You can share event-driven or API flows with other App Connect users who want to configure identical or similar integrations. Flows are shared using App Connect’s export/import functions.

To share a flow, you must first export it from the Dashboard:

  • When you export an event-driven flow, the exported configuration is saved in a YAML file, which other users can then import into the same or a different App Connect on IBM Cloud instance.
  • When you export an API flow, you can choose to export the configuration in one of two ways:
    • As a YAML file that can be imported into the same or a different App Connect on IBM Cloud instance.
    • As a BAR file that can be deployed into an App Connect Enterprise containerized environment as an integration server. For more information, see Deploying IBM App Connect Designer APIs to integration servers in the App Connect Enterprise documentation in IBM Knowledge Center.

You can’t modify an exported YAML file before you import it. You can modify the flow in the flow or API editor after you’ve imported it.

For information about exporting and importing YAML files, see:

Exporting a flow

When you export a flow, all its configuration settings, other than your connection details for the integrating apps, are preserved in the exported definition.

To export a flow:

  1. From the Dashboard in App Connect Designer, locate the event-driven or API flow, open its menu, and then click the Export option. The flow can be in a Stopped or Running state. The following example shows the menu for an event-driven flow.

    Selecting the Export option from a flow's menu

    Tip: Avoid exporting flows with an Incomplete status or configuration errors that will need to be investigated after an import. Errors that are related to your account credentials for example, do not have an effect on the exported flow.

  2. If prompted, choose to save the file, which is named flow_name.yaml by default; for example, Create an incident.yaml. The file might also be automatically downloaded depending on your browser. The file is saved to the download location that’s configured for your browser.
  3. Make the exported .yaml file available to other users. For example, you can copy the file to a network file system directory or use other methods like email. You can also upload the file to a server with a public HTTP or HTTPS URL.

    Restriction: The URL must point to a public network that anyone can freely connect to without login credentials; for example, a public GitHub repository or GitHub Pages site.

    If the file is hosted on a public GitHub repository, ensure that you provide the “raw” URL for sharing. To do so, navigate to the .yaml file location; for example:

    Then click Raw to obtain the “raw” URL; for example:

Importing a flow

You can import event-driven or API flows from other users, or from another App Connect environment; for example, from a test to a production environment. You import flows using .yaml files that contain an exported flow’s definition.

Because connection details are not saved with an exported flow, you’ll need to set up your own accounts for each app in the flow if you do not already have one. You’ll also need to connect App Connect to each of these accounts before or after you import the flow, and ensure the configuration settings for the nodes are validated, in order to start and run the flow. You can connect from the Applications tab on the Catalog page or while within the flow or API editor. For information about the connection details required, see the How to page for an app.

Tip: You can also import flows from the App Connect Templates gallery, which provides a collection of pre-built end-to-end flows of real-world use cases.

App Connect Templates gallery

To import a template, click the flow’s tile and then click Create flow to open the flow within the flow editor. You’ll see a warning icon Warning icon for flow validation on any application or Toolbox nodes that require your attention. For information about fixing such validation errors, see Validating your flow is ready to run.

To import an exported flow:

  1. From the Dashboard in App Connect Designer, click New, then click Import flow to open the “Import flow” panel.
  2. Specify a file or URL location for the .yaml file that you want to import:
    • If stored on a local or network file system directory, select the file using either of these methods. (If the file’s on a network directory, you might need to first connect to the drive.)
      • Click within the Select file boxed area to open a file browser and locate the .yaml file.
      • Drag and drop the file from its location in an open file browser into the Select file area.

        You’ll see the file name in the boxed area.

        Name of file to be imported

    • If stored on a server that is accessible from a URL, enter a valid fully qualified URL for the .yaml file in the Flow URL field. This must be a public URL that does not require login credentials. Only the HTTP and HTTPS transports are supported.

  3. Click Import.

    The imported flow opens within the flow editor (for an event-driven flow) or the API Define tab (for an API flow), and inherits the flow name of the exported flow. If you already have an existing flow with an identical name on your Dashboard (for example, Create an incident), the imported flow is renamed by appending _n to its name, where n is a number starting from 1 (for example, Create an incident_1).

    The following example shows an imported event-driven flow within the flow editor:
    Imported flow in the flow editor

    The following example shows the Define tab for an imported API flow:
    Imported flow for an API

  4. For an event-driven flow, the flow is automatically validated and a warning icon Warning icon for flow validation is displayed on any application or Toolbox nodes that require your attention. Validate the settings for the highlighted nodes and then start the flow as follows:
    1. Resolve each validation error as described in Validating your flow is ready to run.
    2. To start the flow, open the options menu [⋮] in the banner and click Start flow. Then click Dashboard to exit the flow.
  5. For an API flow, you’ll need to validate the settings for each model and its operations, in order to start the flow:

    1. From the Define tab, click the Operations tab for a model.
    2. For each operation, edit the flow as follows to check for and resolve any validation errors:
      1. Click Edit flow. A warning icon Warning icon for flow validation is displayed on any nodes that require your attention.
      2. Resolve each validation error as described in Validating your flow is ready to run.
      3. After updating the operation, click Done.
    3. When you’ve validated all your models and operations, start the API by selecting Start API from the flow menu.

      Start API option

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *