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Version: 4.15.1

Designer Canvas

The canvas is the most important part of the Flow Designer. Every new flow starts with an empty canvas on the Route tab where you design your integration. The Error Route tab also consists of a canvas where you can design the error handling of your integration.

Flow designer canvas

Designing your flow

You can start designing your flows by dragging components from the Component Library on the left and dropping them on the canvas. When you do this you may notice that the component becomes red, this is caused by validations. These validations are explained on the Flow Validation page.

Configuring components

Almost all components have properties that need to be configured although some are optional or have default values. These properties can be accessed by double clicking on the component or by hovering over the component and clicking on the cog icon.

Component properties icon

After clicking on the cog icon or double clicking on the component, a dialog opens with all available configuration options of the component.

Component properties dialog

When a property is invalid it the input becomes red and an error message is displayed.

Component properties dialog invalid

All property inputs have a small helper text that provides more information. For a full explanation of the components properties you can click on the i icon at the top of the properties view. It will redirect you to the documentation of the component.

Component properties dialog info

Connecting components

Components can be connected to each other by dragging from one connector (the big blue sphere) to another. An arrow displays the direction in which the data will flow. For example, dragging from the Inbound HTTP component to the Email component allows the output of the Inbound HTTP component component to serve as input for the Email component. Note that some components cannot be used as either a first or a last component in a flow, depending on it’s characteristics.

Connected components

Components can be consumers (receive data), producers (create data) or both, depending on their properties. Components capable of consuming data will have a connector on the right, producers will have a connector on the left. Components that can both consume and produce data will have connectors on both sides of the component.

Adding notes to components

Integration flows can become quite complex, so to make them easier to understand for yourself and others you can add notes to every component. To add a note you hover over the component and click on the note icon.

Component note icon

A new dialog opens that contains a text box for your component note.

Component note dialog

After adding a note to a component, a summary of that note will be shown when you hover over the component.

Component note summary

Copy and paste components

It is also possible to copy and paste components. This can be done in two ways. One is using key shortcuts and the other is by using the context menu. Both ways start by selecting the components using right click.

Selected components

The components get a blue color when they are selected.

Copy and paste using key shortcuts

To copy selected components using key shortcuts you can use CTRL + c or CMD + c depending on your platform. When the selected components are copied you will see a notification that confirms it. Now that they are copied you can use CTRL + v or CMD + v to paste them. They will be pasted under the original components. It is possible to paste them multiple times if needed.

Copy and paste using the context menu

To copy selected components using the context menu you can use right click on the canvas of the flow designer and click on the copy action. When the selected components are copied you will see a notification that confirms it. Now that they are copied you can use the context menu to specify where on the canvas you want to paste the components using the paste action.

Combining both ways of copy and paste

Both ways can be used together, for example you can copy the components using key shortcuts and then paste them on a specific location on the canvas using the context menu.

Removing components

If you want to remove a component from the flow, you can hover over the component and click on the cross icon. If the component is connected to other components, the connections will be removed.

Component cross icon

Error Route

Managing and recovering from errors is a critical concern for any enterprise system. Dovetail addresses this concern directly: every flow has an Error Route with a FailedExchange component. All failed exchanges from a flow are routed to this FailedExchange component.

Additional information about errors, referred to as exceptions, can be retrieved from these failed exchanges. You can create a flow within the Error Route to log, monitor, and/or report these exceptions. Additionally, you can create a flow to handle failed exchanges functionally.

Exceptions thrown in the Error Route

Exceptions originating in the Error Route are only shown in the Flow logs. They are not handled by the FailedExchange component in the Error Route to prevent infinite loops. The typical use case for error handling in the Error Route should be simpler and less error-prone than for regular flows.


Refer to our Using exceptions guide for a full reference on exceptions and the expressions to retrieve them from a failed exchange.