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Quick Peek: Flows Directory

Archium’s ‘Quick Peek’ videos give you a demo of a single feature of Archium in just 2 minutes. and how it can help your team. Watch the Quick Peek about the Flows Directory below:

Flows Directory

Last post I showed you the first half of Archium’s Architecture Directory: the Components Directory, a list of all the Components in our system.

The second half of the Architecture Directory is the Flows Directory: a list of all the Flows that occur in our system. While the Components Directory tells you everything that the system is made of, the Flows Directory tells you everything that the system can do. Here’s a picture of one:

A screenshot of the Flows Directory in the Archium service catalog. Each Component of the system appears as a heading, followed by a list of all the Flows which are triggered at that Component.
Archium’s Flows Directory

You’ll recognise common use cases in this list like ‘Create Account’, ‘Login’, and ‘Search’.

But, what is a Flow, exactly? Well, let’s have a look at one.

Let’s go to the Publisher Webapp, and show a diagram of the Flow when someone adds a song to a release.

A screenshot of Archium showing a diagram of the graph of a Flow. Components used in the Flow appear as nodes, and the dependencies of Components on Entrypoints at other Components appear as labelled edges.
A diagram of a Flow in Archium

You can see here how this request flows through the system. You see all of the Components that are used,
the API Entrypoints that are hit, and whether messages are synchronous or asynchronous.

If you think about all of the operations that a system has the capability to perform, in Archium, each one of those is a Flow. And the Flows Directory shows you a list of all these operations. That means it’s an excellent place to look, to start to understand what functions your system allows users to perform.

Getting Flows Into Archium

There’s a lot of detail in a Flow, far more than you’d expect any dev team to write up and keep up to date. That’s why Archium generates these Flows for you automatically. It does that by reverse engineering your distributed tracing data into a detailed architecture model.

An illustration showing how Archium reverse engineers an architecture model from your distributed tracing, by reading data from your distributed tracer, which has been sent there from your system's telemetry.
Archium reverse engineers its architecture model from your distributed tracing

Increasing the Flows Directory’s Readability

Now, Flows don’t pop out of tracing data with these lovely readable names, but it’s just a 5 second job to open up a new Flow and change its name to something more friendly.

A screenshot of Archium showing the name of a Flow being edited in place.
In Archium, data like the names of Flows can be easily changed just by clicking on it

That small investment turns the Flows Directory into a very readable list of system capabilities. It can then be used by anyone in your organisation to start understanding what the system does, from developers, testers, and SREs, right up to the CTO and even across your org to teams like Product and Support.

We hope you enjoyed that quick peek at the Flows Directory feature of the Archium service catalog.

What Next?

Want to see more of Archium’s unique capabilities? Check out our Quick Peek videos playlist on YouTube.

Got questions about what Archium is and how it works? You’ll probably enjoy our Frequently Asked Questions.

Want to try Archium for your team? Get in touch so we can set you up with a free trial.

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