As the name suggests, a create action creates an item or record in an application. For example, if someone signs up to your event or submits a completed form, you might want to create a record for that person in your CRM or marketing application. Or if someone opens a ticket in your help desk application, you might want to create an email or instant message to ensure that someone deals with it straight away.

Tip: If there’s a possibility that the object that you want to create might already exist, you can use an update or create action instead.

When you add a create action to a flow, you’ll need to complete a set of mandatory and optional fields for the item or record that you want to create in the target application. For example, if you want to create an email message, you’ll need to identify the recipient, and can also specify a subject and body for the email. Or if you want to create an opportunity in Insightly, you must specify a name for the opportunity, as well as one or more optional fields.

Create action for an opportunity in Insightly

For certain applications, you are required to specify additional values to indicate where the item or record should be created. These values are typically presented in drop-down lists, which are populated by the application that you’re connected to. For example, if you are creating a file in Box, you need to select an existing folder where you want to create the file (and then specify the file name, content, and type).

Create action for a Box file

You can populate the fields for your create action in a number of ways:

  • You can specify text values, map to fields from previous nodes to define dynamic values, and can also use JSONata to transform the data.
  • Where needed, you can use a string field to compose output in memory and pass that output to a target application when the flow is executed. For example, you can compose CSV or XML output within a “Create file” node by using data from a previous event or action in the flow. For more information, see Composing CSV output for an action in a flow and Composing XML output for an action in a flow.
  • In certain cases, you can switch to advanced mode editing to expose hidden fields that are needed only for advanced use cases, or to specify a dynamic value (from a previous node) in place of a pre-populated static value. For more information, see Switching to advanced mode editing.

When the flow runs, the application will return an ID for the record that was created. If required, you can use this ID in subsequent nodes in your flow. The following example shows how you can map to a Contact ID that’s returned by an Insightly “Create contact” action.

Example ID returned for a create action

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