Creating integration flows
The App Connect Designer capability provides an IBM® App Connect authoring environment for integration flows, and is intended to host non-production workloads.
From your App Connect Designer instance, you can author integration flows that connect applications to automate tasks or workflows, and boost productivity. For example, you can create a flow that allows requests to be submitted through a mobile or web application, performs a set of defined actions, and then returns a response status, and optionally, response data. Or you can connect apps like Salesforce, Marketo, and SAP, so that when an event occurs in one app, the other connected apps are updated automatically.
Methods for creating flows
You can create flows in the following ways:
- You can create a flow from scratch within your App Connect Designer instance.
- If you have access to an Automation assets instance, you can create a flow in your App Connect Designer instance by using a flow that is stored as an asset in Automation assets. Shared "flow" assets in Automation assets can be used as templates to create identical flows or customized versions within your authoring environment.
- You can export and import a flow (as a YAML file or OpenAPI document) across App Connect Designer instances in the same or different namespaces, and then modify the flow as required.
- You can export and import a flow (as a YAML file or OpenAPI document) across App Connect on IBM Cloud and App Connect Designer instances, and then modify the flow as required. Note that some limitations apply when exporting a flow as a YAML file from App Connect on IBM Cloud for import into App Connect Designer.
Considerations for creating flows
Take note of the following considerations when creating flows:
- You must set up accounts to connect to each application in a flow if you do not already have an account.
- If your App Connect Designer instance is configured to use a switch server for callable flows, you can add Callable flow nodes that invoke running callable flows in either IBM App Connect Enterprise or IBM Integration Bus on premises. You must also configure secure connectivity.
- You can populate the fields for the actions and other nodes with manual input or smart mappings. To auto populate fields with suggested smart mappings, the Mapping Assist capability must be enabled in your App Connect Designer instance.
- While developing a flow, you can use auto-generated or custom sample data to try out (or test) any configured action and verify its effect. To verify the behavior of the end-to-end configuration, you can also try out the flow before you start it.
- After you start a flow, you can also verify its behavior by using the built-in test facility to call the endpoints for the implemented operations.
For information about creating flows in your App Connect Designer instance, see Creating and managing flows in App Connect Designer in the IBM App Connect documentation.
If you want to run a flow in a production environment, you must export the flow as a broker archive (BAR) file that packages the integration. This file can then be uploaded to an App Connect Dashboard instance and deployed to an integration server to run the integration in production systems. For more information, see Deploying integration servers.
Also consider whether you want to add the flow to Automation assets for reuse by other users.