Tray Platform / Getting Started / Platform Overview
Welcome to the Tray documentation!
Here you will learn how to use the Tray.io platform to build automation workflows that can be as short and simple or as long and detailed as you like. In working with Tray there are some key concepts and terms to take on board:
Key System Components
The heart of Tray is the Workflow Editor. This is where you configure all the services which make up your automated sequence of events.
The editor is a handy drag n drop interface where you can drag 'connectors' from the searchable left-hand list into your main workflow. As the following screenshot shows, these connectors enable you to get data from third-party services (such as Salesforce) and use special 'Helper' connectors to manipulate and work with that data before passing it on to the next step in your workflow (which could be back into that same service or into another service (e.g Asana, Slack) using the relevant connector):
Connectors are the main 'building blocks' of your workflows. You will find an extensive list of pre-built connectors for popular services (SalesForce, Slack, Zendesk, Trello etc.). With these pre-built connectors we have done all the heavy lifting for you. The service API endpoints and functions (e.g. list open Salesforce contacts, create new Salesforce contact, etc.) are configured for use in easy drop-down menus:
Within the workflow builder, the output results of each connector are exposed and available to be pulled in by other Connectors and Helpers
Documentation for our service connectors can be found here
If a service you want to use is not listed, it is possible to build your own custom connector using our HTTP Client
Each workflow must be initiated with an event that acts as a Trigger.
Triggers can be service-based. You may, for example, want to choose the Salesforce Trigger so that a sequence of actions begins when a record is updated in Salesforce. Or the Trello trigger, for when somebody updates a Trello board:
If the service you want to act as a trigger is not listed, you can create your own custom Webhook Trigger
Other 'Utility' Triggers are available such as the the Scheduled Trigger which can be set to run periodically, and the Form Trigger which is triggered by users submitting a web form.
Documentation for our triggers can be found here
To enable you to perform actions on and manipulate data between service connectors, Tray has a list of 'Helpers'.
These include a Text Helper which can be used to extract and format information from a connector so that it can be passed to another connector in a suitable format.
Others are the Data Storage Helper which can store data that can be used multiple times within a workflow, and the Loop Collection which can be used to loop through lists to extract data from each result.
Other Key System Concepts
When you are using Tray to connect to third-party services, you will need to authenticate / login to those services. This could be:
simple username and password
OAuth-based (which will give you very detailed control over what the Tray connector can actually do when connecting to your service - e.g. can it access a list of contacts, or post a message on your behalf)
In a workflow, once an authentication has been made for a particular instance of a service connector, the authentication will happen automatically.
When you make an authentication you can name it and it is then available for re-use in other workflows and if you need to call another separate instance of that service connector in the same workflow.
So if, for example, you have two different logins for Salesforce which have access to different company divisions or have different levels of permissions, you can store both of these authentications to be quickly used at any time.
Please see Authenticating Connectors for a more detailed overview of how authentications work. Note also that the individual service connector guides contain specific instructions on how to authenticate with that particular service
It is crucial to understand how data is handled in the Tray Workflow editor:
Moving Output Data between connectors When building workflows you will often want to use the data returned from previous steps as the input in new steps. For example, if one step returns details about an individual then you may wish to use that information to create a new Salesforce contact for that individual.
Config Data Sometimes you may want to store common configuration within a workflow for use in multiple steps, such as an email address for receiving notifications, or a common error message.
Every Workflow in Tray has a Webhook URL. This can be found by clicking on the Settings wheel in the top-left corner of the workflow editor:
You will then be presented with the Webhook URL for that workflow:
If the service you are using does not have a pre-built Tray.io trigger, you can create your own Webhook Trigger
This can be entered in the webhook settings page for your external service so that actions in your external service will notify your workflow. It can also be used as the url for components such as the Form Trigger whereby you can present your users with a web form which triggers the workflow.