Overview

Nected's workflow automation platform provides an efficient, intuitive solution for configuring and executing custom workflows. With a flexible trigger node system, users can initiate automated processes based on a broad range of input parameters, from basic types like strings and numbers to complex data structures such as JSON objects and lists. This adaptability allows for precise, data-driven automation tailored to unique business requirements.

Extending beyond simple triggers, the platform enables the addition of various nodes for data processing, logical operations, and external API communication. Security is prioritized with customizable authentication settings, ensuring secure API interactions. The availability of workflow API URLs and parameters facilitates smooth integration into existing systems, streamlining workflow management across different environments.

As Nected continues to innovate, users can look forward to more trigger options and advanced node functionality. The platform is not only designed to automate routine tasks but also to provide a comprehensive toolset for intricate, operational workflows that integrate seamlessly with diverse systems, bolstering efficiency and scalability.

Workflow Components

Nected workflows are composed of several key components that enable users to create and manage complex workflows efficiently. These components include:

  1. Rule Node: This component allows for the implementation of business logic by defining conditions and specifying consequent actions based on whether those conditions are met. Rule nodes are essential for creating dynamic workflows that can adapt to various scenarios and conditions.

    • Edit Rule: After opening a rule node, at the top of the tab, just after the Rule name there is an option to edit the rule. Clicking this button opens a new window where you can edit the same rule. This feature helps you fix the rule in case you face any problems executing the rule node.

  2. Workflow Node: Workflow nodes enable the embedding of a sub-workflow within the current workflow, facilitating modular design and reuse of common sequences of tasks. This component promotes the creation of reusable and modular workflows, improving efficiency and reducing redundancy.

    • Edit Workflow: Same as the edit rule, gives you the option to edit the workflow.

  3. Code Node: The code node provides a space to write and execute custom code within the workflow, often for data manipulation, calculations, or other logic that requires scripting. This component offers flexibility and customization for users who need to incorporate specific logic or functionality that is not available through the no-code editor.

  4. Settings: The settings section allows users to define broader operational parameters and any additional options controlling the node's workflow behavior. This component includes options for timeouts, retrials, limits, and other settings that can be tailored to specific workflow requirements.

  5. Trigger Node: The trigger node initiates the workflow (currently using an API call). This component is used to define input parameters for the trigger, such as customer ID or behavior data, and specifies their types (e.g., string, number).

  6. Testing: Testing is a crucial step in the setup process, ensuring that each component functions as expected and interacts correctly with others. Through testing, users can identify and correct any issues, ensuring a smooth operation of the workflow once live.

  7. Publishing: After testing and verifying all components, users can publish their workflow. All elements, including rules, must be in a published state for the workflow to be activated.

These components work together to create a robust and flexible workflow automation platform that can be tailored to various business needs and requirements. By leveraging these components, users can create complex workflows that streamline operations, improve efficiency, and enhance productivity across various business processes.

Setting Up Workflow

  • Log into Nected Dashboard: Start by logging into your Nected account. Access the dashboard to find the tools and options for creating workflows.

  • Navigate to Workflow Option: On the left panel of the dashboard, locate and click on the ‘Workflow’ option. This action takes you to the workflow management section.

  • Create a New Workflow: Click on the ‘Create Workflow’ button. This opens a window where you can define the details of your new workflow.

  • Name your workflow (e.g., “Sample Workflow”) and decide its stage (staging or production). Staging allows you to test the workflow without affecting live data, while production puts the workflow into actual use.

After creating your first workflow, follow this steps to complete the process of creating the workflow:

Configure the Trigger via Trigger Node

  1. In the workflow editor, the start node is your trigger by default.

  2. Click on it to open the trigger configuration.

  3. from the list choose the type of trigger you want. Currently, only the API trigger is available. More triggers {such as events and cron/scheduler} are coming soon.

  1. You can define different types of input parameters for your trigger:

    • String: For alphanumeric data, such as names or addresses.

    • Numeric: For numbers. It could be integers or decimals.

    • Date: For date values without a time component, in the format DD/MM/YYYY.

    • DateTime: For date and time values, in the format DD/MM/YYYY HH:MM.

