Solved

Is Shopify Flow planning to support Action outputs in the future?

EBC
Shopify Partner
10 0 6

Flow is a fantastic concept, allowing us to build nice integrations. But I find the current Action implementation limiting.

 

TL;DR

Suppose Action would have an output that allows the creation of more connected workflows. Action output avoids fracturing a single workflow into multiple disconnected smaller ones.

 

Problem

Our customers want to use our Flow action "Generate PDF" in their workflows. PDF action is a tiny step in a more extensive workflow, not a core part. Our Action generates a downloadable document. Technically we can return an action outcome (URL) immediately, and a merchant could continue the same workflow incorporating a PDF URL. But because there is no such thing as Action output - the merchant is forced to introduce another workflow to handle our app output via Trigger. The current situation is not great as it forces merchants to create a separate workflow for each app output. This situation does not help analyze the sequence of events associated with an initial trigger.

 

How other workflow engines do it

Let's take a look at existing and active YAML-based workflow engines:

They support output or a result. Naturally, more sophisticated workflow engines that use code to define workflows also support outputs. Example: Temporal.io.

 

How would a workflow with outputs look

Here is a small example of a workflow that uses Action output.

 

ComponentNameInputOutput
TriggerOrder FulfilledOrder ObjectOrder, Store, All Line Items Shippable
ActionGenerate Commercial InvoiceOrder IDPDF URL
ActionSend EmailPDF URLNone
ActionSend HTTP RequestNot importantNone

 

flow.png

 

Note that steps that follow "Generate Commercial Invoice" use PDF URL as input. The workflow is one piece.

 

Question to Shopify Flow team

Do you plan to support Action outputs sometime in the future?

Accepted Solution (1)

DaveMcV
Shopify Staff
91 28 25

This is an accepted solution.

Hi EBC,

 

Thanks for the thorough post on partner-defined Action outputs for Flow Connector Actions!

 

This is something we are exploring and plan to offer in the future so I'll share your feedback with the wider team. 

 

Thanks again!

DaveMcV | Flow Development Manager @ Shopify
- Finding Flow useful? Leave us a review
- Need Flow help? Check out our help docs.
- Building for Flow? Check out Flow's dev docs.

View solution in original post

Reply 1 (1)

DaveMcV
Shopify Staff
91 28 25

This is an accepted solution.

Hi EBC,

 

Thanks for the thorough post on partner-defined Action outputs for Flow Connector Actions!

 

This is something we are exploring and plan to offer in the future so I'll share your feedback with the wider team. 

 

Thanks again!

DaveMcV | Flow Development Manager @ Shopify
- Finding Flow useful? Leave us a review
- Need Flow help? Check out our help docs.
- Building for Flow? Check out Flow's dev docs.