Key concepts & terminology


See process flow canvas.


Having registered for a Patchworks account, use your credentials to log in to the Patchworks dashboard. This is where you can access everything you need to set up and manage data exchanges between third-party applications.

For more information please see: Patchworks quickstart guide.


The meaning of connector varies, depending on whether you are using process flows or services to sync data in Patchworks. Please expand the appropriate definition below.

Connectors in process flows

Connectors and instances are the key building blocks in process flows.

A connector is a generic integration of a third-party business system/application - it contains everything needed 'under the hood' (for example, endpoints, authentication methods, etc.) to sync data from/to the associated application.

You must install a connector for any third-party application that you wish to integrate with Patchworks. As you'd expect, Patchworks has made this easy for you, with a curated library of prebuilt connectors in the Patchworks marketplace.

Having installed a connector, you can then add as many instances of it as you need for use in your process flows. For more information please see: Connectors & instances.

Connectors in services

Connector builder

If you need to integrate a third-party application that doesn't have a prebuilt connector in the Patchworks marketplace - and if you have technical knowledge of APIs and working with data structures - you can use the connector builder to integrate any application with REST or SOAP APIs.

For more information please see: Connector builder.


An instance is the mechanism that Patchworks uses to configure a connector for use in process flows - it's how we store your system credentials for a given connector in a single, easy-to-manage place.

You can add as many instances of a single connector as you need. For example, if you've installed the Shopify connector, you would go on to add one instance of this connector for every Shopify store that you need to sync using process flows.

For more information please see: Connectors & instances.


With Patchworks, you can install and then use instances of a range of curated, prebuilt connectors which are available from the Patchworks marketplace.


Typically, when we talk about Patchworks in this documentation set, we're referring to the Patchworks Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), which is accessed via the Patchworks dashboard.

Process flow

Introduced in June 2023, the process flow feature is a completely new way to define if, when, what, and how data is synced between your third-party applications.

Process flows are built by dragging and dropping automated shapes onto a canvas, and then configuring them as required.

For more information please see: About process flows.

Process flow canvas

The canvas includes everything you need to build a process flow. Here, you drag shapes from the shapes tray, drop them onto the canvas, and then configure settings and relationships as required.

For more information please see: The process flow canvas.

Process flow shapes

When you add/edit a process flow, a set of shapes is available from the canvas. Each shape performs a specific task - for example, the trigger (schedule) shape is used to define a schedule upon which the process flow runs. Having dropped a shape onto the canvas, you can configure it with the required settings for that process flow.

For more information please see: Process flow shapes.


Process flows include all the functionality of services and much more. You can continue to use services but if you'd like to try process flows, please contact your Customer Success Manager, or reach out to [email protected].

If you registered for a Patchworks account after July 2023, you will be using process flows automatically.


See process flow shapes.


When you are working with services to sync data in Patchworks, a system is a Patchworks integration for a third-party business system - for example, Shopify.

The concept of 'systems' is only relevant if you are using Patchworks services to sync data - it is not used in process flows.

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