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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are many of the frequently asked questions we receive from current and prospective users, organized by category.

If you aren't able to find the answer to your question here or in the documentation, contact technical support by using the Intercom widget in the lower right corner of any screen on the platform or by contacting your board admin.

What's the difference between a board, solution, and module?

In one sense, boards, solutions, and modules all act as containers at different levels in Tonkean to help organize your workflows, but they're far more than simple containers. Each serves an important purpose in structuring and guiding your process orchestration process:


A board is the highest point in the Tonkean hierarchy and can contain many solutions. Boards are usually specific to an entire enterprise, with one board containing all the solutions for that enterprise. If your organization has unique needs surrounding business unit structure, reporting needs, or governance, you can organize your content into multiple boards.



The solution is the core of the Tonkean platform: it contains the description of a business problem, the planned and ongoing approach to solve that problem, and all the logic (that is, the modules and enterprise components) that address the business problem. Solutions also include the workspace app and business report, which allow users to gain important insights into the overall process.



Each solution is made of modules. Modules house all the custom workflows, connect all of your data sources together, and give you the power to take actions based on the criteria you set up. Within each module, Tonkean provides you the ability to say "when" an event happens, the module takes specific actions.

Modules are typically built and organized as distinct, operational workflows or automations that orchestrate business processes between people, systems, and applications. This organization allows modules to remain simple to understand as they are iterated on and enhanced over time.


What's Tonkean's uptime?

Tonkean's uptime averages 99.99%. You can visit the status page at any time to check the status of Tonkean systems and check any past incidents.

Do I need a dedicated Tonkean user license to connect to an application?

Yes, we recommend using a dedicated service account (for example, that's licensed with the application you want to connect to Tonkean. For example, if you're connecting Salesforce as a data source in Tonkean, we recommend using a dedicated service account with only the permissions necessary (read/write access) for your specific use cases.

Tonkean provides controls for admins to determine which makers have access to which data source, so you don't have to be concerned with managing detailed permissions in the connected application.

Additionally, the data source connections are implemented in such a way that each data source has access to specific solutions, providing another layer of security and access control. However, you can use a single data source in multiple solutions and modules, so there's no need to create multiple connections to the same account.

We do not recommend connecting individual user accounts to Tonkean. When roles change or challenges in a process arise, a connection to a personal account can cause additional problems.

Do makers need their own license in a connected data source to use that data source in Tonkean?

No, makers don't need their own license or account in a connect data source to create or modify modules that use that data source. In most cases, makers are using applications connected using service accounts, so they don't need (and in most cases, shouldn't have) their own accounts. However, it can be helpful for the relevant maker to have access to the connected application so they can confirm whether the Tonkean solution is producing the desired results in that application (that is, whether the module they're building actually works).

Remember that admins have control over which makers have access to a given data source. We recommend using these controls to ensure each user has the appropriate access, and not greater access than is required.

What permissions does Tonkean need for my connected data source?

Tonkean needs permissions to perform only the functions required by your particular use case—no more. For example, if you're using ServiceNow as a connected data source and your solution only requires read permissions, you do not have to grant Tonkean edit permissions in ServiceNow. If you configure the appropriate permissions in the application you connect to Tonkean, any user in Tonkean will be unable to perform actions not explicitly allowed by the permissions level you set.

We recommend using a dedicated service account to connect an application to Tonkean as a data source. In addition to being a general best practice for a variety of reasons (for example, change management), having a service account allows you to set the desired permissions in a single location and have those settings apply anywhere that data source is used in Tonkean.

Can I assign a non-admin user in an application to manage that application's connection in Tonkean?

Yes. A user does not need to be an admin user in the connected application to manage that application's connection to Tonkean. That is, a user doesn't need to be a Salesforce admin to manage a Salesforce data source in Tonkean.

You can set administrators for any data source (they're called IT admins in Tonkean). These admins have privileges like customizing data retention policies and creating custom actions. You can add IT admins in Tonkean by following the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the Enterprise Components screen.

  2. Select the data source you want to add an IT admin for. The data source configuration screen displays.

  3. Select Admins in the data source configuration panel. The Manage IT Admins screen displays.

  4. Select the text box and enter the names of the users you want to add as admins.


Admins in Tonkean can also control which users can connect each kind of data source, specify that only board admins can connect data sources, or configure a group of data sources users can connect to by navigating to the Board Settings and selecting Data Sources in the configuration panel.


Admins can be set at the board level or the module level, depending on your needs.

Can Tonkean use custom object types from my connected application?

Yes. Generally, Tonkean can use and update all objects, both standard and custom, from a connected data source as long as the relevant permissions are configured to allow it and those object types are supported by the application's API.

If you're having trouble with Tonkean not using a particular object type from a connected application, please contact support.

