How to create a Process Pipeline in your Quoting Portal, what it can do, and where you can use it.
What is a Process Pipeline?
Process Pipelines can do various things for your Advanced Offering, such as calculating prices, crunching numbers and processing data. They can take different Data Shapes as inputs and give an output of your choosing. The magic behind Process Pipelines is that you've got full control over them, as Process Pipeline can be easily constructed using built-in Operation Blocks.
Process Pipelines can be used in Form Pipelines (for instant feedback to the customer), as well as in Yield Pipelines for various calculation needs. Process Pipelines can even be used in other Process Pipelines, for complex uses.
How to create a Process Pipeline
To create a Process Pipeline, click on Process Pipelines on the left, and + New, after which it will ask you for a title and unique identifier. Title can be a descriptive name of what the pipeline will do. "Calculate Area", "Divide", "Compare text", you name it.
Inputs in a Process Pipeline is the data you want to send in to be processed. It can be any of the Data Shapes that Quoting Portal supports. You feed a Process Pipeline's inputs (for example "width" and "height") from where it's being used. For example, in a Form Pipeline.
A Process Pipeline supports three different types of Steps.
- Process Pipeline
- This will use another Process Pipeline. And no, you can't make an infinite loop.
- Assertion allows you to check whether something is null. You can check multiple Pipeline Values, by assigning them a priority order. If one of them is not null, it will return that value from the "asserted" output. If all of them are null, you can choose whether it stops the whole quote calculation and a return a rejection message, or if it outputs fallback data.
- Operation Block
- Operation Block is where the magic happens, and what will be used the most. Operation Blocks simply take data in, processes it, and outputs the processed data. More information about this below.
Outputs from a Process Pipeline is the processed data. It could for example be a calculated area (you entered width and height) or boolean true / false (you compared two texts), or anything else, you name it.
Operation Blocks are the main brains in Process Pipelines, here you have different functions you can combine together to build up a complex calculator for all your needs to automate your quoting process.
What does Block X do?
By adding a block to your Pipeline, and clicking on the "book" icon, you will be presented with a description how to use the block.
Often-used Operation Blocks
There's a few Operation Blocks that gets more frequently used than others, these are:
- Text Format
- Math Basic
- Number Compare
- Math Formula Parse
We will in short go through all of them and how they can be used.
If there's an Operation Block that doesn't exist, but you would need for your calculations, do not hesitate to get in touch with us!
Text Format takes in a maximum of three text inputs, and creates a text, for example a title. For example:
When the Operation Block runs it will switch place with %1, %2 and %3 with the texts that you have entered in the inputs. In this case, it's just words, "brand", "model", "year", but it could be whole sentences that you stitch together into an even longer sentence.
Math Basic is simple math, it uses Add, Subtract, Multiply and Division, effective and simple tool if you only need to do some simple calculations.
With Switch you compare two inputs. Most often it's two texts or numbers, if they are the same, output can be whatever you choose it to be. Usually it's boolean, but it could also be a text for example saying "These are the same!"
Here you can compare if two numbers are less, less-or-equal, greater or greater-or-equal. You could, for example, check whether the amount of square meters of a floor is above a certain limit after calculating it with a Math Basic.
Math Formula Parse
With Math Formula Parse you can use most of the formulas that Excel has, which should make it your go-to Operation Block if you are used to calculating things in Excel. Note that you have to write the variable letters in lower-case in the "formula" inputs, or it won't work.
How to use a Process Pipeline in a Form- or Yield Pipeline
You can use Process Pipelines in either Yield Pipelines or Form Pipelines. If you, for example, want to show cubic meters live in a Form Pipeline, you could use it there. But generally. if it has something to do with price calculations you want to keep it in the Yield Pipeline. You can use the same Process Pipeline for multiple occasions, so it's not limited to just one use.
Following is an example on how it could look like in a Form Pipeline:
After setting up an Offering using this Form Pipeline, this will be the result in the Portal:
...and after entering the measurements, the Process Pipeline will be run and the result will be displayed: