Nextcloud Flow makes it easy to automate actions and workflows

Originally published at: Nextcloud Flow makes it easy to automate actions and workflows - Nextcloud

We are happy to announce that Nextcloud 18 will introduce Flow. This app will make it easy for users to automate some common tasks through an easy, graphical user interface. Integration with the wide variety of apps in the Nextcloud ecosystem will be an important priority for this project. A first tech preview is available as part of the daily builds of Nextcloud 18.

Here’s all the news from the Nextcloud Conference:

What can Flow do

Nextcloud Flow is designed to help you automate tasks. For example, when a file is added to a specific folder, a shared link to the file could be created and send through Nextcloud Talk into a specified chat room. Or, when a new element (like a file, a chat or a Deck board) is added to a certain project, you get a notification.

Here is a mockup (based on current state) of what NC Flow should look like by release time:

mockup (based on current state) of what NC Flow should look like by release time
One thing Flow can do is can help the workflow of teams collaborating on documents. Think of the approval and review processes, as in this example:

An partner sends a customer order form by mail to a special inbox. The attachments get uploaded to Nextcloud and, because they end in a special folder, are given a specific tag. This tag results in the file getting added as a task card in a Deck board for Team X to process. The chat from Team X notifies them of the arrival of the new task. A team member reviews the form and when done, moves the card to done which automatically adds a ‘reviewed’ tag. This tag results a notification for the manager. Once they adds the ‘approved’ tag, the files are turned into a PDF, then shared via a public link, which in turn is added to a mail that gets send to the partner.

As you see, Flow can go beyond files, tying together the various capabilities of Nextcloud. Through an easy API, Nextcloud applications like Calendar, Mail, Talk and Deck will be able to provide actions and triggers for users to use. This means that more and more apps will be able to offer integration, so users can configure Nextcloud to respond to a wider range of events with an ever growing amount of actions.

Get Flow

Flow will be a part of Nextcloud 18. We have just started working on this release, but Flow has been under development for while already. A first tech preview is available as part of our development version, downloadable as a daily build. Input from users is very welcome, as there is a wide range of capabilities that could be added and the team is looking for use cases to prioritize. App developers can also get started supporting Flow in their apps! Documentation for Flow will soon be available on our Developer site.

At the Nextcloud Conference this weekend, a workshop will demonstrate how developers can add new capabilities from their apps to Flow.

Screenshots of the current state:


This is awesome. If you could somehow find a way to integrate this functionality into your Outlook Plugin - you could very easily turn this into a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tool. What do you think?

The workflow app overhaul (happening here on Github) has a lot of potential, especially for helping integrate various Nextcloud apps together. If system wide tagging is implemented, it will be possible to automate all major apps using their tags in conjunction with the Flow app. That would be amazing!

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This is great!! Thank you! Will there be any kind of integration with service such as I’d love for IFTTT actions to be able to talk to my Nextcloud instance.

@richjsouth Just one point coming into my mind. Nextcloud is advertised as save harbor for your private data. How should this align with your request to send data to external sites, like or Amazon, Google etc.? In this case, I would say that it doesn’t matter if you directly store all your data on servers of Google etc. Am I wrong?

Better integrate with Hugin and Node Red for that purpose.

This is a little confusing to me. What features have actually been developed for Flow? I’m mostly interested in the Upload File -> Create Deck feature. I went to the Developer site and the only Flow it mentions has to do with “Login Flow”.

The mockup above states its based on the current state. Does that mean that Deck integration has already been developed as this post was pre-NC 18 release?

I apologize, but I have been waiting for something like this for a long time and I’m super excited.


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The tree options available to me, Access Control, Tagging and PDF conversion are not helpful to me. Where can I find the Notification workflow?
And is there any written documentation besides the video from 36c3 in case I have to write workflows in PHP?

Is there any more information on this? Or has Flow stalled out?

It last saw development a couple months ago and the devs are just slammed with lots of work. Basic documentation is on the linked Github page.

Thanks for the update. I totally understand they are busy. I was just a little annoyed/over-excited at the prospect of having an upload file -> create deck feature as shown in the blog stated above that in fact didn’t exist.

I will sit on my hands and wait patiently as I have Zero knowledge on scripting or development myself.


Can someone confirm Flow works well with Deck today? I want to set up a Deck table for the administrator and modify the rights of the users according to the stack in which the card is or the label attached to a card. The script should be triggered automatically when changing the stack of a card.
Thank you


Is there an option to limit the number of external script started simoulastesly? I used to resize images,cron run 5 minutes,and if i upload 200images within 5 minutes,external script started 200times. Is there any solution?

No, such an option doesn’t exist. How should the system track which activities need to be queued and which not?

Due to the fact that the script execution is initiated on a file upload event, you can e.g. implement a locking mechanism on your own which let all called scripts, which are over a defined threshold, to sleep for a while.

Thanks,i write random sleep time for script already,but this isn’t an elegant solution. I can create a lock for it,and when lock present script exit. But it will be restarted?Which exit codes must be use to restart/resume script by the flow?

No, it won’t be restarted because it is initiated on a single event. If you don’t react on this event you need to make sure that a job is executed at a later time on your own. I personally can imagine different ways to do it

  • let an executed job “sleep” until a counter is less than a set threshold.

  • write all file names to a dedicated list file instead of instantly executing the convert command and let an independent background script read that list and start the conversion of each file one by one.

Thank you j-ed,you are very helpful! :wink:

Is it possible to configure the flow to do this:
a new user is created, he is directly added to a private conversation with the administrator or a group. Some messages are configured. he can access forms or certain specific files previously defined ? depending on the case ?

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This sounds less like something to do with Flow, and more like you want to create the user as a member of one or more groups. The files, forms, and conversations can all be set for access by any user of the appropriate groups.

actually I want to offer a way to my users. Depending on the case, I want to guide them towards this or that possibility