Types of flows

You can create different types of flows, based on the shapes that you add to a flow diagram or the way that you integrate calling flows and subprocesses. By understanding what distinguishes one flow type from another, you can select the configuration options that meet your business needs.

Flows by shape and sequence

The following flows are defined by the type and sequence of shapes that you add to a flow diagram:

  • Simple — Contains a linear sequence of assignments, smart shapes, or subprocesses only

  • Complex — Contains an alternate path

    Decision shapes create alternate paths in a flow because they can have more than one outgoing connector.

  • Straight-through — Contains no assignments, and therefore runs from start to finish without user input

  • Screen — Contains a start shape that is configured with routing options, and therefore sends all assignments to a single user

    Screen flows can be simple or complex but not all shapes are supported in a screen flow.

Flows by relationship

The following flows are defined by the way that they run, relative to other flows:

  • Parent — Calls another flow by using the Subprocess, Split Join, or Split For Each shape

  • Subprocess — Called by another flow

    By default, control is returned to the parent flow when the End shape in the sequence is reached.

  • Parallel — Runs without causing the parent flow or another subprocess in the parent flow to wait for it to finish.

    A spin-off subprocess is one example of a parallel flow.