How to make a flow that crosses swim lanes with inboxes, etc

Can someone help me with a simple example of a flow that would cross swim lanes and what purpose it would serve? I get a general sense, but I am not sure how to implement. I’m pretty good with a sample though.

Maybe correct my misunderstanding here. My impression here is that in a flow you can basically branch off into another swim lane which hands the flow off to another user or role? Then the flow would wait for that response. So, for example, a user could take an action, but it would send an approval to a manager, then the action would complete when the manager completed his or her step? Is that a good use-case?

Hi wpuymac,
yes, I think you understanding is absolutely correct. The swim lane carries the workflow in between multiple users or roles associated. To assist you with this I have created a simple leave request workflow in which the manager approves or rejects the leave of a employee.
Swimlane Soultion.flow (32.0 KB)


Yes, it is as Kshitij said. Also worth mentioning: On handover you can send a push notification to the user/ the users in a role to their mobile device. Prerequisite is of course them having installed the flow app and being logged on to the server.
Additionally you would usually configure an inbox for the users on the receiving Swimlane. Simply go to any menu where you want to add the inbox and add a new inbox item. Click on edit of the created Item. Click the + Symbol and Select Handover Item
Now everytime the swimlane is crossed a new entry is being generated for the user in the inbox. Once any entry in the inbox is run and finished it will disappear.
Usually you will want to add some information to the inbox entries. Any variables from your workflow that you MADE PUBLIC before can be used. To do this

  1. Click on your workflow metadata and add public variables you want to use
  2. open your workflow and click on Workflow → Public Variables
  3. Map your public variables with available variables from your flow

You can now use these variables for descriptions etc. in the inbox.
Hope that helps a bit. Have fun playing around, it’s a cool functionality.


Hi Wpuymac,
I will get back to you with an example.


Hi, thank you all for the suggestions. One more question for you before dig in, or maybe more of a statement. We almost exclusively use FLOW on the webclient. We only have a few mobile devices. So do the swim lanes work the same for webclient where there would be no push notification? Is that what the inbox is for, to store all the open actions?

I have checked the workflow of swim lane with both the web client and with the mobile application and it is working fine with both. could you please make it more clear “no push notification”, means which notification method you were using to send response to the other user and to get back from other user. In my described flow I have used Inboxes configured as jostde showed in the images.
I think this will help you with inboxes.


Hi, thank you. I just meant that the swim lane concept needs to work for webclient where we aren’t going to have the Novacura app installed. It sounds like it will.

I appreciate the help link, but where I get confused is I don’t know what a “seed item” is or how it is distinct from running a machine step AFTER starting the flow. So I think I need to work with your example and play around a little so I can understand.

My ultimate use-case at the moment is that I will have a machine flow which will check for a certain condition in our ERP system. The flow will run every few minutes, for example.

When it finds the condition, a few employees from a few different roles all need to be notified that the condition has been met. And each role (which can have multiple people) needs to be able to approve the suggested action. Once all roles approve it, then the whole group needs to be notified they can proceed. I will work on this and appreciate all the help so much. Thanks.

Hey Michael,

yeah if you only use webclient in the current version push notifications will not work and only the inbox will show the data. Not sure the new webclient will have have this functionality. I know RnD made some changes with additional functionality. We will see once it’s released :slight_smile: . Also for your used case: Make sure to create the workflow as user workflow (as it has user interactions) and set the first Swimlane as machine lane.

Seed item lets you fill the inbox with a Query (something like “Select released Quotations for my user from the ERP”) instead of activly creating inbox items via Flow swimlane handover.

Good Luck

Thanks for that explanation. I appreciate you all taking the time. I am more confident now.