Get Started with Structuring Complex Objects and Lists in Flow

Last updated Mon Dec 12 2022

Set yourself up for success with this solution, which includes:

  • A Flow example highlighting how to structure Objects and Lists


This solution uses an employee computer selection form that would inform the business of the hardware a new employee selects to begin working at the company.  To get started, we first need to create a Type.  We know that a Type in Flow is the profile that defines structure for your data. In this example, the Type is the Employee.  Next, we need to add properties.  Properties are the building blocks of a Type where the data kind is defined.  In this Flow, the properties created are Name, ID Number, Address and Computer Preference.  There are a variety of primitive ‘kinds’ of Value available in Boomi Flow such as Boolean, Content, Date/time, Encrypted, Number, Password, and String. There are primitive values that a Type/Object/List allows you to combine many of those data points into a single value.  This means that instead of needing to maintain many different primitive values and value names for your working data, you can maintain a single type, and when you add a property to the type, everywhere that the type and its values are used will automatically include the new property.  In this example, the properties created all have a kind of String. See Value Content kinds within Flow to learn more.

Next, we need to create a Value. We know that Values are containers that store data in your flows.  In this example, the Value is labeled as ‘Employee Object’ and the kind selected should be Object to store our employee input data such as Name, ID Number, Address and Computer Preference.  In the Flow Canvas, a Page Map Element is used with Input Components of the first three properties created and one Combobox Component for the computer preference.  When configuring your Input Components, you’ll use the Employee Object Value created with the different property string types:  Name, ID Number and Address.  So, you’ll see the state is ‘Employee Object / Name’ and so on for the property String Types.

For the computer preference, this Combo Box displays two options: MacBook or PC.  This requires creating a Type of Computer Preference with the property type of a String. For our Value, we create two: one Value with a data kind of an Object and one that has a data kind of a List.  When using the Combobox Component in Flow’s page builder, you’ll see the data is selected from a List Value.  Within the List Value, there’s two choices of ‘MacBook’ or ‘PC’ listed for the ‘Default Object Data’.  The state uses the Object Value to save the component state into.

Once the data is captured in the initial Page Map Element, this example uses an Operator Map Element followed by a Page Map Element with a Table Component to display the results from the Employee Computer Input form.  The Operator Map Element has two actions: 1) to set the computer preference equal to the value of the selected computer preference and 2) to update the List Value created with the Object Value.  These actions are set in place so the four fields completed on the input form display correctly on the table.  Lastly, a secondary Operator Map Element is added to “Clear Values” from the Employee Computer Input form if any additional employees are added. Flow retains the “state” of any Values, such as the data typed into the form fields, so this operator ensures that the previous form values are cleared out and ready for a new form entry.

Understanding Value, Types, Objects and Lists and how they are structured are the building blocks to getting started in Flow.

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