How to Use Braze’s Canvas Version History — Thread the Needle with Braze

Marketers are no strangers to the mantra 'always be testing.' It's a constant journey of iteration to refine customer experiences, ensuring that messaging, timing, and channels are resonating with their audience.

With the constant change, it's essential for marketers to maintain a clear record of the changes made throughout their process. This isn't just about understanding what worked and what didn't; it's also about ensuring consistency by knowing who made the changes and when, and having records to refer back to for clarity and insights. With Braze's Canvas History, you gain insights into your journey's effectiveness and maintain a thorough understanding of the collaborative process behind it, ensuring consistent and informed decision-making. 

In this episode of Thread the Needle, Solution Architect, Michael Cook, walks through how to use Braze’s Canvas Version History, including: 

  • Navigating to Canvas Analytics
  • Filtering Canvas changes by category
  • Exploring version history 
  • Making edits to a live Canvas


Hello, my name is Michael Cook and I'm a Solution Architect here at Stitch. Today, I'm going to be walking through the features and use cases around editing live Canvases and using the Canvas version history function within Braze. We'll start by looking at a live Canvas that I've set up within my Braze workspace and how we can easily start making changes to it.

We'll run through a couple different use cases to give you an idea of some of the different features and analytics that we can see within our Canvas as we start to make edits. We'll specifically focus on the version history feature that allows us to maintain a record of the evolution of a Canvas.

It's very common for modifications to be needed over time as companies want to implement new channels, change the cadence of their communication, add in different paths that customers go down based on their actions, or set up tests to measure engagement across different content. The Canvas version history allows you to easily keep record of what changes have been made over time and also track when they were made and who made the changes.

It also allows us to go back to previous versions and see what worked well and what didn't. Braze stores the previous version analytics so you can easily see the metrics for your prior campaigns. This allows you to make informed decisions on how to most effectively communicate with your customers. So let's jump right into a Canvas that I have already set up.

So here I've got a simple welcome journey that is triggered when a new user profile is created within an email with an email address within Braze. So I've got three welcome emails, each with a wait step in between each. And see it better like this.

As you can see, if I jump back to the analytics, I've had six total entries into this Canvas. They've all received 'Welcome Email 1' and are currently in the one day wait step after receiving 'welcome one' before they receive 'welcome 2'. So there's 2 different buttons at the top of this screen that are going to be most relevant to this conversation.

The first is going to be this changes since last viewed button. If you click on this, it's going to bring up the full list of changes that have been made throughout the life of the Canvas. It's going to include a timestamp of when the changes were made, which user made that change, the category of the change, the action, what it was before, and what it was after the change.

So looking at this top row as an example, we can see that on May 3rd at 2:13 P.M., I came in here and changed the version of this Canvas from Version 1 to Version 2. This screen also allows you to do some general filtering if you want to see. Obviously, this filter by user is fairly self explanatory.

It's going to be all changes made by a specific user. I'm the only one that's gone in here and made any changes, but if there were others, you could come in and see that. You can also filter by category. So there's going to be five different categories here: Versioning, Canvas, Schedule, Name, and Audience.

As I just covered, Versioning is going to be whenever you change the version of the Canvas to a new one. So if you had four different versions of a Canvas, you could come in here and easily see when each of those versions were launched and who launched them. If we jump over to Canvas, this is going to be any changes that were made within the Canvas itself.

So adding in steps, changes to steps, and in what steps were changed, there. We jump to Schedule. So this is going to show you when things are paused and launched as well as any changes to the schedule type. So if you change the delivery type from scheduled to action based, that change is going to be reflected here.

And also anytime you change something from a draft or pause it or launch the Canvas as well. Name, again pretty self explanatory, that's just going to be when you rename the Canvas itself and then this is going to be any changes to the segment or filter criteria of the audience on this Canvas. The other button that we're going to look at here is this version history button.

So if I click this, it's going to default up here to the most recent and active version of my Canvas. So over here on the left hand side, we can start to actually click through the different versions of our journeys. So if we come here to Version 1, this is the only other one I had. The only change that I made between the 2 to start was this second wait step here.

So, this was a 2 day wait step. And if I jump over here to Version 2, you can see that I had changed it from a 2 day to a three day wait step. So, we can also see a little bit more information here using these three dots on the left hand side. For any older versions, we're going to see 'View Changes', 'Rename Version', and 'Discard Version'.

If we click on 'View Changes', it's going to bring up a very similar screen to what we were looking at before, in terms of seeing the changes specific to that version of the Canvas. And again, we can filter by category and user here. We can simply just rename this version, if we would need to do that for any reason. And then finally, we can discard this version if we want.

 I want to call out that you can have up to 10 versions of a Canvas before you have to start discarding versions to make more. If you discard a version, the Canvas setup will be lost, but the analytics associated with the discarded version will be retained.

So if I deleted this right now or discarded this version right now, I would lose what this setup looks like, but I would still know that six people received this first email as part of this version. And then if we come up here to Version 2, we can see the same sort of information that we can see.

The only difference is that you can't discard an active version of a Canvas. So, that covers just about everything in terms of what you can view across different versions of Canvases. But now we'll actually go in and start making edits so you can see what that process looks like as well. So, if we jump back over here and go to edit Canvas.

So within a Canvas, we can virtually change anything we want. The only thing that can't be changed after we launch our Canvas is going to be conversion events. So if you do want to add any conversion events to a Canvas, those must be assigned during the creation before you launch your first version.

Anything else we can go ahead and start changing in terms of adding things, deleting things, or changing what's already out here. So as an example, let's say that after ‘Email 1’, we want to add in a decision split before ‘Email 2’ and look at whether or not they opened ‘Email 1’, and if they didn't open ‘Email 1’, we're going to resend it to them, because there's important information in there.

So what we would do is we would drag this decision split out here, and we would then need to reconnect this one up to here. And here it's going to give us this warning that says changes that are saved in launch will apply to new users and users who haven't reached this step. So I will call out that, currently, when we were looking at my journey, there were six people that had already reached this wait step. So those people would not qualify for this decision split because they're already in this step. They would simply just move on to ‘Welcome Email 2’, no matter what. Any new users, however, would be evaluated for this decision split.

So we'll go ahead and confirm this for now, and then set up our decision split and say, opened ‘Email Welcome 1’. So, if they did not open it, they are going to get this email again. We'll rename that to Welcome 1, uh, ‘Welcome 1 Resend’. And then, if they did open it, they're just gonna go ahead and get ‘Email 2’.

And then, both will move into this second wait step. Go ahead and clean up the Canvas here. So now, we've made updates to our Canvas. We can save this, we can test this as is, but we'll go ahead and update this Canvas here. So you're going to get this second warning that says, you know, changes made to an active Canvas will apply to new users and existing users who haven't reached the edited user journey.

You will have to click this box in order to actually see the version history of this Version 2 here. So we'll go ahead and click that and click update Canvas, and now, we have our brand new Canvas here, where we've got the Welcome 1 Resend and the Welcome 2, in this instance. So that is everything that we needed to cover in terms of history and versions and editing a live Canvas. And now, if we go back here, we can see Version 2 is here, and discard it if we wanted to, and you can see how long it was active.

It was active from May 3rd to May 4th, and you can see the changes that were made. And now we can see our active one here. So that's everything you need to know about Canvas version history. If you have any questions, please reach out to Stitch for any of your Braze needs.

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