Decisions Glossary
  • 17 Jun 2022
  • 10 Minutes to read
  • Dark
  This documentation version is deprecated, please click here for the latest version.

Decisions Glossary

  • Dark

The following chart represents many of the common terms found throughout and pertaining to Decisions. 

AccountRegistered user in the portal
Action Visibility Rule
Property on all Entity Actions that sets the conditions for whether the Action is visible
AdministratorManagerial user group who possesses executive power over their Decisions server and its subordinate user groups
AgentClient-side application that allows intuitive integration with other servers or machines 
AnnotationFlow design elements used to create comments, boxes, arrows, Swimlanes, etc. to clarify how a Flow works
App Store
Public repository of published demo applications created in Decisions
Approval Chain
Customizable series of approvers that administrators can set and then select for requests that require approval from multiple people 
AssignmentProperty of a Task that assigns the task to a User or Group
Async Flow
Sub-Flow that doesn’t pause the primary Flow while it executes 
BranchingSplitting a Flow into concurrent threads using the Branch Step (see also "Merging") 
Breakpoint (obsolete)Pause setting on any Step in a Flow, used in the Debugger
Configuration Folder
Folder created by default for a User Defined Type that allows configuration such as adding Entity Actions (see also "Folder" and "User Defined Type") 
ConstantMapping Type that requires a designer to set a definite value for the data in question (see also "Mapping Type")
Converter Flow
Flow that runs specifically to convert data from one type to another. For example, a Converter Flow might parse number data from a string. 
DashboardType 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
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. 
DebuggerBuilt-in Decisions testing tool helps identify errors during design.
Decisions Designer Studio
Design side of the Decisions portal where designers can create flows, forms, rules, reports, etc. 
Decisions PortalEnd-user side of the Decisions portal where users can take action on tasks, see assignments, etc.
Designer (user)Intermediary user group who creates new approaches and solutions with pre-existing tools i.e. pre-built or Developer built Steps, Form/Page Controls, etc.
Designer Folder
Container in the Designer Studio that holds the entities (for example, Flow, Form, User Defined Type) of a given process 
DeveloperAdvanced user group who nurtures a deeper understanding of Decisions as well as software development skills to create new custom tools, such as Steps and Form Controls, for use within the platform
End-userIntroductory user who navigates Decisions only through the constructions of the higher level user groups (Designers, Developers, and Administrators); contains no ability to create process-altering changes but may interact with the process, ex. submitting data in a Form, when allowed and/or prompted
EntityOne 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
Custom Data Structure in Decisions that creates an object that extends the existent Entity type 
Entity Folder ID
Property that uniquely identifies the containing Folder of an Entity
EventSome change in an external system that Decisions can monitor (e.g. watch an inbox for emails). Decisions can be configured to kick off some action (e.g. a Job) in response to an event occurring (see also "Job") 
Event WatcherFlow specifically designed to monitor an external system for a change, for example, watching a given email inbox for any new email. 
ExpressionMathematical statement that can be evaluated in a single Step in a Flow (e.g. the Evaluate Expression Step) 
File References
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 
FlowProcess, 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 DataAll 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 EngineUnderlying 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 ExtensionCustom Data Structure in Decisions that enables the default Flow data to be extended to include other process data 
Flow Sets
Common set of Flows that can be parameterized or customized based on context without the need to copy or rewrite them 
Flow Structure
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
FolderWay 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
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
Action that can be taken on a folder of a given folder extension type.
Folder ID
Property that uniquely identifies a folder 
FormWeb form created in the Form Designer that lets users interact, input data, view information, etc. 
Form Control
Element of a Form (for example, a Button control)
Form FlowAny Flow that includes a web form
GroupCollection of accounts related in some way
Group Actions
Action-based outcomes that can be resolved together and simultaneously. 
GUIDGlobal Unique ID - hexadecimal value used in multiple places in Decisions (for example as Entity ID values)
IgnoreMapping Type that tells Decisions to disregard the value of the data altogether. Commonly confused with Null (see also "Mapping Type")
Importing / Exporting
Entities and entire folders can be moved to and from a Decisions server 
InlineRefers 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
Specialized kind of Rule that can be design "on the fly" to react to unexpected changes in a process. Allows 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. 
JobFlow or a number of Flows that run on a set schedule (e.g. to check a given email inbox once an hour) or on certain events (e.g. startup) (see also "Event") 
MappingConnections between data across Steps or Flows. Mapping tells Decisions how to identify or transform data as it moves through a process 
Mapping Type
Property for all Input/output data that lets a designer set how data is handled. For example, setting a value to "Rename" allows users to assign a new name without changing the data itself whereas "Converter Flow" allows changes to the data itself (e.g. convert the String to decimal)
MergingRejoining the branches of a Flow into a single thread using the Merge Step
Message Queues
Form of asynchronous communication used between Decisions and external services (e.g. AWS). Messages are stored in the queue until they are processed and deleted.
MessagingThe integration of Decisions with different messaging systems 
ModulesAdd-on features in Decisions, such as Active Directory, AWS, or HL7. Can be added under System > Administration > Features 
Multi-Tenant / Clustering
Multiple Decisions servers sharing the same primary database but each retaining its own file system 
Named Session
Web session that uses a specific account when invoking Flow via REST without needing to expose the user account information 
Notification Flow
Flow used 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. 
NullMapping 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")
PageCreated 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
URL assigned in IIS that navigates to the Decisions Portal
Primary FlowFlow that contains a Sub-Flow. Primary Flows may also be referred to as "parent Flows" (see also "Sub-Flow")
Process Folder
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
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". 
RelationBusiness relationships between Users and Groups. By Default, Decisions includes a Manager Relation, any desired Relation can be created in the System Folder Tree. 
Repeater Control
Specialized Form Control used to create dynamic, repeating elements on a Form (e.g. creating additional text fields when all available ones are filled)
ReportCreated 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)
RepositoryFile host that supports collaboration, backup, and versioning of Decisions projects 
RuleA discrete piece of logic created in the Rule Designer that takes in one or more inputs and returns one or more outputs 
Rule EngineThe 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
Rule Behavior that allows a Rule to be embedded in another Rule 
Rule Set
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")
RuntimeRefers 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. 
SnapshotsImages of Reports that can be easily captured and shared
StepSingle point of action within a Flow (for example, the Send Email Step)
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") 
SwimlanesType of Annotation that can be added to Flows in the Flow Designer. Typically, Swimlanes are used to visually differentiate the main sections of a Flow. 
Sync Flow
Sub-Flow that pauses the primary Flow while it executes
TaskDiscrete 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
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.
TilesDisplay mode used in multiple places in Decisions: for example, Tile View for entities in a Designer Folder.
TriggerProperty of Steps and Form Controls, a Trigger is a way to launch some action when that Step or Control executes
Truth Table
Kind of Rule that compares combinations of multiple inputs to decide a single outcome
Unit Test
Saved bit of input data used in the debugger for testing (eliminating the need to enter data for each test)
User Defined Type
Custom Data Structure created by a designer
Value List
A custom Data Structure in Decisions that builds an enumerated list of values
Visibility Rule
Property on all Form Controls that sets the conditions for whether the Control is visible
WorkflowThe 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"

For further information on the Portal, visit the Decisions Forum.

Was this article helpful?