Workflow Designer (WFD)

The Workflow Designer is the graphical canvas for designing and creating automated business processes. It contains all the tools required to design and automate complex business processes and encompasses an intuitive drag-and-drop interface allowing new users the ability to immediately construct basic workflows. Using the Workflow Designer, one can incorporate a series of actions into tasks and associate them with triggers, conditions, wait and branching objects which, altogether creates the structure of a workflow. In general, when you use the Workflow Designer to design a workflow, the following steps apply:

NOTE: Tasks are involved in the instructions for executing a series of processes. Tasks are created with another AutoMate drag-and-drop development tool called the Task Builder.

Sections of the Workflow Designer

The Workflow Designer's layout is very similar to the Server Management Console and Task Builder's specifications. This iterative design concept is the key principle for maximizing usability.

Click a section on the image or its associated link on the table below to view more details.

Available Sections




Contains standard Microsoft Ribbon-like design which allows you to easily save, run and update workflows and modify the design and behavior of the WFD without the need to write code.

Available Objects Pane

Located on the left part of WFD and displays the building blocks used to create a workflow. These objects allow you to create Tasks, Events, Conditions and Sub-workflows as well as Flow Controls to link objects and add conditional logic. The available objects can be easily dragged into the workflow canvas.


The blank canvas where you construct workflows. Simply drag and drop items from the Available Objects pane on to the Workspace to build a workflow.

Output/Shared Objects Pane

This section consists of four separate tabs. The Output tab displays real-time status of a workflow during its execution. The Shared Variables, Shared Arrays and Shared Datasets tabs provide the ability to share variables, arrays, and datasets throughout an entire workflow. This allows variables or arrays which were created in a particular task to be shared in other tasks contained in the workflow. For more information about the use of shared variables, datasets and arrays, see About Shared Variables, About Shared Datasets, About Shared Arrays. Tasks are grouped on their last execution results (whether completed successfully, failed or aborted).

See Also

Workflows | Building a Workflow | Workflow Logic | Multi-machine Workflows