    • Boolean: For true/false values.

    • JSON: To input raw JSON data.

    • List: To input a list of items, which could be numbers or JSON or any other type.

  2. Click on Add Field, choose the type, and provide a name for each attribute.

  3. Enter example values for these attributes as required for testing purposes. (Example values are compulsory to test the trigger)

  4. Navigate to the Settings tab within the workflow editor.

  5. Here you will find your Workflow API URL which can be copied.

  6. You can also find the Body Params here, which are needed when requesting your workflow API.

  7. Copy the Body Params to be integrated into your system for triggering the workflow.

  8. Setting Up API Authentication (Optional):

    1. Within the Settings tab, you can add an authentication layer to use your API securely by selecting from the available methods.

    2. Once you select the preferred authentication method, configure it according to the requirements.

    3. After setting up, make sure to save your changes.

    4. For more detailed information on authentication methods, please refer to the Nected documentation on API authentication here.

Add Nodes

To add nodes, follow these steps:

  1. Access 'Add Node': Click on the '+' button, to open the “Add node’ panel.

  2. Select the Desired Node Type: From the 'Add Node' modal, browse through the available nodes. You'll see a variety of nodes, each represented by an icon and name, indicating its function.

    1. Action Node: Action Nodes are the primary executors of operations and play a key role in handling data, making decisions, and executing processes.

      1. Rule Node: Enables the implementation of business logic by defining conditions and specifying consequent actions based on whether those conditions are met.

      2. Workflow Node: Allows you to embed a sub-workflow within the current workflow, facilitating modular design and reuse of common sequences of tasks.

      3. Code Node: Provides a space to write and execute custom code within the workflow, often for data manipulation, calculations, or other logic that requires scripting.

      4. Database Node: All the supported databases i.e. MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, REST API, Redshift, and MS SQL Server are available as DB Node.

    2. Control Node: Control Nodes manage how and when actions occur, influencing the workflow’s logic and timing.

      1. Delay: This node can be used to schedule the next steps or introduce a pause in the workflow for a specified duration, which can be useful for timing-based operations or rate-limiting API calls. Further, this can also be used after sending the response but performing some actions afterwards, to control the response time to API

      2. Response: Sends responses back from the workflow, typically used in API workflows that need to return data to the caller. Response in the workflow is just the same as Results in the Rule. You can read more about Rule Results from here. Note: If a response node is being added in the middle of a flow, by default a Delay node will also be added right after the Response Node. This is happening because adding a response ends the flow above that node, so anything new that will be added after the Delay Node will run asynchronously within that workflow.

      3. Set Variable: Sets or updates the value of a variable within the workflow, which other nodes can then use for dynamic data manipulation. In this node, you can set the following variables: Boolean, Numeric, String, Date, List, JSON, and Formula.

    Note: To use the output data in subsequent nodes via tokens, one must test the added node to set up sample output.

Configure the Node:

Click on the node to configure it. Fill in the necessary parameters, test it, and set proper settings according to your requirements.

  1. Input Params: The Input Params section looks different for different types of Nodes. In the respective field of nodes, you can feed in respective constant values(like string or number) or map any outcomes from any previous Nodes using tokens available in the dropdown list or can map directly the global variables using tokens.

    Note: Only compatible data-type tokens are available in the dropdown to select.

    In the dropdown, there are three types of tokens you can see:

    • Trigger Nodes: {{ Trigger.attribute_Name }} for example: Trigger.sensor_id

    • Previous Nodes: {{perv_node_Name.attribute_Name}} for example: SetVariable1.output.key_1

    • Global Attributes: {{globalVar.attribute_Name}} for example: globalVar.edtechLeadsBucketD

    By hovering on the specific attribute, you can see the value of that input param. This feature allows you to check the attribute value you're adding to the input param field.

  2. Test Result: Once you've entered the input parameters, you can test the node to ensure it functions as expected by just clicking the 'Test' button. You'll see the following sections:

    • Input section(optional): The Input section is purely optional as it can only appear if the node is a rule node. Else this section will not appear.

    • Output Section: In the output section, same as the rule result tab, you can see the execution result in JSON format, along with the Action name and status(if all conditions are met).

