Using the Flow Debugger
  • 26 Oct 2021
  • 2 Minutes to read
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Using the Flow Debugger

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Overview

The purpose of the Debugger is to ensure a Flow runs without errors. Debugging is highly recommended throughout all of the development stages. The Flow Debugger can be used to view how data transforms in the Flow, which can be accessed from the Flow Designer.

Because the Debugger runs Flows with additional processes to display contextual data for developers, the Debugger should not be used as a means for gauging a Flow’s performance. 

To analyze how quickly a Flow is performing and which steps may be producing bottlenecks, see our article on Troubleshooting Using the Profiler.
Please note that the behavior of the debugger may vary when input data needs to be defined for certain types. For example, if a String input is left empty or blank to indicate no value, the input will likely give a value of 'null'.

Accessing the Debugger

To begin the debugging process, select Debug link at the top of the Flow Designer.


When the Debugger opens, there is a large START DEBUGGING button that will initiate the debugging process with the default settings. Expand the OPTIONS sections for additional configurations like running a Debug and Profiling session, or just one or the other. 

In addition, the debugging test can run in Sampling Mode which reduces the size of the data set by debugging only a sample of the data. This can ultimately help with performance when larger data sets are being used for testing. 

The last option is to capture this debugging session as Simple Data, which can be used to capture and store the debugging data as simple data.

Debugging Multiple Times
To Debug multiple times without needing to close the Debugger tool, users can use Unit Tests/Sample data or simply click on CREATE NEW SESSION in the top left of the Debugger.

Inside of the FlowDebugger there are 3 tabs; FLOW, Debug Report Page, and Execution Dashboard. Choosing the Debug and Profile will display a fourth tab: Profile Page.

FLOW

Clicking on various steps within the Flow provides the ability to view that particular step's Input Data, Output Data, and Step Info.


Selecting the Play button on the bottom right of the page shows how the Flow runs in real time.

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Debug Report Page

The Debug Report Page provides a simple Report of the steps within this Flow. The difference between the Step Executions Page and the Debug Report Page is that a user does not have the option to change Report types.

The Execution Dashboard

The Execution Dashboard provides a snapshot of the executed Flow.

The tiles on the left-hand side provide key information like total execution Time, Number of Steps, Number of Flows, Number of Rules, and Exceptions

This Report may be viewed in a different form by clicking the Change Report link.

Remember to the Recent List

Setting this Check-Box to true will save the current run in the Debugger in the Data Samples back in the Flow Designer.
This default option can be turned off and on in System > Settings > Designer Studio Settings, under Flow Debug Default.

After the Debugger runs and Remember to the Recent List was set to true, the run will be saved in the Samples/Unit Tests panel in the Designer. Under Sample Data > [Flow Name] there will be the saved version of the previously run Debugger.

Each time the Debugger is run and this option is on, it will save a new Sample Data. These pieces of data can be Debugged again. The magnifying glass will show what input was used for that run, and the save icon will allow the ability to save that run as a Unit Test or Data Sample.


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