Terminology

Before you get too far ahead, take a minute to familiarize yourself with our terminology – we'll be referencing this often throughout these guides.

TermDefinition
BlockA block represents a connector on the Alloy platform. We have three core types of blocks: (1) 3rd Party Integrations such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Netsuite, etc (2) Utilitity blocks that perform data manipulation such as a date generator and (3) Logic blocks which help you define custom rules such as our conditional and iterate blocks. You can chain blocks together to create workflows.
WorkflowA workflow is a building block of an integration. For example, you might have a workflow that runs every time an order is placed in a customer's Shopify store and then have Alloy Embedded route that data to a Snowflake data warehouse. This workflow would contain two blocks: (1) a Shopify Trigger and (2) a Snowflake block.
IntegrationAn integration is a combination of workflows centered around a shared block. For example, you could build a Shopify integration that has 3 workflows: the first workflow sends order data every time a Shopify order is placed to your data warehouse, the second workflow sends customer data every time a new customer signs up in a Shopify store to your data warehouse and the third workflow tags a customer when a user clicks a button on your site.
Trigger Block / Event BlockA trigger block is a special type of block that invokes a workflow. We have two types of trigger blocks: webhooks and polling. Webhooks are realtime event subscriptions which take immediate action when they are invoked. Polling triggers are recurring jobs that check if something changed in a 3rd party service every few minutes. While not as realtime as webhooks, polling triggers allow you to create near realtime alerts for services such as Netsuite which do not offer webhook infrastructure.
Destination BlockA destination, also known as an "Action Block", specifies where you want to send the data invoked by the trigger block. For example, if you wanted to route order data from Shopify to a Google Pub/Sub ingest, then the Google Pub/Sub block would be the destination.
App EventAn app event (not to be confused with app action as defined below) is a speical type of trigger block. The app event is a custom event you can define in Embedded and reuse across multiple workflows. For example, let's say you wanted to define an event called "Contact Sync" that syncs contact data from various apps over to your API when invoked. Behind the scenes, you might have a few workflows that use the same event. When you invoke the app event, every workflow with this event are triggered.
Custom ActionAn app action is counted every time a workflow moves data or takes action for you. You can think of it as every time an app is involved as well. If you have a workflow with a single Shopify trigger that sends a message to your Slack account, this would be counted as two (2) app actions each time the workflow is invoked.
Iterate BlockIterate blocks allow you to perform operations on each item in a list of items. For example, if you use a Shopify List Orders action block, then you can add an Iterate block right after to iterate through the orders from the previous block.
Branch and Conditional BlocksBranch and conditional blocks are logic blocks within Alloy. These blocks are similar to if/else and switchstatements in code. You can use them to define logical rules for when your workflow should or should not run.
Workflow LogsWorkflow logs store the execution results for an individual workflow every time it is run. Workflow log data is available for 60 days on the Alloy platform after which its no longer accessible.
Manual Workflow BlockA manual workflow only runs when the user presses the “Run” button in order to trigger the workflow. Manual workflows are useful for running workflows at your discretion.
VariableVariables allow you to use the outputs of blocks in a workflow as input into blocks that are downstream. Inputs refers to the fields you must fill out when configuring blocks. For example, if you use a Shopify trigger, it might return output containing a customer's email, phone number, etc. This data is then accessible as variable data.
Variable SelectorWhen you add in variables, this will bring up a popup called the Variable Selector. You can combine variables with text if the input field is a text field (rather than phone number, dollar value, etc)
WebhookWebhooks enable outside applications to communicate with Alloy, if they aren't natively supported as an App Trigger already. They allow you to send real-time data from your application to Alloy, and set a workflow in motion. and you can build your workflows to feed this data in Alloy.
Workflow RunA workflow run refers to each time an entire workflow is run. This can include any number of actions within it. For example, if your workflow runs once every hour during a day, then there were 24 workflow runs. You can check notifications in the top right of the workflow editor for details on why a workflow may have failed.
RecipesRecipes are the pre-built workflows available under the Marketplace tab in your dashboard. Recipes are sourced from our community of top agency/app partners and merchants, and are a great starting point for new users as they only take a few minutes to set up.

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