Defining flow input variables: required variables to run your flow

When you create flows, you define flow input variables: the variables that are required to be entered for the flow to run. These flow input variables automatically become environment variables that can be used by work items in the flow.

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For example, if you define MYVAR as a flow input variable, within the job command, you can use the variable:

echo do #{MYVAR}

In any script within your flow, you can also use the environment variable $MYVAR, as all input variables automatically become environment variables within work units in your flow.

Any variables that you declare in work items in your flow but that you do not declare as input variables in the flow can be accessed only through user variable format. For example, if you use the variable #{VAR2} in work items but do not declare VAR2 as an input variable to the flow, you can access this variable only as #{VAR2} in the command of a job or in fields that support user variables in the Job Definition.


  1. In Flow Editor, select Edit > Flow Attributes.
  2. In the General tab, Input Variables field, select Modify, and click New to enter the input variables for your flow.

    For example, your flow has the input variables MYVAR and VAR2. If MYVAR is set to 1 and VAR2 is larger than 40, JOBA runs. If the variables MYVAR or VAR2 are set to anything else, JOBB runs.

    For example, in the Flow Attributes, input variables, you specify: MYVAR=1;VAR2=50.

  3. Create the rest of your flow definition by referring to your input variables as #{...} in your work items. You can, however, use ${...} in your scripts.
    In this example, you added the variable evaluator and in the dependency arrows, defined: #{MYVAR=1} && #{VAR2=40}.
    Flow input variables are used in the variable evaluator to run branches
  4. Save your draft as a new version so that you can test it. Select Flow Definition > Commit Draft as New Version.
  5. You can now test your input variables in IBM Spectrum LSF Application Center by selecting the Workload tab, selecting DefinitionsFlow Definitions, selecting your flow definition, and clicking Submit.

    The Submit Flow window is displayed and you can enter your input variable values.

    For example, enter MYVAR=1;VAR2=50.

    You can check your flow in the Flow details pane by selecting the flow name in the Workload summary list, then clicking the flow name to view more information.