Decisions Glossary
  • Updated on 22 Jan 2020
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Decisions Glossary

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Term Definition
Account A registered user in the portal
Action Visibility Rule A property on all Entity Actions that sets the conditions for whether the Action is visible
Agent A client-side application that allows intuitive integration with other servers or machines
Annotation Flow design elements used to create comments, boxes, arrows, Swimlanes, etc. to clarify how a Flow works
App Store A public repository of published demo applications created in Decisions
Approval Chain A customizable series of approvers that administrators can set and then select for requests that require approval from multiple people
Assignment A property of a Task that assigns the task to a User or Group
Async Flow A Sub-Flow that doesn’t pause the primary Flow while it executes
Branching Splitting a Flow into concurrent threads using the Branch Step (see also "Merging")
Breakpoint (obsolete) A pause setting on any Step in a Flow, used in the Debugger
Configuration Folder A Folder created by default for a User Defined Type that allows configuration such as adding Entity Actions (see also "Folder" and "User Defined Type")
Constant A Mapping Type that requires a designer to set a definite value for the data in question (see also "Mapping Type")
Converter Flow A Flow that runs specifically to convert data from one type to another. For example, a Converter Flow might parse number data from a string.
Dashboard A type of Page designed to display data from multiple perspectives (charts, tiles, graphs, etc.) that lets users take action directly from the display (see also "Page")
Data Flow A Flow connected to a Form that runs in the background to process data related to the Form. Data Flows are most commonly used to create dynamic data that refreshes on a Form without the user having to leave the Form or click a button.
Debugger The built-in Decisions testing tool that helps identify errors during design
Decisions Designer Studio The design side of the Decisions portal where designers can create flows, forms, rules, reports, etc.
Decisions User Portal The end-user side of the Decisions portal where users can take action on tasks, see assignments, etc.
Designer Folder A container in the Designer Studio that holds the entities (for example, Flow, Form, User Defined Type) of a given process
Entity One of the broadest terms in Decisions, in a non-technical sense "Entity", refers to any discrete thing in a folder (e.g. Flow, Task, another folder, etc.). As a technical term, "Entity" refers to a specific kind of data structure in Decisions.
Entity Action Any actions that can be taken on an entity of a given entity type.
Entity Extension A custom data structure in Decisions that creates an object that extends the existent Entity type
Entity Folder ID A property that uniquely identifies the containing Folder of an Entity
Event Some change in an external system that Decisions can monitor (e.g. watch an inbox for emails). You can configure Decisions to kick off some action (e.g. a Job) in response to an event occurring (see also "Job")
Event Watcher A Flow specifically designed to monitor an external system for a change, for example, watching a given email inbox for any new email.
Expression A mathematical statement that can be evaluated in a single Step in a Flow (e.g. the Evaluate Expression Step)
File References A way of managing data that allows large files to be saved in the file system rather than memory, but still be usable in the Portal
Flow A process, made in the Flow Designer using individual steps, that does some kind of work and/or returns an outcome
Flow Behavior An interface definition for a flow. It can enforce expected inputs and outputs as well as create the expected inputs when the behavior is assigned
Flow Data All the data used in a Flow including data created in the Flow (e.g. by a Create Data step) or passed into the Flow as input data
Flow Engine The underlying technology and services responsible for creating and executing Flows in Decisions. This is distinct from the Flow Designer, which is the graphical workspace used to design Flows.
Flow Execution Data Extension A custom data structure in Decisions that enables the default Flow data to be extended to include other process data
Flow Sets A common set of Flows that can be parameterized or customized based on context without the need to copy or rewrite them
Flow Structure A data structure used to create an entity that lives in a Flow. It is simply a data structure that cannot be stored. Its limitation is that it can’t perform actions on itself or others
Folder A way to organize entities in Decisions. A basic Folder is distinct from a Designer or Process Folder in that it doesn’t imply any logical relationship between the entities it contains.
Folder Extension A custom data structure in Decisions that acts like a folder. Folder extensions can be generated with a default set of Create, Edit, Get and Delete methods, and can also be configured with custom actions using flows.
Folder Extension Action An action that can be taken on a folder of a given folder extension type
Folder ID A property that uniquely identifies a folder
Form A webform created in the Form Designer that lets users interact, input data, view information, etc.
Form Control An element of a Form (for example, a Button control)
Form Flow Any Flow that includes a web form
Group A collection of accounts related in some way
Group Actions Action-based outcomes that can be resolved together and simultaneously.
GUID Global Unique ID - hexadecimal value used in multiple places in Decisions (for example as Entity ID values)
Ignore A Mapping Type that tells Decisions to disregard the value of the data altogether. Commonly confused with Null (see also "Mapping Type")
Importing / Exporting You can import and export entities and entire folders to and from a Decisions server
Inline Refers to the position of a field as it appears in a grid (e.g. a data grid or Report). Often used in the context of taking action on data where it appears, for example, filtering data in a Report.
Interceptor Rule A specialized kind of Rule that you can design "on the fly" to react to unexpected changes in your process. It lets you design rules based on changing data situations rather than predictable ones. Interceptor Rules "intercept" data to deal with it in a new way as it changes. For example, Interceptor Rules might be used in quickly changing inventory management applications.
