Designing & Constructing Workflows

Overview

A workflow is a collection of coordinated activities made up of automation objects (i.e. events, conditions, tasks, flow control arrows, etc.) designed to carry out a specific business process. Workflow construction and design is accomplished via the Workflow Designer (WFD), an intuitive graphical interface that allows developers to specify triggers, tasks, conditions, control flow, and a set of constraints on the execution. WFD also contains a set of tools for defining, analyzing, and debugging the execution of workflows.

Related Topics

Creating a workflow

The simplest way to create a workflow is via the Add Workflow Wizard. This utility consists of a sequence of steps through which the user navigates in order to simplify the building of workflows. The wizard is particularly useful for first-time or novice users. For more details, see Add Workflow Wizard.

Those who are more experienced with workflow creation may no longer need the wizard to guide them. In such cases, the Add Workflow Wizard can be turned off from the welcome screen by enabling the option In the future, do not use this wizard.

Designing A Workflow

The Workflow Designer is the primary canvas for designing automated workflows. When you design a workflow, you identify the necessary sequence of actions, and then you assemble that sequence by using the Workflow Designer. Workflow objects such tasks, events, conditions, and flow control arrows are assembled via drag-and-drop using a highly visual, intuitive interface. Depending on the designer's preference, a workflow can remain at a basic level where tasks and conditions are simply named and connected with appropriate flow control arrows, or it can be highly detailed where complex tasks are developed, multiple machines specified, error handling defined and evaluation objects created to allow decisions to be made during execution.

To construct a workflow:

  1. From Workflow Designer, drag and drop the desired workflow object such as a task, event/condition, process or sub-workflow from the Available Objects panel into the workspace or double-click a particular object to add it to the workspace. Doing so will display a new icon representing the object in the workspace (as shown below).

  2. Rename the object by clicking the default name and entering the desired name.

  1. Assign an agent for the object by clicking the default agent and selecting from the drop-down list of Task Agents, Agent Groups or System Agents that appear (as shown below).

  1. Set or edit the properties of the object by double-clicking it or right-clicking and selecting Edit from the context menu. This will open the proper editor for that object. For example, if you double-click a task object, the Task Builder will open.

  2. Repeat steps 1 - 4 to add another workflow object to the workspace (below illustrates a task object being added).

  1. Link the objects together with the appropriate flow control arrow. Drag the arrow from the Flow Control section of the Objects panel and drag it into the workspace or simply double-click the desired arrow.

  2. Connect each end of the arrow to the objects contained in the workspace. A dot appears next to the object being connected indicating a successful connection (the color of the dot coordinates with the color of the arrow being used). At this point, release the arrow. For more details, see Workflow Arrows.

NOTE: If a color coordinated dot does not appear, the arrow is not properly connected.  

 

 

NOTE: Creating a new workflow or adding new tasks, processes, conditions or other available objects to an existing workflow automatically stores the workflow and its contents in the Repository for re-use. For more details, see Repository Management or Workflow Management.

Using Repository objects

Workflow Designer's Objects/Repository panel includes a Repository tab that allows you to easily incorporate existing repository objects into the current workflow.

To Add/Edit an Existing event or condition from the Workflow Designer:

  1. From the Objects/Repository panel of WFD, select the Repository tab and drag the desired event/condition onto the main workspace.

  2. Double-click the event or condition or right-click the object and select Edit to set its properties. See Setting Conditions for more information.

  3. After setting the event or condition's properties, click the Update button to save changes and close the properties dialog.

To add/edit an existing task from the Workflow Designer:

  1. From the Objects/Repository panel of WFD, select the Repository tab and drag the desired task onto the main workspace.

  2. Select the agent that should run the task (provided under the task name).

  3. To edit the steps of the task, double-click it or right-click and select Edit. This opens the Task Builder.

  4. Drag and drop the available actions on the left side of the Task Builder to the Steps panel. See Editing Task Steps and About Actions for more information.

  5. To test the task, see Testing Tasks and Debugging Tasks Overview.

  6. Click the Update and Close button (top left corner of Task Builder) to save changes and close the Task Builder window.

 

NOTE: Non licensed events and conditions will appear opaque. Dragging or double-clicking them will generate an error. For more details about licensing individual events and conditions, see Licenses.