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Flow Designer stages

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Flow Designer stages

Communicate the current stage of a request or flow with an end user.

When configuring stages in Flow Designer, you can:

  • Create any number of stages.
  • Change stage labels and names.
  • Set the estimated duration for a stage.
  • Import a copy of a pre-defined stage set from the Stage Sets table. To learn more about stage sets, see Workflow stage sets. Any changes made to the copy do not affect the original stage set record.

While stages can be added to a flow with a scheduled trigger, the stages are never displayed to an end user because there is no associated record for the stage field. Only use stages in flows with record and Service Catalog triggers. Stages are not supported on subflows.

View the stages of a flow in the flow execution details.

Displaying stages in a stage field

A stage field is a field of type Workflow that displays the stages of a flow to a user. For example, the Service Catalog uses a Stage field to indicate progress of a request as it is processed by an associated flow or workflow.

Stage fields display:

  • Stages from flows with record or Service Catalog triggers.
  • Stages from the associated flow. If the associated flow calls another flow, stages set on the child flow do not display.
  • Stages from flows that have started.
Stages displayed in a stage field

State icons in stage fields cannot be modified. Limit the number of stages and the length of each stage name to represent each stage in a stage field without causing text and icons to wrap onto multiple lines.

Note: Only add one stage field per table. If there is more than one stage field, the system only displays stages from the first stage field defined in the table dictionary entry.

Stage field and trigger types

Associating a flow to a stage field depends on the flow trigger type.

Flow trigger type Requirements
Record

For a stage field to report stages on a record-based flow, a stage field must be present on the same table as the triggering record. When a flow has stages, Flow Designer communicates the status of each stage back to the triggering table and displays the current stage state as an icon. If more than one stage field exists on the table, only the first stage field defined in the table's dictionary definition is used.

Note: Avoid creating stages for multiple flows that trigger from the same table. A stage field only displays the stages of the final flow to run. Add different conditions to each flow to ensure that the stages of one flow do not overwrite another flow.
Service Catalog If using the Service Catalog trigger, the flow must be associated with the Service Catalog item through the Flow field. Remove any workflows associated with the item by clearing the Workflow and Execution Plan fields. The Stage field displays the current stage state on any list view of the Requested Items [sc_req_item] table.

Stage states

During flow execution, each stage can be in one of five states.

State Description
Pending This stage has not yet started.
In progress This stage is executing.
Skipped This stage was skipped and did not run. Typically, this state is reached when a conditional flow logic block is not executed.
Complete This stage is complete.
Error

This stage has reached an error condition.

When designing a flow, you can manually set the flow to report an Error state. To set an Error state:
  • The flow must have at least one stage defined.
  • The Error can only be set within a stage. When an Error condition is reached, the current stage is set to Error.
  • The Error can only be set within a conditional flow logic block.

While setting the Error state does not affect flow execution, it communicates to the user that the state of the current stage is Error. For example, if an approval is not approved within the required limit you may want to communicate an error to the user.

Each stage can have its own custom state labels. For example, suppose that you have a flow with two stages. Stage 1 could have the Pending state with the label Waiting, and Stage 2 could have a Pending state with a label of Not yet started. Flow Designer provides options to generate either the default states or approval states.

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