Job A Flow or a number of Flows that run on a schedule you set (e.g. to check a given email inbox once an hour) or on certain events (e.g. startup) (see also "Event")
Mapping Connections between data across Steps or Flows. Mapping tells Decisions how to identify or transform data as it moves through a process
Mapping Type A property for all input/output data that lets a designer set how data is handled. For example, setting a value to "Rename" lets you assign a new name without changing the data itself whereas "Converter Flow" lets you change the data itself (e.g. convert the string to decimal)
Merging Rejoining the branches of a Flow into a single thread using the Merge Step
Message Queues A form of asynchronous communication used between Decisions and external service (e.g. AWS). Messages are stored in the queue until they are processed and deleted.
Messaging The integration of Decisions with different messaging systems
Modules are add-on features in Decisions, such as Active Directory, AWS, or HL7. You can add modules under System > Administration > Features
Multi-Tenant / Clustering Multiple Decisions servers sharing the same primary database but each retaining its own file system
Named Session A web session that uses a specific account when invoking Flow via REST without needing to expose the user account information
Notification Flow A kind of Flow you can use to create custom notification messages to send to Users and Groups (e.g. SMS, Slack message, etc.). A Notification Flow is just a standard Flow with the added feature of exposing its notification function in other Flows.
Null A Mapping Type that sets the value to empty. For example, a Boolean value may need to be neither true nor false by default. Commonly confused with Ignore (see also "Mapping Type")
Page Created in the Page Designer, a Page displays data (often from a Report) in a way that makes it easy for users to understand and take action (see also “Dashboard”)
Portal Base URL The URL assigned in IIS that navigates to the Decisions Portal
Primary Flow A Flow that contains a Sub-Flow. Primary Flows may also be referred to as "parent Flows" (see also "Sub-Flow")
Process Folder A data storage option within the portal designed to save persistent flow data (such as flow states and files) (see also "Flow Execution Data")
Process State A property of a running Flow that describes where it stands at a given point. Process States do not exist on a Flow by default; they are set entirely by the designer. Example Process States might include "Started", "Pending Review", or "Approved".
Relation Business relationships between Users and Groups. By Default, Decisions includes a Manager Relation, but you can create any kind of Relation you want in the System Folder Tree.
Repeater Control A specialized Form Control used to create dynamic, repeating elements on a Form (e.g. creating additional text fields when all available ones are filled)
Report Created in the Report Designer, a Report is a way to use data sources, filters, groups, and views to fetch and organize data
Report Filter Narrows report data according to customizable parameters (e.g. filtering by a certain date range)
Repository File host that supports collaboration, backup, and versioning of Decisions projects
Rule A discrete piece of logic created in the Rule Designer that takes in one or more inputs and returns one or more outputs
Rule Engine The underlying technology and services responsible for creating and executing Rules in Decisions. This is distinct from the Rule Designer, which is the graphical workspace used to design Rules.
Rule Engine Extension A Rule Behavior that allows you to embed a Rule in another Rule
Rule Set A set of rules designed to be re-used; that is, they can be parameterized or customized based on context without the need to copy or rewrite them
Run Converter Flow A Mapping Type that tells the Flow to run another Flow to convert the data (usually from one data type to another) (see also "Mapping Type")
Runtime Refers to the time span in which an execution takes place, for example when a Flow or Report is run
Select Value [From Flow] A Mapping Type that lets the Flow designer use a variable from all available data at that point in the Flow (see also "Mapping Type")
Service Host Manager SHM is a Windows Service responsible for foundation services to define Decisions platform functionality. An example of these services would include Flow Edit Service that defines Flow Designer functionality, or Flow Execution Service that is responsible for Flow Execution processes. Sometimes it is necessary to restart SHM. For more information, see
Snapshots Images of Reports you can easily capture and share
Step A single point of action within a Flow (for example, the Send Email Step)
Sub-Flow A Flow that is invoked in the course of another Flow. The invoking Flow may be called the "primary Flow" or the "parent Flow." (Sub-Flows may also be referred to as "child Flows" or "Linked Flows")
Swimlanes A type of Annotation you can add to your Flows in the Flow Designer. Typically, Swimlanes are used to visually differentiate the main sections of a Flow.
Sync Flow A Sub-Flow that pauses the primary Flow while it executes
Task A discrete piece of work assigned to a User or Group in Decisions. Most commonly, a Task is added to a Flow using the Add Task step.
Text Merge A way to combine multiple text sources (e.g. constant values + variable values) into a single text value. A common application is to form the body of an email by merging template text with variables such as a name or DOB.
Tiles A display mode used in multiple places in Decisions: for example, Tile View for entities in a Designer Folder, Tile parts on a dashboard
Trigger A property of Steps and Form Controls, a Trigger is a way to launch some action when that Step or Control executes
Truth Table A kind of Rule that compares combinations of multiple inputs to decide a single outcome
Unit Test A saved bit of input data used in the debugger for testing (eliminating the need to enter data for each test)
User Defined Type A custom data structure created by a designer
Value List A custom data structure in Decisions that builds an enumerated list of values
Visibility Rule A property on all Form Controls that sets the conditions for whether the Control is visible
Workflow The overall business process that Decisions can automate. "Workflow" refers generally to any sequence of actions to accomplish some organizational tasks. A workflow might be referred to as a “Process” or "Application"
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