flowground – FAQs
How reliable is flowground?
The flowground platform is hosted and operated in highly secure Telekom data centres in Germany on OpenStack. Each step of an integration flow (such as triggers and actions) is running as an individual Docker container. All the containers are connected through a messaging queue.
The interaction of Docker containers and message queues ensures the reliable running of your flows:
- In a queue, data are never lost, even if any of the containers crashed.
- You may scale all containers, in order to run processes in parallel.
- If a target-API is temporarily unavailable, the queue reliably ensures later data transfer.
What is the concept of connectors?
Connectors are open frameworks that any software developer with knowledge of APIs can implement in a short time. Simply drag the required components into the project room from the Connector Catalog. If necessary, you can adapt them or create your own and make them available on the platform.
How can I develop my own connectors?
You can develop connectors in your local IDE and make them available in the platform by git-push. flowground supports both Node.js and Java programming language for building connectors.
How can I generate connectors based on their Swagger-definition?
Part of flowground is a generator that produces Node.js code for a connector from an OpenAPI/Swagger interface description. The generated code is provided in the GitHub repository under an Apache 2.0 Open Source license. To create the code you just need to upload a Swager/OpenAPI file in JSON or YAML format or provide the link to an API URL.
What is an integration flow?
An integration flow is a connection of several software-connectors or components (such as timer or router) that receives data from an application, processes it in the platform and outputs it to another application. The data flow functions in both directions and can be branched rule-based. With the visual Flow Creator in the flowground platform you can create, modify or combine integration flows without any programming effort. Flows can easily be replicated and shared.
How do I build an integration flow?
You can intuitively create, modify or combine integration flows with a visual Flow Creator without any programming effort. Our screencast explains with a concrete example how you can easily create your first flow in a few steps (German version available only).
Can I test flowground for free?
With the Trial-Edition, Telekom offers interested users a test version with full functionality that can be used productively free of charge for three months. If you do not wish to continue using flowground after the test period, you don’t need to do anything. The test booking is not automatically extended, and expires after the test phase.
However, you can upgrade to the fee-based Pro-Edition at any time during the test phase and immediately continue to work – including the flows you have already built.
How does the provision of flowground work?
Provision of the flowground project room is managed via the TelekomCLOUD portal. This requires a one-time registration at the TelekomCLOUD marketplace, including the double opt-in process required for data protection reasons. After the account has been created, you will be provided with access to the flowground platform in the dashboard of the TelekomCLOUD portal under “My Cloud”> “My Products”.
Is there a minimum contract period?
All flowground editions are available with a minimum contract term of one month. Contracts can be terminated with one month’s notice to the end of the minimum contract term. If no notice is given, the contract is automatically extended by the minimum contract term.
Can I still use connectors or flows I created in the Trial-Edition after the expiry of the three-month free trial phase?
During the trial phase, you can convert your free Trial-Edition into a Pro-Edition at any time. In this instance, all settings, flows or connectors are retained and can still be used. If the conversion takes place before the expiry of the Trial-Edition, current flows will not be stopped. If it happens after the expiry of the Trial-Edition, there is a 30-day grace period during which the flows can be restarted. After the grace period has expired, the project room is automatically deleted.
What happens with the data after termination of contract?
All objects and data connected to the project room are deleted after termination of contract and the expiry of a subsequent 30-day “grace period”. These include:
- Accounts (credentials)
- Agents (local agents)
- Invite tokens (open invitations to the project room)
- Flow-related information (DataSamples, Dynamic Metadata, DynamicSelectModel, ExecStat, ExecutionResult, MarathonEvent, RequestBin, TaskHooksData, TaskStatError, TaskVersion)
- User accounts merely having been members of the terminated contract, as well as the SSH-keys that were connected to them.
Which programming skills and languages are required to work with flowground?
No programming skills are needed for starting and stopping existing flows or creating new ones. Only the building of connectors requires programming, which can be carried out in NodeJS or Java. The development environment can be determined by the developer, there are no specifications from flowground.
Can I obtain my own local instance of the platform?
The possibility to install and run an instance for third parties is not currently provided.
How can I monitor, manage and assign the “consumption” of tokens in flows?
All flows started in one project room access one shared pool of tokens. It is not possible to assign tokens to specific flows. First, all “real-time flows” receive the tokens necessary to run them. The “ordinary flows” split the remaining tokens among them. At all times, the platform ensures the availability of at least one token for “ordinary flows”. A function for monitoring the assignment of tokens is currently unavailable (function is scheduled to be included in one of the coming releases.).
How many flows can I create per project room?
There is no limitation within the system for the creation of flows.
How many flows can I run in parallel within one project room?
In the flowground platform, there is no limitation for the number of running flows. If, however, there are too few tokens for parallel running in the project room, flows will be run sequentially.
Is the project room’s “owner” automatically the administrator? Who else can administer the project room?
The administration of a project room includes several levels, for each level there are specific roles. A user in the project room can take several of these roles. The first user of a project room is automatically assigned the role of “owner” and “admin”.
- “Owner” role: A user with this role can edit the list of users in the project room and change authorisations.
- “Admin” role: A user with this role can create or delete workspaces, teams and repos.
The “owners” and “admins” of a project room are not automatically capable of administering the content of workspaces.
With the Pro-Edition, is it possible to create specific connectors?
The creation of own connectors is possible with every flowground edition, including the Pro-Edition.
Will the invoice include a detailed breakdown of my resources used?
The invoice is not based on the resources used, but on the resources provided for the project room. The term “token” serves as an abstraction of the resources. In the Pro-Edition, tokens can be flexibly booked and provide all resources required for the running of a flow step (in particular, CPU and RAM, but also network and disk space).