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Automation Keys: What They Are and Why You Should Use Them

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Building Automations in FME Server can save time, money, and helps businesses scale by eliminating data silos and providing data to stakeholders in real-time. One essential component to orchestrating complex Automations is the use of keys. In fact, it’s unlikely you’ll ever build an Automation without using keys of some sort, but what exactly are they?

Keys enable the Automation Author to pass data values from one Automation component to the next. During this webinar, our FME Server Support Specialists Holly Coxon and Mark Warren will take a deep dive into the world of keys; Event, Global & User. As a bonus, they’ll also be making use of the new Split-Merge Block functionality.

You’ll leave this webinar with a better understanding of how to maximize the potential of Automations by making use of these keys, with the ultimate goal of setting your enterprise integration workflows up on autopilot.

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Automation Keys: What They Are and Why You Should Use Them

  1. 1. Automation Keys! What They Are and Why You Should Use Them with Mark & Holly
  2. 2. Meet the Presenters Mark Warren FME Server Technical Support Specialist Holly Coxon FME Server Technical Support Team Lead
  3. 3. Agenda ● Automation Keys ○ What and Why ● Demo: Build an Automation using Keys ○ Bonus: Intro to Split-Merge Block functionality ● Q&A
  4. 4. POLL: Have you ever used FME Server Automations? A. I have never used FME Server B. I use FME Server but have never built an Automation C. I have created basic Automation workflows D. I have built complex Automations
  5. 5. Automating processes saves time, money, improves data quality, helps businesses scale and so much more.
  6. 6. What are Automation Keys? FME Server Automations allow you to build complex enterprise integration workflows by sending JSON-formatted messages between components (Triggers & Actions). Automation Keys store the JSON key-value pairs in a user-friendly format so they can be used downstream in the workflow.
  7. 7. Event Keys What: predefined output keys specific to the trigger, internal and external action type. Why: to create dynamic workflows that process event information in real-time.
  8. 8. User Keys What: output keys that can be defined on a component by the user building the automation. Why: when the same action is present more than once in a workflow to prevent overwriting certain keys or use keys from multiple events in the same downstream parameter.
  9. 9. Automation Writer Keys What: output keys that store attribute values from each feature processed by a workspace. They are present on the Run Workspace Action only when there is an Automation Writer in your workspace Why: Enhance Automations functionality by orchestrating data-driven workflows.
  10. 10. Global Keys What: text values defined by the user building the Automation for use at the Automation level without ties to a specific component. Why: reduce maintenance efforts by enabling you you to reference the same value in multiple places.
  11. 11. For ultimate flexibility use keys to create dynamic Automation workflows
  12. 12. DEMO The Goal Breakdown a State into Counties & Blocks for processing, then send a single email once the entire Automation is complete. The Obstacles There are many key types and it’s confusing to know when to use them. Plus the Merge action cannot be used with the Automation Writer. The Solution Use Automation Keys to pass information between workspaces and send messages downstream and use the Split-Merge Block to send a single email. The Result The various types of keys allow you to pass event, feature attribute, or user-defined information throughout an Automation.
  13. 13. Step One: Manual Trigger Keys ● Provide a user-defined JSON message at Automation runtime ● Create keys from the JSON key-value pairs {“state”:“Hawaii”} Note: This also applies to the Webhook Trigger Resources Run an Automation using the Manual Trigger
  14. 14. Step Two: Run Workspaces using Automation Writer Keys ● Create an additional output port per Automation Writer Feature Type ● Use the Automation Writer to parse attributes out of a workspace downstream in an Automation workflow ● Trigger one downstream event for every feature that enters the Automation Writer Resources Building Integrations with the FME Server Automation Writer
  15. 15. Tip To use Keys in a Workspace Action, the Workspace must contain Published Parameters!
  16. 16. Demo
  17. 17. POLL: How can we consolidate workspace actions? A. Merge Action B. Run a Workspace C. Split-Merge Block D. Filter Action
  18. 18. Step Three: Rethinking Keys with the Split-Merge Block ● Split-Merge Blocks will output one event key per input ● Compatible with Automation writers ● Event keys aren’t aggregated, you’ll only receive information from the very last job Resources Job Orchestration with Automations
  19. 19. Step Four: Global Keys and Email Recipients ● Global keys can be used anywhere in an Automation! ● Great for repeatedly-used parameters (i.e: Email recipients, file paths) ● One single key to manage our Email To recipients Resources Send email from Automations
  20. 20. Custom Email Subject & Body using Event Keys ● Multiple keys can be used in a single parameter ● Concatenate key values together or build custom text bodies
  21. 21. Demo
  22. 22. Final Tip The Log a Message action is your best friend when authoring with keys!
  23. 23. What next? Download FME 2021.1 Check out the additional resources and download the project shared with this webinar Build your first Automation and use keys to create a dynamic workflow Free Trial | Upgrade
  24. 24. Resources Article: Working with User and Global Keys in an Automation Article: Job Orchestration with Automations Blog: Enterprise Integration Wins: 5 Reasons to Add Automation Documentation: Working with Output Keys in Automations Workflows
  25. 25. 1. Visit: fme.ly/WebinarBadge 2. Enter your username 3. Enter the code: SGBCA Thanks for joining us... Claim Your Community Badge!
  26. 26. Have Ideas for Improvements? ● Server-wide global keys for FME Server ● Allow date/time parameter values to be set via Automation Global Keys ● Password support for FME Server Global Keys (data types) ● Add log file URL as available key from completed workspaces in Automations Share them on the FME Community
  27. 27. Q&A
  28. 28. Thank you! Join us in the FME Community Connect with us for more FME

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