Introducing the dataflow visualizer

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In my line of work I am often asked to “fix something” in a dataflow and in most cases, I do not have access to the org where the dataflow lives. Instead, I receive the dataflow JSON. While it sometimes can be nice to be taken down “memory lane” this one isn’t one of those times – when the dataflow editor (once upon a time) was introduced I had my arms above my head. To say it simply, figuring out what’s what in the dataflow editor is not fast and easy. But once again Mohan strikes with a new tool: the dataflow visualizer.

How does it work?

You may use Mohan’s SFDX plugin for other data and analytics tasks but this new dataflow visualizer not only has a command it also has a UI-friendly version, which makes it super easy for anyone to use – and you don’t even have to install anything. Let’s have a look at the UI-friendly version first.

Dataflow visualizer

The tool is simple to use yet powerful. Head to the online tool here and have your dataflow JSON ready. Once you are there, you’ll notice a sample dataflow in the editor.

Now you want to click “Choose file” and upload the dataflow JSON file, which will update the editor. Next, you hit the red “Draw” button in the bottom left corner to visualize the dataflow.

You can now scroll down to see the result and you are hopefully now better equipped to analyze the dataflow and help fix whatever it is you are asked to fix. Note it may be a large image and you have to scroll up and down and from side to side to see everything. In addition, the image is searchable, so if you are looking for a specific compute expression just search and you shall find!

You can also download the visualization by clicking the “Save Visualization” button in the right side of the menu where you uploaded your file.

Check out a video with the different features and how to visualize your dataflows.

Note: find the dataflow visualizer here.

Dataflow visualizer command

Alright, if you prefer to do the exact same thing in the command line, it is in fact also an option.

Note: if you haven’t used Mohan’s SFDX plugin before then check out this blog for the steps to complete the installation.

The command to execute is sfdx mohanc:ea:dataflow:vizf and to get the options for the command put the following in the command window.

sfdx mohanc:ea:dataflow:vizf -h

As you can see from the image above, there aren’t many options for this command. In fact, there is only one option -i that is used to define the location of the dataflow JSON you want to visualize. The command will look something like this:

sfdx mohanc:ea:dataflow:vizf -i Downloads/RevoppsRevenueOperations.json

So pop that into your command line, of course with the right file location, press enter, and watch the plugin do its job. Once completed the visualization has been created and saved as SVG file – it’s ready for you to explore and analyze.

Note: Remove any spaces from your file name before executing your command to avoid unexpected errors.

And that’s all it takes to make it just a little bit easier to analyze your dataflow if you do not have access to the org but you have the JSON file.

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