I think we can all agree that when you are building workflows and setting up automation for your environment with InsightConnect, the simpler you can keep things, the better. The fewer steps your workflow needs, the sooner you can turn it on and start seeing results. It also means that any future tweaks you want to make will impact fewer steps and will make overall maintenance of the workflow less burdensome.
One great way to reduce the number of steps that you need to add into your workflows is by using the Join Paths Step. This step type lets you reconnect branching paths that follow Decisions Steps or ChatOps Interactive Messages to help keep your workflow linear and eliminate the need to create duplicate steps on those different paths. Now, let’s look at a simple example of this step type in action!
The automation workflow
Let's imagine members of our team want to be able to post various indicators such as URLs, IPs, domains, and file hashes into Slack channels, where a workflow can then take those indicators, enrich them, and post the results back into the Slack channel. Thinking this through, you will need to add a Decision into your workflow with a path for each indicator type, then add steps to perform the enrichment on these indicators. Your workflow could look something like this:
Using the Join Paths Step
Now, the next step we want in our workflow is to be able to post the results of this enrichment back to the Slack channel where it was originally submitted. We could add a separate ChatOps Post Message Step on each of our four paths, but for simplicity sake, we are going to use our Join Paths Step.
We will start by clicking a “+” at the end of one of our branches, then choose the Join Paths Step and drag each of our paths to the join point.
Now, we can use the Join Paths Step to create variable mappings for each of these paths so that we can use those variables later in the workflow.
And finally, we can add in our Post Message Step using these newly created variables.
Have you created any workflows that use Join Paths Steps? We would love to hear more about more examples in the comments!