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Support Article

GetFlowData executes all when rules in the flow

SA-35477

Summary



When moving between assignments in a Screenflow workflow, GetFlowData executes all When rules within the entire workflow. This seems unexpected, and can produce undesirable side effects.


Error Messages



Not Applicable


Steps to Reproduce

  1. Create a screenflow with multiple assignment shapes.
  2. Add some decision shapes (defined as Forks) and apply when rules to the paths out of the Forks.


Root Cause



A software use or operation error. The system is behaving as designed. In a screenflow, the pyFlowData page contains the past/present/future navigation path so that the UI can display it and allow jumping. When going from one assignment to another, we have to see which path out of a FORK is now relevant, because on every submit, the data could change and the When rule could evaluate differently and give us a new path.

Resolution



Here’s the explanation for the reported behavior: Because the execution of all of the when rules is occurring (so that a map of the various paths can be constructed) while the actual execution of the flow is at the beginning of the flow, various data structures might not be present that otherwise would always be present if the flow were proceeding normally. As a result, it is important for the rules to be written with extra attention to not inadvertently create a page that does not currently exists. For example, if a when rule returns true by testing MyPage.myValue, the When rule should first check that "MyPage" exists before looking at the properties on it. Otherwise, in this scenario, the When rule might end up creating the blank page MyPage, with bad results when the screenflow actually reaches that point in the flow.
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Published March 26, 2017 - Updated October 8, 2020

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