Introduction to Formulas

Understand formula templates and formula instances

Introduction to Formulas

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In Cloud Elements you can build formula templates—reusable workflow templates that are independent of API providers. Formula templates include triggers, like events or schedules, that kick off a series of steps. Formulas support a large variety of different use cases across different services. For example, they can keep systems in sync, migrate data between systems, or automate business workflows.

After you build formula templates, you can use the templates to create formula instances. In formula instances, you replace the variables in the templates with actual elements and values.

Formulas are a great way to move the logic out of your apps and into Cloud Elements. This helps keep your code less complex and more maintainable so you can focus on meeting your customers' needs.


We give detailed examples of formulas in the Examples section. But, to help you understand the power of formulas, here's a common example.

A common use case is keeping contacts synced across many systems. You might need to make sure that whenever a contact is added to Salesforce, it also syncs to HubSpot. To do this, you must first transform the data. Then, create a formula template that listens for updates to contacts in one API provider, and then pushes those contacts to another. After you set up the template, create a formula instance where you plug in Salesforce as the source element and HubSpot as the target element.


To help you understand formulas, review the definitions in this section.

formula template
A reusable workflow that is independent of the element and includes the triggers, steps, and variables for a formula instance to execute the workflow.
formula instance
A specific instance of a formula template configured with explicit variables and associated with specific element instances.
An action that occurs and kicks off a formula. Triggers can be events set up on an element instance, an API call to an element instance, a scheduled occurrence, or manually triggered.
An individual step within a formula workflow that can include branches to subsequent success and failure steps.
Variables that represent either element instances or specific values that must be supplied for each formula instance.

Formula Engine Versions

We support two versions of the formula engine: V1 and V3. The V1 engine remains the default engine and all formulas created prior to 2018 were created with the V1 engine. The V3 engine utilizes many architectural and technological improvements to offer efficiency and performance gains. However, your contacts at Cloud Elements will upgrade your formulas for you at first. This helps us to understand the consequences and to evaluate the results of the upgraded formulas. Over time you will be able to upgrade your own formulas, and soon the V3 engine will be the default engine on which you will build all formulas.

While you can access the functionality to upgrade a formula through the Formula Edit page, we encourage you to contact Cloud Elements before doing so. Note that you cannot upgrade a formula that uses single threaded executions.