FlexDeploy’s powerful and easy to use drag-and-drop Workflow Designer, combined with an extensive list of Plugins allows users to easily create seemingly simple workflows that will carry out complex tasks automatically. With FlexDeploy 4.0, we added additional functionality to the Workflow Designer making it even more powerful for the user. 

I’ll highlight the new features by going through workflow examples and calling-out new capability along the way. 

To set the stage, below is a three-step workflow which uses plugins of varying complexity. This workflow will start by exporting the project source from Subversion, tag the project sources, and then build the application.

wf_main

Figure 1

Plugin and Workflow Configuration Enhancements

Using this workflow, let’s look at some of the new features in the popup below.

  • User friendly labels for operation input; if you want the underlying code (e.g. for use within a Groovy script) just click on the clipboard icon to the right of the label.
  • Plugin inputs can be literal or in the form of Groovy script. You can switch between literal and script by clicking on T or f(x) button between the label and input component. Groovy script will show a multiple-line input box to allow for easier entry of Groovy script.
  • Workflow executions can have many properties, workflow variables, workflow inputs etc. The variable lookup screen helps you find what you want  easily. Click on (x)= next to the Groovy script and start typing words separated by a space and it will prompt you with various options. Select one and click Copy and Return and now just use Ctrl + V to paste variable in Groovy script where appropriate. (See Figure 3 for additional context.) 
  • Customized input components like Drop down (with or without multiple selections), checkbox, single or more row inputs as appropriate (For example, Shell script code can use larger input box).

wf_plugin_operation

Figure 2

 

wf_variable_lookup

Figure 3

Filter Support

FlexDeploy supports many Middleware technologies, SCM, Cloud and on-premise Applications, so it can be cumbersome to find operation that you want in a list of available operations. With FlexDeploy 4.0, we  have added filter support. Just type in one or more words and FlexDeploy will find the best possible match for your input. Now you can just drag and drop that operation on Workflow.

wf_find_plugin

Figure 4

Workflow Property Enhancements

Workflow properties are a very powerful feature to extend FlexDeploy capabilities for your specific needs. With 4.0 we have extended all of the features to your custom properties as well.

  • You must provide code for your Property definition, which is used in execution, but now you can provide more user friendly labels to be displayed on data entry screens.
  • You can provide data type which drives the type of component used on property screens. You can also specify the number of rows to use for the property value, which will allow users to enter larger text if necessary. You can also specify list data which will display a drop-down component. Alternatively, you can indicate if a drop-down should allow multiple selections.
  • Out-of-the-box validations like Length of Strings and Min and Max validation for Numeric inputs were added.
  • In addition to out-of-the-box validations, you can provide Groovy script to perform customized validations.
  • You can define Default Value (either literal or Groovy script based). For example, you can default value to project name by using script FD_PROJECT_NAME. Variables available in script are accessible by helper component next to script input. Variables supported are FD_PROJECT_NAME, FD_APPLICATION_NAME, FD_ENVIRONMENT_CODE, FD_INSTANCE_CODE.

wf_propertiesFigure 5

Workflow inputs can be very useful in some situations, and we have provided configurations similar to properties here as well.

wf_inputs

Figure 6 

Workflows remove the manual, script, and documentation-oriented approaches used within many organizations, establishing consistent and repeatable software delivery. The updates to the Workflow Designer give you more control over and flexibility with this powerful FlexDeploy feature. 

For more information about FlexDeploy’s Workflow Designer, check out this video

Chandresh Patel

I have been working with Java EE technologies since 2000. After implementing IBM WebSphere and custom framework solutions, my past 10 years have been focused on Oracle Fusion Middleware such as WebLogic, ADF, WebCenter and Coherence. I have been part of many automation projects in the past and have a passion for automation capabilities to help our customers deliver software faster and with higher quality. In my current role as a Principal Architect at Flexagon, I am driving the FlexDeploy product strategy and development to build DevOps/CI/CD features that help our customers.

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