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Create a flow

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Create a flow

Automate a process to run one or more actions when a trigger condition occurs.

Before you begin

About this task

Users with flow_designer or admin role should know the application table structure and be aware of any existing business logic associated with the target tables of a flow or subflow. Be sure to disable any conflicting business rules or workflows before creating a flow or subflow.

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


  1. Navigate to Flow Designer > Designer.
  2. Click + New > New Flow.
  3. On the form, fill in the fields.
    Table 1. Flow Properties form
    Field Description
    Name Name to uniquely identify your flow. The system computes the internal name of the flow from the name.
    Application Application scope to create your flow in. Global is the default.
    Description Description of your flow.
    Protection Selection to specify if the flow is read-only. You can only select a value when you create the flow in an application scope you own.
    Run As

    Selection to specify if the flow runs as system user or the user who initiates the session. Select the user who initiates the session option when updates should come from the user who triggered the flow. For example, when you want incident record comments to come from the current user, or approval emails to originate from the approver. Run As settings for a flow do not apply to child subflows.

    When flows run as the user who initiates the session, the system limits flow actions by user ACL restrictions. Ensure that security restrictions don't prevent users who trigger the flow from performing flow actions. Flows run by the initiating user also respect user-specific settings such as date/time formats.

    Note: Inbound email flows ignore this setting and always run as the user who initiates the session. To test access controls for an inbound email flow, impersonate a typical inbound email user and manually trigger the flow.
  4. Click Submit.
    The system displays the Flow Designer page.
  5. Add a trigger.
    1. From the Trigger list, select the type of trigger.
      For more information on trigger types, see Flow trigger types.
      The system displays a set of fields depending on the type of trigger that you've selected.
    2. To specify the trigger, fill in the fields.
      For a record-based trigger, for example, fill in the table and conditions.
    3. Click Done.
  6. To add actions, flows, subflows, or flow logic, click Select to add an Action, Flow Logic, or Subflow.
    1. Select an option.
      Option Description

      Select the desired action. Flow Designer includes a set of Actions available to flows and subflows. Alternatively, user with the action_designer role can create additional actions to add to flows. The IntegrationHub and spoke plugins install additional actions.

      To add draft actions from the More Actions menu, set Show draft actions to true.

      To view spokes available in the ServiceNow Store, set Show store spokes to true from the More Actions menu.
      Note: Under Not Installed Spokes, the system displays spokes available on the ServiceNow Store based on compatibility with the ServiceNow version and application dependency on Flow Designer.
      Flow Logic Select an option to specify conditional or repeated operations.
      Subflow Select a published subflow and define input values. In addition to adding a subflow as a flow action, you can enable the Show triggered flows option from the More Actions menu to select an activated flow and define the required inputs. Running a triggered flow ignores its trigger conditions and runs all actions.

      To change the order of an action in a flow, drag the handle on the left side of the action to the desired location.

      The system displays a set of fields depending on the option selected.
    2. To configure the action, flow, or subflow, fill in the fields.
    3. Click Done.
    4. Repeat adding actions until complete.
  7. Click Save.
    Flow Designer saves a draft of the flow, trigger, and actions.

What to do next

  • Test your flow until it is ready to activate.
    Note: The system only triggers active flows.
  • Transfer your flow to another instance.
    • Deploy your flow from the application repository when your application is complete and ready for release.
    • Transfer your flow from an update set XML file when you want to test the flow on another instance. When you save a flow, Flow Designer generates a single update set file containing its subflows and actions.