Introduction to zenphi
What is zenphi?
Zenphi is a no code business process automation platform specifically built for G Suite users. It enables you and the whole set of new people in your company to automate their processes without writing any code.
The processes can be anything from simple Mail Merge, Document Generation, or Incident Report to a complex multi-step contract approval, or employee onboarding.
You could do all of that without needing to write any Apps Script or code.
(we could show a few flow design here)
To get started with zenphi, there are a few basic concepts you need to familiarize yourself with.
Everything in zenphi revolves around Flows. A Flow is the implementation of a process or part of a process. For example, if you may have a process for employees to request for a new laptop, in which an employee puts in a request, then the manager should approve it, and then IT should order the laptop. To automate this process, you create a Flow which starts by a Google Forms, (for employees to submit their request), and the Flow then identifies the requester’s manger, assigns her a zenphi task, and if she approves, it will send and email to IT or oder the laptop.
Something happens in the world, your world, the world of Google... or, it could happen anywhere, if you can send the message to Zenphi (email, HTTP), zenphi can take action. Once you tell Zenphi about the systems you want to monitor and the events that you’re interested in, we’ll continuously keep an eye on it. We call the event which initiates your process (or Flow in this case) Trigger. For example, you may want your Flow to start when a specific Google Forms is submitted or when an email arrives to a specific GMail inbox. So you need to configure your Flow to use Google Forms Trigger for the first one, and GMail Trigger for the second one.
Each trigger may have some metadata which will translate into Start Parameters of the Flow. For example if your Google Forms captures First Name, Last Name, and Date of Birth. Your will have those values passed to the Flow as Start Parameters.
Please note that Start Parameters are different from each other based on the type of Trigger you chose.
Timer Trigger and Manual Trigger does not have any Start Parameters.
If you have configured the Flow to use a Manual Trigger, you can start the Flow by clicking on the triangle button next to the Flow in the Flow Listing Page.
Actions or Steps are the building blocks of your Flow. Each action can perform one of the following tasks:
Logic, (if condition, switch, state machine, looping, etc.)
Interaction with another system (add a row to Sheets, post a message to Slack, send an email, assign a task, etc.) most of these actions require a Connection in order to be able to work the respective systems. We’ll cover connections next.
Utility: (format date, multiple numbers, etc.)
Auditing and debugging (log to history)
Depending on your process, actions can happen sequentially or in parallel. In order to perform an action, you just drag drop, and configure it.
Some actions have output and some they don’t. If they do, the output of the action is available to all subsequent actions, or for all actions within the same context (ex loop).
To configure an action, just click on the cogs icon, and start setting values in the sliding panel. Wherever you see the “variable picker” icon, it means you can dynamically configure that property using Start Parameters, Flow Variables, or the output of previous Actions. For example, you can dynamically construct the email subject using the values which we received from the Google Forms which started the Flow.
If your process needs to interact with another system, like Google Sheets, Google Docs, Slack etc. zenphi would need to use a connection to interact with those systems on your behalf. For example, if you want to update a Google Sheet as part of your process, you first need to create a Google Sheet connection. This connection grants zenphi access to the Google Sheet file, on your behalf.
These are the types of connections we support at the moment. Some of them are marked as read-only. Those are good enough if you only need to read data from those systems. If your process needs to edit anything in those systems you should use the normal connection.
Connections can be reused by different actions in different Flows.
You can create a connection from the Connections page, or by clicking on the the + in the connections control.
Once you have designed and published your Flow, each time the configured Trigger fires, an instance of the Flow is created and executed. For example, each time a Google Forms is submitted, an instance of the Flow associated with that Google Forms is created and executed. Or if you have configured your Flow Trigger to run every one hour, an instance of the Flow is created and executed every one hour. We call the executions of Flows, Flow Runs.
A Flow Run can have different status, Completed, Failed, or Cancelled.
You can see all previous Runs from the Flow Runs sections.
If you would like to see the details of each Flow Run, you can click on it and get more information about the Flow Run.