What is the workflow procedure
The workflow procedure is the formalized path by which documents circulate in the company. The individual steps of the procedure correspond to activities, for example, the adding of assignments or decisions, for example, approval of the superior.
An example of a purchase invoice workflow is presented in the diagram below.
Elements of the workflow procedure
The workflow consists of activities and the transitions between activities. There are two kinds of activities: tasks and decisions. In the case of tasks, the user has one option to choose from – submit. If you decide to make a decision, you have two options: accept and reject. Each selection proceeds to the next activity or completes a procedure if the activity is the last activity in the workflow.
Adding a workflow routine
Addition of an activity
STEP 1: To add a procedure, go to Settings / Personalization / Procedures and then select the Add option
STEP 2: A form with the parameters of the procedure will appear. The required fields are Name and Applies to document. The second field is especially important as it refers to the type of document that the created workflow procedure will apply to.
The procedure can be used only in the indicated type of document, if there is a need to create an identical procedure for another type of document, then create another procedure and assign it to this type of document.
By selecting the checkbox, the default procedure for the selected document will cause that each newly created document of a given type will run this procedure by default.
Through the fields Valid from and Valid to you can control the date on which a given procedure will be active.
STEP 3: Having created the procedure, we can add actions. Switch to the Activities tab. For the newly created procedure, the add action form will open immediately.
It is much easier to design a workflow procedure as a diagram. Switching to the graphical diagram editor is done via the Diagram tab.
This form must be completed for each action defined under the procedure. If we need more actions within the procedure, click the Add button.
Most of the actions related to adding activities can be done easier and faster with the graphic editor. Each action is represented by a rounded rectangle, and the arrows in the diagram symbolize the entries in the “Execution after action” section.
Creating new activities is simple, just select an activity from the Add menu and place it on the diagram. Then use the mouse to link the actions. The red arrow means reject the action and the green arrow accepts.
We added a new activity and immediately linked it to the previous activities. It will be executed if the previous tasks are accepted.
On the diagram, we can also change the name of the activity. Just enter edit mode.
To complete the configuration, exit the diagrams and input the conditions and performers of activities.
Configuration of the activity
Name – that is unique within the routine and the name of the activity. The name of the action will be displayed to the user in the Workflow tab on the document.
Activity type – there are two options to choose from: Decision or Task. If the action type is a task, the user will only be able to submit the step in the workflow. If the type is a decision, he will be able to approve or reject the task.
Path – In this option You can change the path name and change the status of the document after user choose the path. Depends on Activity types there is one options for task and two options for decision.
The ability to undo the activity – selecting this option makes the user’s decision within the workflow irreversible, they cannot change it.
As you can see, the action cannot be saved yet. The performers of the action must be added. It is also a good idea to add the conditions for performing the activity.
First You can configure the paths. By default system give standard names to them – Submit in Tasks and Accept and Reject in Decisions. You can change the name to whatever You want. Note that this name will be displayed on the buttons on form so make sure that name of the path is short and well understood by users.
Beside the path name You can also configure how the system will change the status of document if user choose particular path. Just choose the name of the status from the list.
Performed after activity – Defines the actions that precede the action. For example, the action “Substantive approval” will take place if the action “Registration in the system” ends with the status “Approved”. If we use the diagram, we get a partially completed form.
Conditions of execution – here you define what conditions must be met for the action to run. We define the condition based on the document fields, for example, we can specify that substantive approval should take place only for documents with a gross amount greater than EUR 1000.
In this section, we choose the users who are to perform our action. Each action must have at least one executor. The executor can be a specific person, group of people, department, etc. It is also possible to create an automatic action, performed without the interference of the user. An example of such an action may be, for example, omitting substantive approval for documents in which the gross amount is less than EUR 1000.
When adding an executor, we specify who is responsible for the action. Some options include “Whoever form …” and “Everybody from …”; in the first option, it is enough for one person from a given group to perform the action in the action, in the second option, all persons must perform the action. Some options require an additional parameter, e.g. department indication.
We can add more executors, e.g. so that two departments have to make a decision in action. When adding more executors, a new field appears with two options – “and” and “or”. After selecting the first option, each of the entered executors – in our example, anyone from the accounting department and the supervisor of the person running the workflow – have to perform an action in action. When you select “or”, it is enough for one of the contractors to perform the action.
A separate article provides some examples of how you can configure workflow steps.
An additional option in the Executors section is sending e-mails. We can configure the system to automatically notify people about a given task in the workflow. We have two options to choose from:
- notification of the executor about a new task
- notifying the person who started the workflow about the end of the activity
Assign a procedure to a document type
The last thing we need to do is to select a new workflow procedure in the document type. To do so, indicate the newly created procedure in the document type configuration. For a description of the configuration parameters, see Document Type Settings.
If the default procedure option for the selected document type was selected when creating the workflow procedure, there is no need to perform the above steps. The workflow procedure will be automatically assigned to the document type.
In this section, we can control the appearance of the form depending on the state of the workflow procedure. For each action, we can specify whether the element should behave as standard, i.e. as defined on the form, or differently. We can control the features of elements such as visibility, editable or required. We can change these features for individual elements as well as for entire containers. The following example shows the editable changes for a container and a single field in a sample form.
There are two parameters in this section:
Planned waiting time – this parameter determines the maximum amount of time an action can wait for starting work. When this time is exceeded, the task will be marked as expired
Planned execution time – this parameter specifies the maximum execution time of the activity. This field is primarily used to define the execution time of an activity in a process for the purposes of creating time schedules. Specifying that a given activity lasts, for example, 4 hours allows you to plan the next steps depending on this activity.
In each activity of the workflow You can configure an action. An action is a predefined, separate set of operations that performs a specific work, e.g. Change field value, Generate document or Grant permissions. A set of standard actions is provided by the system producer and the user designing the applications can use them in his own applications.
Above is an example of configuration of action which generate printout from form.
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