- Getting Started
- Example Intro
- Step 01: Add A Host System
- Step 02: Add An Integration Connection
- Step 03: Create A Flow
- Step 04: Save and Deploy Flow
This article is intended to walk through the basic steps of creating a flow within the Chain.io portal. We will walk through creating host systems, creating integration connections, and finally configuring a flow that utilizes those host systems and integration connections to transform the data and output it to its final destination.
There are some basic flow concepts that need to be understood before attempting to create a flow. These flow concepts can be found in our support documentation for Flows.
Before you begin building a Flow it is helpful to understand if you need to build a Send flow type or a Receive flow type. Knowing the direction of the flow will help you determine what type of Host System and Integration Connection type you will need to create in order to build a successful flow.
A Send Flow type utilizes a Workspace Host System as the source system where the data for the Flow will be coming from, while the destination system leverages an Integration Connection.
A Receive Flow type on the other hand, utilizes the integration connection as the source system, while the destination connection leverages the Workspace Host System, ultimately receiving the data output from the Flow.
For this walkthrough, we will build a Send Milestones Flow for the ASN/Milestones Automation Integration type. First, we will create a Host System and Integration Connection so we have all the endpoints we need to execute the Flow. Once we are done setting those up we will ctiononclude by creating a Send Milestone flow and deploying it for us to test.
Step 01: Add a Host System
Within your Workspace, navigate to the top right corner and click the hamburger icon and select Workspace Settings.
Within the Workspace Settings, click Host Systems under Setups.
You will now be in the Host Systems view where you can add new Host Systems as endpoints or view and edit, existing Host Systems that have been setup previously.
Click the green + Add Host System button to add a new Host System. Each host system selected will bring up a set of specific configuration options; for this example we will select API Client.
Upon selecting API Client, enter a name for the host system and click Save. For this example we used the name: Host System API
Note: The API client host system creates a Chain.io hosted endpoint that has additional configuration options found within the Flow configuration which will be covered shortly. These Chain.io hosted endpoints are extremely useful in testing flows.
Step 02: Add an Integration Connection
After the Host system is created, we will now need to navigate back to the integration so that we can create the integration connection.
At the top of the portal webpage, click the Integrations drop down in your main navigation, and select the proper integration. Or create a new ASN/Milestone Integration.
Navigate to the Integration’s page, and click Settings.
On the following page, click the New button found under the Connections area:
Upon clicking the New button, you will be taken to a new view where you can select your Integration connection type. In this case we will select the API under the Send Data From Chain.io subsection.
Note: Alternatively, you can create a connection within the flow configuration setup screen. It will be a more refined list of options available specific to that flow.
On the following screen you will be presented with configuration options associated with the connection type you selected. Fill out the applicable fields and click Save. For our example here we named our Host System: Milestones Integration API Endpoint Example
Step 3: Create a Flow
Go To Integration Settings
Navigate back to your Integration Settings and click + Add New Flow.
You will now be taken to the New Flow screen which provides you a list of flows you are allowed to create. Because we are creating an ASN/Milestone integration Flow in this example, we will select the Send Milestones flow.
Clicking Use brings you to the Flow Configuration page where you can set up your Flow to suit your business needs.
To be sure you create a valid flow to be used as part of an Integration, you must configure a series of items which help instruct the Flow on how to handle and manage your Integration’s data. Regardless of the Flow selected, there will always be a core set of configurations that must be set up before the flow can be put to use. Let’s cover those now.
This is where you name your flow and provide notes and additional support instructions so that users can quickly identify the flow and its intended purpose.
Note: Support Instructions are incredibly helpful to our support team when troubleshooting anything that may have kept your Flow from executing properly. If you have the ability, put as much relevant information about this Flow and its data that you think would be helpful in pinpointing any issues.
This section is where you identify how to connect the flow to the source system. For this walkthrough, we selected the Host System API which we set up in the Create Host System step and filled out the necessary information.
Source File Type
This section is where you select which file type you want to interact with. Each system’s file type will have its own unique set of configurations that are applicable to the system and flow type being used.
In this case, we used the Chain.io Standard Event JSON as the file type to keep things simple.
Destination File Type
In this section you have to select the destination system’s data structure that the final output will transform into. Similar to Source File Type, Destination File Types have their own set of unique configurations. In this walkthrough we used the CargoWise Universal Event XML file type and filled out the necessary information.
Similar to the Source connection, this is the configuration section in which you are identifying where you want to send the final output. For this example, we selected the Milestones Integration API Endpoint Example Integration Connection we created in the Create an Integration Connection step.
This section gives you the ability to subscribe to notifications for the status of your flow executions. You have the ability to receive emails and/or webhook notifications when certain events happen within the Flow execution. This is an optional configuration option, but is highly recommended that you subscribe to notifications so that you can be aware of any issues that may arise.
Step 04: Save and Deploy Flow
Upon configuring your flow to meet your needs, you must save and deploy the Flow to get it to execute. For detailed information on Saving and Deploying Flows, please see our support documentation on using the Save/Deploy Flow Feature
Saving A Flow
By saving the Flow, you are ensuring that the configuration changes are stored within our system for you to deploy at a later time. It is important to understand that saving a flow does not mean the Flow is in operation. Flows MUST be deployed to be in operation.
See Save/Deploy Flow Feature for more information.
Deploying A Flow
Deploying a Flow puts the Flow into operation and leverages the configurations to process, transform, and send data out to the destination system.