Difference between Workflows and Action Flows

Workflows

Workflows as we know are used to define and trigger a series of tasks or actions on submission of a form or by triggering it using the CALLWORKFLOW action under the Server-side actions as a part of the action flow. Workflows are typically server-side and you have to wait for a response to move to the next action.

Action Flows

The action flows are a series of action blocks that are triggered on click of an Action button, screen actions, and other custom actions from the Designer control. They are more commonly used to complete on-screen tasks that you want to perform instantly and provide the results to the end-user. Though you primarily use the on-screen actions, Action flows also have capabilities to perform some server-side actions as well.

There are a few more features and capabilities which can form the basis for your decision to choose appropriately between action flows and workflows.

Worflows Action flows
Server-side tasks On-screen tasks as well as Server-side actions
Triggered on form submission with Submit button or with CALLWORKFLOW from Action button Triggered on Action button click or other custom actions
You cannot wait for workflow execution to be completed You can wait for action flow execution to be completed
Workflow keywords:
INPUTAT
INPUTBYEMAIL
INPUTBYNAME
Action flow keywords:
TODAY()
USEREMAIL
USERNAME
On form submission, workflow execution:
1. Validate pages
2. Call workflow
3. Reset Page
4. Show Pop-up
CALLWORKFLOW in Action flow:
1. Call workflow
Additional blocks needed: Validate Page block, Reset Block
File upload control if used on Form allows the file to be uploaded automatically. It can then be used anywhere in the task with the upload link provided to you. File Upload Action block is needed to upload files from the File upload control. Then only you would get the URL link of the file for further use.
Offline submission possible Offline submission not possible
Workflow Analytics available Action flow analytics not available

File upload feature

  • In workflows, the file upload control if used for submission gets uploaded automatically. It can then be used anywhere in the task using the uploaded link.
  • In Action flows you need to upload the file using the action block for File upload and get the URL link of the file.

Keywords

  • Workflows has the keywords INPUTAT to input the date and time when the data has been submitted, while in the case of Action flows, you need to use the TODAY() function to enter the date and time.

  • The Email address of the user account for Workflows is provided by the keyword INPUTBYEMAIL, while that of the Action flow is USEREMAIL.

  • The UserName of the user account for Workflows is provided by the keyword INPUTBYNAME, while that of the Action flow is USERNAME.