Core actions are out-of-the-box actions available in a flow and these actions cannot be editable by the action designer.
- Action steps:
- It is a reusable operation within an action.
- A spoke is a scoped application containing Flow Designer content that is dedicated to the application or type of record.
- Flow Logic:
- Flow logic is the process where conditions are involved, e.g. If/Else, For Each, Call a Workflow, etc.
- Flow is triggered when a record gets created, updated, or scheduled.
Process of Flow Designer
When the flow is triggered, the process of flow occurs in the given order:
Flow Designer vs. Workflow
If you are creating something new, always use Flow Designer. but there are a few circumstances we should still use workflow.
- The Instance is running on an earlier release than Kingston.
- Complex process which requires scripted logic, then workflow can be used and call from a flow.
- Changing logic already developed using Workflow.
Benefits of Flow Designer
- Flow Designer blends multiple platform automation functions, configurations, and runtime information so that developers and process owners can operate, create, and troubleshoot flows through a single interface.
- Non-technical users can understand triggers, actions, inputs, and outputs with the help of natural language descriptions. You don't have to script.
- Flow Designer reduces development costs by providing a library of reusable flow components in the base system which is created by ServiceNow developers.
- Flow Designer reduces upgrade cost with the help of upgrade-safe platform logic instead of complex custom scripts.
- We can reuse and share our custom flow components with other Flow Designers.
- Extend Flow Designer to integrate with external instances and third-party applications with a particular subscription to IntegrationHub.
- Flow Designer Increase speed of development as users can create actions, flows, and manage flow execution in a single design environment.
About the Author
Rajendra Patel Senior Associate Engineer
Rajendra Patel, Senior Associate Engineer, ServiceNow Developer worked on ITSM Module.