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What is … Flow-based programming?

About this video

This video will give you a brief introduction to flow-based programming, which you can use to easily create various applications without having to write multiple lines of code.

If you want to learn more about using flow-based programming using Node-RED, which is an open source low-code programming environment for event-driven applications, check out the tutorials, code patterns, datasets, models and more on the Node-RED hub on IBM Developer.

Check out more videos in this series:

Transcript of this video

Hi everyone I’m Yamini Rao, developer advocate for IBM.

Today I’m going to be answering the question “What is flow based programming?”

Flow-based programming is a graphical way of creating computer programs with “flows” instead of lines of code. These flows are a network of black boxes, which are a series of functions, which perform a specific task and have an input, output, or sometimes both.

Using flow-based programming, you can create connections between each of these components by connecting the output of one, with the input of another, to create various applications.

The approach is different, but the result is similar to when a user expresses to the machine what they want to do and the computer takes those instructions and executes them just the same as it would with text-based code.

With this style of programming, you can add or remove and string together different components to get different outcomes or functionalities. And, having a visual representation makes it more accessible to a wide range of users to easily create applications without having to write multiple lines of code.