# How it works

The Workato web user interface supports all development and configuration work.

# Application components

Every application consists of three pillars:

  • Data storage

  • The data layer of the app. In Workflow apps, data is stored in Data tables and accessed through the Workflow apps connector.

  • UI

  • The user interface for business users in Workflow apps portal. It is partially generated by Workato, and partially customized by creating Pages.

  • Business Logic

  • The logic of the application, implemented in Workato recipes.

These three key components work together to create ease of building and an integrated user experience.

# Table Storage

Table Storage by Workato provides robust, scalable, and secure structured data storage in Workato. It enables you to define data tables in projects.

Every application has one main data table that stores the information about data in that application. For example, a data table may store information about invoices, PTO requests, sales quotes, and more. Use the Workflow apps connector to connect to your data tables and to build recipes for your applications.

# Application user interface

Workato automatically generates much of the app-user's workflow-related UI experience. For example, Workato generates the list of requests, app navigation, and history trail of requests. Submission and processing screens for the requests are handled with custom Pages.

Pages have a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor and a drag and drop interface. This enables you to customize the user experience to submit and review (provide additional information or approve/reject) the request in Workflow apps.

# Workflow recipes

Workato recipes orchestrate users and services in the same place, enabling you to design workflows across time, multiple third-party services, user personas, and even UIs. A Workflow recipe is a usual Workato recipe, typically using the Workflow apps connector actions to inject user steps and change workflow stages.

The trigger used in a workflow recipe would typically be the Workflow apps connector New request trigger. This way it can be fired when a user submits a request in the Workflow apps portal. In certain scenarios, the workflow is started by a trigger from other services, but a request in a Workflow app still needs to be created or fetched in order to implement a workflow.

# Workflow apps portal

Business users (referred to as app-users in this guide) of applications have access to all applications they are entitled to in the Workflow apps portal. The Workflow apps portal is a web application. Thanks to an out-of-the-box responsive user interface, you can also use it seamlessly on mobile and tablet devices. It can be branded to your organization.

# Typical application flow

The following diagram demonstrates the typical application flow:

Typical application flow


A user logs into the Workflow apps portal and navigates to a specific application. The application displays existing requests for the current user to see/review. Workato loads this information from the application's main Data table and combines it with tasks previously set up. Refer to the following content for more information.


The user fills in a new request through a custom-defined Page. This action adds a record to a data table and creates a request in a Workflow app.

  • Alternatively, the user can submit a request using the Create request action using the Workflow apps by Workato connector. This connector enables you to trigger workflows from Slack or Microsoft Teams using Workbot or third-party applications.

When a user submits a new request, the New request trigger in Workflow apps by Workato connector picks up this event and starts a recipe. You can customize this recipe to include processing steps to meet your needs. For example, you can enrich the request with data from other applications, determine who must perform a manual review, and more.


The recipe job runs the Assign task to users action in the Workflow apps adapter, which creates a Task. The manner in which you configure this action determines the following factors:

  • Which UI Page performs the task.
  • The Record ID of the Data table entry to run this task on.
  • The task name which contains short instructions for the reviewer that identifies the task.
  • The assignee, who can be an individual user or a user group.
  • How much time the assignee has to complete the task - expiration period.

Workato sends an email with a link to the Page defined in a recipe to task assignee(s).

Workato suspends the recipe job.


The assignee clicks the link from the email notification, logs in to the Workflow apps portal, or locates the task in the inbox on the Portal home page.

  • Clicking on the task displays the page specified in the Assign task to user action.

Alternatively, the task can be performed with the Complete workflow task programmatically action. This allows the task to be completed in a separated UI, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams with Workbot.

The assignee performs the requested action. For example, the assignee can approve or reject the request and/or provide additional information.

After the task is complete, the recipe job wakes up and proceeds. The recipe job also wakes up if the requested action expires or no user activity happens within the deadline.


You can initiate another user task with the same Record ID. This makes it possible to have a chain of approvals for the same request.

The recipe can also specify the Change workflow stage action on the request (identified by the Record ID ) to indicate its transition through the workflow.

Another common pattern is to initiate recipe actions in various third-party services resulting from user action and with the user's input.

Last updated: 2/22/2024, 11:17:11 PM