Visual Flows

When we speak about flows, we use the following terminology:
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When we speak about flows, we use the following terminology:
The
Canvas
is the workspace on which you design a flow. The
Toolbox
is a panel that provides various blocks (symbols and shapes) that you drag and drop on the canvas, and it also provides import and integration options. The first and last blocks of a flow are
Start and End blocks
. The blocks in between are primarily
Decision or Process blocks
. Connectors between outputs of blocks are referred to either as
Arrows or Edges
. Each block has a
Block Type and Block Properties
.
Flows are stored in files with the VTF suffix.
Flows remember the first configuration with which they are used. This behavior is useful when subflows use a different configuration than their parent. If a flow has a remembered configuration, switching to another configuration is not enough to make the flow remember it. If you want the flow to remember a new configuration, save the flow, and enable the
Remember Current Configuration Files
checkbox in the Save dialog.
Flow Properties
Open a flow and click
Manage
,
Properties
to edit flow properties. The flow
Title
is mandatory, all other properties are optional.
  • General Properties
    • Title
    • Short name
    • Description
    • Author
    • Version
      When you change a flow and save it, you choose to either create a new version and keep the previous version for reference. Or you can save and overwrite the current version.
    • TDoD Job Submission Order
      Required only if you use the CA TDM integration.
      • Submit as Encountered in VTF Logic — CA TDM uses the exact same order of blocks as defined in the ARD flow file. This is the default.
      • Calculate Job Submission Order —  Let CA TDM calculate the order of Publishes. This order can differ from the order of blocks in the ARD flow file.
      • Use Override Sequence — You define an override sequence in CA TDM. This order can differ from the order of blocks in the ARD flow file.
  • Parameters
    You can parameterize subflows by adding parameters and defining values. The value of a parameter is controlled by its parent flow.
    For more information, see Parameterize Flows and Script Generation.
  • Variables
    You can parameterize automation code snippets by using variables. You can set the values of variables from blocks inside the flow.
    For more information, see How to Use Variables.
  • Application Links
    You can store links to related items in an application lifecycle tool (CA Agile Central, ALM, TFS, JIRA) or in a custom file path.
    For more information, see Integration With Lifecycle Tools.
  • Requirement IDs
    For more information, see Export to Word.
  • Custom Fields
    Custom fields are defined by lifecycle tool integrations.
Blocks
A flow is made up of blocks that are connected by arrows.
Agile Requirements Designer
uses standard flow chart notation:
  • Process blocks are square.
  • Decision blocks are diamond-shaped.
  • Start and End blocks are rounded rectangles, and default to the yellow color.
You have the option to define block properties to create filters and conditions how a Flow is displayed. For more information, see Edit Block Properties and Filter Blocks by Properties. For more information about how to access property values for automation, see Automation Keywords.
Navigate the Canvas
As with similar applications, you can use the following shortcuts to manipulate the Flow canvas:
  • Mouse scroll wheel
    – scrolls the display vertically by small increments
  • ALT + mouse scroll wheel
    – scrolls the display horizontally
  • CTRL + mouse scroll wheel
    – enlarges or decreases the Flow size
  • SHIFT + mouse scroll wheel
    – scrolls vertically by page (scrolls by large increments)
  • (Touch screen only)
    Pinch
    –  zooms in and out of the canvas, and “drag’n’drop” mode from within Build Manual Path.
Tip:
If you drift off to the side of the canvas while manipulating the Flow, you may lose track of the location of the core of the Flow. Right-click anywhere on the canvas and select “Center View” to re-center the Flow.
Access File Operations for Flow Tabs
Right-click a flow tab to access common file operations quickly:
  • Save the flow, save all flows, save to file, save as..., save as... to repository
  • Close the flow, close all flows but this, close all flows, close all flows to the left or right in the row of tabs.
  • Open the file location of the flow
  • Open a flow from a file or file location
  • Edit properties
  • Print the flow