IBM Cloud Pak for Integration only: Creating flows by describing your integration

If you are using App Connect Designer in IBM® Cloud Pak for Integration, you can create a flow by describing your integration scenario in English natural language. Embedded artificial intelligence (AI) services, which are available with IBM Automation Foundation assets (formerly Asset Repository), are used to facilitate this process. Your text entry is analyzed to recommend high-matching assets that you can use to create your own flow. Your text is simultaneously parsed and used to generate a flow that represents your described scenario. This capability accelerates flow creation and extends the catalog of assets that are available to you.

Note:
  • Recommended assets are available only with App Connect Designer 12.0.1.0-r1 or later. Existing event-driven or API flows, which are either preloaded IBM App Connect templates or manually saved assets in your Automation assets instance, can be offered as recommendations.
  • The flow-generation feature is available only with App Connect Designer 12.0.2.0-r2 or later, and applies to event-driven flows only.

Before you begin

You must have access to an Automation assets instance in which Designer AI features are enabled to provide asset recommendations and support flow generation. A user with the Automation administrator role typically creates the instance from the IBM Cloud Pak Platform UI and grants access to members of one or more teams. For information about creating an Automation assets instance, see Automation assets deployment in the IBM Cloud Pak for Integration documentation. For more information about enabling or disabling Designer AI features, see Enabling AI-powered features for use with Designer and Disabling the AI-powered features.

About the preloaded IBM App Connect templates

When Designer AI features are enabled, Automation assets automatically loads a set of IBM App Connect templates on initial access. These templates are added as a remote by synchronizing to a public GitHub repository that stores a set of IBM App Connect templates at https://github.com/ot4i/app-connect-templates/tree/cp4i-templates/resources.

The templates are listed (as assets) in the assets table on the Browse Assets tab, with the Owner column set to IBM App Connect templates. The Remotes tab also displays an entry for these IBM App Connect templates in the "remote repository configurations" table.

Initial view of Automation assets

By default, Automation assets automatically synchronizes with the remote GitHub repository at hourly intervals. If preferred, you can edit the IBM App Connect templates remote to change this synchronization setting. Only Designer API Implementation and Designer Event-driven Flow asset types are supported for this remote. For more information about configuring remotes, see Remotes.

Note: If you are working within a restricted network that is not connected to the internet, you must manually preload the templates by cloning the IBM App Connect templates GitHub repository (app-connect-templates) locally. For more information, see Remotes.

How the AI services generate recommendations and flows

From your App Connect Designer instance, you can view the App Connect assets that are stored in Automation assets and can select these assets for use. Initially, only the preloaded IBM App Connect templates are included as assets, but you can use the embedded AI services to help you create customized flows and build up your catalog of assets.

  • To help you identify templates that you might want to add as flows in your App Connect Designer instance, Automation assets is enhanced with a Watson AI service (or model) that is pre-trained with some of the most commonly used utterances and template names. An utterance is a natural language query that describes a specific intent or scenario; for example, Notify me about new Salesforce leads. When you type the text that is conveyed as an utterance, the utterance and all available templates in Automation assets are sent as input to the AI service to find the best match. The AI service uses Watson NLP and AI libraries to find a similarity between the utterance and the names of all the templates, and can display up to three top recommendations in App Connect Designer for you to choose from.
  • To help you generate flows in your App Connect Designer instance, Automation assets is also enhanced with a flow-generation AI service. When you type the utterance that describes your intent or scenario, this text is parsed and mapped to a knowledge graph, and the output is then fed into an AI planner service to generate a YAML flow definition that is used to construct the flow.
    Note: For successful flow generation, see the guidelines for generating flows.

As you begin to develop flows that are customized from the IBM App Connect templates, or flows that are generated or created from scratch in your App Connect Designer instance, you can choose to add them to Automation assets for sharing. Any flows that you add as assets will then be included in Watson AI processing that occurs for recommended assets. For more information about sharing your flows as assets, see Adding a flow to the Automation assets catalog.

Important: When manually adding flows as assets of type Designer Event-driven Flow or Designer API Implementation to Automation assets, ensure that you specify a meaningful name for the asset, which is based on its purpose. The name is the key field that the Watson AI service uses to find the best matches for recommended assets. For examples, see the supplied IBM templates at https://github.com/ot4i/app-connect-templates/tree/cp4i-templates/resources.


The following diagram illustrates how the AI services process utterances to generate recommended assets and flows.

AI flow diagram
Restriction: The embedded Watson AI model cannot be modified or retrained by you in this release.


Creating flows

Use the following links to learn how to generate recommended assets and flows.