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Flows enable custom, event-driven data processing and task automation within Directus. Each Flow is composed of one Trigger, followed by a series of Operations.

Before You Begin

Please be sure to see the Quickstart Guide to get a basic overview of the platform.

Learn More

There is also dedicated API documentation on Flows and Operations.

What's a Flow?

What's a Flow?

Each Flow begins with one Trigger, which defines the action that starts the Flow. Triggers can be an event or action within the app, an incoming webhook, a cron job, or a manual click of a button. Please see the documentation on Triggers for more details.

Operations are the actions performed after the Trigger, such as accessing and managing a Collection's items, sending off emails, pushing in-app notifications, or sending webhooks, just to name a few. You can even set up divergent chains of Flow Operations, which execute conditionally, based on whether the previous Operation passed or failed. A console log is also included to help design and troubleshoot your Flows and ensure data is passed on as intended. Please see the documentation on Operations for more details.

Once a Flow begins, Directus creates a Flow Object. This stores any data generated from the Trigger event. When an Operation in the flow executes successfully, its data is appended onto the Flow Object. Every Operation has access to the entire Flow Object. In other words, each Operation has access to the data from the Flow's Trigger as well all previously executed Operations in the Flow.

Create a Flow

To create a Flow, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Flows and click add in the Page Header. A drawer menu will open.
  2. Under Flow Setup, fill in a Name for the Flow and (optionally) the following as desired:
    • Status — Sets whether the Flow is active or inactive.
    • Icon — Adds a Material Icon used to help quickly identify the Flow.
    • Description — Sets a brief verbal description of the Flow.
    • Color — Sets a color to help identify the Flow.
  3. Select your Activity and Logs Tracking preference as desired.
    To learn more, please see Activity and Logs.
  4. Click arrow_forward to navigate to Trigger Setup. Select a Trigger type and configure as desired.
  5. Click done in the Menu Header to be taken to the Flow Grid Area.
    You will now see the Trigger Panel on the Flow Grid Area.
  6. On the Trigger Panel, click add and the Create Operation side menu will open.
  7. Choose a Name, an Operation type, and configure as desired.
    Directus will convert the unique name into an Operation Key, used on the Flow Object.
    If you don't choose a name, the system will auto-generate a name and key.
  8. Next, click done in the Page Header to confirm and return to the Flow Grid Area.
  9. On the newly created Operation Panel:
    • Click add to add an Operation to execute if the current Operation is successful.
    • Click remove to add an Operation to execute if the current Operation fails.
  10. Repeat steps 8-10 to build out your Flow as desired.
  11. Optional: To edit a Trigger or Operation Panel, click edit and make any necessary edits.
  12. Optional: To delete an Operation Panel, click more_vert then delete.

The Flow Object

When a Flow is triggered, Directus creates a JSON object to store all data generated within the Flow. When you create an Operation, this generates a key that appends to the Flow Object when the Operation executes. The key is used to add the associated Operation's data onto the Flows Object. As each Operation in the Flow executes, it has access to the Flow Object and therefore the data generated from preceding Operations.

The following JSON object is a simple example of a Flow with two Operations. The $trigger, $last, and $accountability keys are included on every Flow. An Operation key will be generated for each Operation that executes successfully.

	"$trigger": {}, // Data generated by the Flow's Trigger.
	"$last": null, // Data from the last Operation in the flow, for easy access!
	"$accountability": {}, // Provides details on who/what tripped the Trigger and generated this Flow Object.
	"operation_key_1": "some_value",
	"operation_key_2": null, // Value is null if no data was generated during an Operation.
	"operation_key_3": {
		// The data (if any) generated by the first Operation.
		"some_nested_key": "Some nested value."

Flow Variables

The Flow Object keys serve as variables that allow data access from every Flow Operation. Variables must be passed using the following double-moustache syntax. You can also use dot-notation to extract sub-nested values.

	"operation_key_4": {
		"user": "{{ $accountability.user }}"


Accessible from the Sidebar, Logs store information for each Flow execution. Each log will display information from Triggers as well as each Operation in the Flow. To access a Flow's logs, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to Settings > Flows and click the desired Flow.
  2. Click fact_check Logs in the Sidebar. A side drawer will open, displaying the Flow's logs.
  3. Click a log and another side drawer will open, allowing you to peer through its data.
  4. When finished, click close to close the drawer.