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Flow trigger types

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Flow trigger types

The trigger specifies the conditions that start the flow. When the trigger condition is true, the system starts the flow.

Record triggers

Use record triggers to start a flow when a record is created, updated, or deleted from a specific table.
Note: Flow Designer no longer displays Service Catalog tables as options for record triggers. Instead, use the Service Catalog application trigger type.
Trigger Description
Created Starts a flow when a record is created in a specific table.
Updated Starts a flow when a record is updated in a specific table. Requires selecting when to run the flow.
  • For each unique change: Triggers the flow for every unique change, even if the flow is currently running.
  • Once: Triggers the flow once for the life of the record.
  • Only if not currently running: Triggers the flow for every unique change if the flow is not currently running. This behavior is the Always option in previous releases.
Note: Flows that have a record trigger that runs For each unique change can produce recursions when run in a non-interactive session. When such flows make a change to the trigger record, the change meets the flow trigger conditions and causes a recursion.
Created or Updated Starts a flow when a record is either created or updated in a specific table. Requires selecting when to run the flow.
  • For each unique change: Triggers the flow for every unique change, even if the flow is currently running.
  • Once: Triggers the flow once for the life of the record.
  • Only if not currently running: Triggers the flow for every unique change if the flow is not currently running. This behavior is the Always option in previous releases.
Note: Flows that have a record trigger that runs For each unique change can produce recursions when run in a non-interactive session. When such flows make a change to the trigger record, the change meets the flow trigger conditions and causes a recursion.
Note: Flows including approval actions should only run the trigger once.

Scheduled triggers

Use scheduled triggers to start a flow after a specific date and time or repeatedly at regular intervals.
Note: Because flows are processed asynchronously, a flow with a scheduled trigger may not run at the exact time its trigger conditions were met. For example, if a scheduled flow is triggered during core business hours, the system may have to process other events in the queue before it can run the scheduled flow.
Trigger Description
Daily Starts a flow at a specific time every day.
Weekly Starts a flow at a specific time every week.
Monthly Starts a flow at a specific time every month.
Run Once Starts a flow once at a specific time but does not repeat. If you select a past date or time, the system schedules the flow to run as soon as possible.
Repeat Starts a flow at regular intervals you define.

Application triggers

Use application triggers to start a flow when application-specific conditions are met.

Trigger Description
MetricBase Starts a flow when a MetricBase trigger is met. Requires the MetricBase application. For more information, see Create a flow with a MetricBase trigger.
Service Catalog Starts a flow from a Service Catalog item request. For more information, see Create a flow with a Service Catalog trigger.

Inbound email triggers

Start a flow when your instance receives an email.

Inbound email flows take priority over inbound email actions. If you create flows with inbound email triggers, emails are first processed by the inbound email triggers before they are processed by inbound email actions.

With inbound email actions, you don't have full control over email attachment handling or assigning the target record of an email. When you create a flow with an inbound email trigger, you can perform these actions with the Move Email Attachments to Record action and the Associate Record to Email action. For greater control over email attachments, you can also use the Look up email attachments action to access a specific attachment as a data pill.

Although you can process an inbound email with multiple inbound email actions, you can't process an inbound email with multiple flows by default. Additional configuration is required. For information on how to stop processing in inbound email actions, see Specifying the inbound email processing order.

For more information on running multiple flows on an inbound email, see Allow multiple triggers to process an inbound email.

The following diagram shows how inbound emails are processed by inbound email triggers. After the email has been classified as a reply, forward, or new email, the system tries to match the email to an active inbound email trigger. If the email meets the conditions of an inbound email trigger, the flow runs. If the flow issues stop processing, the email is finished being processed. If the flow does not issue stop processing, the system tries again to match the email to an active inbound email trigger. If at any point the email does not match an active inbound email trigger, the system tries to match the email with an active inbound email action instead.

Figure 1. Processing emails with inbound email triggers
Processing emails in the Inbound Email trigger
Note: With other types of flows, you can choose to run as a system user or the user who initiates the session. However, inbound email flows always run as the sender of the inbound email. If the system does not recognize the sender, inbound email flows will run as the Guest user. The actions of inbound email flows are limited by user ACL restrictions. To test access controls for an inbound email flow, impersonate a typical inbound email user and manually trigger the flow.

Advanced options

Specify the user session requirements needed to start a flow with Advanced Options.
When to run the flow

Determine the type of session that can trigger the flow, and whether to run the flow when triggered by certain users.

Table 1. Interactive session options
Option Description
Only Run for Non-Interactive Session Flow that is only triggered in non-interactive sessions. See Non-interactive sessions.
Note: Flows that have a record trigger that runs For each unique change can produce recursions when run in a non-interactive session. When such flows make a change to the trigger record, the change meets the flow trigger conditions and causes a recursion.
Only Run for User Interactive Session Flow that is only triggered in interactive sessions.
Run for Both Interactive and Non-Interactive Sessions Flow that is triggered in all sessions.
Note: Flows that have a record trigger that runs For each unique change can produce recursions when run in a non-interactive session. When such flows make a change to the trigger record, the change meets the flow trigger conditions and causes a recursion.
Table 2. User options
Option Description
Do not run if triggered by the following users Flow that does not trigger for a selected list of users. Click the Add User icon (Add User Icon) to add users to the list.
Only run if triggered by the following users Flow that triggers only for a selected list of users. Click the Add User icon (Add User Icon) to add users to the list.
Run for any user Flow that runs for any user.
Where to run the flow

Determine whether to run the flow in the background or in the current session.

Option Description
Run flow in background (default) Flow that runs asynchronously in the background. Use this option for flows that do not require immediate updates and to allow other system processes to run at the same time.
Run flow in foreground Flow that runs synchronously in the current session. Use this option to provide immediate updates to an end user. For example, if a flow opens a task after the previous task closes, use this option to open the next task immediately after a user closes one.
Note: Running a flow in foreground blocks the current session thread and prevents it from running anything else until the flow finishes. To avoid making your system unresponsive while running a flow, do not use this trigger option for flows that take a long time to complete.
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