Flow by Dell Boomi is a low code application development platform for the rapid creation of applications that is accessible from numerous platforms and devices, while at the same time leveraging the power of the rest of the Dell Boomi ecosystem. Here’s the story of the opportunity three Solita Integrations Specialists had to participate in the latest training offered on the product.
In early 2020, three of our Dell Boomi specialists found themselves with a rare opportunity: to take a sneak peek at Dell Boomi Flow Professional training that wasn’t available to the general public yet. This opportunity was available during the Boomi Partner Summit 2020 in Amsterdam. We had some experience of the product and had already plans on how to utilise Flow, so we were eager to participate.
Hotels were reserved and flight tickets were bought in anticipation of this event. Maps were marked with all the places to visit for souvenirs. As you might guess, this is where COVID-19 and the exceptional circumstances it brought with it stepped in. The Partner Summit was cancelled, along with the training linked to it.
Even though the trip was cancelled, Boomi had some good news for us a bit later. With the way the world was going, doing things remotely was fast becoming the new “hip”. Boomi had decided to organise the training remotely, so we still had a chance to participate.
Actually, with this, we would be one of the first Nordic companies to have Dell Boomi Flow Professional certified developers. There’s no place like at the vanguard of technology!
This is one of the many ways how Solita supports us in keeping our professional competence up to date and our wits sharp.
Introduction to the power of Flow
Well, what is this Flow that we were so eager to learn more about?
- Boomi Flow is a cloud-native, low-code workflow automation and App development service which complements the Dell Boomi ecosystem well. With Boomi Flow, a developer is able to create mobile-friendly applications that connect people with technology and processes. It makes it possible to automate simple and sophisticated workflows. While Boomi Flow apps are generally distributed as HTML 5 applications, they can be run almost anywhere and accessed with various different devices.
- Basic development with Boomi Flow is fast to learn, especially if the developer has worked with the Boomi AtomSphere integration platform before. Boomi Flow has also a wide range of advanced features that are a bit more complex, but provide added control and customisation possibilities for experienced developers.
- Boomi Flow is an ideal choice in situations where there’s a need for process orchestration or automating workflows. Typical use cases are company onboarding, order provisioning, field services (e.g. site survey or customer service cases like claims support).
- A traditional way to develop applications is through tasks related to design, infrastructure, security, monitoring, upgrades and scaling architecture. Boomi Flow has the same versatility as traditional application development and, in addition, it also handles infrastructure, security and mobile-friendliness. Boomi Flow’s Draw feature allows the app modelling to be done with drag and drop tooling, the Publish feature handles version control and allows packaging for all the application elements. Engage is the human element of Boomi Flow where the user engages directly to your app.
Deeper understanding of Flow
Dell Boomi offers multiple free online trainings that are based on video resources and reading materials that introduce the student to the multiple aspects of the Dell Boomi platform.
Dell Boomi offers different levels of course. The Associate level course on the Flow module gives a basic understanding of the Flow module and enables developers to create basic Flow interfaces. It also comes with a certification option. With the Professional level course we had the opportunity to take a deeper look at the platform in an instructor-led interactive classroom environment that offered more room for questions and observations.
With the Boomi Flow Professional training, the understanding of Flow expanded to cover a wider section of the Flow module. We learned more about the ways how Boomi integration processes could be leveraged through the Flow and how Boomi MDH data could be accessed and utilised in these UI’s. We also grasped a wider understanding of the architecture and technology behind Boomi Flow.
The Boomi Flow platform architecture is composed of UI/UX, Boomi Flow Core and Integration Services.
- The UI/UX layer of Boomi Flow is composed of Twitter Bootstrap, Facebook React and Ajax. These technologies provide capabilities for creating responsive mobile-first applications. You can create your own Boomi Flow UI by drag and drop without writing any code. However, if you have skills in these technologies, you can use them for more advanced Boomi Flow UI customisation.
- Boomi Flow Core is a multitenant cloud platform with elastic scaling. The platform is configured either by using drag and drop tooling or metadata APIs.
- Integration services is a layer that provides application connectivity by abstracting the underlying systems and endpoints. Developers can build the services using Boomi AtomSphere Integration processes, APIs or application connectors. Boomi also has a software development kit for Java, C# and Apex for more customised API and integration development.
Boomi Flow use case
The training and the use case at the centre of it showed how Boomi Flow could be utilised in the onboarding process of a new company employee. This is a process that traditionally covers multiple people, systems and processes in order to ensure that new employees receive full access to the necessary resources and equipment.
With this Boomi Flow implementation, the new user could input the essential information through a web application, which would progress through different systems and relevant managers. HR resources would be notified of when their input was needed in the process. They would be able to enrich and approve any requests through different devices such as laptops or mobile devices by utilising the same Flow application and its steps.
Simple and fast development combined with the possibilities of the rest of the Boomi platform provides a powerful tool that has great potential.
With this training and the things we learned from it, we can find new ways to help our customers realise their needs and indicate the potential of automating their own processes and finding new solutions together.
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