In addition to receiving data and updates, can Tonkean also push data into my connected application?

Yes, Tonkean connections are generally bi-directional as long as the permissions are configured to allow it. For example, if your solution includes a connected Salesforce instance and your workflow involves using a Slack button to ask someone to change the Next Steps field in a given Opportunity, when that person selects that button, Tonkean updates the Next Steps field in the Opportunity. You can track who selected the button in Slack, but if you look up the update history for that Opportunity, the account that updated the field is the services account you have connected to Tonkean.

How does Tonkean leverage artificial intelligence (AI)?

Many parts of the Tonkean platform are powered by AI—the most obvious being the AI Front Door, where internal users can ask questions and submit requests using plain language.

Tonkean has numerous other AI capabilities:

  • Training sets are a natural language processing (NLP) feature that allows you to extract and classify text from documents and use that text in your modules.

  • Optical character recognition (OCR) is an important machine learning component of many AI-powered workflows, allowing you to identify and extract text from a digital image like a PDF.

  • Native integrations with popular AI providers like OpenAI offer access to a wide range of AI and machine learning and large language models, including GPT-4.

We've infused Tonkean with AI to improve the accuracy of text processing and extraction, generate documents to your specifications, and generally improve the experience for internal requesters.

What is the AI Front Door and how does it work?

The AI Front Door is the go-to place for internal users to ask questions and submit requests from your shared services teams, without needing to understand complex processes or policies.

The AI Front Door is powered by GPT-4, OpenAI's large language model (LLM). It leverages the forms and data sources in your solutions as context to answer questions, initiate processes, and perform other tasks configured in your modules. The AI Front Door does not train GPT-4 on your data. Instead, it selectively and strategically accesses the data in your forms and data sources to serve requesters. For example, if a member of the sales team asks how long the opportunity with ACME Inc. has been open, the AI Front Door locates the record for ACME Inc. in your connected Salesforce data source, calculates the number of days it's been open, and returns that to the user.

The AI Front Door is currently in beta and access to it is limited to select users.

How can I enable the AI Front Door to access my content?

By default, access via the AI Front Door is turned off. To enable access, you must navigate to each data source and create form and turn on the Enable access via AI Front Door toggle.

Once Enable access via AI Front Door is enabled for a data source, anyone with access to the AI Front Door has access to the data contained in that data source, regardless of the permissions in the third-party application or system.


How can I improve the accuracy of the AI Front Door?

The accuracy of the AI Front Door is directly related to the amount of information in the AI-enabled create forms and data sources in your solutions. The more detailed and complete the information, the more accurate the Front Door will be.

In your create forms, make sure you use clear titles, field labels, and descriptions whenever possible. Similarly, for your data sources, include detailed descriptions of the data source itself and any relevant actions (either native or custom). Because the AI Front Door doesn't use your data to train the model, it relies on the information contained with these elements to triage, coordinate, and resolve requests efficiently.

How is my data shared with AI providers like OpenAI?

Tonkean maintains strict data security and privacy policies. We only share the data required to enable a given feature. We do not train external AI tools using your data.

OpenAI maintains its own privacy policy.

How does Tonkean communicate with third-party applications using APIs (and how often)?

Tonkean communicates with connected applications in two main ways: the “collect,” where it sends a request for updates to the application at a specified interval (every 10 minutes is the default), and any updates to data in the application that come from actions in a Tonkean module (for example, updating a field in Greenhouse using a specific data action).

Generally, each collect requires an initial request to update the access token, and then a request for each entity type (for example, Opportunities, Accounts, or Contacts in Salesforce). If there are a large number of updates, responses to these requests are paginated and will require as many calls as is necessary to receive all the data. That is, the number of calls is equal to the number of entities, compounded by the number of pages needed for each response.

For updates made in a connected application by a Tonkean module, there are usually a minimum of three requests: one to update the access token, one to update the information in the application, and one to update that same data in Tonkean.

The specific number of calls between Tonkean and a connected third-party application varies, sometimes significantly, from one application to another, but in general, Tonkean is designed to be as efficient as possible with the number of requests and the frequency the system is updated at.

Can I limit the number of times Tonkean pushes updates (that is, sends an API request) to my external application connected as a data source?

No, Tonkean does not track the number of API calls made from Tonkean to third-party applications, nor does it have a "rate-limit" feature. Because Tonkean is an asynchronous platform, it’s not designed to call connected applications in real-time (that is, every few seconds). Rather, it performs a collect every 10 minutes for most applications.

For the vast majority of use cases, Tonkean does not generate a large enough volume of API calls to approach the rate limits for most applications. And, in those situations where a workflow does generate a large volume of requests, there are ways to mitigate that volume with changes to the module workflow.