Getting Started

This tutorial will walk you through building and deploying a flow, as well as best practices for testing and debugging flows. While this tutorial uses a prepackaged example flow, these same steps should be used for developing flows specific to your business needs.

After completing this tutorial, you will:

  • Have a local environment with the flows-sdk library installed

  • Package an example “IDP Starter” flow into an artifact

  • Import that artifact into the Hyperscience Platform

  • Be able to test and debug your flow

The provided “IDP Starter Example” is a basic approach to extracting text from documents. It’s a good starting point for adding process logic, data validation, data formatting, etc. specific to your business’s document extaction process.


  • Python 3.7+

the example below assumes that you are using bash or zsh for Unix and cmd or PowerShell for Windows. For other terminals, check out the official venv documentation

Building & Deploying

  1. Create a virtual environment and source it.

    python3 -m venv venv
    source venv/bin/activate
    For Windows
    python -m venv venv
    python -m venv venv
  2. Install the flows_sdk Python package. Contact your CX representative to receive the .whl package. The command below should reflect the local path of your package.

    pip install "~/Downloads/flows_sdk-1.4.0-py3.whl"
    For Windows
    pip install "C:\Downloads\flows_sdk-1.4.0-py3-none-any.whl"
  3. Download the IDP Starter Example package, which includes:

    • file. This is the Python file, built using the Flows SDK, that defines all of the logic for IDP Starter Example flow

    •, which includes a layout for processing W-9 forms. Because W-9s are a structured document it is not necessary to train any models. To learn more about releases, visit our (non-technical) user guide

    • form-w9-blank.pdf, a blank Form W-9 used to build the layout

    • form-w9-sample.png, a W-9 form filled out with handwriting. This image can be submitted to test your flow.

  4. Package to a .json file. The Hyperscience Platform accepts .json and .zip (to be included in an upcoming flows-sdk release) formatted files;

the json file may have any name.

python > idp_starter_flow.json
  1. Upload the produced idp_starter_flow.json to a Hyperscience instance by going to https://{hyperscience-url}/flows and clicking Import Flow.

  2. If everything went as expected, you should be redirected to the Flow Studio - you’ve successfully uploaded your first flow to the Hyperscience Platform!

[1] Don’t worry about the Missing Layout Release UUID for now, we’ll fix that in one of the next steps.

Testing & Debugging

The Hyperscience Platform includes tools to help you test and debug your flows. Continuing with the above example, we’ll show you how to submit documents to your new IDP Starter Flow by using the additional materials provided in the package.

  1. Flows need an associated “Release” to process documents. Go to https://{hyperscience-url}/layouts/releases and click Add Release. Select Upload Existing and choose the included in the IDP Starter Example package. After a moment you should see the release uploaded to the Hyperscience Platform.

  2. Navigate back to the flow that was uploaded in the previous section by going to https://{hyperscience-url}/flows and selecting it.

  3. The newly uploaded release should be selectable under Layout Release in the Flow Settings panel on the left-hand side of the page.

  4. Set your flow’s status to “Live.” Documents can only be submitted to “Live” flows.

  5. Go to https://{hyperscience-url}/submissions and click Create Submission. Upload the form-w9-sample.png sample document. Finally, select IDP Starter Flow as the flow to submit to. You should see that the submission was created - it may take a few minutes to process.

  6. Now we can use our testing and debugging tools to better understand how your flow processed those documents. Click on the completed submission’s ID, then click Actions and select View Flow Execution. If you used the provided IDP Starter Flow and sample document, you should see that the document processed without error.

The Flow Execution sections

The Flow Execution page has the following sections:

1 Overview: The left-hand sidebar shows metadata for the submission.

2 Flow Run diagram: The upper-right panel shows a diagram of the flow. The processing status for an individual block is shown under the block, along with the time the block completed or failed processing (if applicable). If the block has no status underneath it, it has not processed the submission yet. Clicking on a block reveals its input, output, and logs in the Block Details panel below.

3 Block Details: The Block Details panel has the following tabs:

  • Input - Shows the input JSON arguments that the block used for processing.

  • Output - Shows the output JSON that the block produced as a result of processing (if applicable). Note that the Output JSON for the final block in a completed submission is not the same as the JSON output for the entire submission.

  • Logs - Shows developer logs from the block. If the block failed to process the submission, it will also include error information.

You can copy any of the data shown in the Block Details panel by clicking Copy in the upper-right corner of the panel.