This article details how to setup Input Flow. Input Flow allows users to automate the execution of Planning templates in Solver Cloud and Private Host v5x. This can be useful to organizations who may do driver- based budgeting and want to apply these drivers across a budget model.
This article makes the following assumptions:
- You are familiar with and have created your Input templates.
- You are familiar with drivers (and other types of data) and referencing this in other workbooks and sheets.
Before proceeding, here are some things you should know:
- Input Flow is included with your purchase of the Planning module within Solver Cloud and Private Host.
- Input Flow is not available in the BI360 4x application, however similar concepts can be implemented using Solver Consulting services. Please reach out to Solver Support to inquire more about this.
- A configured Input Flow is "yours" and cannot be viewed/edited by other administrators.
- You can use the Transfer Ownership feature to "take over" someone else's Input Flow.
- Input Flow has a max iteration (explained below) of 25.
- Templates using the same parameter (such as "Department") that will need to have different values, should be named uniquely on the template. Should you have two parameters called "Choose Department", it will be difficult to know which parameter belongs to which template.
- Input templates should be tested and validated before being added to an input Flow. Should you make a change to the template, it must be removed from the Input Flow before you can publish those changes.
- We recommend that if you make a change, do not delete your Input Flow as you will lose your configuration. Instead, remove the template that needs to be published and replace it with a temporary ("dummy") template.
- Input Flow requires at least 2 published templates to be added.
- Input Flow does not support scheduling or email notifications.
- Input Flow can only store back to one integration, you cannot add Input templates belonging to different integrations.
Input Flow simply requires Input templates that have been built out, tested, and confirmed working in a manual process. Your testing should include storing each form in the order that will be defined in the Input Flow.
To create an Input Flow, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Input Flow menu.
- A listing of your Input Flows will appear. Click New to begin.
- In the setup that appears, provide the following:
- The name of the Input Flow. This will appear on the Input Flow main menu.
- The integration. This is the integration for the reports being run. In most cases, this will just be the Data Warehouse.
- The company will auto-populate to the tenant name for Data Warehouse.
- For ERPs, choose the company.
- Once you select the integration, the templates list will become active. This dropdown shows only the templates that have been published. Select the templates to be part of this Input Flow.
- All parameters found in the templates will appear in the Parameters section
- If your template has default parameters, they will appear in the Parameters section.
- Please provide all parameter values where applicable.
- At this point, your screen should looks something like the image below, with your selected templates appearing as Cards in the bottom grid.
- Next, define your order of operations. In this example you can see that we want "Input Flow-Driver Setup" to go first, followed by "Input Flow-Storage by Dept" to follow.
- "Input Flow-Driver Setup" references the "Choose Department" parameter while "Input Flow-Storage by Dept" references the "Choose Budget Department". While they both reference the same Department dimension, in this Input Flow they act differently.
- On the Drivers form, we want all departments to come into the sheet.
- On the Storage by Department form, we want it to be run for each department individually.
- As configured, the Storage by Dept template would run for the single department "100:500" and error out because this is not a department in the setup.
- To achieve the effect of running this report for departments 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500, we must setup the "Choose Budget Department" parameter with Iterate enabled.
- To do so, simply click the lookup for this parameter and choose the Iterate option.
Once all parameters are defined, scroll to the top and click Save. This completes the configuration of an Input Flow.
Executing an Input Flow
There are two ways to execute an Input Flow:
- Run manually from the Input Flow menu.
- This option may be popular in cases where no templates need to be run manually. You may choose this option if budget data or drivers are imported and then calculations and new budget numbers are driven off this imported data.
- Kick off the Input Flow after you click Save Data from the first template in your Input Flow.
- Users will see text on this input template, indicating it is part of an Input Flow.
- Users do not need to stay on this template after saving it for the Input Flow to execute and complete.
An Input Flow by default is setup to be run manually. You can verify this by whether you see the "Enable" option or not . If you see this option, the Input Flow is setup for manual Execution.
To execute this Input Flow, simply click Run.
Additionally, you have the following options:
|Enable/Disable||Turns on the execution of an Input Flow from the template itself|
|Edit||Open the setup screen to edit the Input Flow|
|View Log||View the status of the last time the Input Flow was ran. This does not show a history of all the executions|
|Stop||Stop an Input Flow from processing. This stops the Input Flow at the moment that it was stopped, some transactions may be saved.|
Executing Via Template
If you have enabled the Input Flow, this means that it will be executed once the user clicks Save Data.
- Once enabled, navigating to the template via the Input Templates menu, users will see an indicator that this template belongs to an Input Flow and additional data storage will happen.
- After the users types in the budget numbers and hits save, the Input Flow is executed in the background and the user can exit the menu.
Common Input Error
NOTE: Ignore logic does not work and the budget template should be considered as set to force store.
|"Storing Failed. SQL Error 8672"||SQL Error 8672 indicates no unique combinations of data were found during storage. This will occur when the data coming into the report is not unique OR the storage settings are not detailed enough to identify uniqueness.||Check for uniqueness in the data coming in problematic parameters where this error is thrown, and also ensure that the storage settings are correct.|
|SQL Error 2627||The issue occurs because the cached sequence is flushed incorrectly when you perform the database backup. This makes the value of the cached sequence larger than the value on the disk. In this situation, error 2627 is triggered.
However, more than likely this could be due to a Unique key issue rather than the cached sequence error. You can try and manually store it to that template as it could be a different unit than the one that you had mentioned that is creating the duplicate data. There could still be parts of the input flow that did not store back.
|a transition that looks like it was causing the problem|
|SQL Error 242: The conversion of a char data type to a datetime data type resulted in an out-of-range datetime value.||This is happening because some date field in your template is producing an invalid date (ie 00/00/0000 or 1/32/2022 in MM/DD/YYYY format).||You may need to add an iferror or change your formula as input flow does not have a front end interface and some formulas do not|