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Exploring ServiceNow Flow Designer


Low code ServiceNow

Flow Designer is a component of the ServiceNow Platform ( Now Platform ) that enables remarkable process automation capabilities in a consolidated design environment for developing and managing flows. It is used to automate approvals, tasks, notifications, and registration operations without writing a single line of code.


- Flow Designer combines multiple automation capabilities, configurations, and runtime information, so process owners and developers can create, operate, and troubleshoot flows from a single interface.

- Uses natural language descriptions to help non-technical users understand triggers, actions, inputs, and outputs.

- Reduces development costs by providing a library of reusable flow components in the base system created by ServiceNow developers.

- Reduce upgrade costs with secure logic, replacing complex custom scripts.

- Allows you to develop, share and reuse your custom flow components with other flow designers.

- Displays flows as diagrams to help developers see paths and connections to understand and improve flows.


Flow Designer consists of five main types of elements:

- Flows

- Subflows

- Triggers

- Actions

- Conditions

By understanding these components, both business and IT process owners can create powerful, reusable flows, such as automating vacation approvals, facility requests, IT incidents, and more.


Flows: A flow is an automated process that consists of a composite set of actions and subflows triggered by an event, resulting in the automation of business logic for an application or process.

Subflows: A subflow is a sequence of actions and data inputs that can be started from a flow, subflow, or script. Ex: add a comment, notify users of changes to records.

Triggers: A trigger is an activity that, once specified, automatically starts the flow. Ex: create a record in a specified table or a scheduled job.

Actions: An action is a single reusable operation executed by the system. Eg. Perform a REST integration to a third-party service, update the value of a field, request an approval, etc.

Conditions: A condition is a statement that determines when or how an action is executed. Ex: execute an action only if a field exceeds a certain value.


Subflow ServiceNow

In the Flow Designer interface you add actions to a flow and define configuration options. You can use the filter to find a stock by name or spoke. As you enter data, Flow Designer displays a list of actions and spokes that match your search criteria.


You can use the Most Recent option to display a list of recently selected actions. Each action displays the name of the action and the spoke it belongs to below its name. You can use the information icon to view more data about the stock, such as its description, entries, and exits.

Additionally, you can use the Popular option to display a list of actions that your organization uses frequently. The system runs a scheduled job every seven days to generate the list of popular stocks.

Actions Flow Designer ServiceNow


Integration Hub and its combination with Flow Designer

In this section, we are going to briefly talk about Integration Hub within Flow Designer. Integration Hub is an extension of Flow Designer that allows communication with external systems. Flow Designer uses Integration Hub, more specifically, it uses spokes which facilitate this communication. So the next question is:

What are Spokes?

A spoke is a set of grouped tasks that are used to facilitate the integrations you want to build and have the ability to communicate with an external system, they provide actions that can be used to send or receive messages from a third-party external system, Of course, if there isn't a spoke that fits your needs, you can design one by creating an action.


Certain options offered by the interface may be:

- REST: Send an outgoing REST web service request to an external system.

- XML Parser: Identifies structured data from an XML payload without having to write scripts.

- JSON Parser: Identifies structured data from a JSON payload without having to write a script.

- SOAP: Allows action designers to send outbound SOAP web service requests to external systems.

- PowerShell: Run PowerShell scripts on remote machines from your ServiceNow instance through a MID server.

- Get Connection Info : Provides connection details and credentials from another step, such as a REST step, to other steps in your action.

Below, you can see a data flow diagram, which specifies an Integration Hub trigger. In addition, it has an action that executes the system with REST integration to a third-party service, which can be used to update the value of a field, request approval, etc.

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