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Create an action

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Create an action

Create a reusable component to automate one or more steps of a process.

Before you begin

About this task

Action designers should know the application table structure and be aware of any existing business logic associated with the target tables of an action. Be sure to disable any conflicting business rules or workflows before creating an action.

Creating a custom application to contain your Flow Designer content enables you to deploy it using the application repository or the ServiceNow Store.


  1. Navigate to Flow Designer > Designer.
  2. Click the Actions tab and select New Action.
  3. Fill in the Action Properties and click Submit.
    Field Description
    Name Name of action.
    Accessible From Accessible from all application scoped or only within the specified application scope.
    Category Defined category within the application scope for an action.
    Protection Select whether the action is read-only. You can only select a value when you create the action in an application scope you own. The default value is None.
    Description Description of the action.
    Application Application scope of the action.
    In-Flow Annotation Help text that appears under the action title in Flow Designer to help flow designers understand what the action does when used in a flow.
    An empty action opens.
  4. Define action inputs to make data available to the action steps and outputs.
    1. Select + Create Input and complete the fields.
      Field Description
      Name Name of the input. This value is used as the name of the data pill in the right-hand pane.
      Type Data type of the input. For supported data types, see Action input and output data types.
      Reference Table Reference table for the data type. Only required for the following data types:
      • Conditions
      • Document ID
      • Records
      • Reference
      • Template Value
      Advanced options

      Inputs provide advanced options based on their data type. All inputs have advanced options to add a hint or provide a default value. Use advanced options to guide flow designers through adding and configuring an action to a flow. For example, create a choice input to provide flow designers with a pre-defined list of configuration options to choose from. For more information about the configuration options available to particular data types, see field types.

      Click Open icon to view the advanced options and define values.

      Inputs are represented as data pills in the right-hand pane. You can add inputs to steps and outputs in the flow by dragging and dropping data pills.
  5. Add an action step to perform an operation on the action inputs.
    1. Click the + underneath Inputs in the Action Outline.
    2. Select the step you would like to perform.
    3. Complete the fields in the step.
  6. Add action outputs to make data available to a flow.
    1. Select + Create Outputs and complete the fields.
      Field Description
      Name Name of the output. This value is the name of the data pill in the right-hand pane when the action is added to a flow.
      Value Data used previously in the action either in a step or input. Adding a variable to the output makes the value available to the flow.
  7. Click Save.
    Action Designer saves a draft of the action.

What to do next

Test the action by adding it to a flow that has Show draft actions set to true. To add the action to a published flow, or a flow that has Show draft actions set to false, you must first click Publish.
Note: By default, the system only runs published actions.