Connecting Components with Pipes

A pipe is the connection between components that graphically represent the flow of data between those components. Data flows through a pipe from left to right. Your components can use simple pipes or they can consist of a network of pipes that might branch and merge at various places in your protocol structure. A pipeline is a network of components that are connected via the pipes. Each component in a pipeline is somehow related to every other component through these pipe connections

To add a pipe:

  1. Click and hold the output port on the first component, and drag it to the input port on the second component. When you release the mouse button, the pipe is created.

  2. To connect a pipe to an alternate output port on a component (switching a data pipe between the green Pass port and the red Fail port), double-click the pipe.

To remove a pipe:

  1. Select the pipe you want to remove from the component. The pipe is highlighted with blue markers.
  2. Press DELETE.

To move a pipe:

You do not have to remove and recreate components to change how data flows through a protocol. Instead, you simply move the pipes between the components and the data flows accordingly.

  1. Select the pipe you want to move. The pipe is highlighted in blue to indicate that it is selected.
  2. To remove the pipe, press DELETE.
  3. To connect the source component to a new destination component, draw a new pipe.

Here is a before and after example of how the data flow changes in a protocol when pipes are added to other components for viewing output:

Before

Figure 1: Data flow before moving pipes

After

Figure 2: Data flow after moving pipes

Pipes also provide visual indicators when adding and moving components. For example, when you insert a component before a pipe split and a pipe joint, the upstream pipes are displayed in blue, to help you get a better idea of how the data will flow.

Blue pipes server as visual indicators when dragging and dropping components into a pipeline

To change the order of multiple pipelines:

Pipelines are executed one after the other, from top-to-bottom order. Data can be shared between pipelines using files or global variables.

  1. From the toolbar, turn off Auto Layout .
  2. Select the pipeline that you want to move.
  3. Drag it to its new location in the workspace.

Tip: To view the entire pipeline structure, right-click the start component number or any component in the pipeline, and choose Select this Pipeline. All components in the pipeline are selected and displayed with the blue rectangular box. If you are working with a large complex protocol, this is a useful way to quickly find out which components belong to which pipeline.

To view straight or curved pipes:

By default, pipes are shown as straight lines with angles. You can change this and view them as curved pipes.

Straight pipes

Curved pipes

See Also:  Pipelines and Data Flow   |  Combining Data   |  Separating Data   |  Running Protocols