  3. Settings: The Settings section allows you to define broader operational parameters and any additional options controlling the node's workflow behavior. Like timeouts, retrials, limits, etc. Now, the settings tab can also vary according to the node types. Go to the specific node pages for a more detailed overview of specific settings tabs.

  4. Save: After configuring the node, save your node. It's important to test the node before saving the node if you want to use the output of this node in any of the subsequent nodes.

Node Status:

Based on the current configuration of the nodes, it can be in any of the following three states: Untested, Tested, and Error.

Node Limit: The maximum number of nodes within a workflow that a user can create is 50. If you want to increase this for your account, please contact us at support@nected.ai

Test & Publish the Workflow

Nected allows you to test workflows in a staging environment before deploying them to production. This ensures that your rules are working as expected.

Test a Workflow

  1. Test in Staging: Click the "Test in Staging" button to test a workflow.

  2. Input Data: Ensure that proper input data is given to all added nodes.

  3. Test Result Tab: In the "Test Result" tab, you can evaluate the node's behavior and performance in a controlled staging environment.

If the added nodes have an error, then the test in staging will be disabled.

Publish a Workflow

  1. Test All Nodes: Test all the nodes separately or run "Test in Staging" before publishing.

  2. Publish Button: After testing the workflow, click on the "Publish" button to publish the workflow in production.

Please refer to Test & Publish Workflows for more detailed information.

Workflow Environments

Nected Workflows enable you to manage rules in multiple environments.

  1. Staging – Workflows can be thoroughly tested in a staging environment, which utilizes non-production integrations and data. This environment is crucial for validating workflows before they go live. Staging workflows can be tested directly on the Nected platform using a Test console or through an API designed for staging purposes.

  2. Production – Once workflows have been validated in staging and are ready for live operations, they are transitioned to the production environment. In production, workflows interact with real-world data and integrations. Triggers for production workflows are exclusively via API, aligning with best practices that separate testing and live operational activities. The Test console is reserved for staging to prevent accidental impacts on production data and services.

To make a Workflow in Production, You must test all the nodes separately or run "Test in Staging", otherwise the Workflow won't be published.

Workflow Status:

Each workflow is assigned a "Status" to indicate its progression from creation to deployment. These statuses help users manage the lifecycle of their workflows.

  1. Status: This represents the stage of development that a workflow is in:

    • Draft: The workflow is in the initial stages of development. It has been created but may not be fully configured or ready for testing.

    • Tested: The workflow has been configured and tested in a staging or test environment to ensure it behaves as expected.

    • Published: The workflow has been fully tested and is now deployed to the production environment, where it is active and operational.

      1. Has Draft: After the workflow is published if there is any new changes draft version of the workflow is available, which may be a new workflow or modifications to an existing one that hasn't been tested or published.

      2. Has Tested: There is a tested version of the workflow, which has passed through initial checks and is pending final review or approval before publishing.

Manage Workflow:

  1. Log into Nected Dashboard: Start by logging into your Nected account. Access the dashboard to find the tools and options for creating workflows.

  2. Navigate to Workflow Option: On the left panel of the dashboard, locate and click on the ‘Workflow’ option. This action takes you to the workflow management section.

  3. Click on the ‘Create Workflow’ button. This opens a window where you can define the details of your new workflow.

  4. Name your workflow (e.g., “Sample Workflow”) and decide its stage (staging or production). Staging allows you to test the workflow without affecting live data, while production puts the workflow into actual use.[By default it is always in staging]

  5. Click Clone to duplicate the existing workflow. You can modify a cloned rule using the Edit button.

  6. Click Delete to remove a Workflow from your Nected platform. The Delete workflow dialog box opens. Click the Delete button on the dialog box to remove the rule.

  7. You must update a workflow after you delete a workflow if the deleted workflow is being called in that workflow.

Note: On the free plan, you can create up to 2 Workflows.

Versioning:

Every publish creates a new version of the workflow and you can always view the last published version along with the current draft. We are soon rolling out versioning rollback, diffs to see any of the previous versions and able to see the diff as. well as rollback rule to any of the previous versions, as per requirement.

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